Saturday, November 29, 2014

Morse hosts Westlake Tournament

BY BOB CONN Times Record Staff
Making weight, sweating and slamming opponents into the mat.
The high school wrestling season has arrived, with Morse High School set to host the Westlake Tournament at Bath Middle School on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Mt. Ararat and Lisbon are participating along with the Shipbuilders, and possibly the new varsity team at Wiscasset, with Wolverines coach Ed Densmore putting a call in to new Morse cocoaches Mike Bennett and John Gardner, hoping to secure a spot.
Here is a look at the four area teams hoping for success this season:
Mt. Ararat
Erick Jensen’s Eagles were solid last season, with Pierce Knorr and Robert Heatherman expected to lead a veteran group into battle this winter.
Jensen returns many of his top competitors this season, led by the senior captain Knorr, who was 36-13 last year and looks to take the next step. Classmates Jason Black (23-12), Emory Hudson (captain, 18-22), Adam Ewing (captain, 28- 17), George Berry (11-22) and Colin Blake (2-6) give the Eagles a solid senior group.
Only two juniors dot the roster, with John Heatherman (33-16) and Scott Smith (14-21). Sophomores include Christian Chappetta (5-4), Mathew Ducatt (2-4), Robert Heatherman (46-8, third in state, regional champion and KVAC runner-up), Justin Milne (4-5), Ethan Minchin (8-13) and Dylan Schenk (6-16), with newcomers in junior Sam Bernier, sophomore Leon Perreault Jr., and freshmen Cody Kinney and Lexi Witherell.
Jensen’s son, Jared, who attends Brunswick, will once again wrestle for the Eagles. The sophomore was 40-10 last season and took third in the state, along with being a runner-up at Regionals and the KVACs.
“This is a very experienced group of kids,” said coach Jensen. “Even the newcomers are picking it up very quickly. I love their attitude and desire to work hard. Several of the newcomers could see varsity action right away.”
Mt. Ararat hosts a pair of regular-season meets — Dec. 17 against Mt. View and Nokomis, and Jan. 9 versus BelfastLincoln Academy and Morse.
“We should do well,” said Erick Jensen. “Several wrestlers have multiple years of varsity experience and will compete at a very high level. We may struggle because of our lack of wrestlers in three weight classes, so the rest will really have to step up.”
Coach Jensen feels Skowhegan is the team to beat in Class A.
“Certainly, Mt. Ararat, along with Cony, will complete well, and by the end of the year we should be right toward the top of Eastern A.”
The group is small, but Densmore is excited to see varsity wrestling return to Wiscasset for the first time since 2006, when numbers dwindled to the point that the sport was dropped.
“We are starting the program in the hopes of building it back up,” said Densmore, a 2001 Wiscassetgraduate who wrestled in high school. “I am excited to see the kids coming out, and we are hoping to get a program going in the middle school, giving us a feeder system for the future.”
Senior Tyler Flavin, who placed second in the Private New England Tournament last year, leads the group of six Wolverines who will compete in Class C.
Flavin will wrestle at 120 pounds, with sophomore Alex Strozier fitting in at either 150 or 160.
Freshmen Sam Strozier (145), Andrew Hendrickson (182), Zach Hodgsdon (170) and Conlan Ranta (170) fill out the roster.
“This year we are hoping for success, like last year when we had six wrestlers, each of which had winning records,” said Densmore, whose squad visits Dexter on Dec. 6, hosts meets on Dec. 10, Jan. 10 and Jan. 24, and visits Lisbon on Jan. 7. “We are working hard on the basics, with the hopes that some, especially Tyler, will push for a title.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
This statement describes the Greyhounds, with longtime Mark Stevens assistant and friend Ted Albasini taking over the squad this season after Stevens stepped down.
“We do exactly the same things, same practice as last year,” said Albasini.
Seniors Tom Higgins (state champ, 275), Josh Collier (state finalist, 152) and JD Martin (state champ, 138) lead the squad, with juniors Nick Lerette (126), Jordan Cole (120) and Ryan Dall (113/120) giving the Greyhounds a solid core. Sophomores Brandon Bartlett (220), Devin Libby (170) and Curtis Bolton (132) are joined by freshmen newcomers Zach Morin (195), Dakota McIver (182) and Brad Harriman (160).
Lisbon’s schedule is as tough as always, loaded with high-level tournaments to prepare the Greyhounds for state competition come February. After the Westlake Tournament, the Greyhounds go to the McDonald’s Tournament at Mountain Valley High School (Dec. 13), the Atlantic Invitational at Wells (Dec. 20), the Noble Invitational (Dec. 29-30), the Kennebunk Duals (Jan. 10), the Michael J. Baker Classic inEssex Junction, Vt., (Jan. 16-17) and Mid-States at Rumford (Jan. 31).
“We don’t have the light kids, but we fill the heavier weight classes well,” said Albasini. “The seniors should place well, and I feel that we can give Dirigo a go as the season goes on.”
Bennett and Gardner have 20 wrestlers battling it out on the mat in daily practices, giving the Shipbuilders good numbers as the season begins.
“The feeder system from the middle school is very promising, with a big group of wrestlers working hard to one day wrestle for the high school,” said Gardner.
Barring injuries or ineligibilities, Morse looks to be able to fill nearly all the weight classes, led by seniors Chad Bonti (182), Austin Dalgo (195), Dan Saxby (160) and Heaven-Leigh Rose (132). Juniors Spencer Reed (145), Bailey Page-Nichols (220) and Jon Rose (152) or joined by sophomores Raz Baltazar (160), Stevie Recknagel (106), Virginia transfer Alejandro Ireceva (138), Hunter Reed (145) and Diego Estrada (275).
An inexperience freshman class gives the coaches some numbers, with Isaiah Cogswell (138) and Jordan Douglas (113) the early standouts.
“I expect this team to be decent come tournament time, with the weight classes, especially at middle weight, giving us an advantage over other teams,” said Gardner. “I look for us to be at or near the top in many tournaments.”
After hosting Saturday’s tournament, the Shipbuilders will participate in the York Sullivan Tourney (Dec. 6), the Gardiner Tiger Tourney (Dec. 13) and the Cony Duals (Dec. 20). Morse also hosts meets on Dec. 17 (MCI and Medomak Valley), Jan. 14 (Mt. Blue) and Jan. 17 (Winslow, Medomak Valley).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

USM at Grapple at the Garden: purchase tickets on-line

Hello everyone

In less than a month, the University of Southern Maine Wrestling program will be competing in the worlds most famous arena, Madison Square Garden !

The Huskies take on #16 in the Nation, Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) at 8am and Muhlenburg University (PA) at 10am. I attached the entire schedule of events at the bottom of this email!

The 'Grapple at the Garden' tickets are still available; please purchase them online at 

Click here for TicketMaster GrappleAtTheGarden

and please choose "SOUTHERN MAINE FAN SECTION"; tickets are only $20. each

Please come down to New York City, support our student athletes while witnessing some of the best wrestling in the Nation in Division I,II and III! 

It's going to be an unreal experience and New York City, in my opinion, is the greatest place to visit during the holiday season!

Thank you for your support, I hope to see you in the stands!

Coach Pistone, Head Wrestling Coach, USM

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Huskies Split: Defeat Norwich 23-18, Fall to WPI 33-13

WORCESTER, Mass. Senior Sean Fagan (Arlington, Mass. and sophomore Daniel Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine) each posted a pair of wins to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies in dual meet action at WPI Saturday afternoon.  Southern Maine defeated Norwich University 23-18 in its first meet of the day and then dropped a 33-13 decision to WPI to close out the day.

With the split, Southern Maine stands at 5-2 in dual meet action.  Norwich is 0-2 with the loss to the Huskies, while WPI earned its first dual meet win of the season over USM to stand at 1-0.  Southern Maine's 23-18 victory over Norwich marked Huskies' head coach Joe Pistone's 100th career victory.  Pistone has been with USM since the 2003-2004 season.  In his 12 seasons, Pistone has posted a career record of 100-109-2.  He is the program's all-time leader in coaching wins.

In the win over Norwich, the Huskies' rallied to win the final two bouts of the match earning the 23-18 win.  Trailing 18-15, Huskies' senior Jonathan Deupree(Ozona, Fla./Countryside), ranked no. 1 in New England at 184 pounds, dominated Norwich's William Burns earning a win by technical fall 18-3 (5:24) to give USM a slim 20-18 lead.  With the match in the balance, Fagan battled to a narrow 2-0 decision in the final bout of the match – the 197-pound class -  defeating Norwich's  Saetyre McDowell for the 23-20 victory. 

Against WPI, Fagan and Del Gallo scored seven of the Huskies' 13 points.  Wrestling at 149 pounds, Del Gallo earned his second win by major decision defeating WPI's Jack Nigro 9-1.  Del Gallo had previously earned a 12-2 major decision over Norwich's James Duncan. Fagan picked up another win by decision defeating WPI's Ted Kostopoulos 5-3. Senior Michael Frey (Monroe, NY / Monroe-Woodbury) scored the Huskies' other six points of the match rumbling his way to a win by fall over Logan Mendelson.  Frey put Mendelson to the mat in 5:47.

Southern Maine is off until Saturday, December 6.  The Huskies will host Trinity College (Conn.) in a dual meet starting at 5:00 p.m.  On Sunday, the Huskies will host their annual Ted Reese Invitational beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Southern Maine (5-1) 23, Norwich (0-2) 18



Steven Maldonado (Nor) dec. Thomas Arseneault (USM)
Michael Arangio (USM) dec. Chase Jefferys (Nor)
Chad Puglio (Nor) won by forfeit
Fft, 6-0
Kevin Moore (USM) dec. Alex Stewart (Nor)
Daniel Del Gallo (USM) major dec. James Duncan (Nor)
Carl Luth (USM) tech fall Ben Swanson (Nor)
18-2 (6:03)
Zach Gibson (Nor) dec. Daniel DeCarlo (USM)
David Rogers (Nor) won by forfeit
Fft, 6-0
Jonathan Deupree (USM) tech fall William Burns (Nor)
18-3 (5:24)
Sean Fagan (USM) dec. Saetyre McDowell (Nor)

Southern Maine (5-2) 13, WPI (1-0) 33



Michael Frey (USM) pinned Logan Mendelson (WPI)
Stephen Jendritz (WPI) won by forfeit
Fft., 6-0
Ben Amato (WPI) dec. Michael Arangio (USM)
Colin Mashack (WPI) dec. Kevin Moore (USM)
Daniel Del Gallo (USM) major dec. Jack Nigro (WPI)
Tanner Burke (WPI) pinned CJ Luth (USM)
Andrew Tanner (WPI) dec. Dan DeCarlo (USM)
Justin Marsh (WPI) won by forfeit
Lucas Muntz (WPI) won by injury default J Deupree (SM)
6-0 (2:38)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hughes pins his college future on Hokies

By Mike Whaley
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
PictureClick image to enlarge
Marshwood senior Cody Hughes signed a National Letter of Intent Tuesday to attend Virginia Tech on a partial athletic scholarship to wrestle. (Democrat file photo)

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — It was the summer before his sophomore year, and Cody Hughes was looking for a place to work out while he was competing in the NHSCA High School National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Va.

There was a camp at nearby Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Hughes went, liked it, and has continued to return.

On Tuesday, the Marshwood High School senior’s affinity for the Virginia school took a significant turn when he signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Virginia Tech on a partial scholarship to wrestle.

The Hokies are coming off a season in which they placed eighth in the NCAA Division I tournament, the program’s highest finish ever.

“They saw my work ethic, we talked and got to know each other,” said Hughes, who has since been down two or three times a year. “The first time I went, I didn’t miss home. It felt right.”

Hughes recalls that first summer he went to Virginia Tech, “I wanted to go to a camp close to the nationals to keep me in shape. I really loved it.” 

PictureClick image to enlarge
Marshwood senior Cody Hughes signed a national letter of intent Tuesday to attend Virgina Tech on a partial wrestling scholarship. Pictured, from left, are sister Saige Hughes, mother Hillary Hughes, father Todd Hughes, Cody , coach Matt Rix, asst. coach Pat Howard, and, standing in back, Athletic Director Rich Buzzell. (Courtesy photo)
Hughes is a three-time state champ for Marshwood, which is Maine’s Class A team champ three years running. He went 54-1 this past season and has a career record of 142-5. If he stays healthy he has a shot at the school record for career wins (194), held by 2007 grad Jon Hussey, and an outside shot at 200 wins.

“It’s nice to see everything working out for him,” said Marshwood coach Matt Rix. “You get out of it what you put into it. It’s where he wanted to go. It was really special to see him sit down and sign the paper.”

“It’s been a long process,” Hughes said of the college search. “I’ve been to a lot of national tournaments, trying to expose myself to as many colleges as possible.”

Wrestling has had a recent resurgence at Tech, finishing eighth this past year, after placing 10th and 11th, respectively, in 2003 and 2012. Previous to that, the Hokies had never finished better than 19th.

“It’s been down for a long time, but it’s looking up,” Hughes said. “They were eighth last year, and they’re looking better this year. They definitely know what they are doing.” 

Hughes will receive athletic financial aid covering approximately 40 percent of his college bill in the first year.

“I can get more if I put the time in and good results come (coach Kevin Dresser) will help us out,” Hughes said. “That’s how he put it.”

Hughes is the second Marshwood wrestler to receive a scholarship to wrestle at the Division I level. Abel Schultze is the other, earning a full ride to Appalachian (N.C.) State in early 1990s. Schultze was a teammate of Todd Hughes, Cody’s dad.

“I’m going to do the same thing I’ve been doing the last three years,” Hughes said. “Improving every single day. If you improve every single day you’re going to get better.”

He will need to do that in making the transition to college wrestling where he mentioned he could be on a five-year plan if he has to redshirt.

“The first few years will be a learning experience,” Rix said. “They’ve got some top-caliber kids. It will be a little different ballgame for him. But I think he’s prepared himself for it.”

Hughes, for now, can focus on high school and the matter at hand — helping the Hawks win a fourth straight state title. Hughes is one of fourth returning state champs with classmates Jackson Howarth and Brett Gerry, and sophomore Bradley Beaulieu. 

“I’m really excited for this season,” he said. “We have a great group of kids. The program is the best around here. You’ll not find a better high school team in Maine.”

Hughes added, “Coach Rix makes the high school season grind like the college season. You have to be mentally tough to prepare for that. I know (when I got to Tech) I’ll be at the bottom of the food chain. The Marshwood program has helped to prepare me for the next level.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

InterMat D3 Rankings

USM Team Captain and 2014 NCAA National Championships Qualifier, Jon Deupree, climbs up 1 spot and is ranked #5 in the United States! The undefeated senior leads the USM Huskies (4-1) this Saturday against Norwich University and WPI in Worcester, MA!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

NFHS Wrestling Points of Emphasis - 2014-15

AVOIDING WRESTLING AND ENCOURAGING WRESTLING IN CENTER OF MAT Going out of the wrestling area by either wrestler or forcing an opponent out of the wrestling area at any time as a means of avoiding wrestling is a technical violation (Rule 7-3-1). There are many occasions when this happens and no call is made or a wrestler is called for stalling when the appropriate call would be a technical violation for fleeing the mat. There can be no technical violation of fleeing the mat if near-fall points have been earned.

One common scenario that occurs is often initiated from the offensive/defensive starting position in the center of the mat when both wrestlers work their way to their feet and the action goes out of bounds. It can be difficult to determine if the offensive wrestler is pushing the defensive wrestler out of bounds, if the defensive wrestling is running out of bounds to make it look like the offensive wrestler is pushing him/her out, or if it is aggressive action by both wrestlers. Another common scenario is when one wrestler has a single leg in the air near the out-of-bounds line, and the other wrestler tries to jump or spin out of the situation and ends up out of bounds.
In the above situations as well as similar situations where a wrestler may be using the edge of the mat to get out of a situation, judgment is required by the referee with the primary question being “Was the wrestler wrestling aggressively and trying to stay in bounds or using the edge of the mat as a means to avoiding wrestling?” If he/she was using the edge of the mat as a means of avoiding wrestling, a technical violation should be called. Good wrestling action requires both wrestlers to make an honest attempt to stay within the wrestling area.

Preventive officiating must be on every referee’s mind. One area of concern is injuries that occur during false starts from the neutral position. To avoid such injuries, the referee should stretch his/her arm(s) out between and parallel to the starting lines before blowing the whistle. By doing so, the referee can block either wrestler who false starts prior to the whistle, thus reducing the potential for injury to one or both wrestlers.

The jurisdiction time of the referee begins when he/she arrives at the site of the competition and concludes with the approval of the scorebook in dual-meet competition and after signing the bout sheet after the last match in tournament competition. In either dual meets or individual tournaments, when a referee is not on the mat working, he/she still has jurisdiction in the mat area and responsibility for enforcing NFHS wrestling rules associated with the mat area. The referee on the mat is responsible for his/her match, but other referees involved in the competition should offer assistance in the mat area when necessary. Referees are reminded that just because they are not officiating a match, they still have responsibilities for enforcement of rules that extend beyond officiating a match.

The NFHS wrestling rules define special equipment as any equipment worn that is not required by rule. Whenever a wrestler has hair that does not conform to the rule, a legal hair covering must be worn. Because of the physical contact in the sport of wrestling, hair that does not meet the rule is considered a safety issue as it may pose a risk to an opponent. Using a legal hair covering for hair that does not meet the rule helps to minimize the risk. 

Legal hair coverings must be made of a solid material, must be nonabrasive and must be attached to the wrestling ear guards. The attached legal hair covering may be worn either inside or outside of the wrestling ear guards. The attached legal hair covering must be brought to weigh-ins and inspected by the referee to determine their conformity to proper grooming with the legal hair covering on. The legal hair covering must be removed before the wrestler weighs in. If the referee does not conduct the weigh-ins, then the referee must check the legal hair covering prior to the meet.
The goal of wrestling is to have a continual match without interruptions except for normal out-of-bounds situations, the end of periods, etc. Legal hair coverings that are secured to the wrestling ear guards have less of a chance of coming off during the match than hair coverings that are not secured to the wrestling ear guards. 

The manufacturers of legal hair coverings and wrestling ear guards have been alerted a year in advance of this rule change and some have chosen to modify their legal hair coverings accordingly. This new rule will significantly improve the continuity of matches whenever a wrestler is required by rule to wear a legal hair covering.

Communicable diseases are a major concern in the sport of wrestling. It is imperative that ALL schools continually use best practices to control the spread of communicable diseases. A major aid in preventing the spread of communicable disease is to properly clean all wrestling mats and wrestling equipment.
Practice and competition wrestling mats must be cleaned prior to practicing or competing on them. Cleaning wrestling mats prior to use is highly recommended. An effective disinfectant is a solution of 1:100 chlorine bleach and water (¼ cup chlorine bleach to each gallon of water, or 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach to each quart of water). There is no advantage of using a stronger chlorine bleach and water solution than what is recommended above. Commercial disinfectant products are also available.

When cleaning wrestling mats, it is beneficial to walk backwards in an effort to minimize contamination from the shoes of the individual who is cleaning the wrestling mat. Be sure that any product used states that it is effective against viruses, fungi and bacteria. Typically, the label will state the cleaner is bactericidal, fungicidal and virucidal. Please follow the label directions closely for the best effectiveness.

Several items should be kept at wrestling mat side to effectively deal with blood or other body fluids, including disposable towels and/or gauze pads, spray bottles containing a 1:100 chlorine bleach and water solution or a commercially prepared disinfectant solution. Protective gloves and disposable plastic bags must also be readily available to clean up blood or bodily fluids.
Likewise, it is imperative to clean all wrestling equipment daily. All workout gear should be cleaned after each practice. This includes towels, clothing, headgear, shoes, knee pads and any bags used to transport this equipment. In addition to cleaning wrestling equipment and wrestling mats properly, a few basic steps must be taken by all involved in the sport in order to minimize the risk of spreading communicable diseases.

• Educate coaches, athletes, referees and parents about communicable skin conditions and how they are spread.
• Maintain proper ventilation in the wrestling room to prevent the build-up of heat and humidity.
• Emphasize to the athletes the importance of showering immediately after each practice and competition with antibacterial soap.
• Wash all workout clothing and personal gear after each practice.
• Perform daily skin checks to ensure early recognition of potential communicable skin conditions. Athletes cannot be allowed to practice or compete if an active infection is suspected, even if the infection is covered.
• Do not share towels or personal hygiene products (razors) with others.
• Refrain from full body (chest, arms, abdomen) cosmetic shaving.
Communicable diseases are preventable. Following these steps can certainly decrease the chance that these communicable diseases will be spread among the athletes in the wrestling room and/or during competition.