Anthony Fraumeni wants his last season with the Winchester High wrestling team to be one that he’ll remember for the rest of his life.
He’s off to a good start.
The senior 160-pound wrestler captured first place at the Lowell Holiday Tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at the Tsongas Center. In the finals, he defeated Cam Altobeli of Timberlane Regional (Plaistow, New Hampshire), 4-2.
“It feels good because I’ve been wrestling, doing judo and playing sports like that since I was a little kid,” said Fraumeni. “It feels good to win something big like this.”
The Lowell Holiday Tournament is the largest and most prestigious in-season tournament in New England. It attracts 72 teams and 1,000 wrestlers from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island. Defending New England champion Mt. Anthony of Bennington, Vermont placed fourth in the team race. Chelmsford was first overall. Winchester tied for 13th with Natick.
Fraumeni became Winchester’s first Lowell Holiday champion since Connor Gregory in 2007.
“We’ve probably had more New England champions than Lowell Holiday champions,” said Winchester coach Larry Tremblay. “We’ve had guys place third and fourth in it who went on to win New England championships.”
Fraumeni was familiar with Altobeli, having trained with him over the summer at Smitty’s Barn, a training facility in southern New Hampshire that Matt Smith, a former four-time New England champion at Timberlane, runs.
“The match went the way I expected,” Fraumeni said. “I didn’t think there would be a decent amount of scoring. At the end he was working for a reversal and I avoided it.”
Last year, Fraumeni placed third at 160 in Lowell.
“I’m a year older and stronger,” Fraumeni said. “Eric Reyes (of Dedham) was at 170 this year. Jon Viruet (of Springfield Central) graduated.”
Viruet, who went on to win Division 1 state, All-State and New England titles, is now wrestling for Brown University. As a sophomore, Fraumeni placed fourth in the All-State tournament at 160. Viruet was first and Fritz Hoehn of North Andover, who won the New England title at 170 last season, placed first and second. Hoehn is now wrestling for Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.
“Anthony did well when he wrestled those guys,” Tremblay said.
Last year, Fraumeni won the Division 2 Metro sectional title and reached the finals of the Division 2 state tournament, placing second. Fraumeni had mononucleosis at the end of last season and he did not place in the All-State tournament.