1997 All State
103 - Bob Goff, Barrington
112 - Justin Lewis, Coventry
119 - Calvin Johnson, Hope
125 - Eliseo Nogueras, Warwick Vets
130 - Nate Faria, East Providence
135 - Corey Franco, Johnston
140 - Greg Spaziano, Cranston West
145 - Shawn Sandoval, La Salle
152 - Perry Raso, South Kingstown
160 - Shawn Hennessey, Coventry
171 - Xenio Yearwoood, East Providence
189 - Matt Martell, Barrington
215 - Shane Lillibridge, South Kingstown
285 - Tony Abbate, Burrillville
103 - Brian Ferreira, East Providence
112 - Steve LaPlante, Cumberland
119 - Jason Xynellis, Pilgrim
125 - Lou Capodilupo, Hendricken
130 - Dan Parrillo, Hendricken
135 - Bryon Nelson, South Kingstown
140 - Jonas Bernier, Cumberland
145 - Ryan Sherlock, Coventry
152 - Brad Martin, Cumberland
160 - Anthony Alves, Cranston East
171 - Russell Wilson, East Greenwich
189 - Jason Flynn, Pilgrim
215 - Randall Smith, East Greenwich
285 - Paul Hosey, Cranston West
Nogueras defeated defending champion Lou Capodilupo of Hendricken for the 1997 state title at 125 pounds. Nogueras, who placed third at 130 in 1996, posted a 15-0 dual-meet record and was 44-5 overall this season. He finished fifth at the New England tournament. Both his losses at the New Englands were by one point.
Tony Abbate, Burrillville, Heavyweight
Abbate combined strategy with brute strength in the heavyweight division that produced a state title and 28 victories in 34 bouts this year. The Broncos' senior ended his career with a 61-18 record with 41 pins. He will play football at Salve Regina College next fall.
Wiley Cerilli, Moses Brown, 152 pounds
Cerilli was 18-0 in dual meets and 24-0 overall with 21 pins before finishing sixth at the National Prep School Championships at Lehigh University where he was named a prep All-American. Cerilli, of Providence, also defeated Interscholastic League 152-pound state champ Perry Raso of South Kingstown, 9-3, in the South County Tournament.
Nathan Faria, East Providence, 130 pounds
The East Providence state champ may be the hardest worker in the wrestling room. This year Faria, won his state title with a 5-0 decision. He posted a 37-8 overall record. Faria excelled at a double leg takedown and working the cradle move.
Corey Franco, Johnston, 135 pounds
Franco wasn't flashy, but once he got his opponent on the mat he dominated with strength and great technical skills. Franco capped a superb career by winning his state title and finished at 84-18. Franco compiled a 28-2 record this season.
Bobby Goff, Barrington, 103 pounds
Goff was the only Rhode Islander to win a title at this year's New England Wrestling Tournament. Goff became the second New England titleist in the history of the Barrington program. The Barrington state champion finished his career with a 68-14 record, including 30-4 this season.
Shaun Hennessey, Coventry, 160 pounds
Hennessey lost only once this year and that came at the New England Championships, where he placed third. Overall, the Oakers' junior compiled a 35-1 record. Over the last two years, Hennessey is 68-4. He has all the ingredients to become a three-time state champion next year with speed, aggressiveness and the ability to overpower opponents on the mat.
Calvin Johnson, Hope, 119 pounds
Johnson is a two-time state champion and a two-time New England runner-up. He closed out a brilliant career with a 142-12 record. Exceptionally good on his feet with takedowns. Johnson will compete at the National High School Championships at Duquesne University April 4-6.
Justin Lewis, Coventry, 112 pounds
Lewis was one of Coventry's two state champions this year. The Oakers' junior also did very well at the New England Tournament, placing second, losing a 1-0 decision in the finals. Lewis, physically strong and technically sound on the mat, ended this season with a 33-3 record.
Shane Lillibridge, South Kingstown, 215 pounds
Lillibridge was fourth in the state tournament a year ago. This year, with a 29-2 record that included 20 pins, the South Kingstown senior is the state champ. He also was the All-Star champion. In addition, Lillibridge was the champ at the Warwick tournament and the Wilson Cup.
Matt Martel, Barrington, 189 pounds
Martel finally got his time in the winner's circle after losing in the state finals the previous two years. This year, Martel was dedicated to winning a state crown and didn't lose a bout to a Rhode Island wrestler. He finished up 36-2. Good on his feet and good on the mat, Martel improved this year to where he perfected seven or eight good takedown moves. He was the Eagles' captain the past two years.
Shawn Sandoval, La Salle, 145 pounds
Sandoval was the surprise wrestler of the state tournament. Wrestling as an independent from La Salle, Sandoval competed with the Mount Pleasant team and wrestled exhibition bouts in dual meets and competed in tournaments this year. At the state tourney, the La Salle junior pinned all four of his opponents, including the top two Class A contenders. Sandoval, 23-2, was voted the outstanding wrestler of the state tournament.
Greg Spaziano, Cranston West, 140 pounds
Spaziano's specialty was the cradle, in which he would rock his opponent onto his back and keep him there. The Cranston West state champion says determination made him a winner this year. A year ago Spaziano lost in the first round of the state tournament and vowed that would not happen this year. He was 26-6 overall.
Xenio Yearwood, East Providence, 171 pounds
Yearwood was used to being behind in his bouts this year but he also got used to winning. The Townies' junior ended up 39-7, getting better as the year went along and winning his last 15 before the New England Tournament. Yearwood trailed in his state title match, 7-1, after the first period but had the strength to rally for an 11-8 victory.