The Bedford High School wrestling team honored its 11 seniors at home on Wednesday. Each senior was introduced and came forward along with their guardians.
Seniors on the team include captains Aaron Kreiter, Ian Grove, Philip Livingston, and Austin Cullis as well as Anirudh Kumar, Emil Colon, Rudra Parvate, Nicholas Bennett, Peter Benson, Asahutesh Budhatoki, and Seamus Harte.
After honoring the seniors, it was time for a match with Gloucester. The team, which also includes athletes from Acton-Boxborough High, hit a bump against their guests in an otherwise winning season, falling, 48 to 29.
Not having wrestlers to compete in three of the 14 weight classes made winning more challenging. That gave Gloucester 18 uncontested points.
There were no Bucs in the 106- and 115-pound divisions. But at 120, Kyree LaBoy pinned Nathan Gonzalez for Bedford’s first six points of the day.
Another forfeit at 126 pounds put the locals down 18-6. But then Eric Kantorovich topped Joe Allen at 132 pounds for three points and Aaron Kreiter added five more for the Bucs, beating Jimmy Militello in the 138-pound match.
Anirudh Kumar made it three wins in a row, besting Samuel Rodriquez at 145-pounds to cut Gloucester’s lead to 18-17.
Gloucester added 12 more points when Tyler Nicastro pinned Phillip Livingston in the 153-pound match and Zachary Hashley pinned Peter Benson in their 160-pound contest.
In the 170-pound contest, Ian Grove pinned Quadir Divens. The next three matches went to Gloucester with Evan Moore over Austin Cullis at 182 pounds, Michael Toppan topping Emil Colon at 200 pounds and Jayden Toppan beating Nicholas Bennett at 220 pounds.
The afternoon ended on a good note with Bedford’s Giovanni Sabatelli pinning Markus Muniz.
Bedford’s next contest comes at 4:30 p.m. on Friday in Weston with a tri-meet against the hosting Wildcats and Cohasset. Next Wednesday, the team visits Lexington for a 6 p.m. match.
Wrestling has not been around in Bedford as long as most of the other sports. But it has been growing in popularity. The 30 kids who started the season on the varsity and junior varsity teams this season represent the largest number of athletes since Sam Sprangel became the coach in 2018.
Eighty percent of Bedford High School wrestlers came to the squad with no wrestling experience. At least 10 wrestlers in the program are new to wrestling, including four ninth graders who are now competing at the varsity level.