Abbey Wrestlers Headed for Nationals

Congratulations to wrestling Ravens Henry Wilson '17 (above left, and below), Davey Appleton '20 and Richard Ryu '18 (above right) who are heading to the 82nd National Prep Wrestling Tournament to be held Friday and Saturday, February 24-25, at the Stabler Arena on the campus of Lehigh University!

Henry placed fourth in the New England Prep Wrestling Tournament at 182 lbs. He was seeded seventh going in to the tournament and had to place sixth or better to qualify for the Nationals. Henry wrestled against the seeded wrestlers losing to the #2 wrestler by only one point; he defeated the #5 and #6 seed, losing to #4 in the last few seconds. "Henry has a brilliant future ahead of him," says Head Coach Mike McLarney.

Congratulations go to Third-form wrestler David (Davey) Appleton who placed fourth at 160 lbs. Originally seeded #7, Davey lost in the quarterfinals to the #2 seed, then came back to beat #6 and #4, earning him a spot in the Consolation Finals in third place; there he lost to the #3 seed.

Fifth-form wrestler Richard Ryu came in with a #5 seed and finished in fifth place in the 220 lb. weight class. Against seeded wrestlers he lost to #1 and beat the #4 and #7 seeds. Weighing in at 197 lbs., Richard wrestled against much larger opponents, up to 220 lbs., losing to the champion and the third-place finisher. In the end, he wrestled himself into a position to finish fifth, thereby qualifying for Nationals.

This will be the first time any of the three have been to a national tournament.

Coach McLarney (left), recently named EIL Coach of the Year, summed up the quality of the program and the dedication of the team saying, "Portsmouth Abbey School for the fifth year in a row has qualified a wrestler from the New England Tournament to compete at the Prep Nationals at Lehigh University. Former Ravens at the Prep Nationals have been: Robert Sucsy '13, Chris Weiss '16 (who qualified three years running- 2014, 2015, and 2016), Eli Wilson '16 (who qualified as an Alternate in 2016), and this year Davey Appleton, Henry Wilson, and Richard Ryu.

"The Ravens brought 11 wrestlers to the New England tournament, having overwhelmed our opposition in the league tournament by winning five weight classes; six other wrestlers earned a 67% or better record, and another five in the league qualified and placed in the tournament finals. This is a young team ready to make great strides in the near term and not-so-distant future. Of the 11 who competed in the New Englands, we saw three other Abbey wrestlers (in addition to these three who just qualified for Nationals) win matches for the team, and if truth be told, all three fell just short of their goal.

"Most importantly, the real strength of the team is shown in the bonding between teammates, and how they push each other to make each other better. We left at home at least six underclassmen, who themselves qualified for the NE Tournament but couldn't wrestle because we couldn't enter two wrestlers in the same weight class. Having been involved in the sport for over 48 years, I have never seen a team work as hard to improve as this one. My hat is off to all the wrestlers on this team."

We wish the best of luck to Davey, Henry and Richard in the 82nd National Prep Wrestling Tournament next weekend!

View videos of last Saturday's matches on FloWrestling at