Soaring Through the State


Photo Courtesy of TRHS Wrestling

Jaden Mwangi

Plaistow, NH – When you think of domination you think about the Timberlane Wrestling program. One of the most decorated programs in the state of New Hampshire belongs to the great Timberlane Regional High school. Built from middle school up this group of feared young men has been working on and off the mat for years. 

For an astonishing 35 years, the Timberlane wrestling program was led by the knowledgeable Barry Choolijan, who has since then retired and passed on the torch to his most profound colleague, Daniel Donovan. Coach Donovan believes that the change between him and Coach Choolijan was seamless and they continue some of the same traditions that have been around the program for years. The once Timberlane Wrestler has been a part of the Timberlane community for an outstanding 20 years. 

Last year’s graduating class had been with Coach Donovan for the two-year start to his career, but despite them leaving he looks to continue their streak of state championships. “I think anytime you have a group like we had last year, that had 7 seniors who were all division one state champs you feel that in the program.” With the changes that will be coming to the lineup, the Owls look to get on the hunt for the 29th consecutive state championship. When asking Coach Donovan about the pressure of this long and extremely impressive streak he said, “For me, I don’t take any of that pressure on and I don’t care about our win streak. I know people talk about it but it’s there and we just try to get our kids the best that we can, that’s what our biggest focus is.” Improvement is what Dan Donovan looks for with the team and that is what has kept this program on top of the state. 

Coming into year 6 seniors will be looking to fight for a spot in the starting lineup. This group is Malikai Colon, Johnny Fabrizio, Ben Little, Tucker Hadwen, Lucas Fitzpatrick, and Tj Labatte. All of these athletes have experience competing at the highest level of wrestling in New England, and that gives the Owls a great opportunity to continue where they left off. The owls also look to introduce a strong group of freshmen to the program with the hopes of them developing into a big part of the program. 

The fierce group you will be seeing on the mats this year will be led by Senior heavyweight Malikai Colon. When asking Colon what he thought about the team this year he said “There are a lot of young kids coming in that I’m excited to work with, so the future is bright for the program. We got a bunch of competitive seniors that want to win and it makes it easier with the great coaching staff that we have.” The 4-year varsity wrestler looks forward to finishing off his senior year strong with an appearance in the NH state championship. 

Coach Donovan speaks very highly of this group of young men and can’t wait to get back out on the mats for this upcoming winter. The team is looking forward to the 2022-23 season and getting back to competing and teaching the incoming freshman the ways of the team. With the Timberlane Varsity Wrestling team being the most established program the school has to offer, they look to continue their dominance for years to come. 

Timberlane Wrestling Schedule 2022-23

12/7 vs Exeter

12/10 Framingham Quad

12/14 @Londonderry

12/17 @Beast of the East 

12/18 @Beast of the East

12/21 vs Pinkerton

12/27@Lowell Holiday Tournament

12/28 @Lowell Holiday Tournament 

12/30 @Haverhill

1/04 @Windham

1/06 @Sandford, Me Tournament

1/07 @Sandford, Me Tournament

1/11 vs Keene

1/14 @Souderton, PA Duals

1/18 vs Bedford

1/21 Timberlane Invitational

1/25 @Nashua South

1/28 Timberlane Quad Meet

2/01 @Salem

2/04 Timberlane Quad Meet 

2/08 vs Concord