Marinilli, Chakir take title at annual Peckham tourney

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Canton's Eddie Marinilli and Anis Chakir display their winning brackets after capturing the Peckham Tournament title. (CHS Athletics photo)

Canton’s Eddie Marinilli and Anis Chakir display their winning brackets after capturing the Peckham Tournament title. (CHS Athletics photo)

Sophomore Eddie Marinilli and senior Anis Chakir both took home titles and the Bulldog wrestlers turned in a strong collective effort en route to a seventh-place finish at last weekend’s James Peckham Invitational Tournament held in the CHS gym.

Hosted by CHS for the past 21 years, the all-day tournament annually draws a competitive field of wrestlers and is the highlight of the Bulldogs’ regular season. CHS Athletic Director Danny Erickson called it an “amazing tournament” and the most “impressive, competitive and ambitious athletic event held at Canton High.

This year’s field featured 11 area teams, including fellow Hockomock League schools Mansfield, King Philip and Sharon. Mansfield led the way with four individual winners and took home the overall team title, followed by Norton in second and KP in third. Other participants at the tournament included Xaverian, Southeastern Regional, Milton, Randolph, Advanced Math and Science, New Bedford.

For the Bulldogs, Marinilli won his second consecutive Peckham title with a first-place finish in the 138-pound class, while Chakir, who recently returned from an injury, bested the field in the 132-pound class. Canton’s Justin Dickie also had a strong showing at the tournament and finished second at 126 pounds, while Nick Matt (285) and Harry Carter (120) both made the consolation finals and placed fourth. In the 145-pound bracket, senior Max Gallagher scored his first two wins of the season, including one by pinfall and another in thrilling fashion where he threw his opponent to his back as time expired to complete a comeback from four points down.

“Max has been going up against stud after stud in his weight class and he has wrestled tough the whole year and always works hard in the room,” said head coach Brian Caffelle. “Both of his wins on Saturday were well deserved and I was just so proud and happy for him.”

Reflecting on the team’s performance as a whole, Caffelle said he thought the Bulldogs gave good effort but did not necessarily execute as well as they could have. “But while I think there is room for improvement, I still liked what I saw from the most part on the day,” he said.

Caffelle also said it was preferable to finish seventh in a crowded field as opposed to last year’s tournament, when the team took second in a smaller field due to weather-related cancellations. “Ultimately,” he said, “I’d rather have the tougher competition around to help us learn and grow instead of narrowing the field down.”

In addition to the Peckham tournament, the Bulldogs also picked up their first Davenport Division win of the season last week with a convincing, 48-27 road victory over Milford. Caffelle said it was a “great” team win highlighted by several strong performances from up and down the lineup. “We were executing at a high level that whole meet,” he said. “It was great to start off the division schedule on that note.”

Nine Bulldog wrestlers earned a win in the match, starting with back-to-back pins by Polan Makarov (220) and Nick Matt. Also scoring wins for Canton were Carter, Dickie, Chakir, Marinilli, Jack Turano, Joe Pacitti, and Cole Murphy.

Entering this week at 4-2 overall, the Bulldogs had another key division meet scheduled for last night at home against Foxboro. Then it’s off to a quad meet this Saturday at Norton High School, followed by an away meet next Wednesday at Sharon.

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