Wayland Wrestling pins down a state championship


Credit: Caitlin Newton

Coaches Scott Parseghian (left) and Sean Chase (right) yell to Junior Cameron Jones at Sectionals on Saturday Feb. 9. “I mean you do it to win, you do it for the relationships you build with the kids, but when you win it just makes it that much better.” Parseghian said.

Charlie Moore and Max Brande

The school bus barrels down Route 27 headed toward Wayland High School on a chilly Saturday afternoon. The student-athletes inside scream and sing along with the bus speakers’ rendition of “We Are the Champions” by Queen as they pass a trophy among seats and snap photos for Snapchat and Instagram. A Wayland police force cruiser flashing its lights and blaring its siren tails the bus. Wayland wrestling has clinched a state title.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, the Wayland wrestling team traveled to Ashland High School to contend for the Division III dual meet state title. Wayland entered the tournament ranked seventh of nine teams and competed against Dedham, Melrose and tournament champion Foxboro. They returned with a trophy in their hands and a police detail in tow.

“The fact that we used 18 kids to win a state championship was awesome,” wrestling coach Scott Parseghian said. “For us to go through the lineup and do what we did was just awesome, just winning one match after another. Each match, some kid we didn’t expect had a tremendous win for us to help keep the team pumped up. We were flying high. We could’ve wrestled anybody that day.”

In the first round, the No. 7 seeded Wayland matched up against No. 2 Dedham and managed to create a 40-34 team victory.

“On paper, when you see [seed] two vs. [seed] seven, seven doesn’t really win that [often].” Parseghian said. “But also, there were nine teams that entered the Division III state dual meet tournament. I think every coach thought that whoever the hottest team going into the day was could pull it off, so even an eight or a nine [seed] could have pulled it off. It just happened to be us.”

Wayland benefited from great performances from sophomores Max Montes and Matt Morris and junior CJ Brown.

“Max Montes, a sophomore who has never really proven himself or anything, goes out and gets a pin,” Parseghian said. “Matt Morris was losing, and all of the sudden [he came] back and pin[ned] with 30 seconds left in the match. CJ Brown pinned in all three of his matches, but in two of them he was behind and pinned in the third period or pinned to win.”

Brown accomplished a three-pin day which helped Wayland tremendously over Dedham as well as Melrose and Foxboro. Wayland wrestling gets to add yet another trophy to its illustrious collection in the multipurpose room in the Field House.

“It was really emotional for me because I’ve always wanted to win a state title,” sophomore Damien Parseghian said. “For me to be able to start for a state team really made me feel like I was a part of the team and made me feel special.”

Though Wayland had won the Division III dual meet state championship, it still had the Division III central sectional tournament to host the following week.

Sectionals, an event for individual wrestlers as opposed to full team competition, allowed Wayland to showcase 14 wrestlers ranging in weight and grade. Freshmen Finn O’Driscoll and Greg Deeley, sophomores Walker Whitehouse, Oliver Cerne, Tyler Gill, Will Munroe, Zach Anzivino and Matt Morris, juniors Cam Jones and CJ Brown and seniors Erik Sweeney, Michael German, Brian Carmichael and Brooks Jones all represented Wayland at sectionals.

Wayland saw Cerne, Deeley, German and Morris all place second in their respective brackets, while Anzivino and Sweeney placed fourth and Brown placed sixth – all notable placements for Wayland, but not as notable as Cameron and Brooks Jones both winning their weight class brackets.

“We definitely had high expectations just because we’ve been wrestling really well lately,” Cameron Jones said. “Coach [Sean] Chase always tells us that we want to peak at the right time, and I think we’ve definitely been doing that so far in the past few weeks. We went in with the hope of winning the tournament, and everyone did really well.”

Cameron and Brooks Jones’ wins at the 170 lbs. and heavyweight classes, respectively, helped guide Wayland to place third as a team in the sectional tournament and subsequently fourth at the Division III state tournament. Brooks Jones’ third-place finish at the following all-state meet (after placing first in the Divisional meet) advanced him to the New England Championship meet, where he competed against teams from all across the region in the final matches of his career.

“As a lot of teams say, we have great depth,” Parseghian said. “We have 35 kids in the wrestling room that work their butts off every single day. The best thing about wrestling is that there is no freshman team or a varsity team that practice separate like most other teams do. We’re all in the [same] room. Whatever the seniors are doing, the freshman are doing – [it’s] the same drills. It’s team camaraderie.”

“Going through practices, it’s tough, and I’ll be the first to say that wrestling practice is 10 times tougher than football,” Parseghian said. “To go six minutes is like nothing you’ve ever done before. Your lungs are burning, you’re tired, [and] there’s no timeouts, no substitutions, there’s not any of that stuff.”

For Parseghian and the Wayland High School wrestling team, there’s more to it than just walking onto the mat and wrestling your opponent.

“Once you step on the mat, it’s you for six minutes going,” Parseghian said. “That’s what I love about the sport, and wrestling has meant so much to me over the years. I just don’t know what I would do without it in my life.”