Photo Credit: Jason Gendron Photography
By PAT McDONALD
Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Board Member
RUMFORD — Every high school wrestler wants to win a state championship and extra motivation isn’t really needed.
For Mountain Valley senior Evrit Roy, the drive to get to the top of the podium has always been there — but this year, he isn’t looking to win gold for himself.
He is wrestling for a fallen friend.
Roy, a four-year standout for the Falcons, lost a friend and teammate, Jasper Turner, in October when Jasper died from a seizure.
“It just means more. I want to win for him, not me … I’m wrestling for him,” Roy said.
Anyone who has seen Mountain Valley at a tournament, has probably noticed when a Falcon wrestler is on the podium, they bring Jasper with them.
“He was actually suppose to wrestle 152 this year … you will see us carrying around this (singlet) that says Jasper 152 on it to all the meets,” said Roy, who noted the Falcons came together to honor their teammate. “It definitely brought the team closer.”
The loss of Jasper and also photographer Greg Viger, who passed away last year, has made Roy want a championship even more.
“It’s just more motivation. I’ve definitely been wrestling better this year because I’ve had more motivation. You remember last year, I lost an older friend, Greg Viger, and this year I’ve lost one of my friends,” he said.
Putting in the work
Roy heads into the Class B South Regional Tournament this week looking to start a run to the state gold.
One reason he believes he has a chance to make that dream a reality is because he put in the work in the offseason.
“I’ve been wrestling well this year. I definitely did a lot of offseason work to be better this year,” said Roy, who is planning on heading to the University of Southern Maine to wrestle for coach Mike Morin next year.
Part of the work was on the mat, but he also spent time in the weight room.
“(I did a lot) of wrestling and weight lifting. I went down to Virginia and wrestled, and went to USM this summer, went up to Farmington for a camp — just a bunch of summer wrestling,” he said.
The hard work has paid off so far this year as Roy has been racking up wins, including capturing the championship at the rugged Spartan Invitational in Sanford earlier this year.
Winning a tournament like the Spartan could bode well for Roy as he heads into the postseason.
Roy isn’t the only Falcon who will make noise this postseason as junior Anthony Mazza is also expected to compete for a title.
Both Roy and Mazza finished second at Class B states last year — and they will look to accomplish their goal of winning gold together.
According to Roy, the two have used a friendly rivalry to improve on the mat.
“We’ve been practice partners since my sixth grade year, his fifth grade year. We’re always just pushing each other,” Roy said. “We get on each other’s nerves because we want to be better than the other at every meet. It’s like a little competition between us.”
Roy got the upper hand at the Spartan, while Mazza won the competition a week later.
“I got Outstanding Wrestler at Spartan, and then he comes back and gets Outstanding Wrestler at Skowhegan,” Roy said with a laugh.
Only time will tell if that friendly rivalry turns into gold for both Mountain Valley standouts.
Pat McDonald is the former Sports Editor at the Journal Tribune in Biddeford and a current member of the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Board of Directors.