By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE – The Class S wrestling championships take place this Friday and Saturday from Windham High School in what could be a banner day for the squad from Plainville.
It’s an event Plainville wrestling coach Rusty Spence expects his team to be right in the thick of.
It’s been a long season taking on the Bristol Easterns and Maloneys of the world and competing against all those Class L and LL schools was tough.
Now, the payoff should be an outstanding showing in the Class S championships.
And the Blue Devils have some grapplers to make that happen.
The leader of the pack, at 160 pounds, is Jon Olivera.
He can battle at 152 pounds as well but he should do quite well at the championship meet in the higher weight category.
“That’s where he wants to wrestle,” said Plainville wrestling coach Rusty Spence of Olivera. “I think with the competition at (the Class S championships), he’s got a much better chance at getting to the finals at 160.”
Olivera is as competitive as they come and so is fellow junior Justin Plourde at 106.
Plourde has been there and done that and the spunky grappler might be a lightweight to watch out for.
Dylan Fusco, at 285, pounds should make some waves at the event and the junior has the experience to make that happen at heavyweight.
Sam Lindgren, at 126, is a bulldog in his own right and the junior could be a player in what should be a tough bracket.
Even in just a short time on the mat, he’s shown that he has all the tools and is certainly prepared for the Class S challenge.
“He’s only wrestled for half a year, he started late last year,” said Spence of Lindgren. “I think we got him in with five or six matches left in the season. He showed up. He was trying really hard last year. Over the summer, he’s worked very hard to get where he is now.”
“He’s a very competitive 126 pounder…I don’t think there’s too many out there that can beat him.”
Other wrestlers to keep your eyes on at the championship tilt includes David Was (junior, 132 pounds), Robert Filipkowski (senior, 182), Andrew Marsh (junior, 145), and Brendan West (junior).
And then there might be some surprises from the freshmen ranks.
At 120, Grant Sarra might be lean in terms of experience but he’s been taking on the best that the CCC South has offered in the regular season. Now, it’s time to shine at the championship level.
“He’s out there every week and he gives it everything he’s got,” said Spence of Sarra. “I want him to place in the top six so badly. This kid is very smart, he works hard. When we get to the Class S championship, I think he’s going to be okay.”
The time of taking on all those CCC South giants is over.
Now, the Blue Devils to take on the best of what Class S has to offer and prove that it belongs on that same level.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE