Wrestling: Thompson lending hand to USM grapplers

Zach Thompson, top, was an all-star at Bristol Eastern, and now he’s making an impact at the University of Southern Maine.

STAFF WRITER

Zach Thompson, one of the top grapplers to ever come out of the Bristol Eastern wrestling program, continues to apply his trade for the squad at the University of Southern Maine.

The Huskies have an outstanding squad year-in and year-out and the NCAA Division III program is always a top performer.

Thompson – a versatile junior whose been grappling at both the 157 and 165 pound weight classes – has picked up several wins this year during his time on the mats.

His first victory of the collegiate season came on Nov. 17 at the Doug Parker Invitational in Springfield, Mass. as he picked up a 16-1 technical fall decision over Tim Caplan.

And later that day, Thompson earned a 9-4 decision over Jeffrey Suschana from Western New England – going 2-2 at the tournament as the Huskies finished in third place.

Victory number three came against Plymouth State from Rhode Island College as he nabbed a big 13-2 decision as the junior was 3-6 over his first nine bouts.

And then, to open the New Year, Thompson racked up a 10-8 decision over Wilkes Ritter at the North/South Duels from Collegeville, Pennsylvania while on Jan. 13, the grappler – at 157 pounds – competed at the United States Coast Guard Academy Bears Quad meet and took on Zach Morris.

Morris was not saved by the bell in this bout as Thompson rolled up his first pin of the season in 3:33 to move to 5-11 overall on the year.

On Jan. 26, Thompson scored a 4-3 decision over SUNY-Brockport’s Zach Brown while Feb. 2 saw the grappler nab a 7-4 decision against Trinity’s Kevin Lyskawa as USM won the meet by a 27-15 final.

And then on Feb. 10, the Huskies racked up a 21-17 win over Wesleyan as Thompson – once again competing at 157 – won by a 9-4 decision.

Thompson ended the month of February competing at the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional over the 23rd at 157 pounds.

He won by 5-2 decision over Devin Winn of Bridgewater State but dropped a 4-3 decision to Tom Grippi of JWU.

In the consolation rounds, Thompson zipped up decision wins against Trinity’s Kevin Lyskawa (14-8) and Springfield’s Ryan Harty (8-1).

Southern Maine placed seventh out of 17th overall at the event from Johnson & Wales University from Bristol, R.I.

Last season, Thompson racked up 11 wins over 27 matches, four of which came via pin-fall.

And then over the 2016-2017 campaign as a freshman, he competed at 165 pounds and nabbed his first intercollegiate victory in his first match with an 8-1 triumph against the program from Bridgewater State.

Thompson also earned second place at the Ted Reese Invitational.

While seeing his share of success on the mats, Thompson is a very good student and earning high marks in the classroom.

Last season, Thompson was named a William B. Wise Scholar Athlete for his all-around achievements as a student athlete.

Thompson left the Bristol Eastern program in the top-five for career victories and earned four varsity letters – taking home CCC South honors in three of those campaigns.

He also played football for the Lancers, earning All-Conference honors as a senior.

Thompson is majoring in Criminology at Southern Maine.

 To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.