BRISTOL - With a dominant 286 points and winning the Bristol Central wrestling invitational for the third consecutive year, Bristol Eastern left the Rams’ gym like it was just another day on the mat.
“We wrestled phenomenal,” Lancers 160-pound wrestler Michael Barrett said. “There was no team in this room that was touching our team. We are number one in this room for a reason.”
“We just know that our competitiveness is fueling all of our success as a team,” Bristol Eastern 106-pound wrestler Bryce Beebe said. “When we’re down or a teammate loses, we’re going to pick it up and just put on a show for them and bring the team back to where we know we should be.”
Bristol Eastern has developed a mindset that looks to psych out most of its opponents, and the depth the Lancers have to go with it has translated into Bristol Eastern being ranked as one of the top teams in the state.
Four junior varsity wrestlers placed in the invitational for Bristol Eastern: Keegan Bartis (182 pounds), Tyler King (145), Noah Corliss (120) and Trent Thompson (106).
“We just performed as a whole team,” Beebe said. “The varsity lineup did good as a whole and seeing everybody in the lineup do well and having finalists in all weights is pretty serious.”
For the varsity lineup, eight Bristol Eastern wrestlers reached the finals in the tournament and five finished in first place: Mason Lishness (98 pounds), Bryce Beebe (106), Diego Fernandez (145), Michael Barrett (160) and Trinidad Gonzalez (182).
Fernandez had a big day after showing off his ability in the Danbury tournament last week.
“He came into the tournament with a mindset to win and ran through the bracket,” Barrett said of Fernandez’ performance. “He’s absolutely amazing and he’s getting better every week. He’s been a great practice partner and a great leader. To have him on the team is just phenomenal.”
For the Lancers, all the success is a byproduct of a winning mindset and one that has taken years of work and training to reach.
“We take our losses heavy,” Barrett said. “Anyone that loses on the team we need to pick it up somewhere else in the lineup. There’s always going to be someone that loses on the team or somebody that’s going to be down, so we kind of just pick it back up.”
At the invitational, Bristol Eastern was the team to beat and it knew it had to put on a show, which is exactly what the Lancers did.
“Everyone’s out for us because we’re one of the top teams in the state,” Barrett said. “We know that we must wrestle at our best all the time. For us to stay at the level where we’re at competitively without being cocky is great. Our team wrestles great with pressure.”