Since 1959, when the Maine Principals' Association began sanctioning high school wrestling, only 11 wrestlers have won four individual state titles.
This season, Joey Eon of Massabesic intends to become the 11th.
''I know quite a few of the guys who have won four state titles, and I think it would be a big achievement to do what they did,'' he said. ''All those guys were among the big names among wrestlers in this state. Just to be in that group would be a big accomplishment for me. It would be pretty cool.''
Last season, Jon Hussey of Marshwood and Chris Smith of Deering became the first Class A wrestlers in nearly 30 years to win four state titles.
''It's a pretty big deal and I'm really pumped for it,'' Eon said. ''It's always been one of my goals. As a freshman, once I won my first one, I said I had to win this four times.''
Eon's first three individual titles came at 140 pounds. This season he'll compete at 145.
''(Being at) 140 was a big cut for me last year, and I didn't want to cut as much weight this year because I wanted to remain strong,'' Eon said.
Less than six weeks ago, as the star running back for Massabesic, Eon weighed 165 pounds.
In 10 games, Eon had 1,473 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns as the Mustangs reached the Western Class A quarterfinals. He was selected as one of the 11 semifinalists for the Fitzpatrick Award.
''He wrestles in the offseason, which helps him a lot,'' Massabesic wrestling coach Rick DeRosier said. ''He comes into a season, and in usually 21/2, three weeks, he's ready to go.''
Not only is Eon seeking his fourth title, but he wants to help the Mustangs claim their third consecutive Class A team title.
''I like having good wrestlers around me,'' Eon said. ''Having guys like that around you helps you work out and helps you get better.''
Eon's chief workout partner is Peter Gilman, a senior who won the Class A title at 135 pounds as a sophomore and was runner-up at that weight last season.
''I think the stuff Joe does is amazing,'' Gilman said. ''He's a great wrestler. He's a great all-around kid and athlete.''
Gilman said the entire team shares in Eon's achievements.
''Every year he won states, it felt like a win for me, too, because I'm right there working with him all the time,'' Gilman said. ''I definitely think we would not be as good as we are if it wasn't for each other. We just push each other to the max.''
This is the first season Eon hasn't had his older brother, Josh, with him. A two-time Class A state champion, Josh Eon is now a student at the University of Southern Maine.
''There was competition between us and we fed off that,'' Eon said. ''Without him this year I think I'll be fine. I'll just take what I've learned the past three years and bring it to this last season.''
Eon isn't the only wrestler this season with a chance for four individual championships.
Travis Spencer of Belfast, who is seeking his third consecutive Class B title at 189 after winning the 160-pound division as a freshman, also can accomplish the feat.
The Class A, B and C state championship meets will be held simultaneously Feb. 7 at the Augusta Civic Center. The finals in all three classes of the 145-pound division will be held before the 189-pound championship matches.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:
A 5-foot-8 quarterback and a linebacker named John Huard were their only notable standouts.
But something remarkable happened in the fall of 1965 for the University of Maine football team.
As the weeks passed the Black Bears pulled out one improbable win after the next: Massachusetts. Boston University. Vermont. New Hampshire. Connecticut. Rhode Island. Colby. Youngstown State. By November their record was 8-0.
And in December, little Maine -- its roster filled with kids who hadn't stepped foot on a commercial jet before that season -- flew out of Bangor to play in the Tangerine Bowl. They stand today as the only team from Maine to play in a bowl game.
''We weren't supposed to win all those games,'' said Huard. ''We were young and just didn't know that.''
Maine lost 31-0 to East Carolina in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla., but it wasn't about that. How this group got there, they will tell you, was a combination of will, chemistry, naivete and some genius coaching.
Now in their 60s, some 34 players from that team will return Saturday to Orono to be honored at halftime of the home opener against Stony Brook. They are doctors, grandfathers, CEOs, retired businessmen, high school teachers. Two had military careers. Four have died.
For decades their 1965 season has stayed alive in old glossy photos filled with buzz cuts and square jaws, and a grainy black-and-white film from a lifetime ago. This weekend many of them will make the journey back to Orono for the first time in 43 years.
''You had your youth and the world in front of you,'' said Huard, 64. ''Now probably the best days have gone from what we had then. But you have a team like that, you just don't know.''
The team was coached by Harold Westerman, now 93.
He said that year remains his fondest memory from his coaching career.
''There is no question that it is,'' said Westerman. ''I'm anxious to see a lot of those fellas. They were a real good team and family. We really had lots of fun.''
Jack Butterfield, who had led the school's baseball team to the 1964 College World Series, was the running backs coach. He was an executive with the New York Yankees before he died in an auto accident in 1979.
Huard was the marquee player. He went on to play four years with the Denver Broncos and is now the CEO of Northeast FieldTurf.
Quarterback Dick DeVarney was credited with adding dimension to the program's passing game with his ability to throw on the run. He passed for 1,592 yards that year, a school record at the time.
''If I had to stand in the pocket at 5-8, you don't see too many things,'' said DeVarney, now a foreman for a printing company in South Portland. ''I didn't drop back like they do nowadays. It was mostly like a rollout, anything to get to the outside.''
Maine's offensive line was quite small.
Jerry Perkins started at left tackle at 192 pounds. He played beside Ivan Braun at left guard: 173 pounds. The right guard, he said, might have topped out at 150.
''If a lot of us stood next to the guys who play our positions today, you wouldn't even believe we ever played,'' said Perkins, before rolling into a laugh. Perkins went on to coach wrestling and football at Mountain Valley High in Rumford for almost three decades before retiring in 2000.
A YEAR UNLIKE OTHERS
Maine ran a Wing-T, a ball control, run-oriented offense that relies on deception.
It suited the team's personnel.
''They developed movement and deception plays that would neutralize big lumbering defensive linemen with quicker, faster moving (offensive) linemen,'' said Dennis Doyle, a split end who went on to run a financial services business.
They weren't expected to have a particularly notable year. Maine went 5-3 in 1963 and 1964, then 4-5 in 1966 and an ugly 0-8 in 1967.
But 1965 was different.
The team's public-address announcer, George Wildey -- who later produced a film ''Maine Goes to the Tangerine Bowl'' -- said it was the 27-22 win over Youngstown State that finally made it clear something special was happening.
''They were down 20-0 or 20-7 going into the fourth quarter. DeVarney was unbelievable,'' said Wildey. ''That was certainly the key game that people said, 'hey wait a minute. This club is good.' ''
Before the Tangerine Bowl, Maine made one other trip to Florida, losing its final regular-season game on a safety against Tampa, 2-0.
''The mayor greeted us at the airport with a stovepipe hat and a basketful of cigars,'' said Westerman. ''He started handing them out and I said 'No. We don't need those. Thank you very much.' They really got on us in the paper the next day.''
THE HEAT WAS ON
UMaine was 8-1 as it prepared for its final trip south by running drills in the snow, and raising the heat in the field house to 80 degrees, hoping to simulate Florida-like conditions.
''We cranked it as high as we could get it,'' said Dennis Carey, a defensive end who went on to become an executive with General Electric, Home Depot, and now a Canadian cell phone company. ''That's one of the flashbacks that you have.''
When they arrived in Orlando, Fla., the temperature was in the 50s all week for practice.
The morning of the game it was clear a scorcher was on the way.
Perkins shared a room with the team's punter, Peter Norris.
''I can still remember it being 76 degrees at 7 a.m.,'' said Perkins. ''It was in the 80s by game time. We played really tough but just kind of wilted in the second half.''
DeVarney injured a knee in the first quarter. He said he was removed for good in the third when he dislocated his shoulder.
It was his final organized football game.
When the team returned to Maine, the players originally felt they had let the state down.
But as the years passed, it became clear the loss didn't matter. Getting to that game was what mattered.
''Before you knew it we were really playing with confidence and focus,'' said Paul Pendleton, an assistant principal at McAuley High in Portland who was a backup quarterback and defensive back.
''We had no real outstanding athletes except (DeVarney) and (Huard). But maybe the key ingredient was everyone believed in each other. It was, I think, the right chemistry.''
Echoed halfback Ron Lanza, who now works in insurance in Connecticut: ''We made it work. Everyone took responsibility for what they had to do. We weren't the best team out there but we functioned as a team. That whole process of working together made all the difference.''
Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:
Cejudo Henry, of U.S., reacts after defeating Tomohiro Matsunaga, of Japan, in the final of 55Kg category of men's freestyle wrestling competition of the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
BEIJING: He has shared everything for most of his life, from twin beds to sofa cushions to last bites.
It only made sense, then, that when he stunningly won an Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling Tuesday, the Los Angeles-born son of undocumented Mexican immigrants also would share.
With his most beloved piece of cloth.
The American flag.
Oh, what a pair they made, young Henry Cejudo and Old Glory, dancing cloth-to-cheek across the floor of a gym that rocked and roared in disbelief.
That flag gave a chance to a kid who paid for wrestling by selling tamales on the street. That kid now held it tight as he dropped and dissolved in tears.
''I'm living the American dream,'' said Cejudo, 21. ''The United States is the land of opportunity and I'm so glad I can represent it.''
The flag gave his mother a chance to raise six children on menial wages in countless apartments from Los Angeles to Las Cruces, N.M., to Phoenix.
''The USA is the best country in the world because it allows you to express yourself in whatever you can do best,'' said his brother Alonzo, in the stands. ''Wrestling is just Henry's way.''
That flag gave a high school education to a kid too poor to celebrate Christmas, then gave that kid a chance to become an Olympian even after he finished 31st in last year's world championships. The kid now wore the flag around the gym like an expensive new coat and later refused to take it off.
''I don't want to let it go, man,'' Cejudo said about an hour after his 55-kilogram victory against Tomohiro Matsunaga of Japan. ''I might just sleep with this.''
The tiny, bushy-haired champ smiled a huge smile, his face a mixture of tears and welts and happiness, and it was then he was reminded America had one more thing to give him.
For winning the gold medal, he will be awarded bonuses and donations equaling $65,000.
''I'm rich!!!'' he screamed.
No, it was the rest of us who were rich, witnessing a moment that could only happen at the Olympics and, yes, perhaps only in America.
Born in 1987 in south Los Angeles, Cejudo faced the odds encountered by thousands in his neighborhood.
When he was 4, his parents separated and his mother moved his family to New Mexico. Two years later his single mom moved the family to Phoenix.
With one couch in his living room and at least one or two siblings in his bed until he was 17, there wasn't much.
''So we took off the couch cushions and used them to fight,'' said Alonzo Cejudo's brother.
Soon the fighting moved to the gym, where Cejudo and his older brother, Angel, became high school stars.
When Angel moved to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Henry followed.
''I finally had my own bed,'' he said. ''But I was lonely in it.''
He was knocked out of the first round of last year's world championships, weeping in defeat and needed a late comeback to win the Olympic trials.
Then, once his long wrestling day began, he needed to come back to win all three of his preliminary matches. By the time he reached the final, he was a little tired, a little sad, but plenty inspired.
The United States is the kind of place where you can choose your own path,'' he said. ''We should never forget that.''
Courtesy Photo Janet Kalman, widow of Keith Kalman, who was inducted posthumously into the Maine Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame, speaks on behalf of her late husband after receiving the plaque which was presented by Dennis Bishop.
SANFORD—Two former individuals associated with the Sanford High School wrestling program were inducted into the Maine Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame a week ago.
They are wrestler John Tuttle, who received his plaque from his brother Jim, and Keith Kalman, who was honored posthumously. Keith's wife Janet was on hand to receive Keith's Hall of Fame plaque which was presented to her by Dennis Bishop.
In his induction speech, Tuttle described the moment as "a truly humbling experience, an honor I will cherish forever." He named coaches who he was associated with as strong contrubutors to the success of the Sanford wrestling program. "If you had John Caramihalis, Rick Sparkowich, Ron Sparkowich, Keith Kalman and Gary Kent, it was hard not to be a champion," he said.
Tuttle also credited his first wreslting coach, Don Beals, with playing a key role in local wrestling. "I would be remiss if I didn't mention Don Beals, my wrestling coach at Sanford Junior High School," said Tuttle. "He was the first physical education teacher in the state to require wrestling as mandatory in his gym classes."
Finally, Tuttle had words of praise for Kalman. "Coach Kalman was by far one of the most humble people I've met in my life. He never bragged about his accomplishments which include playing in the Tangerine Bowl for the University of Maine football team. He was my wrestling coach my senior year in 1970.and we became like brothers because of the closeness of our ages. I was a senior and it was his first year of coaching and teaching."
Also taking pace at the banquet were the presentation of a special award to Sanford high wrestler Paul Rivard, and the honoring of David DeVoll as "Person of the Year".
The John Caramihalis "Wrestler of the Year" award was presented to Carlin Dubay and the "Coach of the Year Award" went to Joe Pistone.
Also admitted to the Hall of Fame was former Bonny Eagle wrestler Adam Farrington who was presented the award by Ted Reese.
By Bob McPhee The following trio has been chosen for the Maine Amateur Wrestling Allaince HOF in 2008. They include Adam Farrington, John Tuttle, and Keith Kalman who is being inducted posthumously. It is going to be at the Nasson Community Center located at 457 Main St in Springvale on June 28th. The evening will start at 6:30 with a social time, dinner to begin at 7:00, and presentations around 7:45. Tickets will be $22.00. They need to be pre-purchased and can be done so by contacting me at email@example.com, calling at 207-729-2816. Farrington became a dominant wrestler at Bonny Eagle High School, then as his wrestling coach at the University of Southern Maine. He was dedicated, a superb wrestler and a fine leader. At Bonny Eagle, Farrington was a member of three State Championship teams, being Captain of one his senior year. "I have seldom if ever worked with someone with more dedication and firm, intense integrity, HOF coach Ted Reese said. "Adam was not a wrestler with fancy "clinic moves," Adam was deceptively skilled, honing his techniques so the details were perfect." As a senior in 1996, Adam was undefeated State Champion, was the Portland Press Herald’s Most Outstanding Wrestler for all classes, and set a record by pinning 40 out of 41 opponents. The one whom he didn’t pin—in the finals of the Redskin—competed just to survive without being pinned. After graduating from Bonny Eagle, he started as a freshman for Division I Boston University. Then he returned to Maine to compete at USM, where he was a National Qualifier two out of three years, missing most of his junior year with an ankle injury. As a senior he was New England Champion, selected as the Outstanding Wrestler at the Championships, and in Division III led the whole nation in pins. "He was dominant," Reese said. "His peers elected him captain of the team three years, every year he competed at USM. Now THAT is respect! In a sport that takes extreme hard work as just "normal," Adam led the team by example. Yet despite this intense work ethic, he also took time to work with those less gifted than he." Nor was it ever the "win-win" philosophy; Adam felt the commitment was more important than results. Despite his own success he would " be there" for those who lost often. He had his priorities straight. For instance, though he was genuinely proud of being selected as the Outstanding Wrestler in New England—and he was genuinely proud--, he forgot to take his Outstanding Wrestling trophy when he cleaned out his locker his senior year. When asked him about this, he stated, "Coach, the trophy is not important; the effort, the journey are far more important." Of course he is right, but how many others, who might say those words publicly, would leave the trophy behind? Adam has served in Iraq with distinction, adjusting to conditions most don’t want to think about. Always a leader, He was awarded the Official Commendation for "Outstanding Service" in Iraq. Kalman had received enough votes years ago, but declined the honor. Since his passing, his wife and kids (and others) suggested the idea of inducting him. In 1964, Kalman and hall of famers Reggie Monroe and Doug Libby each won N.E. championships. That year, Sanford, coached by John Caramihalis won the only N.E. team title in Maine history. Wayne Leblanc was a finalist and Conrad Turgeon was a freshman. Both are in the HOF, also. Dick Michaud and Paul Scarponi placed second and third, respectively. Tuttle, also won a state championship at Sanford in the late 60s. He was unbeaten as a senior, but an injury prevented him from competing for another medal in the NEs. The former state representative joined his brother Jim who was inducted in to the MAWA HOF in 2007. Also, Person of the Year is David DeVoll, Wrestler of the Year is All American Honorble Mention Carlin Dubay, and Coach of the Year is Joe Pistone of USM.
Hall of Fame honors typically involve great achievement in the major spectator sports that result in public name recognition, or in Olympic endeavors or the most popular of spectator sports.
When Jerry Perkins accepts induction into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in Portland on Sunday, he’ll be representing the other guys.
Perkins, a Brewer native who now lives in Orrington, has his share of the traditional credentials – particularly as a 192-pound tackle on the 1965 University of Maine football team that played in the Tangerine Bowl.
But the legacy that has earned him a place among the state’s top sports figures resides not on the gridiron, but on the mat.
Perkins was one of the state’s premier high school wrestling coaches during a 24-year career in Rumford, first at Stephens High School, then at Rumford High, and finally at the current Mountain Valley High School.
And while the individual nature of a Hall of Fame induction is gratifying, Perkins will accept it just as much for the extra exposure it provides a sport that typically rewards only the toughest and most tenacious.
“From what I understand I’m the first wrestling coach to be inducted, so the fact this gives recognition to the sport of high school wrestling is what I’m most proud of first and foremost,” said Perkins.
Perkins acquired his appreciation for the sport by circumstance rather than by design, as his connection with wrestling before becoming a head coach in 1967 was limited to an intramural program during his senior year at Brewer High and a college course he took at Maine.
But after landing a job as a teacher and an assistant football coach at Stephens High at the recommendation of his Maine line coach, Walter Abbott, Perkins soon learned the school’s fledgling wrestling program had a coaching vacancy, and he jumped at the opportunity.
“I just wanted to be a head coach,” he said.
What followed was the emergence of Rumford High School as one of the premier wrestling programs in the state – status that remains unchanged nearly four decades later at Mountain Valley, which formed from the merger of Rumford and Mexico high schools.
Perkins applied an old-school coaching style to an old-school sport, leading his teams to five Class A state titles and an overall dual-meet record of 472-73-7.
“I was pretty demanding,” he said, “but the kids responded well. We worked on the basics, and the kids worked their tails off during practice.”
Perkins admits coaching styles have changed since he coached at Rumford from 1970 to 1988 and at Mountain Valley from the 1994-95 season through 2001.
But what Perkins learned about the nature of wrestling and wrestlers back then remains largely the same.
“It’s a tough sport,” he said. “There’s hand-to-hand combat involved, and when a kid goes out on the mat he has nobody to blame but himself. Wrestling is very demanding.”
That’s a big reason wrestling likely will remain a niche sport both in the Maine high school ranks and beyond, but it’s also a big reason Perkins will relish the opportunity to give his sport some Hall of Fame recognition Sunday.
For not only will he represent himself during his acceptance speech, but also other legendary coaches such as Sanford’s John Caramihalis and Belfast’s Ted Heroux – not to mention all of the “other guys,” the many wrestlers who have persevered through this most challenging of sports to experience success in whatever way they measure it.
The Maine Sports Hall of Fame will induct its eight-member class of 2008 on June 1 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.
Here are the inductees:
Joanne Palombo McCallie was a standout basketball player at Brunswick High. Her first head-coaching job was at the University of Maine, where she coached eight seasons and had a record of 167-73. She then went to Michigan State and is now at Duke. Her career record is 341-158.
Jack Flynn was born in Dan-vers, Mass., and was one of the state's best football coaches at South Portland, where he went 112-72 with eight division titles from 1966-84. He later coached at Scarborough, where he led the Red Storm to the Class B state championship in 2002.
Charles Katsiaficas was born in Lowell, Mass., and arrived at Ellsworth High in 1951. His basketball teams there went 92-15 in five years, winning two state championships. He is best known for introducing man-to-man pressure defense and the one-handed push shot to Maine.
Jerry Perkins was perhaps the state's best-known wrestling coach. In a 28-year coaching career, his teams at Rumford High and later Mountain Valley High produced five state titles and nine second-place finishes. He coached 49 individual state champions.
Richard ''Sonny'' Conley was one of his era's best all-around athletes, starring in both basketball and baseball at Cheverus High in 1947 and 1948. He went on to become a highly-respected high school and college basketball official.
Arnold Biondi, born in Wilmer, Pa., came to Maine in 1957 as the golf pro at Augusta Country Club. He won many titles both in Maine and New England and also designed and built Springbrook Golf Club in Leeds.
Richard Desmarais is regarded as one of the finest athletes to ever come out of Sanford, where he was a 1956 graduate. He played football at Boston University and in the Canadian Football League for Ottawa.
Robert Hews was one of the finest defensive tackles to come out of the state, starring at South Portland (a 1966 grad) and Princeton. He later played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills.
The induction ceremony will begin with a social hour at 11 a.m., followed by dinner at noon. Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased by calling Bill Daviero at 899-0569.
While high school authorities continue to grapple over his medal status at the city championships, Tanner Piper wrestled at the provincial level on the weekend.
BY THE LEADER-POST (REGINA)
While high school authorities continue to grapple over his medal status at the city championships, Tanner Piper wrestled at the provincial level on the weekend.
Piper, who attends O'Neill High School, competed in the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association meet in Saskatoon despite being stripped of his silver medal -- at least temporarily -- following the Regina High Schools Athletic Association championships.
"It's contradictory, saying that, 'You're not the silver medallist but you can go to provincials,' '' said Piper, who finished fourth in the 90-kilogram boys division when the SHSAA meet concluded in Saskatoon.
"I'm kind of confused about everything and trying to figure out what's going on. Every day it changes, from one meeting to the next.''
The confusion arose Feb. 27, when the RHSAA championships concluded at Campbell Collegiate. That evening, Piper had conflicting athletic commitments and was forced to choose between wrestling in a gold-medal match and participating in a playoff game with Hockey Regina's junior C Bulldogs.
Piper opted for a compromise. Being that he had wrestled in two 90kg matches on Feb. 26 -- thereby qualifying for the final -- he sought to balance the scales by playing hockey the following evening.
Piper then approached O'Neill wrestling coach Ron Gonzales with the dilemma. Gonzales raised the matter Feb. 27 at the customary pre-finals meeting of the RHSAA's wrestling coaches -- none of whom voiced objections at the time.
Piper proceeded to forfeit his match against Balfour's Freddy Myers. Piper was content to settle for a silver medal -- which was awarded to the losing wrestler in each final -- and play hockey.
"I tried to disrupt the fewest people possible,'' Piper said. "All my buddies wanted me to come out and play hockey.''
Myers ended up with an automatic gold medal. Piper was given seven team points toward the team standings for placing second.
Following the meet, Balfour was awarded the city boys wrestling title. It was soon determined that the results had been miscalculated. Once the results were recalculated, O'Neill was ahead in the standings.
As it turned out, Piper's seven points were the difference between O'Neill and Balfour winning the city title.
The wrestling coaches from both schools -- Gonzales and Balfour's Ryan Bellamy -- consulted with RHSAA commissioner Greg Johnson with the goal of arriving at a solution. Gonzales and Bellamy came back to Johnson with the suggestion that a tie be declared in the boys' standings and that the championship be shared.
This compromise, while advanced by Bellamy, was not approved by Balfour administration (which consulted with the school's wrestlers and some of the parents). The wrestlers and parents felt a single champion should be declared.
Balfour then filed an appeal with the RHSAA executive. Balfour cited Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association rules, which specify that without an injury and a medical certificate, a wrestler should not collect points in the event of a forfeiture.
Balfour's appeal was upheld when the executive met and heard the cases of both schools Wednesday night. Therefore, Piper was stripped of his silver medal and the seven points, tipping the scale in Balfour's favor regarding the city boys title.
Even so, the executive invited Piper to compete at provincials on the weekend, when he ended up finishing one spot ahead of Myers.
O'Neill responded to the executive's decision by appealing to an independent board of review. That appeal has yet to be heard.
"It's so frustrating being caught in the middle and trying not to disappoint anyone,'' Piper said.
Balfour won the 4A boys team title at provincials, registering 51 points -- eight more than second-place O'Neill.
Johnson, Gonzales, Bellamy, Balfour Collegiate principal Murray Greenwood and O'Neill principal Dave Ripplinger declined to comment on the situation while it is under review.
"The school board is now involved,'' said Donna Ackerman, whose son Kirk is a four-time SHSAA champion. "During the appeal process, I'm sure they'll make the right decision. Until then, it's just too bad that the kids have had to wait this long to get this done.''
Highlights: Unbeaten against in-state competition for the past three seasons, Dubay captured his third consecutive Class B state championship. ''He's improved since he was a freshman,'' Caribou Coach Todd Albert said. ''What impressed me is he got better this year on his feet. He's always been a good leg wrestler, and this season he added something else.''
Matt Del Gallo
Highlights: Del Gallo has compiled a 70-0 record against in-state competition during his first two varsity seasons, and he captured his first Class A title after winning the Class B championships at the same weight as a freshman. ''He's real-laid back for a sophomore,'' Gardiner Coach Matt Hanley said. ''He's still learning and not afraid to try something new.''
Highlights: Smith went 44-0 to capture the Class A championship at 119 pounds, becoming one of 10 Maine wrestlers all-time to win four state titles. ''His work ethic's exceptional,'' Deering Coach Al Kirk said. ''His love for the sport is one of the best I've seen in my 40 years of coaching.''
Highlights: After finishing as runner-up at 125 a year ago, Clarke went 27-4 and won his first Class A title. ''He's a very hard-working and very determined wrestler,'' Sanford Coach John Caramihalis said. ''He pushes himself in practice and tries to wrestle aggressively the whole match.''
Mt. Blue, senior
Highlights: Compiling an overall record of 42-3, Webber claimed his second consecutive Class A state title after moving up one weight class. ''What makes him the wrestler he is is he's able to adapt to any situation,'' Mt. Blue Coach Bob O'Connor said. ''He hates to lose and he does not like being put on his back.''
Maine Central Institute, senior
Highlights: Posting a school-record 111 wins for his career, Goeway went 37-2 in his final season to capture his first Class B state championship. ''He is an exceptional wrestler who has competed against the best all four years,'' MCI Coach Mike Libby said. ''He hasn't won those big matches in the past, and this year he came through and won those big matches.''
Highlights: Unbeaten against in-state competition, Eon compiled a 40-2 record to win his third Class A state title at 140 pounds. ''He approaches everything full steam,'' Massabesic Coach Rick Derosier said. ''There's no stopping. When he's ready to go, he's ready to go. He's very intense on the mat.'
Highlights: Unbeaten while wrestling against in-state competition his last two seasons, Smith went 153-15 while winning three consecutive Class C state championships. ''He destroyed every single record we had here at the school,'' Dirigo Coach Doug Gilbert said. ''On the mat he is unrelenting.''
Bonny Eagle, sophomore
Highlights: Martin posted a 36-1 record to capture his first Class A state title after finishing third at 152 pounds as a freshman. ''He's a true wrestler, self-motivated and very passionate,'' Bonny Eagle Coach Brooks Clark said. ''He plays football, too, but this is what he loves to do.''
Highlights: Hussey compiled a 184-0 record against in-state competition in four seasons to become one of 10 wrestlers in Maine history to win four state championships. ''He has had so many things to overcome this year, and he's really stepped it up this year,'' Marshwood Coach Matt Rix said. ''He really came through as a leader.''
Highlights: While going unbeaten against in-state competition, Eon went 36-2 to capture his third consecutive Class A state title at 171 pounds. ''When he wrestles, he doesn't show emotion,'' Massabesic Coach Rick Derosier said. ''He just gets out there, and he just starts wrestling. He does exactly what he has to do.''
Highlights: After winning a Class B title at 160 pounds, Spencer has won two titles at 189. ''He's exceptionally quick for his size,'' Belfast Coach Teddy Heroux said. ''His skill level has got to be as high as any wrestler in the state.''
How We Did It
The Maine Sunday Telegram All-State wrestling team was selected based on results in the state meets, with input from coaches around the state.
Highlights: Despite missing the first five weeks of the season with a torn hamstring, Delisle went 25-0 to capture his first Class A state championship. ''Raistlin is a unique person,'' Kennebunk Coach Josh Stone said. ''He looks at a lot of tapes from his matches and looks where he can correct mistakes.''
Cape Elizabeth, junior
Highlights: Lavallee, who trains with the Scarborough team because Cape Elizabeth doesn't have a wrestling team, went 33-1 while winning his second consecutive Class A championship. ''Nate is an exceptionally hard worker.'' Scarborough Coach Phil Hamilton said. ''When he makes up his mind on a goal, he does everything he can to achieve that goal.''
Coach of the Year
Highlights: The Lions captured their first Class B state title in 13 years. It was the squad's seventh state championship under Heroux, who has been the wrestling coach at Belfast for all but three years since 1965. ''I'm kind of a happy-go-lucky guy,'' he said. ''I don't take it too hard when my kids lose a match. We just try to build on it and improve their skills. I never yell at a kid. I never put a kid down.''
When Carlin Dubay of Caribou scored a 12-6 decision against Cam Sullivan, the New Hampshire champion, in the final of the 103-pound class at last weekend's New England wrestling tournament in Lowell, Mass., he capped a remarkable season.
Not only did Dubay become only the fifth Maine wrestler to win a New England championship since Maine returned to the competition 10 years ago following a 20-year hiatus, but he also became the lone Maine wrestler to finish the season with a totally unblemished record.
A three-time Class B state champion at 103, the lightest of the 14 weight classes in high school wrestling, Dubay is the first Caribou wrestler to amass more than 100 wins during his career. He set the bar high for the Vikings. Dubay finished with a 162-12 record, with eight of those losses during his first varsity season as a freshman.
Dubay, who won all 54 of his matches during his final high school season, is the Maine Sunday Telegram/Portland Press Herald's most valuable wrestler.
''Winning in wrestling was just an unbelievable feeling, more than in other sports, especially in the states and New Englands,'' Dubay said. ''Unlike other sports you don't really have to rely on anybody else. I like that aspect of just nobody else but me.''
However, Dubay is more than a little guy who has found his athletic niche in wrestling. He prides himself on being a well-rounded athlete.
Dubay played fullback for the Caribou soccer team and has competed in track and field in the sprints and jumps. Last spring he added the pole vault to his repertoire, and has a personal best of 10 feet, 6 inches in the event.
''I'm an all-around athlete and I like to challenge myself with different sports,'' he said.
''I loved wrestling right off and I was good at it, so I kept doing it.''
Dubay was introduced to wrestling in the sixth grade and competed as a 69-pounder in his three seasons in middle school.
''He's always been small, quick and smart,'' Caribou Coach Todd Albert said. ''If you're not a big guy, you have to be quick and smart to make up for it, and tough.''
Dubay may have been at his toughest during the New Englands, where he dominated his four opponents on the way to his title.
''In two of the matches he was taken down but he came back with reversals, putting kids on their backs,'' Albert said. ''He had kids on their backs on all four of his matches.''
Dubay's strengths on the mat are easy to spot.
''He has good balance, good quickness and he reacts well, and he doesn't like to lose,'' Albert said. ''He's not a good loser, so he tries not to.''
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 386-0346 or at: