AP NEWS

King Omar Rules on the Mats

February 24, 2019
Chelmsford High's Evan Kinney wrestles Tyler Knox of Pentucket Saturday in the All-State 106-pound final in Danvers. Knox won by pin. SUN/CARMINE FRONGILLO Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

DANVERS -- Omar Eldaly is a superbly skilled mat technician with an endless supply of moves and motivation.

After finishing second in his weight class at the MIAA All-State Tournament last February, Shawsheen Tech’s senior standout was determined to take the next step up on the victory stand.

Mission accomplished.

Eldaly captured the 220-pound All-State crown by pinning OJ Pekacar of Dedham at 2:52 in the championship match at St. John’s Prep on Saturday. The victory improved Eldaly’s season record to 53-0.

“I feel great,” said Eldaly. “I’ve worked so hard for this and waited so long. This is awesome. I’m so happy. This feels so good. But I have way more work to do. I’ve got New Englands and nationals coming up. I’m looking big.”

It appeared Eldaly had pinned down the All-State crown in the first period, but after some discussion by the officials, it was ruled his knees were out of bounds at the time of the pin, so the match continued. With 1:08 left in the second period, Eldaly was credited with a pin that counted and the All-State crown was officially his.

“They thought my knees were out of bounds, whatever, I don’t care,” said Eldaly. “I just went out and pinned him again. I don’t worry about anything on the mat. I just go out and wrestle. There’s no pressure. It’s all about hard work.”

Not one to rest on his laurels, Eldaly was already focused on this week’s New England Tournament, which will be held in Providence, R.I., Friday and Saturday. Eldaly placed second in New England at 220 last winter.

“Omar is above everyone here and he wasn’t going to be denied,” said Shawsheen Tech coach Mark Donovan. “He’s 53-0 now. Champions are made by how hard you work when no one is watching, he’s that kid. He’s a four-year (varsity) wrestler. He’s just a great athlete.

“He was second here last year. And he’s just taken it to the next level this season. He’s a great kid. He’s earned everything he’s achieved so far this season.”

Chelmsford sophomore Evan Kinney, a school choice student from Townsend, placed second at 106 in the boys division, while Shawsheen freshman Tayla Tildsley placed second at 145 in the girls division. The top-seven placewinners at each weight earned berths in the New England Tournament.

Springfield Central (171 points) won the team title. Central Catholic (78.5) was second, followed by Mansfield (77.5), Shawsheen Tech (66) and Masconomet (65).

In the 106 boys title match, freshman Tyler Knox of Pentucket Regional pinned Kinney in 1:25 to claim the crown. Kinney, a two-time Division 1 state champion, will head to the New Englands with an impressive 38-3 record. Knox improved to 46-0.

“He had a great tournament,” said Chelmsford coach Bruce Rich. “He beat a wrestler who had beaten him earlier in the year. He’s been wrestling great the last three or four weeks. It was a good match. Sometimes you get in a tough position. This time he just got caught and that’s what happens.

“He just gets better and better. He’s qualified for the New England Tournament. I know he’ll work hard all week and maybe he’ll get another shot at this guy next week.”

In the girls 145 All-State final, Yohanni Costa of Malden pinned Tildsley in 3:58.

“It’s a great honor for her,” said Donovan of Tildsley. “It’s great to have her be part of our program. It’s great for Shawsheen Tech. The first female (from Shawsheen) to wrestle for a (All-State) title.

“She works really hard. She wrestles at Dougboy (Wrestling Club). She’s in our room a lot. She’s a great athlete. She’s only a freshman. She’s only going to get better.”

Burlington’s Zach Soda was third at 106.

At 113, Burlington’s Cam Soda placed third and Shawsheen’s Austin Dube was fourth.

At 120, Dracut’s Dante Rossetti took third, while Shawsheen’s Frank Foti was sixth.

James Best of Billerica was seventh at 132.

Devin Lambert of Dracut placed fourth at 145, while his Middie teammate Allyn French finished eighth at 182.

In the upper weights, Aaron Diaz of Lowell placed fifth at 195 and Dylan Chandler of Tewksbury was seventh at 285.

In the girls division, Chanda Wallace of Greater Lowell Tech placed third at 113.

Dracut received strong efforts from Abirami Balakrishnan (170) and Natalie Sebowa (152).