Sandwich senior wrestling captain Connor Keegan always seems to save his best for the biggest moments.
That thought rang true over the weekend as the reigning 120-pound Division 3 state champion successfully defended his championship at the 126-pound division at the two-day state tournament at Wayland High School on Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22.
Keegan defeated Wilmington’s Joe Ganley by decision, 6-1, in the state final to win his second-straight state title. He won by major decision, 10-1, against Zack Lupiani from Mount Everett in the semifinals. He reached there by pinning Wakefield’s Jameson O’Callahan in 2:12 before pinning Pentucket’s Trevor Kamuda in 3:11 in the opening round.
Ganley entered the state tourney as the North Sectional champion and had bested Keegan during a quad meet earlier this season. This time around, however, with all the chips on the table, Keegan came out on top.
His fellow classmate and co-captain Tanner Davison, who, like Keegan, won the Division 3 South Sectionals two weeks ago in Foxborough, also reached the state tournament. Though he fell in his 145-pound opening match to Marblehead/Swampscott’s Michael Hopkins by decision, 8-4, he battled back to earn eighth place. He scored wins over Athol’s Caleb Cox and Sam Cormier from Monument Mountain to push him to 101 for his career, also joining Keegan in the century win club.
Junior co-captain Kevin Keegan, competing at 138 pounds, won his first two matches of the two-day tournament to reach the state quarter final round. He dominated Triton’s Dylan Karpenko in the opening round, winning by major decision, 11-1. Then, against Franklin County’s Kyle Brunnelle, the younger Keegan won by decision, 8-3.
In the quarter finals, Keegan found himself in a marathon match with Wayland’s Greg Deeley, who came away with a 3-1 sudden victory win. Deeley, the Central Sectional champion, went on to finish second in his weight class. In the consolation bracket, he advanced by Josiah Quincy’s Malcolm Crispin in a 6-2 decision to compete in the third-place finals. In another closely contested match, Keegan fell by decision, 2-0, to North Sectional champion Josh Ducharme from Tyngsboro to take fourth place.
The previous two seasons Keegan finished third in the Division 3 state tournament. He currently sits on 97 career wins and has a puncher’s chance at reaching Matt Landry’s program wins record of 138, set in 2016, before his varsity days are done. Davison is the sixth wrestler in program history to eclipse 100 career wins.
Those three individual performances propelled Sandwich/Upper Cape Tech to a 10th-place finish in the 54-team tournament with 56 points. Melrose won the Division 3 state title with 154.5 points while host Wayland (113 points) placed second, Taconic (88.5 points) took third, Holliston (85.5) placed fourth and Norton (80 points) earned fifth.
Kayo Torres (170 pounds), Connor Coutinho (220 pounds) and Andre Penney (285 pounds) all went 1-2 in the state tournament while Gavin Potter fell in his 106-pound opening round match.
Up next, both Keegans will take the trip to Methuen High School, Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29 to represent the Blue Knights in the All-State tournament.