Caudill, Del Gallo prep for the New Englands
BY TERRY DEVEREAUX CORRESPONDENT
Staff photo by Joe Phelan Cony’s Zeko Caudill, left, and Skowhegan’s Julian Sirois compete in the 138-pound finals during the Eastern A championships at Oxford Hills. Caudill won by a pin. Next up for Caudill: The New Englands.
Cony’s Zeko Caudill continued his undefeated season by winning the 138-pound class at the New England qualifier. Caudill, the Class A state champion, raised his season record to 39-0 when he beat Class C state champion Zachary Caron of Dexter 9-3 in the championship finals..
“I think Zeko is excited to test himself against the best in New England,” said Cony coach Shawn Totman. “He is wrestling with a lot of confidence right now and has high expectations for himself.”
Still, Totman feels that Caudill has more work to do to prepare for the New England tournament, which is scheduled for March 6-7 at North Andover High School in North Andover, Mass.
Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. that Friday and then continue Saturday at 9 a.m. The championships finals are scheduled for 5:15 p.m. that Saturday.
The top three finishers in each weight class at the Maine New England qualifier advanced to the 51st annual New England championships.
Caudill was rarely tested during the season with only three of his matches going the full six minutes.
“We will focus a lot on stamina,” said Totman. “Zeko is doing a lot of drills focusing on not just skill and technique but ones that push the cardio and build the conditioning necessary to be strong for the long, tough matches we anticipate at the New Englands.”
Caudill will be spending a lot of time over the next two weeks training with Gardiner’s Peter Del Gallo (126), according to Totman. “I thinks it’s great for both of them”, said Totman. “They work together really well.”
Del Gallo finished second at the qualifier, losing to Marshwood’s Bradley Beaulieu in the championship finals in a match that went to a third overtime. Beaulieu won the match 2-1 on the basis of being able to maintain control in the offensive position during the 30-second “ultimate tiebreaker.”
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Skowhegan freshman Samson Sirois (113 pounds) made the most of a rematch opportunity at the New England qualifier last week. Sirois had lost a gut-wrenching decision against Scarborough’s Jeremy Sendrowski in the state championship finals. Ahead by a 3-1 score in the third period, Sirois was caught in a five-point move by Sendrowski and wound up losing 6-3.
On Saturday, the two met again in the finals and Sirois came out on top with an 8-6 decision.
“Jeremy and I are offseason roll partners (workout partners) and friends,” said Sirois. “I didn’t like losing to him at states, but I know he works hard year-round like I do. I was nervous going into the finals match but I knew I could beat him. He has a great chin whip and I knew I had to stay away from that.”
Sirois was one of five Skowhegan wrestlers who qualified for New Englands. His brother, Julian, placed third at 145 pounds.
“I think it’s really cool that I will be competing along with my brother,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of brothers that get this chance.”
It will be Julian’s second trip to New Englands.
“I feel having the experience last year was good,” Sirois said. “I feel more confident and know what to expect this year.”
Another Skowhegan brother act will have a shot at earning a medal at the New Englands. Tyler Craig qualified at 126 pounds with a third-place finish while Cody Craig won the 106-pound weight class. Cody beat Marshwood’s Kyle Glidden 8-0 in the finals. An anticipated finals match against Oak Hill’s Danny Buteau failed to materialize when Buteau missed making weight by 7/10ths of a pound.
Logan Stevens (160) also qualified for the New Englands with a third-place finish.
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A familiar foe stood between Nokomis’ Christopher Wilson
(195) and a trip to New En-glands. Wilson had to win his consolation finals match against Massabesic’s Trevor Walton in order to qualify.
Walton had beaten Wilson 5-3 in the Class A state finals. This time, Wilson hung on in the final overtime for a 4-3 win.
“He won by riding him out,” said Nokomis coach Scott Preble. “I was extremely happy for him. I know how much potential Chris has and now Chris has proved to himself his own potential.”
It will be the second trip to the New England championships for Wilson, a sophomore who is 39-5.