Nashoba Hosts DeMeo Tournament

Published in the January 14, 2009 issue of The Stow Independent

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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Nearly a year later, Frank DeMeo is still bringing recognition to the Nashoba-Clinton wrestling program.

The Chieftains welcomed seven other New England teams to Bolton on Saturday for the first annual DeMeo Duals tournament, in memory of the former team captain and standout wrestler from Stow who died last February.

“Today is for Frankie,” Chieftain head coach Matt Schiller said in kicking off the tournament, as DeMeo's parents looked on from the front row of the lower gym bleachers.

Nashoba-Clinton finished fourth in the tourney, which was won by Central Catholic, recently ranked the number 10 team in the state.

Although hosting a tournament at Nashoba has been discussed for several years, the desire to honor DeMeo proved to be the impetus needed to make the project a reality. A significant portion of the proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Frank DeMeo Memorial Scholarship Fund, which aims to help students working to overcome learning disabilities, as DeMeo did. He was accepted to Bridgewater State College and had planned to wrestle there along with fellow Chieftain alum DJ Siewierski.

Also at the tournament, the Chieftains unveiled two new signs listing the team's sectional and state champions dating back to 1979. DeMeo's name appeared twice on the sectionals list, for his 2006 win at 103 lbs and his 2007 win at 112. Directly above DeMeo's name was that of Schiller, the 1994 sectional champion at 145 lbs.

With a number of tournaments hosted by other schools, including Marlboro and Framingham, already scattered throughout the wrestling season, that Nashoba was able to field another event is a testament to the evolution of the school's wrestling program. The current Chieftains roster has 36 members, which includes just a handful of seniors.

“Now we're at a point where we're recognized,” Schiller said. “Alumni come back and they can't believe how much the program has grown.”

Setting the tone for this year's Chieftains is Stow senior captain Dan Trefry, who qualified for the 2008 state meet at 215 lbs but will compete in the heavyweight class this time around. Schiller said he expects Trefry's speed and agility to work to his advantage over heavier, slower opponents.

So far, it seems to be working. Trefry placed first among heavyweights at the Framingham Holiday tournament in late December and pinned both of the wrestlers he faced on Saturday.

Trefry, who also placed fifth among 215-lb wrestlers at the Bay State Games this past summer, said his off-season work has definitely paid off—a message Schiller hopes other wrestlers will hear.

“Wrestling is one of those things you can't just do in-season if you want to really succeed,” Trefry said. “If you just do it in-season, you can be good, but if you also do it in the off-season, you can be great.”

Other Stow representatives on the team include sophomore Cody Greene (160 lbs), sophomore Robb Enzmann (145), junior Bobby Durben (130), and sophomore Jason Zelle (103), whose 8-5 decision against Algonquin clinched the team's fourth place finish on Saturday.

With few seniors and eight wrestlers who are new to their starting roles, the 2008-9 Chieftains don't yet have the depth to compete pound-for-pound with the elite teams in Central Mass. But there was more to the team's 2-3 start than inexperience. The Chieftains had to wait nearly two weeks to get in their first match, due to the paralyzing December weather and the Dec. 14 death of teammate Christopher Reusch, a Clinton junior who had just recently joined the wrestling team. A slow start was probably to be expected.

Next up for Nashoba-Clinton is a dual meet tonight at Quabbin, followed by tournaments in Natick and Marlboro over the holiday weekend.

Interestingly, the Chieftains have no wrestlers in the 112 lb class. That could be a coincidence. Or maybe it's not time to fill Frankie's wrestling shoes just yet.

Copyright 2008 Jordana Foster – 24 Kirkland Dr, Stow, MA – Email: – Fax: (815) 346-5239