JUSTIN FORTIER ’18
Two years ago, seeing the Trinity Wrestling team finish in any slot above the bottom position might have been considered a miracle, but this year the expectations are much higher. Last fall, the wrestling team brought a massive new infusion of talent, adding 18 new first- years to the roster. This year the critical mass remained, and 13 sophomores, and six freshmen anchor the 23-man roster. That investment in new talent is beginning to pay dividends as Trinity has slowly started improving performance.
Most recently, on Nov. 3 at the Ted Reese Invitational hosted by the University of Southern Maine, the Bantams wrapped up the tournament with 45 points, enough to take seventh place in a field of thirteen. Captain Grant Sorensen ’19 led the way for the Bantams, closing out with five wins and a single loss in the 149-pound weight class, with his only loss coming to Southern Maine’s Dan Del Gallo who is ranked No. 2 nationally. The Trinity captain won his first two rounds with decisive pins, before a hard-fought, 5-3 victory in the fourth round sent him to a matchup against teammate Lucas Kaminski ’20 who Sorensen pinned at 2:20. Kaminski took home the fifth place title while Sorensen took home third-place. Nolan Cornu ’19 earned a pin and an 8-3 decision before losing in the fifth-place match.
The night before the invitational, the Bantams tested the mats, as they took on the University of Southern Maine in a head-to-head matchup. Unfortunately, Trinity did not fare well in the lighter weight classes, nor did they perform well in the heavier weights. A breath of fresh-air came in the 165 and 174-pound weight classes Cornu and Cerrone ’20 both took down their opponents. Cerrone controlled Southern Maine’s Aaron Weiss for a 13-6 victory in the 174-pound weight class, while Cornu edged a 3-2 win over Josh Smith.
On Nov. 18, the NCAA Division II East Stroudsburg University Warriors defeated Trinity in a 29-15 loss in their home season opener. The Oosting Gymnasium served as the site of the warm-up match for the Springfield Invitational. Although the Bantam’s were spared the humiliation of having their score doubled, it came as the result of a single win by decision and two Warrior forfeits accounting for the bulk of the Bantams points.
Mason Sangillo ’19 won an 11-7 decision in the heavyweight bout, putting six of 15 points on the board for the home squad. Trinity’s Sorensen was bested 3-2 in the 157-pound match by East Stroudsburg’s Blake Cohen.
On Nov. 19, Trinity Captain Grant Sorensen and teammates Cornu and Sangillo each won three matches at the Doug Parker Invitational tournament, hosted by Springfield College. This sophomore talent certainly warrants excitement for the future matches, but is not the makings of a proper scoring engine to drive a win home for the Bantams. Although three other Bantams each notched two wins apiece on the day, the Bantams finished a disappointing 13th of 15 varsity teams, longing for strong upperclassmen performances.
The Bantams have shown improvement and a greater maturity after last season’s first-year experiment. They are building to better and better performances this year, and provided the underclassmen continue into the coming seasons, they will be a formidable team in the future.