Woodland wrestlers refining skills as postseason approaches

BEACON FALLS — Quickly approaching the month-long series of championship wrestling meets, Woodland’s Elias Sturdevant and his teammates continue to improve with eyes upon the postseason.

At the Lawless Invitational on Jan. 11 in Canton, Sturdevant placed second in the 120-pound division while teammate Noah Omer earned a victory in the 285-pound division.

That meet followed up a successful day earlier in the month at the Morgan Duals, when both Omer and Peter Dupre earned pinfall victories while Sturdevant won his division.

“The Woodland wrestlers have improved,” Sturdevant said.

At the Lawless Invitational, Sturdevant earned a first-round bye and then notched a pinfall victory in his quarterfinal match. A 10-7 win on points in the semifinals sent him to the championship match, in which Wilton’s Maximus Mannino pinned Sturdevant in 2:37.

In the heavyweight division, Omer quickly pinned St. Joseph’s Zachary Yazdzik in 26 seconds in his quarterfinal match. Omer suffered a pinfall defeat in his next match against eventual champion Antonio Ramos of Agawam, Mass.

“He has learned how to stand up from bottom and perform takedowns in neutral (stance),” Sturdevant said of his teammate. “His favorite move now is the bear hug, which has ended with him pinning some wrestlers.”

Dupre, a freshman, has also improved throughout his rookie season on the mat.

“Peter has gotten better on top as he used the half nelson to get the pin at Morgan,” Sturdevant noted.

Sturdevant’s recent performances have run his record to 13-4, which is a little light in matches due to recent meet cancellations. He hoped to work “to be more aggressive on top to enable me to get more pins” over the final few weeks entering the championship season.

The Hawks, who wrestle with the Thomaston-Holy Cross co-op, participated in the Silver City Duals Saturday and will visit Northwestern on Wednesday. The regular season wraps up with three meets: the Highlander Invitational at Portland High, a meet at St. Paul and the Stafford Wrestling Invitational.

The championship season will begin Feb. 15 with the Berkshire Valley wrestling championships at Thomaston. Sturdevant won the 113-pound class as a freshman.