Something special is happening with the Barrington Middle School wrestling team this year.
The team has erupted out of the gate with a 6-0 start and has the Rhode Island Middle School Wrestling teams taking notice.
Last year, this team only had seven wrestlers on its roster. Now, this team has expanded its roster to more than two dozen wrestlers and is in first place in the Jordan Burroughs Division.
Coaches Scott Leonard and Dave DeSisto have a team loaded with first year wrestlers, "but they are athletic, scrappy and have the work ethic to succeed."
The varsity lightweights of the team, Aidan Pine, Kevin Robinson, Drew Teixeira and Xander Williams have been impressive. The middleweights of the lineup include Josh LeBlanc (captain), Charlie Durkin, Devin Medeiros, Parker Hughes, and Alex Duffy. The powerhouse middleweights consist of Aaron Lundsten (captain), Brenan Gazeryan, Dominic Tuttobene (captain) and JC Niemeyer (captain). The heavyweights close out the lineup with Ryan Valentine and Tommy Marvelli.
The strength of this team is in its abundance of JV wrestlers that push their varsity counterparts everyday in practice. Leading the way are the JV captains Braden Shields, Andrew Harris and Jake Zimmerman. Sean Fearon, CJ Conserve, Nor Benjaminson, Mike Kilpatrick, Will Hopkins, Tyler Herrera, Joey Grillo, Lucas Bianco, Josh Bairos, Nate Robinson, and Asher Robbins are also valuable assets for this team's success.
This year's team started a tradition this year known as the "Pin Chain" — a fake gold chain that is passed on to each wrestler that defeats their opponent with a pin. This “Pin Chain” was started by the wrestlers and has created a bond amongst the team, in which both varsity and JV wrestlers are cheering, rooting and supporting each other.
According to both coaches, having a senior wrestler from the Barrington High School team on their coaching staff, has been very beneficial. Matt Leonard, whose field work for his senior project is coaching wrestling, was able to reinforce to the team that conditioning and mastering the basic moves in wrestling are necessary for a wrestler to accomplish their goals.
Over the Christmas break, "Coach" Matt practiced with the middle school wrestlers and also ran a clinic. Over the next month and a half, Matt is planning on holding more clinics for the entire team, so they can make a run at an undefeated season, possible state championship and most importantly, to help each individual wrestler win a medal at the state tournaments. Having wrestled on the only other undefeated and state championship BMS wrestling team back in 2012-13, Matt would now like to be a part of the coaching staff that accomplishes that goal again.