Mach Pins Blue Knight White for Red Raider Wrestling Victory

EAST SANDWICH — It all came down to one final man.

In a fully packed gym last night, beneath a single, glaring spotlight, Barnstable High co-captain Donnie Mach pinned Sandwich High sophomore Caleb White and the Red Raiders and their fans erupted.

Barnstable High's Donnie Mach pins Sandwich High's Caleb White for the dual meet victory, 42-38, last night at Sandwich High School. Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

Barnstable High’s Donnie Mach pins Sandwich High’s Caleb White for the dual meet victory, 42-38, last night at Sandwich High School.
Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

Down 38-36 to the host Blue Knights, the Red Raiders needed a victory from Mach in the 220-lb. division and the senior three-sport star produced, pinning White in less than two minutes for six points and a 42-38 Barnstable wrestling victory. In the broad scheme of Massachusetts high school wrestling the win may have not meant a great deal, but for a region that boasts just three varsity wrestling programs (Barnstable, Nauset and Sandwich), it might as well have been the Olympic stage.

“Well, it’s certainly bragging rights for the Cape, because we beat Nauset and now we beat Sandwich,” said Barnstable head coach Dr. Peter Bertucci. “Last year, we went 1-1, so it’s at least bragging right for Cape Cod. We don’t have an official league, but we have a friendly rivalry going on so we keep an eye on that. Down to the last match, we had some people really step up, especially Donnie Mach.”

Coach Bertucci also noted that Barnstable sophomores Kyle White and Alex Lopes turned in key victories for the Red Raiders. White grappled in the 113-pound division and Lopes in the very difficult 170-lb. division.

Mach saw White earlier in the season when the two wrestled against each other at the Marshfield Invitiational Tournament. Mach pinned White in that bout as well, in just 0:45 and went on to a tremendous 6-1 mark, falling only to St. John’s Prep’s Ian Butterbrodt, one of the state’s top-ranked grapplers in the 220-lb. division.

The win puts Barnstable at 8-5 for the season and Sandwich falls to an even 4-4-2.

Barnstable High's Owen Murray prepares to lock horns with Sandwich High's Thomas Levy in the heavyweight bout in last night's 42-38 Red Raider victory. Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

Barnstable High’s Owen Murray prepares to lock horns with Sandwich High’s Thomas Levy in the heavyweight bout in last night’s 42-38 Red Raider victory.
Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

The evening started off on the right foot when the state’s top-ranked heavyweight Owen Murray locked horns with Sandwich High’s big dog, Thomas Levy, a sophomore. In fairly quick fashion, Murray showed his top form when he pinned Levy to give Barnstable an early 6-0 advantage over the hosts. The Blue Knights soared ahead over the next two bouts, however, as Sandwich junior Bryon Hopkins pinned Barnstable 8th grader Mike Stanley in the 106-lb. division but not without great effort.

Hopkins’ victory was proceeded by Rob Davidson as Davidson overmatched Red Raider 8th grader Joseph Ciliberto in the 113-lb. division.

Barnstable 120-lb. sophomore Kyle White then helped shift the match’s momentum when he took down sophomore Nick Kais and things started to get really interesting in the raucous, cavernous East Sandwich gymnasium.

Blue Knights’ senior co-captain Greg Zaw, the defending Massachusetts Division 3 State Champion, came face to face with one of Barnstable’s top junior athletes in Casey Connor as the two squared off in the 126-lb. division. What was of note about this match-up was that Zaw, who has been racking up win upon win this season and is ranked 4th in the state, usually competes in the 120-lb. division. This match-up proved to be worthy of top billing as it seemed neither of the two could gain the upper hand. Backed by hoots and hollers from the crowd, ultimately, Zaw prevailed with a 10-4 decision.

Barnstable picked up points with two forfeits but then yet another much-anticipated bout came to the fore.

Sandwich High’s Matt Landry, a junior 145-pounder, was set to square off against Barnstable sophomore Ben Potts. Landry, ranked 7th in Massachusetts in the 145-lb. division, came just as highly touted as his aformentioned, top-tier teammate Zaw. Landry did not fail either, pinning Potts for critical, go-ahead points.

Sandwich High's Greg Zaw, ranked 4th in the state in the 120-lb. division. gets set to take on Barnstable's Casey Connor last night. Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

Sandwich High’s Greg Zaw, ranked 4th in the state in the 120-lb. division. gets set to take on Barnstable’s Casey Connor last night.
Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

Barnstable senior co-captain Charlie McWilliams, who is not ranked in the state’s top 10 in his class but for all intents and purposes should be, squared off against Sandwich freshman Alex Mays in the 152-lb. division. McWilliams pinned Mays in the second period of the two grapplers’ bout.

Barnstable freshman Lou Cocozza, who started the season off with the JV’s and quickly rose to show his mettle at the varsity level, then faced the Blue Knights’ Sean Coutino. Coutino and Cocozza battled ferociously and went well beyond the normal allotment of 2:00 minutes in what was one of the most-exciting bouts of the night. In the end, Coutino prevailed and pinned the up-and-coming Cocozza for critical Blue Knights’ points on the scoreboard.

Barnstable freshman Isaac Dulak, who could likely pass for an upperclassman, then took on Sandwich sophomore Joe Murphy in a tough 170-lb. duel. Murphy took down Dulak with a pin and the Blue Knights’ advantage was growing exponentially.

Then came Barnstable sophomore Alex Lopes. Lopes, who has fluctuated this season in terms of wins and losses, chose this opportunity to shine and with great effort overcame a strong performance by Sandwich High’s Kevin Shea. Lopes picked up six points for the Red & White with a pin.

The Blue Knights’ fans went wild in this next bout as co-captain Pat Sullivan (195)  gave Barnstable’s Mike Bertucci everything Bertucci could handle. Sullivan earned the win via the pin.

The six-points gave the hosts a 38-36 edge going into the last bout, Mach versus White, and Mach rose heroically to capture the win for himself and his Red Raider brothers.

Barnstable has a quad meet Saturday (with plans still to be determined) before taking on Plymouth North next Wednesday at Barnstable High School. Sandwich will be one of the quad

Barnstable High senior co-captain Charlie McWilliams grapples with Sean Coutinho of Sandwich High. McWilliams won by pin. Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

Barnstable High senior co-captain Charlie McWilliams grapples with Alex Mays of Sandwich High. McWilliams won by pin.
Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

meet opponents on Saturday, Feb. 7, at BHS.

Sandwich hits the road tomorrow for Somerset-Berkeley before heading to Hyannis on Saturday for Barnstable’s Quad Meet, slated to start at 10:00 am.

— Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is seanwalsh@ccb-media.com. Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

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