Saturday February 2, 2013

ADAM SAMROV

Sports Editor

BENNINGTON -- Everything seems to come together perfectly on Senior Night for the Mount Anthony Union High School wrestling team.

After the four senior wrestlers -- Kyle Fletcher, Miguel Calixto, Houston Shaler and Brandon Marcoux-Schaefer -- were introduced and presented flowers to family members, each scored victories to propel the Patriots to a 50-15 win over Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) on Friday night.

It was yet another milestone for the MAU grapplers, who are closing in on the program's unprecedented 25th consecutive state championship.

Calixto's win, a second-period pin, was the 200th of his illustrous career and the 42nd of the season against no defeats.

"It was definitely the perfect timing, I'm at a loss for words right now," Calixto said, who upped his career record to 200-15. "I've worked real hard to get it, it's a dream come true.

Calixto's uncle, Rafael, attended the match, along with his youth coaches.

"It means a lot that they're here, especially my uncle," Calixto said.

Kyle Fletcher scored a pin in the 126-pound bout.

"I've been thinking about this for a while," Fletcher said. "I was sitting at the girls basketball game, looking at the court and I'm like, ‘Wow, my senior night is Friday.' It's amazing how fast the four years have gone. Tonight was my shot. It was just huge."

In one of the most emotional matches of the night, Brandon Marcoux-Schaefer scored an 8-0 major decision in his final home dual meet with his father, DJ, a middle school coach in the program close by on the sideline.

DJ, who was videotaping and yelling encouragement to his son throughout the match, was emotional talking about his son's final dual meet at Kates Gym.

"It gives you goosebumps for one thing," Schaefer said. "It's very exciting. You never imagine the day will ever come, then it finally gets here and you realize you'll never see him in this gym again, it's just crazy."

Schaefer said watching every match brings him back to his own senior night, back in 1993. "As soon as that strobe light flashes, I remember it," he said. "It's great watching my boy [go through this]."

Brandon has been the "unsung hero" of the season, said coach Scott Legacy.

"It's definitely very exciting to get a big win and help the team," Marcoux-Schaefer said. "It's nice to go out with a win here, there's a lot of people here supporting me."

Other winners were Troy Gassaway, Jesse Webb, Jack Luciano, Bailey Willard, Damon Young and Tyler Mattison.