Hopkinton's Josh Sokol took home the Division 2 State championship, Sokol won the decision 8-2 in the 285 pound bout against Stoughtons Bryan Nguyen. The Hillers had a couple others finish in the top 10 at the state-meet as well. In the regionals, Sokol gave Barnstables Owen Murray all he could handle as they went 3 overtimes before Murray took the meet. Junior Josh Sokol is excited to start the next wrestling season and looks to go further into the post season; "I lost in the all-state finals, I lost in the New England finals, 2nd place means I got to work twice as hard." Sokol did enjoy the feeling of being called a state champion; "it felt good, all the hard work paid off with the coaches and the teammates, throughout the season we trained hard and off season pretty rigorous.. we're setting the goals high for next year."
The Hopkinton Hillers head wrestling coach Tim Nelson talked to HCAM News about a very successful season; "it was a great year overall, I knew coming in that we were going to have a strong returning cast, but how hard the kids work and how healthy the kids stay decide how far we go as a team. We had 11 kids qualify for the state tournament, which is the most in team history, we had 2 kids place in the state tournament, which is the 2nd time in team history we've had multiple state place winners, we had a state champion in Josh Sokol, a heavy weight who went on to be a New England finalist, which is the single best season of any Hopkinton wrestling individual." Nelson has coached in the Hopkinton program for 10 years and say's it's been a work in progress. Hopkinton won the sectional title last year as a team with no individual champions. This year the team sent 11 wrestlers to the sectionals and placed 2nd in the sectionals, just 10 points behind winner Nashoba Regional. Coach Nelson was very proud of Josh Sokol for the vast improvement he made this season; "we knew the potential was there, he continued to work hard and grew into his body a little bit, to go from 4th in the state to the New England finals is an extremely big jump, couldn't be prouder, Josh works hard all year, he's a 2 sport athlete, he's a successful football player as well." Coach Nelson was very impressed at Sokol's ability to go from Football right into Wrestling with essentially no break between the seasons.
Coach Tim Nelson was very impressed with the Hillers wrestlers this season and is excited for the next year in Hillers wrestling. "we have a good amount of guys returning that are doing offseason wrestling...to have some of our better core guys doing something in the offseason, means we should be pretty strong coming back next year."
For more information and to see the Interview with Josh Sokol and Head Coach Tim Nelson, watch the video below.