ANNOUONCEMENTS

> 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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 Hall of Fame Inductee: Mark Stevens

By Bob mcPhee

LISBON FALLS-Soon after Mark Stevens began coaching wrestling at Lisbon High School he was introduced to one fact of life that was never taken for granted and carried on through out a successful career.

Stevens has achieved the ultimate recognition by being selected as the 2014 National Coach of the Year by Wrestling USA Magazine. Additionally, he will be inducted in to the Maine Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame, August 2 at the Hyde School in Bath.

In 1998, a young inexperienced team was intimidated prior to a dual meet against an experienced Mountain Valley team who indeed schooled the Greyhounds.   

''We  lost  the match that night but as we were leaving, I recall what (hall of Fame) Coach (Jerry) Perkins said to me,'' Stevens said, Perkins said "Mark, your wrestlers have good hand shakes". ''At first, I wondered if I should have been offended, by his comment, but after a year or two, I  realized what he meant.''

Later, then MV assistant Gary Dolloff informed Stevens what message had been conveyed because Lisbon Wrestlers would be beating teams on mats, in just a matter of time.  Those words came true faster than anyone from Lisbon imagined, beginning in December of 2000, when a team of " no names" placed a close second at the McDonalds Tourney just shy of Class A state champion Noble. 

''I recall that I wasn't too aware of how to keep team scores that year,''Stevens said, shocked when they announced Lisbon as runner ups, ''I was in disbelief, I was overwhelmed with emotion and couldn't bring myself to go down to get the trophy.'' 

It was the start of historic run, Lisbon has won seven team state titles (2001-2002-2003-2006-2008-2009-2010) and three state runner ups, while having won over 250 dual meets. The smaller Greyhounds competed in some of the most competitive  tournaments in Maine, such as the Spartan, Noble, Atlantic, Kennebunk Duals (8-time team Champions), Several Mid State league and Regional Championships.

Since 1998, Lisbon has won 54 individual championships; five Outstanding wrestlers, dozens of 2X state champions,  6 -  3X state champions and one 4 X state champion. The program have so many trophies/plaques and awards, that Lisbon High School doesn't have enough room in the trophy case. 

''What Lisbon Wrestlers have accomplished in the past 17 years has been truly amazing,'' Stevens said, who had won a state championship for Lisbon, in 1982. ''The trophies are nice but nothing compared to the unforgettable memories and experiences we shared.  Those wrestlers, parents and coaches who have been apart of this journey have some great stories to tell.'' 

Lisbon benefitted from having several brother combinations and strong relationships that have been built, and the Life lessons that have been learned through the experiences the past two decades are priceless.  

''It was always about building "champion kids" not just champion wrestlers,'' Stevens said.  ''Wrestling teaches kids more about themselves than most teams sports.  The corner stones of our sports are respect, character and discipline, those kids who learned the sport  in Lisbon, took home the cornerstones that would prepare them for life.''  

Stevens credits his wife Gretchen and family for helping to keep life in perspective through out this incredible journey. When Amanda, McKayla and Zach (who recently won a third state crown) were young, all they knew was daddy was gone wrestling. When Stevens would get home they would greet him at the door asking to see the trophies. That  continued for years and Stevens realized that winning was now an expectation. After having finished fifth in a tough tournament out of state, oldest daughter Amanda said, ''daddy your team isn't good anymore?   

''I realized that there was a sort of curse with the success we had,''Stevens said. ''meaning it was more news when we lost than when we won. That took some time getting used to, but figured it was how our wrestling world was.''

Wrestling was a way of life, it became Stevens identity and coaching other families kids become champions was a great honor. But watching Zach win his third state title this year was a moment the elder Stevens will cherish for a lifetime. 


''Not only that he won,'' Stevens said. ''But that he and so many others  were beginning to realize their potential in life as young men through this great sport, and that I was so fortunate to have been a part of it.''

Anyone who knows anything about building a team like Lisbon Wrestling realizes it takes a community, not just one person. That includes being surrounded by good human beings- assistants Bob Earle and Ted Albasini- both have coached over ten years.  Earle who retired in 2007, was National Assistant Coach of the Year for USA Wrestling Magazine.                        

"I have a lifetime of gratitude to give to Bob and Ted,'' Stevens said, who also credited former athletic director Jeff Ramich who saw something in program. ''Bob was a life cheerleader , always making me feel like I am doing the right thing. When I would make a decision that was not the right one, he would gently say, coach you sure you want to do that?  Ted also has been one of the most selfless, committed and honest men I have known. Our families have been our backbone of our wrestling community.''

Monday, May 26, 2014

2014 Maine - Nebraska Series Schedule

Skowhegan 
Wednesday June 25

Foxcroft 
Friday June 27

Ellsworth 
Sunday June 29

Marshwood 
Tuesday July 1

NOTE
No start times have been made available yet in most cases in the past these begin about 5 or 6pm

Thursday, May 22, 2014

ATHLETE’S ANGLE: Cony senior looks back, ahead

Isaac Gingras, who played football, lacrosse and wrestled for the Rams, is glad he made the most of his time on high school teams.

By Isaac Gingras 

Special To The Kennebec Journal
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of columns from area student-athletes who will share their perspectives from the sports they play. This week’s guest is Cony senior Isaac Gingras, who competed on the school’s football, wrestling and lacrosse teams.


As I write this my senior year is in full swing — and so is my last high school sports season. Memories and lessons are flooding back to me.
Everything through the last four years has helped me grow into the young man I am now. From winning the Class B state championship in football last fall (a 30-23 victory over Kennebunk), to wrestling junior varsity, to trying to win a lacrosse game. My coaches have had a big influence on me; the lessons I learned are invaluable.
The most valuable one I’ve learned is to never quit. My whole life — since I started playing football in the second grade, anyway — lead to one moment, one night: Nov 22, 2013.
It was the Class B state title game against Kennebunk at the University of Maine.
Not only would I be playing for the Gold Ball, I would also be playing my last high school football game. The seniors had worked extremely hard to get to where we were, but we came up short and trailed at the half. During halftime our starters got together before the coaches came in to talk to us.
We sat there as teammates and discussed what we had to do: Go back out to Morse Field and focus on our game. I had been playing with a large majority of my teammates since I was a little skipper, running around chasing other kids in flag football. I had complete faith in my teammates and I never had a doubt in my mind we would come back.
One of the most memorable plays of that game came at the hands of fellow captain John Bennett. We were down a point with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter when Kennebunk’s star running back, Nicco DeLorenzo, broke away for what seemed like a long touchdown run. I remember running down the field and watching Bennett chase DeLorenzo down from behind at the 3-yard line. Kennebunk fumbled on the next play and we recovered the ball on the 1-yard line
The resulting drive is sure to go down in Maine high school football history. We drove 99 yards in 3 minutes, 45 seconds. The end result was a touchdown pass from Ben Lucas to Jon Saban with a minute left in the game that helped give us a 30-23 lead. We started the drive slowly but once we started rolling we weren’t going to be stopped.
We kicked the ball off to Kennebunk, but its last drive ended when Reid Shostak intercepted a pass thrown by Kennebunk quarterback Nick Emmons.
The very next play turned out to be my last in a high school football game: A quarterback kneel-down. With that, we won the state championship. The pure elation that sunk in after my final snap to Lucas was overwhelming. We accomplished the goal that we had been working on since we were young and chasing each other’s flags on Alumni Field.
Besides the lessons I took away from football, I've taken just as much away from wrestling and lacrosse.
Last year, as a junior, was my first on the mats. Friends, coaches and teachers talked me into it and I figured I might as well wrestle since I didn't have much else to do.
However, I was one of the two 285-pound weight class wrestlers on the team. I didn't really know what I was doing but I showed up to practice every day. Even though I didn't wrestle varsity much and I never placed in a tournament, I loved my time with the team. Everyone was extremely supportive and wanted to see me succeed.
Wrestling really helped me learn about being a good teammate. I made sure that my fellow wrestler and friend, Elias Younes, worked hard every day. I challenged him and made him better each time we stepped on the mat together. I was overjoyed when I watched him place first in the Eastern A tournament last season.
Lacrosse at Cony has never really been a powerhouse program, but I take as much away from it as anything else. I learned to never give up and to just work on getting better no matter the situation.
Every time you step onto the field you have a choice: You can either work on improving or just mess around and do nothing to get better. I've made the realistic goal to work on getting better every time I’m on the field, whether it’s stopping a hard shot I couldn't the day before or just trying to get more accurate.
High school sports created a truly amazing environment to learn and improve as a person. It’s weird thinking that I’m only weeks away from graduation and that my high school athletic career is over. For me, there isn't a crystallizing moment when I realized it was coming to an end.
It’s all the little things. From competing in the senior “Fatty Olympics” (punt, pass, and kick competition for senior linemen), to taking the last bus rides to games with my teammates. Every time you walk on to the field, mat, court, diamond or track as a high school athlete is special.
I’m just glad I made the most of it.

Gary Kent Memorial Academic Scholarship

Application for MAWA Academic Scholarship is attached. Please CLICK HERE to access the Academic scholarship. Grades are more important than mat achievements. Any Maine senior wrestler or manager is encouraged to apply. The deadline for submission of the application is May 30th 2014.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Staying on top: There's no let-up in Marshwood's Hughes

By Mike Whaley
mwhaley@fosters.com

Picture
For the third straight year, Marshwood High School’s Cody Hughes has been named Foster’s wrestler of the year. (Whaley/Democrat photo)

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — If you think that three-time Foster’s wrestler of the year Cody Hughes is sitting fat and happy and resting on his laurels — well then guess again, my friend.

The Marshwood High School junior is coming off a season that saw him go 54-1, which included leading the Hawks to their third straight Class A title. Hughes won his third consecutive state individual crown, this one at 160 pounds, and suffered his only loss in the New England 160 final, 2-1, in overtime.

“With me in wrestling, I try to walk in and make sure I get better every day,” Hughes said. “I want to make sure I improve every time I step on the mat. If I start to fall behind, that’s when people start to catch up. I don’t want people to catch up. I don’t want to fall behind. I want to stay on top. It’s not an easy thing to do.”

Not easy, but Hughes has managed to do it for three years because he trains relentlessly and will not settle for second. He has a career record of 142-5 and is unbeaten in Maine. He has a shot of breaking the school record for career wins of 194 held by 2007 graduate Jon Hussey, and has an outside chance at becoming the first Marshwood wrestler to crest 200 career wins. 

Picture
Cody Hughes was unbeaten in Maine this past season and led Marshwood to its third straight Class A title. He has been named Foster’s wrestler of the year. (Whaley/Democrat photo)
Hughes has been at the forefront of Marshwood’s rise to supremacy in Maine high school wrestling. The Hawks entered last season minus a strong graduating senior class, but they had three returning state champs in Hughes, Jackson Howarth and Brett Gerry.

That trio, along with a group of former JVs who made the best of their varsity chance, plus the addition of talented freshman Bradley Beaulieu, added up to another Class A crown with 179 points to 127 for runner-up Massabesic.

Five Marshwood wrestlers won state titles. Including Hughes, four will return next season, making Marshwood’s shot at a fourth straight title well within the realm of possibility.

Hughes was so dominant in Maine, that coach Matt Rix said, “I was just trying to keep him motivated and not bored.”

While Hughes was having his way with his in-state competition, he found that his toughest competition, outside of the New Englands, was right at home.

“The toughest competition was in our own room really,” he said. “Every day I’m wrestling with the 152 state champ and the 182 state champ. ... We just all wrestled with each other. It really helps. By the end of the year we all gained from it.” 

Expectations were high for Hughes and for the Hawks. Hughes felt they kept it in the proper perspective.

“If you surround yourself with good people who are going to make you work hard, then good things are going to happen,” he said. “Coach Rix kind of sets the mood. He makes sure everyone is in a good place at that time. You don’t want to go into the regional tournament, the state tournament or the New England tournament worrying about other things. You just want to be worried about yourself.”

For Hughes the mind-set is a relentless attack to break down his opponent as quickly as possible.

“I’m going to score points,” he said. “I’m going to get a takedown. I’m going to turn him. I’m going to turn him. I’m going to pin him. If I get on bottom, I’m going to get an escape. I’ll get a reversal. You go in to score points; create the opportunities to score points.”

As much as Hughes has accomplished, he has not reached one of his major goals, which is to win a New England title. In the 160-pound final in March against long-time nemesis Jonathan Viruet of Springfield (Mass.) Cathedral High School, Hughes lost painfully in the final four seconds of overtime. 

Viruet and Hughes have been wrestling each other since they were in middle school and Hughes contends they are as close to even as two wrestlers can be record-wise, but very different when it comes to style.

“He’s pretty strong and he likes to plan stuff a little bit and slow things down,” Hughes said. “I’m an on-the-go type. I like to go, go, go.”

Viruet was able to slow the match down to his liking and it was tied at 1-1 after regulation.

“I really couldn’t get my offense going in neutral,” Hughes said. “I wasn’t able to hold him down.”

Each wrestler in overtime was given 30 seconds on the bottom. In the first OT, Viruet held Hughes for 30 seconds.

With the roles reversed, Viruet was on the bottom and Hughes rode him out of bounds with four seconds to play. In the restart in the middle, Viruet got a quick escape for the winning point — the first and only loss of the season for Hughes.

“It was just like that,” Hughes said. “It was fast — really fast. That was a tough one; knowing you’re right there.” 

“I see that four seconds in my head a lot,” coach Rix said. “(Cody) took his two hands and covered his face. He didn’t expect a move that quick off the whistle. It was one of those matches — it was that close.”

Winning a New England title remains a goal that keeps Hughes hungry and driven.

“It’s something I keep working for,” he said. “It’s been a goal for a while.”

At the NHSCA High School National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Va., in late March, Hughes was third in the junior division (national tournaments are not counted on the Marshwood records) at 152 pounds. He lost in the semis, 3-1, to a two-time state champ from New Mexico.

“Same deal, I know what I need to improve on,” Hughes said. “He caught me with one quick little move and that was a takedown. It feels good when you’re doing it. It doesn’t feel too good when it’s happening to you.”

Hughes wrestled back to take third.

With his senior season in sight, Hughes has some unfinished business to settle, and a potential college career in sight. Already some colleges are starting to show some interest. 

“I’m just going to keep competing and proving to myself that I’m ready for the college level,” he said. “It really is just a different level from high school to college. It just is. The intensity is just that much more.” 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

USM's DEUPREE TO COMPETE ON A US WORLD TEAM!

Hello everyone, 

NCAA Regional Champion, NCAA National Qualifier Jon Deupree has been invited to represent the United States in an international wrestling meet competing in Istanbul, Turkey (Instanbul), Bulgaria (Sophia), Romania (Bucharest) and France (Paris) from May 27-June 9th.

He needed to raise $3000. for the trip and is approx $1000. short of his goal. He has created a fundraising account with gofundme.com; please check it out and please consider donating if you are in the position to. This is a well deserved honor and a chance in a lifetime trip for Jonathan!

Thank you! 

Coach Pistone and Jonathan Deupree

http://www.gofundme.com/Wrestlingtrip

-J. Pistone

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dual meet against a HS NY Team during the USM Wrestling Camp

Hello coaches, I hope all is well and you are enjoying your well deserved time off from your seasons.

Middletown High School out of New York is looking to dual a Maine team while they are attending camp at USM from July 22-25th. Is there any team interested in compting in a dual against them? They have all High School weight classes covered and we would want to have the same. ONLY HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLERS!

Middletown is located right in the Hudson Valley, in the corner of PA, NJ and NY and have some really tough kids; a few years ago, I coordinated a Maine All Star team to compete against them in a dal and they pulled out the victory against many of Maine's best.

This is a great opportunity for some team bonding. Let me know if you are interested. Due to the time constraints with camp and facilities, we will only have (1) dual meet during camp. Please let me know immediately if you are interested.

Oh, and this dual meet would be free!  :)

J. Pistone
USM Head Wrestling Coach


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lacey overcomes broken hand, wins on NEF XIII mixed martial arts card

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

Phil Exner (left) fights Mike Crespo during the New England Fights mixed martial arts card in Lewiston on Saturday. Crespo won the 145-pound matchup.
Daryn Slover/Sun Journal
Phil Exner (left) fights Mike Crespo during the New England Fights mixed martial arts card in Lewiston on Saturday. Crespo won the 145-pound matchup.
Dan Connaughton, right, bears down on Crowsneck Boutin during the 190-pound match up in Lewiston on Saturday. Boutin won by knockout.
Daryn Slover/Sun Journal
Dan Connaughton, right, bears down on Crowsneck Boutin during the 190-pound match up in Lewiston on Saturday. Boutin won by knockout.
Carl Langston, left, fights Sheldon Bang of Auburn during a 145- pound matchup in Lewiston on Saturday. Bang won his debut fight by unanimous decision.
Daryn Slover/Sun Journal
Carl Langston, left, fights Sheldon Bang of Auburn during a 145- pound matchup in Lewiston on Saturday. Bang won his debut fight by unanimous decision.
Chad Jordan celebrates after winning by knockout against Mike Robinson during the 165-pound matchup.
Daryn Slover/Sun Journal
Chad Jordan celebrates after winning by knockout against Mike Robinson during the 165-pound matchup.
Sheldon Bang of Auburn wins by unanimous decision during his debut fight against Carl Langston during the New England Fights in Lewiston on Saturday.
Daryn Slover/Sun Journal
Sheldon Bang of Auburn wins by unanimous decision during his debut fight against Carl Langston during the New England Fights in Lewiston on Saturday.
LEWISTON, Maine — Such is the adrenaline rush for mixed martial arts competitors during their bout that Aaron Lacey was unaware he had suffered an apparent broken right hand Saturday night until he used it to strike his way to victory.
Lacey scored a three-round unanimous decision over Dom Cofone in one of the featured amateur bouts on the NEF XIII mixed martial arts card at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, then went to a local hospital to learn the extent of his injury..
Lacey (4-1) won all three rounds — and the third most convincingly — in bouncing back from his only loss, a three-round decision to unbeaten Matt Tullos in Salem, New Hampshire on April 4.
Cofone (4-4) of Windham tried to keep the bout, fought at a catchweight of 150 pounds, at close quarters to capitalize on his wrestling background. But Lacey was more effective at creating space for his striking game early despite suffering the apparent broken hand in the first round.
Cofone scored takedowns at the start and end of the second round, but Lacey’s stand-up game dominated most of the round. Then it was Lacey who scored a takedown early in the third round and spent the remainder of the bout attacking from back control.
The Lacey-Cofone bout was one of 10 amateur contests on the 15-fight card that was to be headlined by a battle for the NEF Maine state welterweight championship between Gil de Freitas and “The” Ryan Sanders.
Their fight was a rematch of a battle for the title nearly two years ago, when de Freitas, a Brazilian now fighting out of Ludlow, Massachusetts, scored a five-round unanimous decision victory over Sanders, a Brewer resident who trains at Young’s MMA of Bangor.
De Freitas (15-5) has fought just once since that victory, while Sanders (6-4) used a victory over former UFC contender Marcus Davis earlier this year to earn his return match with de Freitas.
The NEF XIII undercard also marked a big night for the Bang family of Auburn.
Steven Bang, fighting out of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, improved his record to 3-1 with a third-round stoppage of Winterport’s Jeremy Tyler in their lightweight amateur bout.
Bang’s younger brother Sheldon — still a senior at Edward Little High School in Auburn — was a winner in his MMA debut as he scored a unanimous decision over Carl Langston.
Steven Bang took control of his bout against Tyler in the second round after escaping a guillotine choke-hold attempt by his Team Irish opponent. Bang gained front control and then back control to close out the second round, then scored a quick takedown in the final three-minute round before ending the fight with a rear naked choke 54 seconds into the period.
The loss ended a four-fight winning streak for Tyler, now 4-2.
Sheldon Bang, Maine’s 2014 Class A 132-pound high school wrestling state champion, used his grappling expertise to offset Langston’s striking and kicking. Bang scored takedowns to control the action in the first and third rounds while Langston won the middle round with a succession of strikes and kicks.
Meanwhile, Tyler’s older brother Jarrod Tyler scored his second straight victory with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Jason LaChance in their 155-pound bout.
Tyler (2-1) used his upper-body strength to control the first two rounds, registering several takedowns that proved crucial to the victory as LaChance rallied with some powerful kicks to win the final round.
All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for the Team Irish fighter.
Zach Elkins of Fleming Island, Florida, scored perhaps the biggest win among the amateur bouts with a first-round stoppage of Ashland native Buck “Knuckles” Pineau of the Choi Institute of Portland.
Pineau (7-3) entered the bout as the top-ranked amateur middleweight in New England, but Elkins (12-5) punched his way to a technical knockout at 1:25 of the opening round.
Lubec native Crowsneck Boutin, a regular on NEF cards, improved his amateur record to 5-6 with a one-punch knockout of Dan Connaghton at 42 seconds of the first round. The two 190-pounders were battling for position early in the round when Boutin, now fighting out of the Choi Institute, connected with a short right hand that ended the bout almost immediately.
Dustin Veinott of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Auburn also scored a one-punch knockout in his 125-pound bout against Dan Thayer of the Choi Institute. Veinott’s fight-ender was a left hand to the chin of a retreating Thayer just 25 seconds into the match.
And Norman Fox of MMA Athletix in Brunswick improved his record to 3-0, stopping Mike Brown of the North Shore (Massachusetts) Muay Thai Academy with a guillotine choke at 2:04 of the opening round.

It was right there and slipped through my hands’: Brewer fighter defeated in MMA title bout

Ryan Sanders (left) of Brewer battles Gil de Freitas of Ludlow, Massachusetts, during a mixed martial arts title bout on the New England Fights XIII card Saturday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Ryan Sanders (left) of Brewer battles Gil de Freitas of Ludlow, Massachusetts, during a mixed martial arts title bout on the New England Fights XIII card Saturday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.  LMP Photos

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff
LEWISTON, Maine — The rematch was much more competitive, but the result was the same Saturday night as Gil de Freitas retained his Maine mixed martial arts welterweight title with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Brewer’s “The” Ryan Sanders.
The five-round, 25-minute bout capped off the 15-fight New England Fights XIII show held before an estimated 1,650 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
De Freitas dominated the proceedings when he originally won the title and defeated Sanders by unanimous decision at NEF IV on Sept. 8, 2012.
The rematch was closer, though all three judges scored the fight 49-46 for the Brazilian who fights out of Ludlow, Massachusetts.
“I let my hands go, I rocked him and felt great, but then he was able to implement his game plan and get me to the ground,” said Sanders, 6-5 as a professional. “I honestly thought I could compete with him on the ground and hold my own, but he was just so strong and was able to hold me down.
“When I got to my feet, I was winning with the striking, but I started to hesitate and think. The human part of my brain took over from the animal part. In the first round, I was in beast mode and felt great. It was right there and slipped through my hands.”
Sanders not only won the first round on the judges’ scorecards by controlling the action from a standing position, but the Young’s MMA fighter also inflicted a cut near de Freitas’ right eye.
But de Freitas regrouped between rounds and began using his upper-body strength and some punishing kicks to take charge beginning in the second round.
Sanders was a willing counter-attacker with his back on the mat and escaped from several takedowns, but the bout grew more in style to their first meeting 19 months earlier with de Freitas spending most of the later rounds on top, smothering Sanders and landing a succession of strikes to the body.
Sanders mounted one final bid in the final minute, reversing de Freitas into a guillotine choke attempt, but the champion escaped and improved his professional record to 16-5.
“He tried some different things this time, I felt the fight was really tough,” said de Freitas through an interpreter. “This time, he tried to put me down a few times, and the last fight, I was putting him down.”
None of the other four professional bouts went the distance.
Devin Powell scored a 24-second stoppage of Team Irish’s Jon Lemke by a guillotine choke in the co-main event. The finish to the lightweight bout was set up when Powell used a high kick to Lemke’s right temple to score a quick knockdown.
Powell improved to 3-1, while Lemke fell to 3-2 with his second straight defeat.
Amos Collins of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, secured his second victory in six professional fights, forcing John “First Class” Raio to tap out with just two seconds left in the five-minute first round of their 150-pound clash with an arm triangle.
The loss ended a two-fight winning streak for the popular postal worker, who is 2-5.
Auburn lightweight Jesse Erickson required just 36 seconds to stop John Daniels with a rear naked choke, and Brazilian Rodrigo Ranieri de Faria stopped Jay Jay Torres with an armbar at 2:01 of the first round in a battle of 140-pounders making their pro debuts.
Among the amateur bouts, Aaron Lacey fought through an apparent broken right hand suffered during the first round to score a three-round unanimous decision over Windham’s Dom Cofone.
Lacey (4-1) won all three rounds — the third round most convincingly — in rebounding from his only loss, a three-round decision to unbeaten Matt Tullos in Salem, New Hampshire, on April 4.
Cofone (4-4) of Windham tried to keep the bout, fought at a catchweight of 150 pounds, at close quarters to capitalize on his wrestling background. But Lacey was more effective at creating space for his striking game despite suffering the apparent broken hand early in the match.
The NEF XIII undercard also marked a big night for the Bang family of Auburn.
Steven Bang, fighting out of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, improved to 3-1 with a third-round stoppage of Winterport’s Jeremy Tyler in their lightweight amateur bout.
Bang’s younger brother Sheldon Bang — a senior at Edward Little High School in Auburn — was a winner in his MMA debut as he scored a unanimous decision over Carl Langston.
Steven Bang gained control of his bout in the second round after escaping a guillotine choke-hold attempt by Tyler, 4-2 after having his four-fight win streak ended. Bang then scored a quick takedown in the final round before ending the fight with a rear naked choke 54 seconds into the period.
Sheldon Bang, Maine’s 2014 132-pound Class A high school wrestling state champion, used his grappling expertise to offset Langston’s striking and kicking while winning the first and third rounds.
Meanwhile, Tyler’s older brother Jarrod Tyler scored his second straight victory with a unanimous decision over Jason LaChance at 155 pounds.
The Team Irish fighter (2-1) used his upper-body strength to control the first two rounds, registering several takedowns that proved crucial to the victory as LaChance rallied with some powerful kicks to win the final round.
Zach Elkins of Fleming Island, Florida, scored perhaps the most impressive win among the amateur bouts with a first-round stoppage of Ashland native Buck “Knuckles” Pineau of the Choi Institute of Portland.
Pineau (7-3) entered the bout as the top-ranked amateur middleweight in New England, but Elkins — ranked 11th nationally among amateur middleweights — punched his way to a technical knockout at 1:25 of the opening round.

Friday, May 9, 2014

UFC brings Fight Night event to Maine in August


‘A killer show to Bangor’: Hermon High grad bringing UFC fights to Cross Insurance Center

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

Dana White
David Manning | USA Today Sports
Dana White
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is coming to Bangor.
Dana White, the 1987 Hermon High School graduate who serves as president of the world’s top mixed martial arts organization, announced late Thursday afternoon that he has scheduled a UFC Fight Night card for Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Cross Insurance Center.
The show is scheduled to be televised live on Fox Sports 1.
“Obviously I have a big connection to the Bangor area,” said White, who owns a home in Levant and returns to the area several times each year to vacation with his family. “And when they built the arena and the [Hollywood] casino up there, it was a really big deal for the city. I don’t think people realize how big that is for Bangor.”
White took a hard-hat tour of the Cross Insurance Center during the summer of 2012 in the midst of the construction process, then indicated during a visit to the area last June that a UFC show at the 5,800-seat facility was already in the discussion stages even before the replacement for the Bangor Auditorium formally opened in September.
“I wanted this so badly, I just had to figure out financially if we could make it work,” said White Thursday night by phone from Cincinnati, where preparations were under way for another UFC Fight Night card on Saturday that also will be aired by Fox Sports 1. “We got it done.”
White, who confirmed plans for the Aug. 16 show on Twitter, said he ordinarily doesn’t schedule UFC events in markets as small as Bangor.
“Never,” he said. “This wouldn’t have happened in a million years if I didn’t have the relationship I have with that city.”
White said he was given some leeway by other UFC officials to schedule the Bangor show in light of the organization’s propensity to focus on much larger markets, but he also gave significant credit to officials of Global Spectrum, which manages the Cross Insurance Center, and Hollywood Casino for making the deal possible.
“Global Spectrum is incredibly excited to be hosting UFC this August for a nationally televised event at Cross Insurance Center,” said Joe Imbriaco, Cross Insurance Center general manager, in an email.
“Seeing Dana White tweet out the announcement to his 2.8 million followers and knowing the international attention that brings to Bangor is very exciting. We appreciate the willingness of both Dana and his staff in working to bring UFC to Bangor and can’t wait for a great show.”
White said he expects the event not only to feature some of the top talent in the UFC but to provide a significant financial boost to the area.
“People will be coming in from New York, New Hampshire, Boston, Connecticut, Canada and all over the world for these fights,” said White. “With the type of crowd we bring in filling the restaurants and the hotels, this will be a big boost for the economy.”
White, who made a $100,000 donation to upgrade the athletic complex at Hermon High School in 2011, said no specific fights have yet been scheduled for the Bangor card.
But Saturday’s UFC Fight Night show in Cincinnati, for example, will involve 13 bouts, headlined by a five-round welterweight clash between seventh-ranked Matt “The Immortal” Brown (20-11) and No. 14 Erick Silva (16-4).
“All I know is I want to bring a killer show to Bangor,” he said.