WAKEFIELD — Pembroke wrestling coach Dave Vining was overcome with emotion — so much that he struggled to find words to describe what he was feeling.
In his ninth and final season with the Titans, Vining led Pembroke to the Division 3 state championship at Wakefield on Wednesday night. It was his fourth state championship in a 25-year coaching career.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve won one,” said Vining, who won three titles in a row with Carver from 1993-95. “But it never gets old. It’s been a drought — it feels great.”
Pembroke finished with 129 points to capture the team title and had clinched the crown before the start of the championship matches. The Titans had 113 points after the semifinals and had advanced four wrestlers into the finals. Norton, the defending champion, was second with 102 point but had just one wrestler remaining.
For Vining, who will retire after the season, it was even more satisfying as he watched all four of his seniors capture individual titles.
Kevin Beane led the way for Pembroke, beating Dean Tech’s Brian Wodecki, 10-3, in the 285-pound class to win his second consecutive individual state title.
“It feels amazing,” Beane said. “Literally feels like a dream come true.”
Pembroke’s Colin Claflin recovered from a late mistake to score a 6-4 victory over Tyngsboro’s Alec Golner in the 160-pound final. Claflin tallied a takedown early in the third period to take a 4-3 lead, but in the final seconds he committed a technical foul and locked hands with Golner, resulting in a 4-4 tie. In the extra period, the Titans senior needed just 13 seconds to score a takedown and seal the victory.
Brad Wong padded Pembroke’s lead in the first match of the finals with a 7-0 victory over Melrose’s Ryan Stanton at 106 pounds, and the Titans’ Ryan Chapman defeated Franklin Tech’s Kyle Laffey, 6-2, at 152.
“We couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Vining said. “Having four champions is unreal.”