> 2017 Hall of Fame Induction
Saturday 19th August Hyde School Bath, ME beginning at 4pm

2017 Inductees and Award Winners are in!! For More information follow the link below.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tomaszewski competes in Maine/Nebraska series

Earlier this week Wells High School wrestling standout Vanya Tomaszewski was honored as one of 16 wrestlers chosen to represent the state during the annual Maine-Nebraska friendship wrestling series.
The tournament was held at York High School on Monday and was the beginning of a seven-day event for the team from Nebraska. The event is in its 25th year and Nebraska won 14 of the 16 matches on Monday. The only winner of the team from Maine was York's Billy Gauthier, and one match ended in a tie.
The Maine team is made up of wrestlers from eight different schools in southern Maine and New Hampshire. Tomaszewski, a two-time state champion at 112 pounds, was thrilled to have the chance to wrestle against somebody from out of state.
"I'm pretty excited about this," Tomaszewski said. "I'm trying something new. I'm wrestling against kids that wrestle year-round."
Tomaszewski hadn't wrestled competitively since the New England Championships in the winter when he went 1-3. He did compete in high school track over the spring and wrestled a little bit. In track, he did the pole vault, javelin and ran the 100-meter dash. Tomaszewski said he hurt his back during the track season, but was 100 percent on Monday night.
"It's just in you," Tomaszewski said. "When it comes time you're ready to wrestle."
Tomaszewski just finished his sophomore year at Wells and eventually hopes to wrestle in college. An experience like wrestling against kids from Nebraska, a state known for its high-level of wrestling, can only go a long way in helping him accomplish that goal.
The team from Nebraska will travel throughout the state and wrestles different teams during the week.
The tournament alternates each year from Nebraska to Maine, and next year, Maine will travel to Nebraska and do the tour, wrestling at several schools in that state.
Tomaszewski hopes to be on that roster.
"That's what I'm hoping to do," Tomaszewski said.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mike Brown Goes From Tiny To Terror

The kid was mad at himself. The first punch had already landed, and he hadn't seen it coming. Now, his heart was racing and the adrenaline was coursing through his body. The crowd was already gathering, the fight was on, and 93-pound Mike Brown–freshman at Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, Maine–was in a terrible position: behind the masses. In high school, size matters; and on this day it worked in his favor. Brown weaved and squirmed his way through his schoolmates, ending in his customary position: front and center for the scrap.

From a young age, Brown was fascinated by fighting. Even now, as the WEC featherweight champion, he has trouble pinpointing exactly what it is that drew him to fighting and to mixed martial arts in particular. But one thing he knows is this: the sport’s hold on him was magnetic.
He cannot escape its pull. Six days a week, for up to 10 or 11 hours a day, he can be found at American Top Team’s main gym in Coconut Creek, Fla. When you jokingly ask him why he isn't there 7 days, he earnestly responds, “We’re closed on Sundays.”
Brown does everything there. He sells memberships, he works the front desk. If you call the gym right now, there is a good chance he will answer the phone. *The 145-pound king of the sport* *answers the front desk phone!*
“It’s one of the reasons we like him so much,” says ATT manager Richie Guerriero. “Nothing changes with him. He still drives the same piece-of-shit car. He’s a regular Joe and an awesome teammate. I think that’s the reason everyone here was so happy for him to win the title. He’s so humble and he deserves it.”
As a kid, Brown himself couldn't have predicted his own athletic rise. He was always watching fights from the safety of distance, whether it was on a schoolyard or through television, until he had a conversation with his high school friend Chris Brooks. By that time, Brown–self-admittedly “tiny” as a freshman–had come to the realization that he not only lacked the size to be a professional athlete, but he was also too small for the high school sports he’d hoped to play.
Brooks, however, was going out for the wrestling team, and told Brown that with weight classes, he could compete fairly with kids his size. That was true in theory, but not in practice. Brown made the team as a freshman, but he was too small for even the lightest weight class.
After toiling with the junior varsity as a .500 wrestler as a frosh, something clicked, and Brown started winning on the varsity level. By his junior year he captured the state championship in the 112-pound class. The next year, he moved up two weight classes to 125 pounds and finished second in the state.
“It was kind of like fighting, but with rules,” he says. “You were trying to dominate the other person. It was hard work, but I just thought it was fun.” Equal to his love of wrestling was his hatred of school. His grades were always on the edge of disaster, and he graduated with a 1.8 GPA. After graduating, he took odd jobs, partied and generally lacked ambition. But after a couple of years and during a quiet moment, he grew disgusted by his lack of ambition and pledged to change.
Brown enrolled at Norwich University, mainly because it satisfied his most important criteria: it had a wrestling team and a Jiu-Jitsu club. Brown, who was already in his early 20s, was suddenly overcome by a sense of maturity and ambition. Now, sports weren't the only thing that mattered; academics were also driving him. Semester after semester, he was making the Dean’s List, earning A’s while majoring in biology.
“I think I had a drive to prove I wasn't stupid,” he says. “I wanted to prove, ‘I can do well if I want to. And part of it was the competitiveness factor. I wanted to have the best grades in the class. I made it a game, and I always wanted to win.”
But while he was finding himself academically, his athletic self was facing a crisis. During his freshman year, he suffered a neck injury that caused him to lose 70% of the strength in his left arm. The problem required surgery, but long after the recommended recovery period had elapsed, Brown would suffer stingers, a burning pain that traveled down his arm and into his fingers. The stingers would last for 6 or 7 weeks and were sometimes so painful they would literally cause him to cry.
The recurring problem cost him most of his collegiate wrestling career but eventually stopped, likely because the scar tissue from the surgery had broken up.
Around the time he was getting ready to graduate (he finished with a 3.88 GPA), his college roommate Gunnar Olson was scouring the popular site and saw a post looking for northeast-based fighters. As they recall it, Olson was the more gun-ho of the two, but Brown agreed to try. In April 2001, Brown made his debut. He fought Jeff Darienzo and won by key-lock. “I was such a big MMA fan that more than anything, I was just doing it just to say I did it,” he says. “When I actually won, I was almost euphoric.”
After losing to Hermes Franca in his third pro fi ght, he won seven in a row and was invited to the UFC, where he would face Genki Sudo at UFC 47. Brown walked around right at the 155-pound limit and had only been fi ghting for 3 years. Sudo, meanwhile, was a respected veteran of Pancrase, RINGS, and the UFC. Brown lost via arm-bar/triangle in the first round. He wasn't invited back by the UFC and returned to the regional circuit for his next match, where he lost to future star Joe Lauzon. Brown was crushed. For the first time, he considered quitting. “I thought, ‘Maybe I’m not as good as I thought I was,’ “ he said. “I didn't want to be the guy losing eight fights in a row.”
But his next fight had already been scheduled, and he didn't want to back out. He beat Renato Tavares. Back on track. With that, Brown began a streak in which he won nine of his next 10 bouts, leading to a contract with the WEC. In his debut fight, he earned a unanimous decision win over respected veteran Jeff Curran. Brown, who by then was training at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla, was offered the biggest fi ght of his life: a title bout with WEC’s poster boy Urijah Faber.
The two are philosophical opposites in MMA. While Faber reflects his West Coast roots with a fl ashy and free-wheeling approach, Brown is a blue-collar East Coaster who is less about imagination and more about results. In results, however, they had more in common; Faber entered the fight on a 13-match win streak while Brown had won seven straight. Faber entered the fight a 3-1 favorite.
It was Faber’s improvisational style that betrayed him and Brown’s straightforward approach that proved the decisive factor. Just 2 minutes in, off a scramble against the cage, Faber decided to throw a spinning back elbow while Brown went with a more traditional straight right. Brown landed first, flush against Faber’s chin. The champ went down; the challenger followed him to the mat, pummeled him with 10 unanswered punches, and scored one of the biggest upsets of the year. His win over Faber wrote his place in history, but Brown says he has more to give to the sport. The 33-year-old hopes to fight 3 to 4 more years, and then get involved in coaching or managing.
He was once that kid on the playground, too small to mix it up. When he was weaving and squirming his way to the front, he wasn't getting a better view of the fight; he was moving toward his destiny.