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Bears host annual Winnisquam Winter Classic

by Bob Martin
Sports Reporter - Gilford Steamer, WInnisquam Echo, Meredith News

Kobe Briand earned high praise from coach Tom Osmer for his wrestling this season. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 15, 2018
TILTON — The Winnisquam Regional High School wrestling team held its annual winter classic on Saturday, and although bad weather forced three teams to be absent, 10 teams competed in what coach Tom Osmer called "a great day of wrestling."

"The event is one of the most important on our schedule and our parents, workers, coaches and school helped make it a great day," Osmer said.

The three-mat tournament involved teams from all across the Granite State. Osmer was impressed by the way his team competed, with the Bears finishing fourth overall.

In the 285-pound weight class, T.J. Robinson faced defending Division 3 champion Tyler Bill of Mascoma High School. It was the first meeting between the two wrestlers.

"It was a good chance to see how the two heavyweights would matchup," Osmer said. "T.J. is 6 foot, 3 inches, 235 whereas the Mascoma wrestler is a little shorter and considerably broader and heavier. Bill managed to get the fall over Robinson in the second period and earned the gold medal for his effort."

Osmer said Robinson has been making gains this year and he was excited to wrestle the defending champion.

"I like that he wants those tough matches, and that the defeat isn't blown out of proportion," said Osmer. "It was a match, it didn't go his way, shortly after he was talking about getting back to practice and how to get better, and looking forward to his next match against him. What else could you want from an athlete you're coaching?"

Kobe Briand wrestled in the 152-pound class and came away with a silver medal, with Osmer saying it was the best he had seen him perform, and that this year he has improved overall. This year he hasn't been making as many mistakes that young wrestlers make, and last weekend he was solid for all six minutes.

"I'm very happy with Kobe," Osmer said. "He has always been a good teammate, and a good all-around person, but now he's really starting to develop his potential on the mat."

Kenzie Bourgeois came away with a bronze in the 126-pound weight class. In the 220-pound weight class, Derrick Tremblay finished fourth. Michael Mitchell also finished fourth in the 106-pound weight class.

Tyler Langill was sixth in the 160-pound weight class. Damian Donahou competed in the 170-pound weight class for the first time this season and placed sixth.

"He started slowly but really did a nice job making adjustments and battling back through the consolation bracket to place," Osmer said.

On Jan. 10, the Bears had a dual meet in Pelham where Winnisquam won 40 to 20. Bourgeois won by fall in the 126 class. Briand won a 12-2 major decision in the 170-pound class. Caden Remillard won by fall in the second period in the 195-pound weight class.

Despite the win, Osmer said there were some things he wasn't thrilled with. However, he praised Remillard for his strong performance.

"It certainly wasn't our best outing of the year but we got the job done," said Osmer. "I was most happy tonight with the way Caden wrestled. He has always gone out and been an aggressive wrestler. He has never been afraid to attack, but against Pelham he showed some patience and approached his match more tactically than in the past. I'm excited to see this development in Caden's wrestling. It is exactly what he needs to take the next step in his wrestling."

Winnisquam took on Division 3 runner up Campbell on Wednesday after deadline.

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