Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nothing he wants more than a fourth state title


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John Patriquin/ Staff Photographer: Tuesday,December, 2, 2008. Massabesic HS wrestler Joey Eon.
Staff Writer
Since 1959, when the Maine Principals' Association began sanctioning high school wrestling, only 11 wrestlers have won four individual state titles.
This season, Joey Eon of Massabesic intends to become the 11th.
''I know quite a few of the guys who have won four state titles, and I think it would be a big achievement to do what they did,'' he said. ''All those guys were among the big names among wrestlers in this state. Just to be in that group would be a big accomplishment for me. It would be pretty cool.''
Last season, Jon Hussey of Marshwood and Chris Smith of Deering became the first Class A wrestlers in nearly 30 years to win four state titles.
''It's a pretty big deal and I'm really pumped for it,'' Eon said. ''It's always been one of my goals. As a freshman, once I won my first one, I said I had to win this four times.''
Eon's first three individual titles came at 140 pounds. This season he'll compete at 145.
''(Being at) 140 was a big cut for me last year, and I didn't want to cut as much weight this year because I wanted to remain strong,'' Eon said.
Less than six weeks ago, as the star running back for Massabesic, Eon weighed 165 pounds.
In 10 games, Eon had 1,473 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns as the Mustangs reached the Western Class A quarterfinals. He was selected as one of the 11 semifinalists for the Fitzpatrick Award.
''He wrestles in the offseason, which helps him a lot,'' Massabesic wrestling coach Rick DeRosier said. ''He comes into a season, and in usually 21/2, three weeks, he's ready to go.''
Not only is Eon seeking his fourth title, but he wants to help the Mustangs claim their third consecutive Class A team title.
''I like having good wrestlers around me,'' Eon said. ''Having guys like that around you helps you work out and helps you get better.''
Eon's chief workout partner is Peter Gilman, a senior who won the Class A title at 135 pounds as a sophomore and was runner-up at that weight last season.
''I think the stuff Joe does is amazing,'' Gilman said. ''He's a great wrestler. He's a great all-around kid and athlete.''
Gilman said the entire team shares in Eon's achievements.
''Every year he won states, it felt like a win for me, too, because I'm right there working with him all the time,'' Gilman said. ''I definitely think we would not be as good as we are if it wasn't for each other. We just push each other to the max.''
This is the first season Eon hasn't had his older brother, Josh, with him. A two-time Class A state champion, Josh Eon is now a student at the University of Southern Maine.
''There was competition between us and we fed off that,'' Eon said. ''Without him this year I think I'll be fine. I'll just take what I've learned the past three years and bring it to this last season.''
Eon isn't the only wrestler this season with a chance for four individual championships.
Travis Spencer of Belfast, who is seeking his third consecutive Class B title at 189 after winning the 160-pound division as a freshman, also can accomplish the feat.
The Class A, B and C state championship meets will be held simultaneously Feb. 7 at the Augusta Civic Center. The finals in all three classes of the 145-pound division will be held before the 189-pound championship matches.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: