FRAMINGHAM = The co-ed Framingham High wrestling team will opens its season this weekend on the road.
The first match is December 10 against Timberlane, Andover, and Noble out of Maine.
There are 45 Flyers on the roster, said Head Coach Erik Delehanty.
“Wrestling is a unique sport that you need partners to drill with and with injuries and sickness you can go from being JV right into the varsity lineup therefore we do not make cuts and everyone is welcome to join,” explained Delehanty.
“There are 14 weight classes so there will be 14 wrestlers who will make the varsity lineup but like I mentioned earlier with injury, sickness etc many wrestlers will have a chance at some point during the season to wrestle in varsity competitions,” said the head coach.
The Flyers will be led by senior captain Charlie Cosgrove and junior Ben Lincoln.
“Charlie and Ben compliment each other as captains,” said Coach Delehanty. “Charlie is someone who has more experience than most of our team due to losing a season from COVID. Charlie has been wrestling since freshman year and has put time into offseason wrestling and is looking to make the best of his senior campaign . Charlie is reliable and someone we can depend on with whatever is asked of him by the coaching staff..”
“Our other captain Ben brings a fire and edge to our program that is unmatched. Ben was a first year wrestler last season but in his first year was a state qualifier,” said Coach Delehanty. “Both captains are eager to keep our program moving in the right direction even with having a team with a lot of inexperience.”
Lincoln and Diego Rivera were 2022 state qualifiers for the Flyers.
Dan Sullivan and John Nogueira were 2022 Sectional place winner.
Coach Delehanty said wrestling, as a sport, is growing.
“I think a major contribution to that is the major popularity within MMA most importantly UFC and Bellator Organizations. The best MMA fighters in the world typically come from a wrestling background,” said Delehanty.
“I think our sport is also getting more coverage through media outlets. I think the second biggest contributor to the sport growing is more girls are beginning to wrestle. I think I saw data collected and the #1 fastest growing sport for girls is currently wrestling,” said Delehanty.
There are 4 girls with the Flyers program this season.
“All 3 from last season returned and we welcomed another girl this season,” said Delehanty. “We will continue to try and get more girls who are interested to come out and be a part of the team.”
Besides Cosgrove, there are four other seniors on the squad. They are Joe Skura, Ben Peck, Elmer Melara, and Jess Garcia.
The Flyers first home match is Wednesday, December 21 against the Tigers of Newton North at 6 p.m.
“As far as our individual program I think we have been lucky to stay pretty steady with participation throughout the years I have been coaching at Framingham High. I think we have a program with a lot of tradition and pride and we have found success along the way and kids want to be a part of something successful. We are also hopefully finalizing a wrestling program that will be geared towards 6-8th graders in the city and hope to start that by the end of December,” said Coach Delehanty.
The Flyers will host the Dan Balboni Classic on Friday, December 30 at the high school.
“I am excited about this upcoming season as we have great numbers and a team that is trying to find its identity. We lost a big senior class last year and the season lost to COVID has hurt many wrestling programs,” said Coach Delehanty.
“As we navigate to a more normal season I am looking forward to seeing this very young team compete. We are essentially in a rebuilding process as we don’t have a big senior or junior class of returning wrestlers,” said the Head Coach. “However I am very excited about our sophomore class who were varsity wrestlers as freshmen and will once again be in the varsity lineup as sophomores. I think they are the group fans should keep an eye out on these next couple of seasons.”