PROVIDENCE -- Billerica's Leo Trindade and Dracut's Mike Stewart steadfastly fulfilled their lofty goals on Saturday by winning New England wrestling titles and completing undefeated seasons.
In the 195-pound title match, Trindade won 8-0 over Brookline's Ramesses Akamefula, whom he defeated 3-0 in the Division 1 state final. Trindade finished his senior season 50-0.
Stewart scrambled in the final seconds to hold off previously undefeated Danny DelGallo of Gardiner, Maine, 4-3, for the 138-pound title. Stewart finished his senior season at 47-0.
"Last year (Stewart) came here and didn't place," said Dracut coach Mike Riley. "He set goals for this season, and put in the time and effort, and wrestled one match at a time. He keeps mistakes to a minimum and finds a way to win. He's fun to watch."
Billerica coach Bob Belanger saluted Trindade's determination to fulfill huge expectations. "It's difficult to go the whole year with a bull's eye on you," said Belanger. "A lot of kids start thinking they're better than everyone and let their guard down, and really don't work hard. But he kept focused and wrestled tough and worked as hard as he could every day."
In the semifinals, Trindade defeated Kyle Foster of Somers, Conn., 7-4, to whom he lost in last year's semifinals.
Tridade and Stewart are first-time New England champs. Trindade is a two-time champ in both the Division 1 state and All-States. Stewart is a two-time Division
Dracut had the best team finish among local schools, placing fifth. Billerica was 11th. Mount Anthony of Vermont won the team title. North Andover was the top Mass. school, finishing fourth.
Dracut's Ryan brothers, Jon and Jimmy, both placed third -- sophomore Jon at 120 pounds, senior Jimmy at 145 pounds.
Jon Ryan lost in the semifinals to the eventual champ. He came back in the third-pace match to win 5-3 in overtime over Billerica's Nick Derosa, who defeated Ryan in the All-State finals.
Central Catholic's Pat Lacroix was runner-up at 126 pounds, losing in the final to Methuen's Christian Monserrat, 5-2.
Shawsheen Tech senior Devonn Pratt placed sixth at 152 pounds.