Saturday will be Bradley Lupiani’s fifth day of postseason wrestling in the last eight. He’s been through two days of Western Mass.competition, two more days of MIAA Division III state wrestling, and two matches on Friday’s first day of the All-State meet in Salem.
None of it has stopped him from being in position for an All-State championship.
"I’m pretty sore, but it’s not too bad," the Mount Everett 113-pounder said. "Once you get wrestling, you don’t feel it."
Lupiani won both his matches in Friday’s championship bracket to advance to today’s semifinal round -- as well as next week’s New England Championships. He is the only Berkshire County wrestler still going in the brackets.
Mount Greylock 145-pounder Mitch Graves was the only other county wrestler to earn two wins Friday. He went 2-2, eliminated in the consolation quarterfinals by Wilmington’s Cody Halliday. Travis Hilchey of Greylock went 1-2 at 126 pounds. Ross Jackson qualified at 182 pounds, but was not in the brackets for Friday’s matches. He pulled out of states with an injury. It is unclear if that injury prevented him from wrestling on Friday.
In a first-round match, Lupiani beat Agawam’s Brennen Liebel by a 2-0 decision. He then staged a very late rally to out-point Lou Bornstein of St. John’s Prep 7-4 in the quarterfinals.
"He was kind of riding high," Lupiani said of his opponent. "His legs started slipping out. I pulled his arm out. His hips were down, so I stepped over. I trapped his arm and put him to his back."
Lupiani, the Western Mass. champion and second-place state finisher in Division III, faces Division I state champ Ben Zogby of Franklin in today’s semifinals. Zogby is ranked No. 1 among Massachusetts 113-pounders in the latest MassWrestling.com rankings. Lupiani isn’t ranked, but has already knocked off two honorable-mention names in those same rankings to reach the semis.
"I know it’s going to be tough," he said. "I’ll have to wrestle better than I did today, and today I did pretty good."
Monument Mountain’s Jonah Christianson, the Division III state runner-up at 220, lost twice Friday. He trailed his consolation match 12-5 in the second period, but fought to make a 14-10 loss to Minnechaug’s Demetri Strange a much closer match.
"He did a great job," said Monument assistant David Colli of Christianson. "His effort was tremendous. He really laid it on the line and he came up a little short."
Taconic sent two to the All-State meet. Heavyweight Tajaye Davis won his first match, a 1-minute, 57-second pin of Division II state champ Grady DiAntonio of Milford, but lost to Springfield Central’s Stephan Maldonado in the quarterfinals before bowing out in the consolation quarters.