By Adam Pomella
The OA Wrestling Team started in the 2002-2003 season and Matt Wassel was the coach of the team. There were only about 10 wrestlers on the team that year and they did not have any meets at all. Mats were donated by the Fisher family of Easton. At the end of the school year coach Wassel moved on to King Philip where he taught and coached. Adam Pomella came in for the 2003-2004 season and has been the head coach ever since. From 2003-2006 the team competed as a club team through the Easton Recreation Department. Bill Griffiths (current OA JV Baseball Coach) was the assistant coach for the first two years of the program. In the 2004-2005 season Topher Kerr joined the coaching staff.
The 2006-2007 season marked the first season as a varsity team for the tigers. The team compiled a respectable record of 4-13 in their first season as a varsity team. At the conclusion of the 2008-2009 season, coach Kerr stepped down as assistant coach and was replaced by Tom Baldino for the 2009-2010 season. The following season coach Baldino served our country overseas, so Khan Chase stepped in as the interim coach as well as volunteer coach David Jacobs. With the return of coach Baldino for the 2011-2012 season, Coach Chase is now a volunteer coach. Coach Jacobs stepped down for the 2011-2012 season and was replaced by Ryan Mulcahy.
In the 2007-2008 season, the tigers saw their first wrestler qualify for the Division II State Tournament in Don Shainis (Junior). He went 1-2 in his first outing at the divisional meet. The next year, 2 more wrestlers and 2 alternates qualified for the tournament. 2010-2011 was a historic year for the tigers as 8 of their wrestlers qualified for the Division II State Tournament with Matt Harding (Junior) placing 4th and moving on to the All-State Tournament where he ended among the top 8 wrestlers in the state. Matt Harding was also the first wrestler in OA history to get on the masswrestling rankings and recently became the first wrestler in OA history to achieve 100 wins in his high school career.
It was a rude awakening for the team when it first became a varsity program in the Hockomock League. The Hock is one of the best wrestling leagues in the state each year, and the team had lots of growing pains trying to compete within the league. It was not until the 2008-2009 season that the tigers got their first league win (Stoughton 72-12). Since then the Tigers have now beaten Canton, Foxboro, King Philip, Mansfield, Sharon, and Stoughton. The only teams in the league that the tigers have yet to defeat are perennial powerhouses Franklin and North Attleboro.
The 2011-2012 season saw the founding of an Easton youth program for the Tigers which should help prepare young wrestlers with wrestling fundamentals and proper conditioning before they even enter the high school ranks. This will undoubtedly pay dividends down the road, enabling the OA wrestling program to continue to move forward in the coming years. The team continues to grow each year in size and skill and promises to have a bright future ahead.
Please join the Oliver Ames Wrestling Team on Friday, February 1, 2013 for a Night of Fun and Illusion - A Family Hypnotist Event. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door. For more information, visit the OA Wrestiling website or contact Brad Ness, OA Booster. 508-509-4317 firstname.lastname@example.org