Sidney and James Tildsley fight over major wrestling titles – and fraternal bragging rights

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“I feel like if he wins, I have to win,” said Sidney. “Otherwise, when we get home, he’ll laugh at me.” It gives you more motivation to watch your brother win. Now when we get home, we’ll both be happy.

Indeed, while the two Tildsley brothers won their respective weight classes on their debut in the Bossi tournament, they did so for different schools.

While Tildsley is a freshman wearing Shawsheen purple, James is an eighth grader wearing Billerica green – but their common color is championship gold.

“We grew up together, fighting together, still on the same team,” said James. “It’s a little different being on different teams, but we train a lot together. We lift together, we train together. I am with him all the time. I always encourage it, no matter what colors we wear.

The Tildsley family is steeped in the tradition of grappling. Their older sister, Tayla, is a senior wrestler in Shawsheen who plans to pursue her career in college. Their 8-year-old brother Sonny joins in the workouts in the family basement, which has been converted into a wrestling room. It all goes back to their father, Brian, who competed at Wilmington High and UMass Lowell, where he was team captain in 1999. He spent 15 years coaching Minuteman wrestling before joining the Shawsheen staff as a team captain. ‘assistant.

When Brian coached Minuteman, he brought his team to Lowell every year, even though they didn’t compare to the elite competition.

Billerica’s James Tildsley (right) throws Lowell Catholic’s Scotty Moreau in the 106-pound final.Winslow Townson for the Boston Globe

“We were a small program and we didn’t really have a place here, but we came anyway because of the quality and the difficulty of this program,” said Brian. “I wanted to show them that’s about it for the New England wrestling. [Sidney and James] came with me every year. They grew up running here like little dull rats.

The Bossi Tournament is considered the most competitive seasonal tournament in Massachusetts. Even in a pandemic year when other schools, like Marshfield, canceled their holiday tournaments, it drew 73 teams and hundreds of wrestlers to Tsongas Arena over two days.

St. John’s Prep took team honors with 205 points, narrowly holding Timberlane (NH) with 203 points. Fairfield Warde (Connecticut) was third with 159 points, ahead of fourth place Central Catholic (150.5) and fifth place Natick (141).

It was James Tildsley, third in the standings, who kicked off the final with a 4:57 pin from Moreau, who was unranked. James, who won his first five games of the tournament thanks to pins in the first round, took a 12-1 lead after one period and was leading 17-1 when he put Moreau on his shoulders midway through the third round.

“He was composed, like a champion should fight,” said Billerica coach Victor De Jesus. “He has confidence. That’s the key at this age. A lot of kids don’t have that confidence. His confidence is above the ceiling. I wasn’t too worried.

Sidney, the 132-pound seed, had a tougher game against Adam Schaeublin of St. John’s Prep. After a scoreless first period, Sidney scored a breakout and one out in the second round before a third out gave him some breathing space in a 5-0 decision.

“I’ve always wanted to win this tournament,” said Sidney. “Having this tag is something I treasure now. Even as a freshman, I can work for more, be humble, and strive for more.

Sidney’s victory also saved him from weeks of fraternal chatter.

“Watching my brother come out I wanted him to win, but I knew it would be an ultimate bragging rights if he didn’t win,” admitted James. “I’m glad he won.

Sidney now has a shot at becoming the fourth wrestler – and second from Massachusetts – to win the Lowell Tournament four times, following Brockton’s Steve Degiso (1973-76) and Matt Smith (1998-2001) and Connor McGonagle (2015- 18) from Timberlane. . No one has ever won it five times, which is now a possibility for James.

“Getting on the top step of the podium was just the start,” he said. “I’m only an eighth grade. I have a long way to go. I must remain humble.

Brotherly Love

Hingham's Matt Botello (right) dominated Ben Zuckerman in the 120-pound final.
Hingham’s Matt Botello (right) dominated Ben Zuckerman in the 120-pound final.Winslow Townson for the Boston Globe

The Tildsleys were one of three groups of brothers to reach the final, joining Mark and Matt Botello of Hingham and Isiac and Jonah Paulino of Monty Tech. Every match up to 145 pounds, except 138, had one of six brothers competing.

Top-ranked 120-pound wrestler Matt Botello won an 11-3 major decision over Fairfield Warde’s Ben Zuckerman. His brother, Mark, reached the final at 145 pounds despite being eighth seed, beating Timberlane’s Konrad Parker 3-0 along the way. But in the final, John Mairano of Simsbury, Conn. Recovered from an early 2-0 deficit to win in the fall in 3:33.

Seeded Isiac Paulino won a major decision 14-6 over Essex Tech / Masconomet’s Miles Darling at 113 pounds, but Jonah Paulino lost a 7-0 decision to seeded Tyler Knox of St. John’s Prep. at 126 pounds.

SJP continues its domination

Unbeaten in a duel so far this season, St. John’s Prep won the tournament with two individual champions and four top-three standings. Tyler Knox won at 126 pounds and Rawson Iwanicki won with a 40 second pin at 152 pounds. Adam Schaeublin was second at 132, Alex Schaeublin third at 113 and Charlie Smith sixth at 285 pounds.

Eastern Mass Champions

James Tildsley, Billerica (106)

Matt Botello, Hingham (120)

Tyler Knox, St. John’s Prep (126)

Sidney Tildsley, Shawsheen (132)

Ty Stewart, Dracut / Tyngsborough (138)

Rawson Iwanicki, St. John’s Prep (152)

Michael Bobola, Xaverian (160)

Timmy Vadnais, Burlington (220)

Thomas Brown, Chelmsford (285)


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