The Warwick Vets wrestling team made some noise at the state championships last weekend at Ponaganset, taking home a fourth-place finish out of over 30 schools competing.
The Hurricanes got hot late in the season and carried that momentum through the weekend, and cemented their place as one of the top middle school programs in the state.
“It was a total team effort all weekend long, it was a culmination of the wrestlers being on their game, coaches being ready to go, we wouldn’t have gotten there without everyone contributing. It was a total team effort, I couldn’t be prouder of the guys and their effort, it was an unbelievable weekend,” said Vets coach Kurt Keaney of the tournament.
The Hurricanes were confident heading into the season, and believed that a top-5 finish was realistic despite the number of quality teams in Rhode Island.
“(Finishing in the top-5) was a goal for us coaches. We sat down in the first few weeks of the season with that goal, we knew it would be a tough task with a lot of good teams, a lot of powerhouses, we set those goals and now we’re going to raise them even higher next year,” said Keaney.
Vets was led by sixth-grade standout Seth McGrew, who took home the 70-pound state title.
“He’s been a powerhouse in youth wrestling since he was in diapers, he’s made a lot of noise in the wrestling world. He’s a great kid, a great student, a great athlete. He’s one of those kids that you love coaching and you want to see succeed so I was happy for him. Hopefully over the next two years he continues to pick up titles,” said Keaney.
Although Vets is losing 10 eighth graders next year, it will still return much of its starting core and the Hurricanes expect to once again be atop the standings.
“We have two-thirds of the team coming back and a lot of our starters which is a fantastic place to start for next year,” said Keaney.
Here is a look at some of the local results from the state championship:
Seth McGrew cruised his way to first place in the 70-pound class, while Joseph Taber advanced to the semifinals at 275 pounds. Tyler Hunter won two matches to advance to the semifinals in the 119-pound division, while Jasper Rothermel advanced to the quarterfinals for Winman in the 100-pound division, along with Vets’ Justyn Murphy. Winman’s Brynn Zinno also took home a win in the round of 32 to advance to the round of 16 in the 140-pound class.
Benjamin Pope would later advance to the quarterfinals for Vets, while Joshua Souza also made it to the quarters at 180 pounds.