March 14, 2023 – Story by James Hanley, photos by Fotique (Updated 3/14/23 at 8:27pm)
On the wrestling mat, it is just you and your opponent. Hingham High School wrestling has been the team to beat over the past decade. They were an unstoppable force, winning the majority of meets and competitions. Many great wrestlers have come through the Hingham High wrestling system like: Joe Lindsay, The Botello’s, and Ben Hirtle to name a few. However, throughout the years an influx of female wrestlers has busted through the male dominated sport. One of those female wrestlers is sophomore Mia Dineen.
Dineen’s introduction to wrestling is interesting to say the least. Dineen stated, “I did a little bit of jiu jitsu which was a prelude to my eventual wrestling career.” Upon doing jiu jitsu at a young age, Mia began doing youth wrestling, which was the catalyst of her eventual successful high school wrestling journey so far. Going to Hingham High was unfamiliar territory, however Mia’s decision on which sport to play was going to change the trajectory of her high school career.
Mia joined the Hingham High wrestling team in her freshman year last year.
As with most freshmen beginning with wrestling, it is safe to say that the transition from practice to an actual wrestling match is challenging. Upon reflecting on her freshman year season, Mia admits, “I was in JV, I was not the best. Everyone could beat me.” Her first year was an overall learning experience. However, after the season was over Mia wanted to improve on her wrestling technique and skills. Picking up moves such as “boots” and “riding legs” are signatures of Mia’s mat base offense. Dineen exclaimed, “Ask anyone on the team, and they will tell you the same thing, I love those moves.”
The following season would be different, as Mia was tuning her wrestling technique on the off season to right the wrongs of her previous season. However, Mia, the coaches and the rest of the wrestling team did not expect the level of excellence that would follow her that upcoming season.
This past season, Mia got second in girls states. A feat that no other female wrestler in Hingham has accomplished. She also finished 8th in the Marshfield Holiday meet and 4th in D2 South Sectionals, both wrestling against boys.
The preparation for all states was a tough task for Mia. A bright light for Dineen was seeing everyone else train hard for states. Mia observes, “There was a lot of training, everyone was trying to get better through moves. We trained hard but had fun while doing it.” That fun environment eased the anxiety for states, leaving Mia ready and prepared to astonish the audience with her wrestling prowess. Obtaining a second-place position in all states, was the caveat that Dineen needed and deserved.
Now having the taste of states, Mia Dineen is going into this next season determined and focused. Dineen adds, “I think overall I am pleased with how it went. However, I do want to learn new moves the next time around. In general, I am very surprised with how It went.” An important thing to Mia, was that this achievement hopes to inspire a new generation of female wrestlers joining the wrestling team. Reflecting on the importance of this victory for female wrestlers, Dineen comments, “I think it is very important to see how younger girls can see these female wrestlers thrive and succeed. I really want to see more women come into wrestling, that is one of my bigger goals as a whole. Since wrestling is a fast growing sport, I think having more girls join would be an incredible thing to see, and would elevate the team even more.”
Head coach Paul Canniff had this to say about Mia and her progression as a wrestler.
“Mia is what every coach wants from a wrestler,” Canniff says. “She comes to practice every day and works as hard as she can. She put a lot of work into improving her wrestling skills, both throughout the season and in the offseason. She earns every victory that she gets.”
Now that the season is over, Mia is using her time in the off-season grind obtaining new moves, and strategies through famed Hanover, Massachusetts wrestling training ground Riptide.
Riptide is one of the premier off-season wrestling training clubs. Training plenty of Hingham wrestling greats, this was a no brainer for Mia to train. Regarding her time spent in Riptide, Mia concludes, “I have been training a lot during the off season, I have been working out at home and in the gym. I am doing Riptide as previously mentioned, where they have these girls’ nights on Monday’s and Friday’s. We are trying to create a program with the girls, which I personally hope is seen through.”
Mia Dineen’s wrestling season was revolutionary. Only in her sophomore year, she has accomplished what many would dream of for a career. Her contribution to Hingham High’s wrestling team is recognized, and Mia will be a star to watch these next two seasons. Mia Dineen, to put it simply, is a trailblazer for Hingham Wrestling, and Massachusetts wrestling as a whole.
Good luck and congrats Mia!