1989 All State
103 - Brian Smith, Coventry
112 - Chris Loranger, Bristol
119 - Howie Hague, Coventry
125 - Dan Smith, Coventry
130 - Todd Robichaud, Coventry
135 - Dave Barone, Hendricken
140 - Brent Windrow, Coventry
145 - Dave Pope, South Kingstown
152 - Rick Porter, Barrington
160 - Damon Popella, East Greenwich
171 - Al Loffredo, Cranston East
189 - Dean Willey, Warwick Vets
285 - John Huppe, Middletown
103 - Paolo Casalle, Cranston East
112 - Ed Silva, Hope
119 - Darren Heisey, East Providence
125 - Tony Grello, Hendricken
130 - Tommy Lynch, Cranston East
135 - Jim Megrdchian, East Greenwich
140 - Rick Quinn, Cranston East
145 - Paul Metcalf, Coventry
152 - Jon Mitchell, Hendricken
160 - James Dee, Mt Pleasant
171 - Chris Carlsten, Hendricken
189 - Dave Bertolini, Cranston East
285 - Nelson Long, East Providence
Five members of Coventry's eighth straight state championship team, led by record-setting Danny Smith, the first wrestler to be named first-team All-State four consecutive years, head this year's Journal-Bulletin All-State team.
Smith is joined by Oaker teammates Brian Smith, Howie Hague, Todd Robichaud and Brett Windrow. Otherwise, the team is spread across the state, led by Damon Popella of East Greenwich, a repeater from last year's team. Chris Loranger of Bristol, Dave Barone of Hendricken, Dave Pope of South Kingstown, Rick Porter of Barrington, Al Loffredo of Cranston East, Dean Willey of Warwick and John Huppee of Middletown also make the top team.
Four stars from Cranston East, Paolo Casale, Tom Lynch, Rick Quinn and Dave Bertolini, lead the second team. The team also includes three from Hendricken, Tony Grello, Jon Mitchell and Chris Carlsten, two from East Providence, Darren Heisey and Nelson Long, along with Ed Silva of Hope, Jim Megrdichian of East Greenwich, Paul Metcalf of Coventry and James Dee of Mount Pleasant.
There is no doubt about the leader on the team. Danny Smith became the first wrestler ever to win four states titles and four New England titles, putting together a career in which he never lost a match.
"He's in a class by himself," Coventry coach Dick Magarian said. "He's the best we've ever had."
Smith, who competed this year at 125 pounds, finished his career with a 115-0-1 record with 103 pins. Twice, including this year, he was selected as the outstanding wrestler in the state championship and twice, each of the last two years, was tabbed as best in the New England meet.
Smith also is the New Englander selected to participate in next Saturday's Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, an event that brings together state champions from Pennsylvania, which annually produces some of the top talent in the country, against the United States All-Stars.
Coventry enjoyed the most dominant year of its long streak of domination in the state because Smith had plenty of blue-chip company in the Oaker lineup. Hague and Robichaud both won state titles and finished second in the New England meet. Hague, the 119-pound champion, was 85-5 in his career, including 27-1 this year, his only loss coming in the New England finals. Along the way, he won championships in the Whaler Tournament in Connecticut and the R.I. All-Star Meet.
Robichaud, who competed at 130, compiled a 23-1 record, the only loss coming in a controversial one-point decision in the New England finals. Robichaud's triumph's included a win this year in the All-Star Meet. The senior had a career mark of 58-5.
Windrow, at 140, completed a sensational middle-of-the-lineup for Coventry. A senior, he moved in as one of the keys for Coventry after working his way up the team ladder. His 26-3 season record included tournament titles in the Whaler Invitational, the Johnston Christmas Tournament and the All-Star meet. He finished his career 49-8.
Brian Smith, Danny Smith's cousin, competed much of the year at 112, but dropped to 103 for the major meets and it was his emergence as a state champion that helped make Coventry a runaway winner of its eighth straight title. The junior finished 12-2 on the season.
Popella joins Smith as a repeater on the top team. He won the 160-pound title, although he also wrestled part of the season at 171, doing it all after finishing an excellent season as a running back-linebacker for East Greenwich's football Super Bowl team. Popella was unbeaten against Rhode Island competition, was third in the New Englands and posted a 108-12 career record.
Loranger also did not lose a match all season against Rhode Island competition, winning the Takedown Tournament, Met sectionals, Cranston East Invitational and state crown on the way to a 25-1 record overall. Loranger, who finished with 78 career victories, also won the 112-pound title in the Mount Anthony, Vt., tournament and was second in tournaments in Wellesley and Dedham, Mass.
Barone was given the edge over East Greenwich's Megrdichian in a duel between the two best in the 135-pound division in New England - Megrdichian was first and Barone second in the New Englands. Barone was unbeaten in dual meets (14-0), won the Met Division title, won his division in a tournament in Brentwood, N.Y., and took the state title in a great match with Megrdichian, a match where the two tied through regulation and overtime and Barone won on criteria. Barone is headed to Lehigh University, a nationally ranked wrestling power.
Pope is another wrestler who moved down one class during the season, from 152 to 145. A former junior varsity state champion, the junior finished 15-4-1 overall through the state meet, two of the losses coming at 152.
Porter was best in at 152 pounds, putting together a 15-1-2 mark through the state championship, including 13 pins. The Barrington senior won the Metropolitan Division and state titles.
Loffredo had a dominating season at 171. The Cranston East junior was 21-0 against Rhode Island competition and 34-1 overall. Among others, he won titles in the Cranston East Invitational and the Wellesley, Mass., tournament.
Willey captured the 189-pound title in all the major tournaments in the state. The Warwick star, another of the four juniors on the top team, took the All-Star, Met Division and state championships, upping his overall record to 41-5.
Middletown's Huppee completed a steady progression in his career by capturing the state title in the heavyweight division. He earlier had won freshman and junior varsity state titles. This year, he also won the Takedown Tournament and was 21-2 on the season.