Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hall of Fame Inductee: Steve DeFillip - COMPETITOR
By MAWA Board of Directors and written by Bob McPhee Saturday 18-August 2007 Class of 2007
When Steve DeFillip stepped on a wrestling mat there was some doubts, but it was long before opponents were left shaking their heads.

Over three decades ago Steve DeFillip utilized true grit and determination on the wrestling mat and those attributes

has been recognized by being an inductee in to the Maine Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame.
In a two-year span this former Rumford standout accomplished a great deal and his competitiveness and desire to succeed simply couldn’t be over looked. DeFillip truly embraced the true meaning of the sport because he overcame adversity and future performances became legendary. "I lost my first two matches because I just learning the sport’,’’DeFillip said. "(But) I knew if I kept working hard things would turn around. My coaches Jerry Perkins and his assistant Tom Paridis and Tom Costello had an immediate influence on my wrestling career. I eventually took a step down to 112 pounds from 119. Coach Perkins took my fellow teammates and I and created a dynasty; this was through hard work and mental preparation." DeFillip, Pat Kelly of Camden and Jim Tuttle of Sanford will be inducted in to the MAWA HOF August 18 in Portland. DeFillip had been recruited off the football field as a junior and indeed endured growing pains early on. Those setbacks eventually paved the way in turning things around and he became a powerhouse. DeFillip won two Class A state championships and even more important was Rumford winning the team championship both years. Rumford won three-straight Class A State Wrestling Championship 1972-74. "Steve was strong," Perkins said. "But, he was also a natural wrestler with tremendous balance and super competitive instincts. He was a tireless worker, listened well and never gave in. Steve defied the odds, as he would continue to do throughout his career on the mats."

As a matter of fact, Dave Magoon and DeFillip each repeated as two-time state champions in their only two years of competition. Maine only had one classification (1973-79) so, a "State Champion" was the best in Maine- and that record is expected to stand the test of time. The 1973 team set a then-national record with six individual state champions, including Magoon (98), Rick Labrecque (105), Gary Daigle (119), Jimmy Richards (126) and Linwood Arsenault at 155. The Panthers team is considered among the best in the history of Maine wrestling. "Much of my success came from an aggressive style," DeFillip said. "This was complemented by a lower body strength that helped me balance. Something I always found humorous was after my matches people would come up to me and ask me if I lifted weights, and my response was always the same, "nope I just stay in shape," and much credit to that goes to my coaches for pushing me as hard as possible." DeFillip even achieved success at the next level by being a two-time New England finalist. He lost in overtime as a senior and Magoon (fourth) helped the Rumford team achieve a fourth place N.E finish. Several years ago, DeFillip was able to enjoy watching godson and nephew Jason Buotte, who had a similar style, also win two state wrestling championships for Mountain Valley. DeFillip is the fifth member of the 1974 Rumford team elected to the HOF, joining coach Perkins, Steve Nokes,Larry Gill and Bob McPhee. In the summer of 1974, DeFillip participated on a team of Maine all-stars in a meet against the Russian Junior National team. Unfortunately, DeFillip faced a tough opponent Sergei Belzigastav who was an eventual two-time gold medal recipient in the Olympics. It was a special match, not only because DeFillip competed against the best, but his godfather Steve Evanoff officiated the match. Evanoff was an Olympic referee and is a member of the Maine Sports HOF. "To most that see a wrestling match, it is believed that wrestling is an individual sport," DeFillip said. "To the naked eye it is one man versus another, but in reality some of my most memorable moments were sharing the big victories with my teammates. One of the best leaders was David Magoon who was a great motivator and got the team fired up." Today, DeFillip’s life has taken a turn from wrestling, and now works in the United States Postal Services in Portland. Together with his wife Diane Madore DeFillip they have enjoyed following the careers of children Craig and Kaitlyn. 

The HOF banquet is August 18th at Keeley the Katerer in Portland. The start time is 6:30 with a social hour, meal served at 7:00 and ceremony starting approximately 7:45. Tickets are $25.00 and must be pre-purchased. People can contact Chuck for tickets at, 729-2816, or 11 Sunset Hill Farm Rd Harpswell, ME 04079. The deadline for purchasing tickets is August 10th. 

Wrestler of the Year is Jeremiah Barkac and Person of the Year is Harry Smith.Hall of Fame Inductee: 

Jim Tuttle - COMPETITOR By MAWA Board of Directors (written by Bob McPhee) Saturday 18-August 2007 Class of 2007 Presented by John Tuttle The oldest member of the 2007 Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall OF Fame couldn’t be overlooked any longer because Jim Tuttle transferred from being dominating on the mats to a second career that transcended around the world. When Tuttle initially appeared for practice at Sanford High School in the fall of 1968 there might have been some majic dust in his wrestling shoes. Over the next four years, Tuttle became a one-man wrecking crew through out the state of Maine. Tuttle will be officially inducted in to the MAWA at a banquet on August 18 at 5:30 @ K Karters in Portland. Other inductees are former wrestlers Steve DeFillip of Rumford and Patrick Kelly of Camden Hills. Tuttle won three Class A state championships as a freshman, sophomore and junior. He was unbeaten in Maine until losing as a senior to Rusty Smith of Dexter in the state finals. Interestingly, Tuttle certainly wasn't discouraged and his competitive spirit re-surfaced. He avenged that setback, in sorts, by beating the defending New England Champion for third place. Tuttle had lost to the opponent in the New England semi finals the previous year. In fact, Tuttle excelled at the next level, placing in New England all four years. The redskin standout was third as a freshman and was a finalist in his sophomore and junior seasons. The win against Smith was for third place. Tuttle was a captain for two years at Sanford and was coached by Hall of Famer Gary Kent and Keith Kalman. Tuttle finished with an 88-6 career record. Sanford is also represented in the HOF by Reggie Monroe, Conrad Turgeon, Dave Woodsom, Doug Libby, Dick LeBlanc and Mike Caramihalis. Tuttle enjoyed a distinguished career in the United States Peace Corp. 

Hall of Fame Inductee: Pat Kelly - COMPETITOR By MAWA Board of Directors Saturday 18-August 2007 Class of 2007 Presented by John Kelly Although Pat Kelly has stepped away from the sport his heart and soul will always be centered around a wrestling mat and in a truly deserving recognition the former Windjammer was formerly inducted in to the Maine Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame. Kelly was enshrined with former wrestlers Steve DeFillip of Rumford and Jim Tuttle of Sanford in to the MAWA HOF during a banquet August 18 at Keeley the Katerer in Portland. "It is astonishing to me," Kelly said. "It’s such an honor to be with the elite of our sport. I grew up in awe of some of the guys already in the Hall Of Fame and now I’m among them." Kelly enjoyed a tremendous career as a wrestler, initially as a state champion at Camden-Rockport High School. The success also continued at the next level for the University of Maine. "This is a reunion of competitors," Wally LaFountain said, who served as master of ceremonies. "I watched every body grow up through the years and also saw the pioneers of the sport. It’s interesting how the cookie crumbles because Sanford dominated the 60s and then Rumford in the 70s and now Camden Hills has been on top for the past decade." Kelly enjoyed the physical aspect of the training and the one on one competition which drove him to go as far as his skills would allow. Of course there were heartaches and disappointments along the way, however, Kelly used any shortcomings as incentives to push himself toward predetermined goals. This materialized early on when he reached the state finals in high school in 1981, but the following year Kelly returned and won a state crown. "Wrestling has a lot of give and take," Kelly said. "You need three important things in wrestling, commitment, passion and energy. These will help you deal with the good and the bad, which translate in to winning or losing which can happen on any given day." Pat joins older brother John who joined the HOF in 2006. the siblings each introduced each other a their respective induction ceremonies. "There has to be a support system," John Kelly said. "the number one fan my brothers and I had was oiur father Austin Kelly who was always there for us. He only two meets while we were growing up. (Sadly) he couldn’t be here tonight because he is in Togas Veterans Hospital." At Division I UMAINE, Kelly placed in the New England four times, including winning a championship in 1986. a year earlier, he suffered a knee injury in the finals. To add insult to injury, Maine lost the NE championship by half a point. "I was driven by hard work and the fear of losing to another wrestler," Kelly said. "I do not me fear as in scared, I mean fear as in am I prepared enough, did I run, lift, train hard enough for the match. Even in victory I would be driven to train harder because I truly enjoyed getting my hand raised in victory as well." Kelly returned to training and in 1986, he won that elusive NE title by upsetting Pat Duthie of Boston University at Case Gymnasium. Kelly had lost to the Terrier wrestler during that season. "I was very proud of my accomplishments as a NE finalist," Kelly said. "But, to beat Duthie to win the title in 1986, was a victory that stands atop of my celebration list, least of which is for the actual win. But more for the willingness to train and the control of the match as it unfolded.Kelly competed in the NCAA national tournament in ’86 and finished his collegiate career with a 116-20 record. He also was a three-time All Academic for the Black Bears. The Kelly brothers formed a coaching dynasty over three decades at Camden Hills. The program won seven state championship before Pat became head coach. The Windjammers won three state crowns and were led by Chris Remsen who was a four-time SC and also a New England champion. Pat had a combined record of 117-5. He developed a philosophy over the years which had included some definite constants and also the ability to adapt. "Essentially, I believe in working harder than anyone else, much harder and of course that takes a serious commitment," Kelly said. "I also believe that each wrestler should never be limited, they can dream and self actualize whatever it is that they wish to do in the sport. I feel that all team members are equally important, even the non starters because they will be starters in the future.’’ 

Hall of Fame Recipient: Jeremiah Barkac of Dexter - OUTSTANDING WRESTLER
By MAWA Board of Directors Saturday 18-August 2007 Class of 2007 Presented by MAWA
Dexter High senior Jeremiah Barkac placed second Saturday night in the 112-pound weight class of the 43rd annual New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships. Barkac finished his season with a 51-0 record in leading Lowell to the New England team championship. Barkac, a four-time Class C state champion from Parkman who finished third at the New England championships at 112 pounds last year and fifth at 103 pounds as a sophomore, finished this year's New England meet with a 3-1 record and his senior season at 48-1 overall with 42 pins. Barkac compiled a 189-6 record during his four years at Dexter, marking a state record for career victories. He also was undefeated against instate competition during his high school career. 

Hall of Fame Recipient: Harry Smith - PERSON OF THE YEAR
By MAWA Board of Directors Saturday 18-August 2007Class of 2007
For over a decade Harry Smith has worked tirelessly to further promote the worlds oldest sport and these efforts have been recognized as Smith has been named the 2007 Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Person of Year. Smith felt there was a void of information to provide competitors and coaches of upcoming events and the results. This prompted Smith to create a web site that would help connect interested parties statewide. "I was surprised at being selected," Smith said. "There are a lot people out there that probably deserve the award as much or even more than I do. Receiving the award, deserved or not, isn’t as important as just knowing that a group of people believe that you deserve it." Smiths site, features a vast array of information and accomplishments by former and current wrestlers. This includes the names of those individual’s who each won multiple state championships. The schools and weight classes are listed, so any one browsing can look up two, three and four-time state champions. Every tournament held over the previous years is listed and the results can be accessed at the click of a button. Each current tournament is posted as soon as Smith receives results from coaches and/or tournament directors, wrestlers and; normally the following morning. The results of girls association tournaments are also listed when Mainers compete. Smith had found the Maine Amateur Wrestling Allaince website dealt almost exclusively with High School wrestling. He felt another site was needed. "I wanted to archive results of tournaments for all to see,"Smith said. "People, especially kids, love to see their name on the internet. It’s a place to have a schedule for all ages of wrestlers. People can’t attend your tournament if they don’t know about it." A complete listings of youth, middle school and high school tournaments is included along with locations, dates and times. Additionally, directions to most schools are listed in a separate category. Smith had taught himself how to use FrontPage and created a website for Whitney Lodge in late 1990's. He received the Indented Tassel Award from the Grand Lodge of Maine in 2001. The greatest team listed is the 1973 Rumford state champions. The team scored a state record 168 points and also set a then-national record with six individual state champions. Smith won a state championship at Mexico in 1969, however, while attending a state meet a listing had Gary Smith having won. He discovered other errors and decided that if results could be placed for all to see, then someone would inform him of any errors and they could set the record straight. His youngest son Jon started competing in youth tournaments and has won two Class C state championships at Dirigo H.S. A category for Dirigo lists results from each dual meet and tournaments that the Cougars participate in. "Wrestlers train as hard as anyone in any sport,"Smith said. "They deserve to have their accomplishments recognized. If a name is spelled wrong or a score is entered wrong, I want to know, let’s get it right. I also spend a tremendous amount of time scouring the internet for results and updates." Smith a self employed carpenter/contractor (Custom Construction) spends time on and it’s a popular site. The most visits in one day is 4,175 on January 28, 2007. The day after League Tournaments, Regional, and States draws the most traffic. Most Internet Service Providers give you to host a web site and Smith certainly utilizes his allowable space. He used to have quite a few pictures, but had to remove most of them (limited space). "It has been great watching Jon through the years,"Smith said. "His individual state championships have been great to watch, but I do believe the team state championship (Dirigo) won this year may be his fondest memory when he gets to be my age." Bev Glover of Dixfield was the MAWA Person of the Year in 2002 and Smith is very proud to follow in her footsteps.