Rectory’s wrestling team has been around for many years. The wrestling team went undefeated for eight years until last year. This winter, however, was a special season for Rectory’s wrestling program; we had Mr. Paul Gray step up to the plate to coach this year’s team. Mr. Gray has never done a day of wrestling in his life and took on the head coach position for the team. His father had coached before in years previous. Also, we had Addison H.’s grandfather volunteer as a coach. He wrestled and then coached at Wesleyan College. What made this year so special was the fact that we only had ten participants for the wrestling team, two of whom were fifth-grade female students. (To put this in perspective, last year’s wrestling team had about 20 members.
With a head coach who had never wrestled and only ten team members, this year’s team had a surprisingly successful year. We won all our matches except for the two Hillside matches and placed fifth out of twelve schools at the 48th Annual New England Jr. Prep Tournament (the Fessenden Tournament). We had four 1st place winners at the Fessenden Tournament, including three, ninth graders, Sam S. P., David C., and Hayden M., and one eighth grader, Ben R. The rest of the team either placed third or fourth. There were even some first-year Rectory wrestlers who attended the tournament and went home with a third-place standing. The final team standings at the tournament were: Belmont Hill took the gold, Hillside School took second place, Eaglebrook School took third, Cardigan Mountain took fourth, and in fifth place was the Rectory School.
This year’s Rectory team had some excellent wrestlers. We had Hayden M., a 9th grader, who has been wrestling for three years; he lost only one match this year, and it was an exhibition match to a wrestler who weighed twenty pounds more than him. On the team, as well, was David C., another 9th grader who only lost two matches the entire season. Finally, we had Ben R., an 8th grader who has been wrestling for nine years. Ben also wrestles outside of Rectory. At the beginning of the season, he was recovering from a broken shoulder and in his first meet had to forfeit two matches and lost the third. However, after Christmas break Ben went undefeated for the rest of the season.
The DiRectory interviewed Coach Gray to find out his thoughts on the season.
DiRectory: Why did you decide to coach wrestling at Rectory?
Coach Gray: The wrestling coach left last year, and Mr. Healy asked me to step up to coach, and I enthusiastically said, “Yes!”
DiRectory: Do you think we had a successful season?
Coach Gray: I think we did. I think when 7 out of 8 of our wrestlers place at the biggest tournament of the season, and we have a record of 9-2, and most of all we had fun, it was a great season.
DiRectory: What is the best memory you have from this past season?
Coach Gray: Watching the Fessenden Tournament and seeing everyone compete and accomplishing goals and wrapping up the season. Especially Samwells match when he argued with the ref thinking he lost but won and started crying.
DiRectory: Do you plan on coaching wrestling next year?
Coach Gray: Yes I think so, I enjoy the season I had with you guys, and if Mr. Healy asks again then I would be in a heartbeat coach again.
DiRectory: If there is one match you could get back, which one would it be?
Coach Gray: The two times we wrestled Hillside.