Northboro, MA - The #4 Natick Redhawks made a valiant push towards the 2017 Division II Individual State Tournament Championship, but came up a mere 8.5 points short of rival North Andover to finish the year as state finalists. Earlier in the season, the #4 Redhawks defeated the #19 Scarlet Knights at the Division II Dual Meet State Tournament by a decisive score of 46-30 in the State Semi-Finals.
Prior to the start of the Championship Finals, Chad Sinclair was presented with the Division II Assistant-Coach-of-the-Year Award for his efforts with the Redhawk Program. A standout wrestler for Natick as well as Norwich University, Sinclair has assisted the Natick program for fifteen years, and coached numerous Sectional, State, All-State, and New England place-finishers and champions.
The Redhawks were led by State Champion, Matt Gastaldo (182 lbs), who posted a perfect 4-0 record on the day to claim the tournament's highest honor. Gastaldo is Natick's 27th individual state champion in school history. Jeremy Su (145 lbs) also advanced to the Division II State Finals with a dominant performance in the state semi-finals against the tournament's third overall seed; however, Su lost a tough match in the championship bout. Both Tim Ramstrom (170 lbs) and Alan Smith (152 lbs) advanced to the consolation finals where Ramstrom eventually finished the day in 3rd place, and Smith closed the day in 4th place. Ramstrom posted a 4-1 record throughout his two days at the tournament with all four of his victories coming by way of pin, and his only loss a heartbreaking overtime defeat in the state semi-finals to the eventual state finalist. Joe Castellino (132 lbs) and Joshua Atwood (285 lbs) each finished the tournament with strong 5th place showings. Jacob Opella (126 lbs) closed the tournament in 7th place, and Ben Steenkamp rounded out Natick's top-8 place finishers with an 8th place final.
Up next for the #4 Redhawks is the 2017 MIAA All-State Wrestling Tournament to be held at Reading High School on February 24th and 25th. Castellino (132), Su (145), Smith (152), Ramstrom (170), Gastaldo (182), and Atwood (285) automatically qualify for the All-State Championships while Opella (126) is an alternate.