Knapp makes wrestling history with All-States, New England titles

Sarah Coldwell

NESPA Winner: Sports story, 2023

The Harbinger, Algonquin Regional High School, Northborough, MA

Senior Rafael Knapp made history as the first Algonquin wrestler to win the All-States meet, which took place on Feb. 25 at Reading High School, and followed it up with a New England Wrestling Tournament title in the 170-lb division, the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.

Knapp has been wrestling since he was 8 years old and continues his training with both the Algonquin team and his club team at Doughboy Wrestling Club. In the postseason, Knapp moved through Division I Sectionals, then Divisionals, where he finished in the top six, qualifying to compete at the All-State meet.

When it came to the final match at All-States, Knapp said he had a bit of a leg up, having previously wrestled senior Gabriel Thomasson from Norton High School in a club tournament.

Knapp spoke highly of Thomasson, praising his hard work and dedication, but in the match itself Knapp knew what he had to do.

“Going into the match I knew I had to get my attacks, my shots,” Knapp said. “I went right after him right away. Once I started to build a lead I thrived off of it and scored more points throughout the match. I made it a lopsided score.”


Read the full story here.