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.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Wrestling instincts help Farmington’s Farrington win MMA debut

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal
After being staggered and knocked down by a flurry of hard punches by Nash Roy of Young's MMA, left, Caleb Farrington of New England United, right, connects with his own in the second round, eventually winning the fight when Roy tapped out due to an arm bar during Saturday night's NEF XIV at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.After being staggered and knocked down by a flurry of hard punches by Nash Roy of Young's MMA, left, Caleb Farrington of New England United, right, connects with his own in the second round, eventually winning the fight when Roy tapped out due to an arm bar during Saturday night's NEF XIV at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
Corey Hinkley of CMBJJ-NEU, and from Lewiston, top, taps out under a choke hold from Dom Cofone of Balanced Ground during Saturday night's NEF XIV at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal
Corey Hinkley of CMBJJ-NEU, and from Lewiston, top, taps out under a choke hold from Dom Cofone of Balanced Ground during Saturday night's NEF XIV at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
Steve Desjardins of Team Irish lands a punch to the face of Erik Nelson of CMBJJ-NEU during Saturday night's NEF XIV at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.  Desjardins won a split decision.
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal
Steve Desjardins of Team Irish lands a punch to the face of Erik Nelson of CMBJJ-NEU during Saturday night's NEF XIV at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Desjardins won a split decision.
Steve Desjardins of Team Irish, right, takes a punch to the face from Erik Nelson of CMBJJ-NEU during Saturday night's NEF XIV at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.  Desjardins won a split decision.
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal
Steve Desjardins of Team Irish, right, takes a punch to the face from Erik Nelson of CMBJJ-NEU during Saturday night's NEF XIV at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Desjardins won a split decision.
LEWISTON, Maine — With a wrestling background dating to his seventh-grade year in the Farmington school system, Caleb Farrington was determined to take his mixed martial arts debut to the mat Saturday night.
He almost didn’t get the chance.
The 20-year-old Farrington withstood a barrage of heavy strikes landed by Nash Roy during the opening round of their 175-pound amateur bout on New England Fights’ NEF XIV card at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, then used his grappling skills to score a second-round tapout via armbar.
“Holy crap. it was something man,” said Farrington. “I must have been in over 300 combative sports matches between wrestling and jiu-jutsu, but nothing like this where I was wobbly and losing myself.”
The Farrington-Roy clash was perhaps the most action packed of 17 amateur bouts that preceded an eight-bout professional card headlined by Bucksport native Ray “All Business” Wood’s first defense of his NEF Maine state featherweight title against Brazilian Gabriel Baino.
That fight nearly fell through, as Baino showed up late for the mandatory rules meeting and subsequently was fined a portion of his purse by the Combat Sports Authority of Maine in order to be allowed to go on with the bout.
“Gabriel Baino was late for the rules meeting, and the commission had to take action to fine him to allow the fight to proceed,” said a relieved NEF MMA co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “Gabriel’s camp agreed to the fine, Young’s MMA (Wood’s camp) agreed to the terms and we still have our main event.”
For Wood, the bout was his first since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament after winning the NEF state championship belt with a 61-second stoppage of Canadian Lenny “The Show Stealer” Wheeler on the Bangor Waterfront on July 12, 2013.
Two other title fights also were on the pro docket, with Portland’s Paul Gorman defending his state bantamweight title against Tom Goodwin and Bruce Boyington of Brewer facing Auburn’s Jesse Erickson for the vacant lightweight title.
Farrington, the Class A state wrestling champion at 170 pounds during his senior year at Mt. Blue High School in 2012, had focused his combat sports attention on jiu-jitsu for the last two years under trainer Peter Roberts at New England United, then added boxing to his training regimen this summer.
“Peter went to the fights two NEF (shows) ago and thought it was something I could do so he gave me the option to try it and I went with it,” said Farrington. “I trusted his wisdom.”
Farrington may have been questioning that wisdom early in his bout against Roy.
The Young’s MMA competitor, who had won his first two bouts, landed an overhand left a minute into the first round that sent Farrington to one knee and landed a succession of follow-up shots during the remainder of the period that left his opponent’s nose bloodied — but not his mindset.
Farrington scored an early takedown in the second round and pressed the attack from the ground, finally securing an armbar that ended the match with 39 seconds left in the period.
“My thought going into the fight was that this guy wasn’t going to knock me out,” said Farrington. “I’ve trained with some heavy hitters and this was completely not what I expected. He almost had me a few times, but I came back and got it to the ground so I could actually fight.”
Also scoring a come-from-behind victory was Winterport’s Jarrod Tyler, who was nearly submitted by armbar at the end of the second round of his featherweight battle against Mike Robinson but used his striking game to score a knockout victory at 1:41 of the final period.
“Going into the third round (Team Irish trainer) Marcus (Davis) told me straight out, ‘three minutes, give it everything you’ve got because he’s won two rounds, you’ve got to knock him out,’” said Tyler. “I wanted to make my coaches proud and leave it all in the cage.”
The amateur card also was good to a pair of high school coaches, Mike Vangelist and Pat Kelly.
Vangelist, the boys lacrosse coach at Massabesic High School in Waterboro, rallied to stop Buck “Knuckles” Pineau with an armbar at 1:54 of the third round in the featured amateur bout of the evening.
Pineau controlled the first two rounds with his reach and quickness before Vangelist closed the distance in the final round and improve his record to 3-0.
Kelley, the longtime wrestling coach at Camden Hills Regional High School, made a successful mixed martial arts debut with a victory by rear naked choke over over Frank Dellasalla at 2:12 of the first round of their welterweight bout.
The 50-year-old Kelly gained control early in the round with an overhand left that sent Dellasalla reeling toward the cage wall, then used his wrestling instincts to score a takedown and assume back control, leading to the stoppage.
And earlier in the evening, Bath featherweight Michael Crespo improved his record to 2-0 with a three-round unanimous decision over Trevor Hebert of Rumford, then asked girlfriend Natalie Robbins to come to the cage where he proposed marriage — and she accepted.

Age a number, MMA debut a ‘rush’ for 50-year-old Camden Hills wrestling coach

Patrick Kelly (bottom) battles Frank Dellasalla during New England Fights bout on Sept. 6 in Lewiston. LMP Photos/CrossFace Productions

Patrick Kelly (bottom) battles Frank Dellasalla during New England Fights bout on Sept. 6 in Lewiston.
Patrick Kelly (bottom) puts a hold on Frank Dellasalla during a New England Fights bout Sept. 6 in Lewiston.
LMP Photos/CrossFace Productions
Patrick Kelly (bottom) puts a hold on Frank Dellasalla during a New England Fights bout Sept. 6 in Lewiston.
Patrick Kelly (left) is declared the winner in his bout with Frank Dellasalla during New England Fights event Sept. 6. in Lewiston.
LMP Photos/CrossFace Productions
Patrick Kelly (left) is declared the winner in his bout with Frank Dellasalla during New England Fights event Sept. 6. in Lewiston.
Patrick Kelly stands in his corner with his members of his fight crew during a New England Fights bout on Sept. 6 in Lewiston.
LMP Photos/CrossFace Productions
Patrick Kelly stands in his corner with his members of his fight crew during a New England Fights bout on Sept. 6 in Lewiston.
LEWISTON, Maine — Patrick Kelly’s walk from the locker room to the cage wasn’t just to make a statement about age.
Nor was it necessarily about winning, or solely the pursuit of a new challenge within a continuing quest for fitness.
It was all of the above and more that spurred the Rockport school teacher and veteran wrestling coach from Camden Hills Regional High School to make his mixed martial arts debut on the recent New England Fights’ “NEF XIV” card — at age 50.
“It was a rush,” said Kelly a day after his first-round submission victory over Frank Dellasalla in their amateur welterweight (170-pound) bout on Sept. 6.
“You visualize during your training how it’s going to be when you walk out there and how you’ll feel the day of the competition. I was so focused I don’t think I heard a whole lot except my coaches. I heard the crowd but couldn’t differentiate whether it was anything other than noise. I was just in the zone, and for me it was just the cherry on the cake to come up with the win.”
Kelly came out as the aggressor, using an overhand left to secure early side control. Then as Dellasalla attempted to escape, Kelly gained position behind his opponent to set up a match-ending rear-naked choke hold and become the oldest winner in the more than 250 professional and amateur bouts promoted by New England Fights.
“I went in with the strategy of closing ground with a couple of punches,” he said. “I’m not a striker. I can throw a punch and take a punch, but I didn’t want to play around because if you land something anyone can get knocked out. You can get knocked back to third grade pretty quickly if you don’t pay attention.”
Kelly’s teammates from Young’s MMA in Bangor weren’t surprised by his performance.
“I screamed out when he got hold of that kid because I knew he was going to throw him around and that’s what he did,” said Ryan Sanders, a welterweight from the Bangor area. “He went back to his roots and did everything perfectly. It was beautiful, a beautiful fight.”

The wrestling background

Kelly is no stranger to combat sports, beginning with a stellar wrestling career at the former Camden-Rockport High School during the late 1970s and early ’80s where he won an individual state title as a senior.
He went on to compile a 116-20 record at the University of Maine, becoming a New England champion in 1986 and competing in that year’s NCAA championships.
He soon joined older brother John on the coaching staff at Camden-Rockport and helped the Windjammers win 10 Class B state titles between 1990 and 2002.
Kelly became head coach in 2003 and guided Camden Hills to three more state championships and a 117-5 meet record before stepping down in 2006.
A 2007 Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame inductee, Kelly returned as the Windjammers’ head coach in 2013 and has guided the team to two more state titles.
Among the wrestlers he coached was four-time state champion Tim Boetsch of Lincolnville, now a ranked middleweight in MMA’s top promotion worldwide, the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“He and I, particularly his last two years, would go at each other every single day in practice,” said Kelly. “I always had aches and pains because he was big, heavy, strong and motivated. It was quite a relationship.”
The two rekindled their mat workouts recently when Boetsch visited Young’s MMA just before appearing on an Aug. 16 UFC card at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
“At the end of the night we rolled (worked on mat skills) for five minutes,” said Kelly, “and at one point it was so funny, we were having fun with each other without a lot of words and we got into a position and stopped and he said, ‘How many times have we been like this over the years?’
“It was just a nice moment to reminisce about all the years we spent together in that practice room.”

A new challenge

Kelly has continued to compete in summer wrestling tournaments over the years, but those events are less frequent and less frequented than mixed martial arts shows in Maine — particularly through NEF, which stages four to five fight cards a year.
And when he found himself weighing 210 pounds a year and a half ago, the sense of urgency to do something about it kicked in.
“I was just thinking about trying something different, a new way to train with a different kind of novelty in it for me with regard to meeting some new people, finding a new gym and kind of breaking away from my wrestling territory with all the people I know and that comfortability to stretch out and learn some different things” he said.
Kelly found a new comfort zone at Young’s MMA, where not only did he work out but he began teaching a wrestling class.
“He’s been training with us for less than a year now, but he brings a ton of energy,” said Sanders. “He may be a 50-year-old man but he has the energy of a teenager and when he comes we train hard. He pushes us, and I know my wrestling’s gotten better because of Pat.”
And as Kelly followed the progress of teammates such as Sanders, NEF featherweight champion Ray Wood and new NEF lightweight champion Bruce Boyington, he, too, regained the competitive urge and found the state’s amateur MMA ranks a perfect outlet.
New England Fights has found its amateur MMA division to be popular among fans and participants alike— NEF XIV included 17 amateur bouts.
“Over 14 NEF events, we’ve witnessed a wide range of competitors from a multitude of backgrounds and martial arts disciplines move through our amateur ranks,” said Matt Peterson, the promotion’s co-owner and matchmaker. “Some of those athletes are fighters like Ray Wood who are destined to compete at the highest levels of the sport. Another example is a gentleman like Pat Kelly — a fighter who feels the need to continue testing himself athletically at 50 years of age.
“In a word, the NEF amateur division is a mosaic of life itself — and you never know what you’re going to see play out during these bouts.”
Kelly geared his MMA training around an already busy schedule of teaching science and driver’s education, coaching wrestling and family responsibilities.
“It’s a commitment because I’ve got four kids, but everything worked out,” he said. “My wife was generous enough to give me the time, and it was just a wonderful, wonderful opportunity for me to train and get into the cage and represent Young’s.”

Combating Father Time

Then there’s the age thing.
MMA is is among today’s most grueling sports with its aggressive blend of boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu and other martial arts disciplines.
While fighters often compete well into their 30s, the sport is becoming more popular with the younger set, including former high school and college wrestlers seeking a next level to continue satisfying their competitive urges.
But that transition usually comes immediately after that high school or college career — not decades later.
“For me age is a number,” Kelly said. “Sometimes we get to an age where we think we better start slowing down. I’m going to start ramping it up.
“I’ve got nothing to prove to anybody. I am my biggest opponent, that’s who I’m competing against every day, not only in this but in making sure my family life’s good, my professional life’s good, my personal life’s good and my physical life’s good. It’s just a good challenge.”
Kelly acknowledges MMA’s physical demands, but sees ways to counter Father Time’s inevitable influence on the human body.
“As you get older you don’t recover as well. You have aches and pains all the time, the weight doesn’t come off, and you’ve really got to be smart about what you do and watch how hard you train,” he said. “I’ve been slow and methodical about this. I didn’t make any major changes. For me it was just eating right, living good and staying really focused on getting my body.
“I think you add quality to your life when you do these kinds of things. You feel better, you look better, you think better, and that was a motivation for me.”
And while Kelly isn’t deliberately seeking to set an example for the older fans in the MMA crowd, if someone wants to follow his lead that’s OK, too.
“There have been times when I’ve been out of shape, and having friends training and seeing people doing different things motivated me, so perhaps someone in their 40s and 50s or maybe beyond can find the same thing,” he said. “You’ve just got to be committed and have the drive and you can transform yourself and keep things from happening to you.”
Kelly plans to continue following that strategy in the cage.
“I’m going to see if I can keep this going, he said. “The timing has to be right between wrestling and teaching and family, but I’m going to ride it out as far as I can. When you sit down and think about it the reality is you are that old, but there are things you can do so you’re not held captive by that number.
“I refuse to let that happen.”

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Casco Bay Elite fall practice

Great turnout for Casco Bay Elite fall practice so far. We had 15 people in the room Monday. If you want to get ready for fall competitions or the winter season, you can register at any practice Mondays and Thursdays 6:30 - 8:00.

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