DIXFIELD-A common theme in any competition is to never underestimate an opponent because there could be dire straits and Bryce Whittemore almost experienced exactly how hollow the feeling can be, however, the Dirigo wrestler refocused in order to persevere.
The rest of the Dirigo team also stayed composed and passed the test in a series of Mid State League dual meets, that saw the Cougars easily roll over undermanned Oak Hill 52-9,
Academy 66-12 and York 63-3 at Defoe Gymnasium.
From the time that Whittemore stepped on the mat, it was a matter of seconds before reality set in. That's because the Cougar sophomore was scrambling back and forth after having been shown the lights.
''I definitely wasn't ready,''Whittemore said, regarding to facing Dempsey Carignan of Maranacook, who had secured a head and arm. ''I knew that I needed to start scoring some points after wasting away the first period.''
Demsey executed the takedown (two points) and exposed Whittemores' back to the mat for a three-point near fall. Whittemore spent the majority of the period turning to avoid being pinned. He attempted two roll-through, but risked having both shoulders touching the mat simultaneous.
"I had never seen (Dempsey) and didn't know what to expect,"Whittemore said, who executed a standing escape late in the first period and followed with an escape, takedown and near fall points in the second period, en route to an 8-5 decision.
''I won't make that mistake again.''
Whittemore had reached the state finals, as a freshman last year. Older brother Brett also was a state finalist, as a freshman. Dana (father and assistant coach) placed fourth, in the 1988 Class B state meet.
Dirigo current freshman wrestled an inspiring match against Danny Buteau, pulling to with-in one point, before losing a 7-4 decision. The Oak Hill sophomore won a Class B state championship, last season. Wainwright then stuck Emily Levassar of Monmouth.
Gus Smith (126) returned for Dirigo and executed a pin. Griffyn Smith (120), Hunter White (138), Ethan Bryant (160) and
(182) each recorded pins. Spencer Vaughan won a 17-4 major decision and Colin
Woodhead (145) a 5-2 decision. Dalton Berry