By Chris Villani
Bellingham’s wrestling program is once again benefitting from the addition of wrestlers from Blackstone Valley Tech, and head coach Tom Forbes said the combination has lifted the team to a strong season.
Bellingham entered the week with a 10-8 record that includes a couple of narrow defeats Forbes said could have easily swung the other way.
“The co-op has been great, I have a great bunch of kids,” he said. “We could be even better, but we are doing well given the fact that we had a year off.”
This winter would be the third season in which Valley Tech sent wrestlers to compete with Bellingham, but last season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has several BVT students who could make some noise at the upcoming individual meets.
Senior captain Logan Hampson has been wrestling well at the 138lb division.
“We are hosting the sectionals on February 12 and he could do some serious damage there,” Forbes said. “We are definitely hoping to get him onto the medal stand and qualified for Division 2 states.”
Senior heavyweight Mike Pitner, a football standout for the Beavers, is another wrestler with the potential to excel at the end of the year. He has been seeing time competing at that weight class along with sophomore Landry Fitzgerald.
Paul Grieco, a Bellingham resident who attends BVT, wrestles at 182 lbs. and Forbes called him a “very technical” and strong competitor.
Dylan Costa has stood out at 170 lbs., one of the deepest divisions in the state, and Ben De Boer has been strong at 132 lbs.
Bellingham has also benefited from the contributions of freshman Cody Phillips at 182 and sophomore Griffin Beaulieu, who competes at the same weight class. Lysa Faria has been strong at 113 lbs. despite missing some time this winter. Ben Emery is another steady presence with the program despite having his career cut short by an injury.
Forbes started the Bellingham wrestling program in 2002, when it was a club sport, and his goal has never been to hang championship banners on the wall for his team.
“I want them to get better every time they step on the mat so that they are wrestling their best at the end of the season,” he said. “As much as this is a team sport, it’s an individual sport as well, so we are going to keep working every day.”