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BVT’s Landry Fitzgerald captures state title

Landry Fitzgerald atop the podium at states. The BVT senior always wears a costume at meets, a tradition that began last season. Courtesy photo

Upton senior is first BVT wrestler to win States

By Chris Villani

Just moments before wrestling for the Division II state championship, Landry Fitzgerald hummed “(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay,” the hit by soul singer Otis Redding recorded nearly four decades before Landry was born.

“I like that kind of music, and I was bored before the match,” Fitzgerald said. “I was just humming it, dancing a little bit, warming up.”

It’s not a typical pump-up song, but that’s how relaxed the Blackstone Valley Tech senior was before winning the first state championship in the history of his program.

“The final match, I went into it with no nerves at all,” he said. “I thought ‘I worked hard for this. I know what I am going to do. I am going to go in there and get what I need to do done.’’’

Wrestling in the 285lb division, Fitzgerald won more than 30 matches in his final season against only three defeats, two of them coming in the all-state championships where he placed seventh. Fitzgerald said he did not start the state meet as relaxed as he finished.

“At the beginning of the tournament, I was super nervous,” he said. “I am always nervous, but my first match came up, and the guy was a lot stronger than I thought he would be. I thought this was going to be a battle, but it got easier over the two days.”

Fitzgerald comes from a wrestling background. His oldest brother, Damien, was a wrestler in high school and Fitzgerald said Damien would come home from practice and wrestle with Landry and their other brother Shane.

“I always wanted to beat him growing up, I knew I wanted to wrestle,” Fitzgerald said. “My dad told me that BVT had a co-op with Bellingham for wrestling and I said ‘We are signing up, we are doing that.’’’

Fitzgerald bounced back from an injury early in his career. He spent this past offseason in the gym, lifting weights, tracking his calories and protein intake, and conditioning himself to have a great final high school season.

Fitzgerald is hoping to continue his wrestling career next year at the collegiate level. He is weighing an offer from Coker University, a Division II school in Hartsville, S.C.

Heading into the New England Championships, held the first weekend in March, Fitzgerald said he was looking forward to testing his skills against the best wrestlers in the region. But there is one wrestler he thinks he might be able to beat.

Fitzgerald joked, “My brother Shane was very proud of me, but I think he is a little bit worried now.”