1986 All State
98 - Dan Smith, Coventry
105 - Scott Merritt, Chariho
112 - Scott Carlsten, Cranston East
119 - John Bottela, Toll Gate
126 - Joe DiSano, Hendricken
132 - Sean Condon, Hendricken
138 - James Barbera, South Kingstown
145 - Danny Thibeault, Middletown
155 - Gary Tournony, Cranston East
167 - Kevin Paulumbo, Cranston West
185 - Tom Joy, South Kingstown
275 - Brian Delfino, Coventry
98 - Richard Torti, Johnston
105 - Chris Paraskavakos, Coventry
112 - Brian Allen, Burrillville
119 - Scott James, Chariho
126 - Rick Baich, Coventry
132 - Dave Husing, South Kingstown
138 - Sean Sullivan, Middletown
145 - Greg Fine, Cranston East
155 - Kevin Carlsten, Hendricken
167 - Dan Belcher, La Salle
185 - Alan Green, Barrington
275 - Tony Richards, Hendricken
Dan Smith of Coventry, Scott Merritt of Chariho and Tom Joy of South Kingstown, each of whom swept through Rhode Island competition on the way to a New England crown, head the Journal-Bulletin All-State wrestling team.
Smith, a 98-pounder who is one of the rare freshmen to earn All-State honors, is joined on the top team by one other member of the state championship Coventry team - heavyweight Brian Delfino.
Three other teams also have two representatives on the top squad. Joy (185 pounds) is joined by teammate Jim Barbera (138); Cranston East has Scott Carlsten (112) and Gary Tourony (155); and Hendricken has Joe DiSano (126) and Sean Condon (132).
Also making the top team are John Bottella of Toll Gate at 119 pounds, Dan Thibeault of Middletown at 146 and Kevin Palumbo of Cranston West at 167.
The team includes three from last year's first team (Carlsten, Barbera and Tourony) and four others who move up from the second team (Bottella, Condon, Palumbo and Joy). Eight of the 11 first-team stars are seniors, yet the guy who had perhaps the best season of all was the smallest and the youngest, Smith.
The ninth-grader, the third son of assistant Coventry coach Bob Smith to earn All-State honors, not only put together a 30-0 record but had falls - either pins or technical falls - in each of his first 29 matches. Only Glenn Williams of Lawrence, Mass., went the distance against Smith, although the Oaker prodigy handled him easily, 14-6, in the New England title match.
Smith also won the Whaler and Lancer Invitationals and the R.I. All-Star meet. His victory in the 98-pound finals clinched Coventry's fifth straight state title.
Merritt, Chariho's 105-pounder, had the same kind of season, beating all opponents. He was named the outstanding wrestler in the state championships. Merritt's titles included the South County Meet, the Cranston East Invitational, the All-Star Meet and the Central Division title.
Rhode Island also had the wrestler voted best in the New England Tournament - South Kingstown's Joy, who scored perhaps the most exciting victory of the year, rallying in the final seconds for an 8-6 decision over Troy Wilkes of Keene, N.H. The 6-foot-5 Wilkes was defending New England champion and brought a 31-0 record, all pins, into the match against Joy.
That match completed a 30-0 season, including 26 pins,for Joy.
The two Cranston East stars on the team also had superb seasons. Carlsten earned his second straight spot on the team (he was named at 98 pounds last year) by winning one of the most competitive divisions in the state.
In his two years of varsity competition, Carlsten has compiled an overall record of 46-3. A two-time R.I. College Takedown Tourney champion and a two-time Cranston East Holiday Tournament titlist, he also won the Lancer Tournament.
Tourony dominated the 155-pound division as he upped his career record to 63-5, including 45 pins. His only loss came in the New Englands, where he was competing despite being ill. He was named the outstanding wrestler, winning the Takedown Tournament, and he also won the Cranston East Holiday Tournament and the Lancer Invitational.
The Central Division, rated below the Metropolitan Division overall, had some of the state's most dominating wrestlers in Joy and Merritt. Barbera joined that group, too. Last year's 126-pound champion, Barbera moved up to 138 and took that division. He won the Central and All-Star titles in addition to winning the state meet.
Hendricken emerged as Met-North champion and a major threat for the state title thanks to its senior leaders, especially DiSano and Condon. DiSano built a 17-1 record in dominating the 126-pound division and won one of the most exciting matches in the state championship, 2-1 over Ricky Baich of Coventry. Condon was equally in control at 132 as he showed in taking the state title - he did not allow a point in either his semifinal or final-round victories.
Toll Gate's Bottella wrestled for much of the year at 126, but also was certified in the 119-pound division. He piled up an 11-1 record and knocked off Chariho's James, who entered the match with a 27-0 record, 14-4 in the state finals.
Delfino supplied perhaps the biggest surprise in boosting Coventry to another title as he swept through the heavyweight division in the state meet and finished the R.I. season with a 17-5 record.
Middletown's Thibeault was named in another tightly contested division, 145, where he won both the All-Star and state championships. In the state finals, he scored five points in the last 10 seconds in beating Cranston East's Greg Fine.
Cranston West's Palumbo was the unquestioned champion at 167, going unbeaten in state competition and finishing second in the New Englands.