Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tougher tasks lie ahead

Caudill, Del Gallo prep for the New Englands


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.”

• • •

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.

• • •

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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Littlejohn pins down New England championship berth

Seven other Midcoast grapplers participate in qualifier

By Staff 
Courtesy of: Kaylo LittlejohnCamden Hills' Kaylo Littlejohn.

SANFORD — Fourteen Midcoast high school wrestlers turned in top-four finishes at the state Class B championships on Saturday, Feb. 14 at Fryeburg Academy, and those student-athletes had the opportunity to take their mat prowess a step further in the New England qualifier on Saturday, Feb. 21 at Sanford High School.

Of the 14 that qualified, eight made the trek to the competition and one — Camden Hills' Kaylo Littlejohn — qualified for the New England championships by virtue of his top-three finish in his weight class.

The New England championships will take be Friday and Saturday, March 6-7 in North Andover, Mass.

Seven grapplers from Camden Hills, five from Belfast and one from Medomak Valley and Mount View of Thorndike qualified to participate in the New England qualifier due to top-four finishes at the state Class B championships.

In addition to Littlejohn, Camden Hills' Eli Smith, Belfast's Austin Merando, Chase Curry, Brandon Waterman and Jared Hansen, Medomak Valley's Steven Thompson and Mount View's Anthony Barnard participated in the qualifier.

The individual results for Midcoast grapplers at the qualifier were:

113 pounds — Austin Merando (36-16 second record), Bel, was pinned by Samson Sirois, Skowhegan, at 1:35; and lost to Calvin Thompson, Monmout Academy, 9-2.

120 pounds — Chase Curry (39-15), Bel, lost to Jon Bell, Skowhegan, 4-2; and was pinned by Taylor Alleano, Oxford Hills, at 5:36.

132 pounds — Steven Thompson (35-9), Med, lost to Max Storm, Westbrook, 22-11; pinned Kurtis Bolton, Lisbon, at 1:34; beat Killian Murphy, Marshwood, 9-6; and was pinned by Max Storm, Westbrook, at 2:48 to finish fourth.

138 pounds — Brandon Waterman (40-14), Bel, was pinned by Eric Glidden, Marshwood, at 3:40; and was pinned by Joshua Grenier, Noble, at 2:59.

145 pounds — Anthony Barnard (36-14), MtV, was pinned by Zac Richard, Massabesic, at 0:59; pinned Colin Woodhead, Dirigo, at 2:25; and lost by injury default to Otto Keisker, Noble.

160 pounds — Eli Smith (15-7), CH, pinned Brad Harriman, Lisbon, at 2:13; was pinned by Jackson Howarth, Marshwood, at 5:25; beat Sam Anderson, Sanford, 7-3; and was pinned by Logan Stevens, Skowhegan, at 4:58 to finish fourth.

195 pounds — Kaylo Littlejohn (29-6) beat Robert Worell, Noble, 16-3; beat Christopher Wilson, Nokomis, 7-5; and was pinned by Trevor Henschel, Foxcroft Acdemy, at 3:40 to finish second.

285 pounds — Jared Hansen (36-9) pinned Vincent Tzeo, Washington Academy, at 1:00; was pinned by Pierce Knorr, Mount Ararat, at 3:30; and was pinned by Colin Higgins, Lisbon, at 2:20.

The following is a list of Midcoast athletes who earned the right to participate in Saturday's qualifier, with weight classes and records prior to the qualifier in parentheses:

Camden Hills — Kaylo Littlejohn (first at 285 pounds, 27-5), Zac Annis (second at 113, 18-2), Eli Smith (second at 160, 13-5), Hilary Merrifield (third at 106, 30-8), Taylor Crosby (third at 145, 23-7), Jared Gilbert (third at 220, 28-4) and John Underhill (fourth at 138, 28-6).

Belfast — Jared Hansen (first at 195, 35-7), Brendan Bruns (second at 106, 35-4), Brandon Waterman (third at 138, 40-12), Chase Curry (3rd at 120, 39-13) and Austin Merando (fourth at 113, 36-14).

Medomak Valley — Steven Thompson (second at 132, 33-7).

Mount View — Anthony Barnard (fourth at 145, 35-12).

Hansen, Littlejohn secure state titles, Camden Hills second

Windjammers Annis, Smith, Lion Bruns, Panther Thompson runners-up

By Ken Waltz 

FRYEBURG — While no Midcoast high school wrestling team was able to win a championship this season, two student-athletes — Camden Hills' Kaylo Littlejohn (195 pounds) and Belfast's Jared Hansen (285) — secured individual titles during the state Class B mat competition on Saturday, Feb. 14 at Fryeburg Academy.

Ellsworth dominated the event, winning the state team title, with three-time defending champ Camden Hills second.

The team scores were: Ellsworth 147.5, Camden Hills of Rockport 105, Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft 96.5, Mountain Valley of Rumford 95, Belfast 83, Winslow 75, Fryeburg Academy 55, Gardiner 54, Oak Hill of Sabattus 53.5, York 45.5, Wells 35, Morse of Bath 25, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro 18, Mount View of Thorndike 7, Erskine Academy of South China 7, Mount Desert Island 4, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield 4, Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston 3 and Caribou 3.

That the Windjammers were able to battle to second is an amazing accomplishment, in some respects, because the squad has faced a boatload of adversity this season, including the usually championship-driven program struggling to field enough grapplers to fill weight classes at different points this winter due to a variety of reasons.

But, as the Windjammers usually do under a veteran coaching staff, led by Patrick Kelly, they again turned in some of their best work on the grandest stages.

Historically, the Windjammers have secured 15 state titles and been state runners-up eight times, as well as won 12 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference crowns and 19 Eastern B titles.

For this season, Ellsworth also secured the Eastern Class B title the previous week in Waldoboro.

The KVAC meet was canceled this year due to inclement weather.

The Midcoast individuals who placed among the top four at Saturday's state meet were:

Camden Hills — Kaylo Littlejohn (1st at 195 pounds), Zac Annis (2nd at 113), Eli Smith (2nd at 160), Hilary Merrifled (3rd at 106), Taylor Crosby (3rd at 145), Jared Gilbert (3rd at 220) and John Underhill (4th at 138).

Belfast —Jared Hansen (1st at 285), Brendan Bruns (2nd at 106), Chase Curry (3rd at 120), Brandon Waterman (3rd at 138) and Austin Merando (4th at 113),

Mount View — Anthony Barnard (4th at 145).

Medomak Valley — Steven Thompson (2nd at 132).

Next up is the New England qualifier, slated for Saturday, Feb. 21 at Sanford High School. The top four finishers in each weight class at the state Class A, B and C tournaments may participate in the qualifier.

Thus, the 14 Midcoast student-athletes listed above may participate in the qualifier.

The top three finishers in each class at the qualifier move on to the New Englands on Friday and Saturday, March 6-7 in North Andover, Mass.

The individual state meet results for each Midcoast wrestler included:

106 pounds — Brendan Bruns, Bel, received a bye; beat Mike Sprague, EA, 15-2; pinned Brandon Weston, FoxA, at 0:33; and lost to Danny Buteau, OakH, 11-0 in the championship final.

Hilary Merrifield, CH, received a bye; beat Josh Mackaman, York, 4-2; lost to Danny Buteau, OakH, 9-2; beat Mike Sprague, EA, 6-1 and pinned Brandon Weston, FoxA, at 5:15 in the consolation final.

113 pounds — Zac Annis, CH, received a bye; pinned Michaela Sprague, EA, at 1:33; beat Zachery Cloutier, OakH, 14-5; and lost to Devin Vigue, Win, 8-3 in the championship final.

Austin Merando, Bel, received a bye; lost to Zachery Cloutier, OakH, 15-11; pinned Michaela Sprague, EA, at 1:32; pinned Abraham Malloy, MDI, at 1:27; and was pinned by Zachery Cloutier, OakH, at 3:41 in the consolation final.

120 pounds — Chase Curry, Bel, received a bye; beat Cullen Cummings, Wells, 6-2; lost to Ethan Boucher, MountVal, 5-0; pinned Frank Smith, OakH, at 2:43; and beat Noah Robidoux, Ells, 4-1 in the consolation final.

Jayred Robishaw, Ocean, received a bye; was pinned by Ethan Boucher, MountVal, at 1:29; and lost to Cullen Cummings, Wells, 18-2.

126 pounds — Shannon Ripley, Ocean, received a bye; was pinned by Peter DelGallo, Gard, at 3:54; and lost to Caleb Chase, Wells, 15-0.

Deagen Poland, Med, received a bye; was pinned by Eddie DeRoche, MountVal, at 0:53; and was pinned by Isaac Taylor, EA, at 1:07.

132 pounds — Steven Thompson, Med, received a bye; beat Isaac Desrochers, Wells, 9-1; beat Brandon Gill, MountVal, 6-5; and was pinned by Peyton Cole, Ells, at 2:17 in the championship final.

Jason Barnard, MtView, received a bye; was pinned by Brandon Gill, MountVal, at 1:51; and was pinned by Isaac Desrochers, Wells, at 4:11.

138 pounds — Brandon Waterman, Bel, received a bye; beat Patrick Duffy, FryeA, 2-0; was pinned by Dakota Jacques, MountVal, at 0:56; beat Randy Nelson, FoxA, 6-4; and beat John Underhill, CH, 3-2 in the consolation final.

John Underhill, CH, received a bye; pinned Randy Nelson, FoxA, at 1:07; lost to Michael Wrigley, Wells, 15-1; pinned Patrick Duffy, FryeA, at 2;16; and lost to Brandon Waterman, Bel, 3-2 in the consolation final.

145 pounds — Taylor Crosby, CH, received a bye; beat Anthony Barnard, MtView, 15-4; lost to Dagan Berenyi, Ells, 16-1; pinned Riley McCollett, Med, at 4:33; and beat Anthony Barnard, MtView, 7-1 in the consolation final.

Anthony Barnard, MtView, received a bye; lost to Taylor Crosby, CH, 15-4; beat Charlie Durfee, Wells, 8-7; beat Mike Provencher, MountVal, 14-2; and lost to Taylor Crosby, CH, 7-1 in the consolation final.

Riley McCollett, Med, received a bye; lost to Mike Provencher, MountVal, 7-2; pinned Isaaac Whittemore, FoxA, at 3:02; and was pinned by Taylor Crosby, CH, at 4:33.

152 pounds — Dallas Ball, Ocean, received a bye; was pinned by Josh Smith, York, at 2:35; pinned Isaac Therian, MountVal, at 3:08; and lost to Hunter Reed, Mor, 4-0.

160 pounds — Eli Smith, CH, received a bye; beat Zach Isbell, EA, 11-8; pinned Raz Baltazar, Mor, at 5:19; and was pinned by Trent Goodman, Ells, at 1:44 in the championship final.

170 pounds — Matthew Smith, Bel, received a bye; was pinned by Willie McFawn, FryeA, at 3:41; beat Adrian Joy, CH, 15-3; and lost to Billy Brock, FoxA, 10-2.

Adrian Joy, CH, received a bye; was pinned by Ryan Fredette, Win, at 1:25; and lost to Matthew Smith, Bel, 15-3.

182 pounds — Austin Sprague, Bel, received a bye; was pinned by A. Doody-Veilleux, Gard, at 1:14; pinned Kyle Provencher, FryeA, at 2:57; and was pinned by Jeff Weeks, Ells, at 1:26.

Wyatt Parra, CH, received a bye; was pinned by Ian Austin, MountVal, at 1:02; and lost to Chad Bonti, Mor, 7-2.

195 pounds — Kaylo Littlejohn, CH, received a bye; pinned Austin Talgo, Mor, at 3:54; pinned Jacob Truman, Gard, at 3:09; and beat Trevor Henschel, FryeA, 6-2 in the championship final.

Jared Vaughn, Bel, received a bye; was pinned by Jacob Truman, Gard, at 5:54; beat Austin Talgo, Mor, 13-4; and was pinned by Mark Slusher, York, at 2:58.

220 pounds — Jared Gilbert, CH, received a bye; pinned Derek Dyer, EA, at 0:31; was pinned by Michael Curtis, Wells, at 3:14; pinned Travis Tran, Bel, at 3:20; and beat Michael Pendriss, FoxA, 4-0 in the consolation final.

Travis Tran, Bel, received bye; was pinned by Nathaniel Beckwith, Win, at 2:20; pinned Alex Rackiffe, Ocean, at 2:39; and was pinned by Jared Gilbert, CH, at 3:20.

Alex Rackliffe, Ocean, received a bye; was pinned by Michael Pendriss, FoxA, at 1:37; and was pinned by Travis Tran, Bel, at 2:39.

285 pounds — Jared Hansen, Bel, received a bye; pinned Matt Healey, Wells, at 1:05; pinned Coyote Freeman, MountVal, at 0:32; and pinned Logan Childs, OakH, at 2:50 in the championship final.

Owen Gilbert, Med, received a bye; was pinned by Coyote Freeman, MountVal, at 5:10; and lost by default to Matt Healey, Wells.

Thomas Curtis, Ocean, received a bye; was pinned by Logan Childs, OakH, at 0:53; and lost to Angel Escalante, FryeA, 6-5.

Marshwood wrestling trio elevated winning standard

By Mike Whaley

Marshwood seniors, from left, Brett Gerry, Cody Hughes and Jackson Howarth, have 11 individual state wrestling titles between and have been part of four Class A team crowns. (Whaley/Democrat photo)

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Coach Matt Rix smiles when he talks about Marshwood High School seniors Jackson Howarth, Cody Hughes and Brett Gerry. He calls them “The Gauntlet.”

You could call them “Murderer’s Row” as well. The threesome has won 11 individual Maine Class A state wrestling championships among them. They have a combined career record of 570-51 and are a collective 126-1 this year.

The trio was at the center of the Hawks’ fourth straight Class A team title, which they won with ease last Saturday at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham with 183 points. Noble was second with 130.5.

“It’s phenomenal,” said Rix. “Whether that will ever be done again, I don’t know.”

The three wrestle in consecutive weight classes: Howarth (160 pounds), Hughes (170) and Gerry (182).

“The gauntlet,” Rix said. “When you have a good guy on your team, the kids around him feed off it. These guys really did that. They worked around the room a lot. They spread their talent all over the place. I made sure that happened.” 

Case in point: Gerry wrestled classmate Tyler Fife the last three weeks in practice. Fife placed a surprising third at the state meet at 195.

“It might have hurt him not working with Cody and Jackson the whole time,” Rix said. “But look what he did for Tyler.”

And for the team.

“At a dual meet, depending on where you start, it’s bang, bang, bang,” Rix said. “You’re guaranteed. You’ve got those three coming into it, there’s no bumping around them. You can only bump so much. Kids go, ‘Where’s Cody going this year – 170. Well, I can’t go to 160, Howarth’s there. And if I bump up, I get Gerry. Where do I go?’”

With those three in a row, there’s nowhere to hide.

“If we’re ever down by team points, you can always bank on Cody, Brett and myself for a few extra points,” Howarth said.

“I think it could be a huge momentum thing,” said Hughes, who will wrestle next year at NCAA D-I Virginia Tech on a partial scholarship. “It’s comfort. You’re not always guaranteed pins or tech falls. But you know all three of us will be pushing it to help the team out.” 

Hughes and Gerry singled out a regular-season dual match with rival Noble. The Hawks trailed 12-9 early, but “The Gauntlet” sparked a resurgence that put them up 28-12 with four straight wins, including a major decision and two pins by the senior trio. The Hawks went on to win, 37-21.

Gerry said once Howarth and Hughes have won and it’s his turn, he does feel a little bit of weight on his shoulders.

“It puts a little pressure on me,” he said. “You don’t want to be the one kid who loses.”

Howarth and Hughes each won their fourth state title, joining Jon Hussey and Tyler Davidson as the only Hawks to do so. Howarth received the John Pelletier Outstanding Wrestler Award, which Hughes earned as a freshman.

Gerry has three state titles to his credit.

All told, six seniors placed last Saturday. Killian Murphy won the 132 crown, while Fife and Sam Hebert (145) were third. Marshwood will send 11 wrestlers to the New England qualifier Saturday in Sanford. Also going are Kyle Glidden (106), Matt Caverly (113), Bradley Beaulieu (126), Eric Glidden (138) and Justin Stacy (152). 

Hughes also set the state record for career wins with 205. He broke the old record of 203 held by Noble’s Peter Bronder in the Class A semifinals last Saturday. Hughes is 45-0 this year, 205-8 in his career, and has never lost a match in Maine. Wrestling is in the Hughes’ blood. Cody’s father, Todd, was Marshwood’s first 100-win wrestler, and part of its first team state championship (Class B) in 1989.

Howarth is 40-0 this season and 190-18 in his career. He has a shot of passing Hussey (194 wins) into second behind Hughes on the Marshwood career wins list. Although his plans next year aren’t completely set, he did say he might attend the University of New Hampshire where his older brother, Lucas, is wrestling with the school’s club team.

Gerry is 41-1 this year. His loss came in the Sanford Spartan tournament in triple overtime to a kid from New Hampshire power Timberlane. His career mark is 175-25. Gerry will do a postgraduate year at Hyde School.

Gerry and Howarth were key members of the Marshwood football team this past fall, which went 12-0-0 and won the Class B title, the school’s first football championship in 25 years. Gerry was the recipient of the Fitzpatrick Award as the best high school football player in Maine. 

Howarth and Hughes both won state titles as freshmen, the start of Marshwood’s run of four straight Class A titles. Gerry was on the team, but at the same weight as his two classmates he had to bide his time.

“Anywhere else he would have started,” Rix said.

As a sophomore, Gerry wrestled up and won his first title at 182, despite weighing only 165. He was inspired by the work ethic of Howarth and Hughes.

“Until my freshman year, I didn’t come in there wanting to work hard,” Gerry said. “I came in, ah, a three-hour practice, this is going to (stink). I went through the motions. You see (Howarth and Hughes) still pushing each other and going hard all the time. That’s why they are good. I picked up on that. They held me accountable.”

Hughes said that work ethic was something he learned immediately from the upperclassmen when he joined the team as a freshman.

“The seniors and some of the juniors, they were the leaders to us,” he said. “Where we learned leading by example. They all worked hard in practice. They went through the grind every single day. Trevor Smith was my practice partner back then and he pushed me so hard. I liked it. He set the tone for my practice thing.” 

And now Hughes sets the tone, with Howarth and Gerry.

“What this group has done has just been amazing,” Rix said. “The sophomore and juniors to have been on this ride with them, it’s something they’ll carry for the rest of their lives.”

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Dennis Bishop Outstanding Wrestler Award


Hello, my name is Jeff Witham and I am currently the president of the Maine Interscholastic Wrestling Officials Association and the lead official for this 2nd annual Maine State New England Qualifying tournament. It is my honor to announce the winner of this year Outstanding Wrestler trophy.

However, before I do that, we have a little change to announce. As you all know, the OW for the Class A, B and C tournaments are named for special people from the history of Maine high school wrestling – names like LaFountain, Smith and Pelletier. The MIWOA is responsible for funding and awarding these handsome OW trophies. As you may not know, the OW for this tournament had no name, UNTIL TODAY. When this topic came up to the leaders of the MIWOA, one name clearly jumped to the top of the list. This person has represented Maine wrestling as a participant, a coach, an official, a mentor and a friend for over 50 years. When people ask me “what got you into officiating?”, I think back to my beginnings and recall this man on the mat. His style, his assertiveness, his calmness, his integrity, his knowledge, and his love for the sport.

It is with great pleasure that I announce that this trophy will now be known as the -

The Dennis Bishop Outstanding Wrestler Award

Congratulations Dennis

Augusta area wrestlers make it to New Englands

Skowhegan's Samson Sirois, Gardiner's Peter DelGallo among wrestlers heading to New Englands


SANFORD — The Maine qualifier for the New England wrestling tournament was created to make sure the state’s best wrestlers made it to the meet.

Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium, the tournament also provided second chances.

Six wrestlers who did not win state class titles won individual crowns and will be Maine’s top seed at the New Englands on March 6-7 at North Andover (Massachusetts) High: Samson Sirois of Skowhegan (113 pounds), Aiden Whitis of Cheverus (132), Justin Stacy of Marshwood (152), Maliek Geiger of Oxford Hills (182), Trevor Henschel of Fryeburg Academy (195) and Pierce Knorr of Mt. Ararat (285).

Bradley Beaulieu, the Class A champ at 126, beat three-time Class B and 2013 New England champ Peter DelGallo 2-1 in three overtimes.

With loud bipartisan vocal support as background, Beaulieu held his top position — called “riding out” — for the entire 30-second third overtime to earn the decisive point.

“I’ve been working on riding with Cody Hughes in practice,” Beaulieu said. “It hasn’t been strength but I knew if I could ride Cody I could ride anyone in the state.”

His other point came when DelGallo was called for stalling.

It was DelGallo’s first loss to a Maine wrestler and just the third of his high school career. Last season DelGallo beat Beaulieu in three close matches.

“I’m not in as good a shape as I wanted to be,” DelGallo said. “I didn’t want to stall. The problem was I wrestled his way. He tries to keep it close and then win the last point, make the late move.”

DelGallo, coming back from an elbow injury, edged Skowhegan’s Tyler Craig, 4-3, in the semifinal. Craig earned his 200th career win in the consolation final.

Stacy shocked unbeaten Dominick Day of Biddeford with a reversal and two back points in the final five seconds to win 7-5. Stacy finished third at the regional and state meets, losing 15-5 to Day at the states.

Day broke a 3-3 tie with a takedown with 40 seconds to go, then tried to turn Stacy to his back.

“That’s a sign of him being a good wrestler. He’s always pushing it. That’s why (Day) took sixth at New Englands last year,” Stacy said. “But it did give me a chance. It was a good thing he didn’t stall.”

Henschel avenged his Class B final loss in his home gym to Kalo Littlejohn of Camden Hills with a second-period pin.

“I felt like I let everyone and myself down last week,” Henschel said. “I didn’t even think I would wrestle today until Wednesday and then I just decided that would be a stupid way to go out. I’m thankful I didn’t skip this meet.”

Several wrestlers did not attend. None of the potential 12-man brackets were filled. The 120-pound division had the most with 10.

Knorr, like Stacy, had finished third at both the regional and state tournament. He upset Class A runner-up Elias Younes of Cony 2-1, then pinned his next two opponents.

“I guess I decided to dig deep. Or maybe I had a good day today,” Knorr said.

Sirois beat Scarborough’s Jeremy Sendrowski, 8-6. Sendrowski beat him 8-5 in a Class A final.

Whitis had finished fourth at the Class A meet. He won his final by injury default.

Geiger did not get a second chance at beating Marshwood’s Brett Gerry in his final. Gerry defaulted due to injury. Gerry is expected to be back for New Englands as one of the seven Marshwood wrestlers advancing.

Hughes, the four-time champ, rolled to the 170-pound title and was named the Dennis Bishop Outstanding Wrestler.

“I really think (the OW) should have been Justin Stacy,” Hughes said. “He was the outstanding wrestler on our team.”

Also winning to back up state titles were Cody Craig of Skowhegan (106), Austin Shorey of Noble (120), Zeko Caudill of Cony (138), Dagen Berenyi of Ellsworth (145), Jackson Howarth of Marshwood (160), and Michael Curtis of Wells (220)

Howarth, the four-time Class A champ and unbeaten this season, needed a late reversal to edge Mt. Ararat sophomore Robert Heatherman, 7-5. Curtis remained unbeaten with a decisive pin of Class A champ Mike Risti of Massabesic.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015 HS New England qualifier

By Bob McPhee

SANFORD-When Trevor Henschel was forced to deal with a dose of adversity he admitted mishandling the situation, however, the Fryeburg Academy decided against throwing in the towel and paid off by winning a championship at the second annual state qualifying tournament to earn a berth in the New England tournament. 

There was a lot at stake his is the second year that the Maine Principal Association has sponsored the event, featuring the top wrestlers from Classes A, B and C. The state of Maine had automatically sent its state champions to NE, however, last year the MPA held a qualifying tournament for all-classes. This was done in an effort to enhance the level of competitive Maine wrestlers who compete at NE. The qualifier is still a work in progress. 

Several wrestlers from Western and Central Maine was among the top three individuals in the 14-weight classes who have automatically qualified for the New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championship, to be held in North Andover, Massachusetts, in March. Maliek Geiger of Oxford Hills won a crown by injury default over Brett Gerry of Marshwood. It was redemption for Geiger who had fell shy at the qualifier, last year . Mountain Valley's Ethan Boucher (120) and Ian Austin (182) placed second and third, respectively. The competition at New England is extremely intense and mental mistakes have proven, costly. Boucher secured a spot at the next level, after decisioning Dirigo's Griffyn Smith in the semi-finals. 

''I knew it would be a tough match,''Boucher said, who reset the school single-season record with 54 wins. ''He had beat me twice this season, caught me in a scramble at the Atlantic (tournament) and then 2-0. Once I got ahead I could dictate the action. I was up 6-2 entering the third period, so I took the bottom (position) and that was the safest, rather than starting neutral and risk being thrown.''

Boucher was schooled by Andy Shorey of Noble, in the finals. Smith, three-time Class C state champion, wrestled back through to place third, after decision Antonio Ayala of Foxcroft, 19-2. 

''This feels really good to have earned a trip to New England,''Smith said. ''Especially after last year, when I had lost quickly (in consolation finals).'' 

There was numerous quality match-ups through out the event. This included several multiple state champions. A bright spot was Cody Hughes of Marshwood, who pinned Abraham Eaton of Gorham, in finals. Hughes, a four-time state champion, had placed third and second in the NE tournament.. ''I credit my teammates and caches for helping by pushing me,''Hughes said, who holds the all-time state record with 210 wins. Hughes will wrestle at Vrginia Tech, next fall. Hughes received the Dennis Bishop Most Outstanding Wrestler award. Bishop is retiring as a Official, after 41 years. Hawk teammates Bradley Beaulieu (126, Justin Stacy (152) and Jackson Howarth each won championships. Beaulieu won in four overtimes by riding out Peter DelGallo of Gardiner, who had won a NE crown in 2013. Marshwood, unofficial team champions again, qualified seven. Stacy and Howarth each executed late reversals to win, against Dominick Day, Biddeford and Robert Heahterman of Mount Ararat. 

''We had five state champions and under the old format they would have automatically qualified,''Marshwood coach Matt Rix said. ''They have a lot to lose, but guys who had placed third or fourth have every thing to gain. It's a double-edged sword.'' 

Austin won 3-0 against Andrew Doody-Veillieux of Gardiner in the con-SF and then stuck Dalton Berry of Dirigo in con-finals. The Cougars Hunter White 138 and Berry are alter nets.

Henschel decsioned Kalo Littlejohn of Camden Hills in finals.

''I didn't until Wednesday if I would even wrestle here,''Henschel said, who had been devastated after losing to Littlejohn in Class B state finals. ''I decided to go out there and give it every thing that I have. I didn't want to regret not coming and trying. I just love wrestling.''

Brothers Cody and Tyler Craig of Skowhegan, laced first and third, respectfully at 106 and 126. 

Ellsworth' lone champion was Dagan Berenyi (145), also winning was Samson Sirois (113), Skowhegan; Aiden Whitis (132), Cheverus; Zeko Caudill (138), Cony; Mike Curtis (220) of Wells and Peter Knorr 285, Mount Ararat. Marshwood was the highest ranking Maine team at the NE, last year

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Eldredge, Anderson finish strong at wrestling championships

By John Cochin
Sanford News Sports Editor

TOPSHAM — Sanford High School standout wrestlers Chase Eldredge and Sam Anderson both finished in the money at the Maine Class A Wrestling Championships held at Mt. Ararat High School on Saturday.

They both came away with fourth-place medals at the meet. Eldredge wrestled in the 170-pound weight class, and Anderson wrestled at 160.

Both had qualified for the state meet by placing second in their respective weight classes at the Western Maine Regionals held at Marshwood High School a week earlier.

Marshwood won the state meet, capturing first place for the fourth consecutive year. The Hawks recorded 183 points, followed by Noble with 130.5 and Skowhegan with 115.

The meet featured two Marshwood wrestlers who each won their fourth individual state championships. They were 160-pound Jackson Howarth and 170-pound Cody Hughes, who became the 17th and 18th Maine wrestlers to win four state titles.

Three former Sanford wrestlers are on the list of four-time winners: Reggie Monroe (1962-1965), Conrad Turgeon (1963-1966) and Mike Caramihalis (1977-1980) 

Placing first for Marshwood at Saturday’s state meet were Brad Beaulieu (126), Killian Murphy (132), Howarth (160), Hughes (170) and Brett Gerry (182). Kyle Glidden, wrestling at 106, placed second.

Marshwood wrestlers finishing third were Sam Hebert (145), Justin Stacy (152) and Tyler Fife (195). Fourth-place finishers were Matt Caverly (113) and Eric Glidden (138).

Noble High School had nine wrestlers placing at the meet. Finishing first for the Knights was 120-pound Austin Shorey in the 120-pound class. Placing second were Josh Grenier (138), Otto Keisker (145) and Zac Schluntz (220). Third-place finishers were Jake Martel (126) and Bailey Coull (132), while fourth-place finishers were Joseph Pilecki (106) and Robert Worell (195).

Massabesic High School wrestlers capturing first place in their respective weight classes were Zac Richard (145), Trevor Walton (195) and Mike Risti (220). Leo Amabile (106) and Jeffrey Bryan (113) each placed third, with Logan Martin (152) taking fourth.

Storm’s Sendrowski wins state wrestling title

By Adam Birt
Jeremy Sendrowski resets during a bout with Massabesic’s Jeff Bryan at Saturday’s Class A Wrestling States. Sendrowski pinned Bryan at 2:19; he later defeated Skowhegan’s Samson Sirois 6-3 in the 113-pound championship match. Photo courtesy of Lisa Craig 

The Class A State Wrestling Championship unfolded at Mt. Ararat Saturday. The Eagles played host to 20 other teams and hundreds of spectators even as a blizzard descended on southern Maine. For the fourth year in a row, Marshwood took home the top team prize, while Noble broke Massabesic’s three-year hold on second. The Mustangs finished fourth.

Scarborough Red Stormer Jeremy Sendrowski finished first in the 113-pound division. Sendrowski’s just a freshman, but has been wrestling for roughly a decade, and his battle with Skowhegan’s Samson Sirois proved to be a special high in his career thus far.

“I’d beaten [Sirois] once before, at the beginning of the season, so I knew it was going to be a close match,” Sendrowski said. “At the beginning of the match, he took me down, so it was 2-0 going into the second period. Then he chose down and got an escape, so I was down 3-0 going into the third period, I think.

“In the third period, I got an escape, then after that, I chin-whipped him and got five points out of that.” Sendrowski had stolen the lead in the final minutes, an impressive comeback. The two traded holds as time ticked away, but “I took him down one last time, and I just looked up at the clock and there was eight seconds left, and I knew I’d won,” Sendrowski said.

“The great thing about Jeremy is he's hungry for success,” said Scarborough coach Shane Stephenson. “He works hard and has been getting in extra workouts with other coaches and wrestlers all year.

“Most Maine high school wrestlers only wrestle during the season, but Jeremy knows that getting extra time in on the mat is crucial. The USM Brawlin' Lobsters, Portland Youth and the Trappers have all helped Jeremy achieve a state title as a freshman. I'm hoping that he will have the chance to make some noise at the New England Championships.”

Madison wrestler wins historic title

Matt Brown became the first state champion in the program's history after beating Washington Academy's Vincent Tzeo in the Class C final


It was an emotional moment for Madison coach Scott Padelford when Matt Brown pinned Vincent Tzeo of Washington Academy in the Class C 285-pound championship finals.

“Matt became Madison’s first state champion in the 12 years of the program,” said Padelford. “We’ve had quite a few second-place finishers, but he is my first champion.”

Padelford started the Madison team in 2003.

Brown, a sophomore, had struggled with injury during the year and was considered a longshot to win a state title.

But he improved greatly during the year, Padelford said.

“Ryan Malcolm, who was a three-time state runner-up for me at heavyweight, came in during Christmas break and worked with Matt. That helped a lot,” Padelford said. “He was just 15-18 going into states and had missed most of the two weeks leading up to the states due to a shoulder injury, but he had pinned the defending state champ at the Mid-State tournament, so I knew he had the potential to win it. I just told him ‘just do what you have been working hard at all year’.”

Brown entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed but pinned top-seeded Dalton Sawtelle of Monmouth in the semifinals to set up the finals match against Tzeo.

Madison, which finished 7th in the team race, also had John Boardman (170) place second and Ryan Cass (182) place third.

• • •

Although the state championship tournaments have been contested, individuals who finished in the top four in their respective weight classes still have more wrestling to do. On Saturday, the New England Qualifier will be held at Veteran’s Memorial Gym in Sanford.

The tournament determines who will represent Maine at the New England Championships in North Andover, Mass on March 6 and 7. That honor goes to the top-three finishers in each weight class.

This marks the second year that the Maine Principals’ Association has held a qualifying tournament. Prior to that, state champions in Class A, B, and C received an automatic bid to the tournament.

A qualifying tournament is nothing new to Winslow coach Kris Segars, who hails from Connecticut, a state that has long had a qualifier in place.

“It’s what I was accustomed to,” said Segars. “Having a qualifier is the only way Maine can showcase its best wrestlers.”

Winslow will have four wrestlers competing in the qualifier. Devin Vigue (113) and Ryan Fredette (170) will each be one of the top three seeds in their weight classes by virtue of winning state titles. Nat Beckwith (220), who finished second and Patrick Hopkins (160), who finished third, will also vie for the opportunity to advance to the New England tournament.

“I’m very glad I have the opportunity to wrestle in it,” said Hopkins, a sophomore. “I think it’s a lot fairer than just having the winners of each class (Class A, B, and C) head to New Englands. I have nothing to lose, so I’m just going to give it my all and hopefully something good will come from it. If not, I can use it as a learning experience for my next two seasons.”

Local state champions Cody Craig (Skowhegan), Zeko Caudill (Cony), Jacob Nichols (Nokomis), Danny Buteau (Oak Hill), Peter Del Gallo (Gardiner), Calvin Thompson (Monmouth) and Matt Brown (Madison) will also enter the tournament as one of the top three seeds.

• • •

Former Nokomis wrestler Rusty Wilson is continuing his time on the mat as a member of the University of Maine wrestling club. UMaine is only in its second season as a part of the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) club system, but is making its mark on the national scene. UMaine is currently ranked ninth out of 134 clubs in the most recent NCWA Coaches poll.

“I really enjoy being a part of the team,” said Wilson. “It’s a great group of close guys who all work very hard. Everyone is supportive and pushes me to perform to my best ability.”

Wilson recently finished third in the 184-pound weight class at the recent 2015 North Atlantic Wrestling Invitational at the University of Southern Maine. Plymouth State won the team championship with 98 points followed closely by UMaine with 94 points.

“I was happy with the way I wrestled,” said Wilson. “Even more so I was very happy with the way the team wrestled. I think the tournament really showed how far we have advanced as a team since the beginning of the season, to be able to compete with NCAA teams.” The host University of Southern Maine, Plymouth State and Daniel Webster College are all NCAA Division III programs which competed at the event.

Wilson also has placed second at tournaments held at the University of Connecticut and the University of New Hampshire this season. He is looking forward to the 22-team Northeast Conference tournament which will be held March 1st at the University of New Hampshire. The top six finishers in each weight class will automatically qualify for the NCWA National Championships in Allen, Texas on March 12.

“We are confident that we will place highly among the Northeastern NCWA teams,” he said. “We will be working and pushing each other to be better until the tournament, which is what we do best.”

Hawk heaven: Murphy, seniors set pace for 4th Class A title

By Mike Whaley

Celebrating Marshwood's fourth straight Maine Class A state wrestling title are, from left, Brett Gerry, Cody Hughes, and Tyler Fife Saturday in Topsham. (Whaley/Democrat photo)

TOPSHAM, Maine — Killian Murphy couldn't stop smiling. Who could blame him. After all he was this year's Shamus McManus.

Murphy was seeded fourth at 132 pounds at Saturday's Class A wrestling championships at Mount Ararat High School. The Marshwood senior won three straight matches to capture his first state title, capping his extraordinary run with a 9-4 win in the final over Westbrook's Max Storm.

Last year, McManus caught lightning in a bottle to improbably win the state title at 145, his first wrestling title at any level.

Murphy was one of four seniors and five Hawks to win state crowns as Marshwood cruised to its fourth straight Class A title with 183 points. Noble was second with 130.5.

Also capturing titles were sophomore Bradley Beaulieu (126), and seniors Jackson Howarth (160), Cody Hughes (170) and Brett Gerry (182). Hughes and Howarth each won their fourth state title, and Hughes set the state record for career wins.

What happened last week at the regional that Murphy was fourth going into Saturday? 

Marshwood’s Killian Murphy points in celebration after winning the 132-pound state title during the Maine Class A wrestling championships Saturday in Topsham. Looking on is coach Matt Rix. (Whaley/Democrat photo)

“He'd wrestled those kids before, and I think he just looked past them” said Marshwood coach Matt Rix. “He already thought he had himself in the finals.” 

Murphy agreed.

“It was rough at regionals,” he said. “Coach has been pushing me all week. Telling me one match at a time; making sure I don't look forward.”

It worked.

In his first match against Skowhegan's Cooper Holland, the East's No. 1 wrestler, Murphy won by major decision, 14-3. In the semis, he avenged one of his regional losses by narrowly beating Aiden Whitis of Cheverus, 2-1.

In the final against Storm, it was 2-2 after the first period. Murphy opened it up with five points in the second, and was able to take the crown.

“The way he wrestled in the final, that was who he is,” Rix said. “That's the thing, we'd won it as a team, so the pressure was off. Just try and go out and get the first takedown. Get in their head a little bit. Set the tone for the match.”

Murphy did that, leaving him with a big smile and a state championship to his credit. He was, of course, also this year's Shamus McManus. 

Marshwood’s Justin Stacy is getting ready to slam down Massabesic’s Logan Martin in the 152-pound consolation finals Saturday at the Maine Class A wrestling state championships. (Whaley/Democrat photo)

“That's cool,” he said. “It's an honor to be that.”

Hmmm, maybe in 2015 Marshwood will be pondering the next Killian Murphy ...

Marshwood seniors set the tone

Eleven of Marshwood's 13 wrestlers placed, and six of them were seniors. Murphy, Howarth, Hughes and Gerry won state titles, while Sam Hebert (145) and Tyler Fife (195) each took third.

It was the fourth state title for Howarth and Hughes, joining Jon Hussey and Tyler Davidson as the only Marshwood wrestlers to pull off that feat. Gerry won his third crown.

Howarth was the recipient of the John Pelletier Outstanding Wrestler Award. McManus won it last year, while Hughes received it as a freshman.

Hughes not only won his fourth individual title with his 205th career win, pinning Portland's Greg Cassella (5:05), but his 204th win was a new state record. He pinned Zachary Harris of Oxford Hills at 1:41 to break the old mark of 203 held by first-year Noble varsity assistant coach Peter Bronder, who wrestled for the Knights from 2005-2009. 

Hughes won all three of his matches by pin, while Gerry advanced to the final with a win by major decision and pin. He won his title over Maliek Geiger of Oxford Hills, 3-0. 

Howarth had the toughest championship match, topping Robert Heatherman of host Mt. Ararat, 6-1. The two met last month in Vermont and Howarth won by a point.

It was scoreless after the first period and Howarth trailed 1-0 early in the second period. He tied it up, and then got the first takedown to lead 3-1. Howarth's confidence was bubbling, and from there he was able to wear down Heatherman.

“He was nervous,” Rix said. “His mom was all upset. 'What if he doesn't win his fourth?' Just relax.”

With the team title in hand, there was no pressure to go after a pin.

“Ease up,” Rix said. “Go out there and don't force anything. Just go out there and wrestle the way you know how to wrestle.” 

Beaulieu moves up and scores title

Rix made a calculated gamble to move defending 120 state champion Beaulieu up to 126. It was a move that paid off.

“The 120 looked like a little weaker weight class,” Rix said. “We thought we might be able to score at 120. We did win a match there. I thought Brad could go up. Without batting an eyelash, it was 'whatever's best for the team coach.'” 

Beaulieu's opponent was three-time state champ, Tyler Craig of Skowhegan. 

Beaulieu got an early takedown and that proved to be the difference in a 2-0 win.

“The first takedown is always huge, no matter who you are wrestling,” Beaulieu said. “It just builds momentum. I was able to get it pretty quick. ... I was feeling pretty good after that first takedown.”

“(Craig) was going for his fourth,” Rix said. “I feel bad. But the move, for us, it made sense.


The New England Qualifier is this Saturday in Sanford. The top four wrestlers in each weight division from Class A and Class B will wrestle to determine who will represent Maine at the New Englands in North Andover, Mass., March 6 and 7.

Noble's DeVoll hints that this could be last year

By Mike Whaley

Noble coach Kip DeVoll, left, makes a point to disconsolate heavyweight wrestler, Eric Pilcher, after a consolation semifinal loss at the Class A states Saturday. (Whaley/ Democrat photo)

TOPSHAM, Maine — Noble High School finished second at Saturday’s Class A wrestling championship, its best showing since winning the 2011 title.

Veteran coach Kip DeVoll said this could be his last season.

“I’ve been doing this a long time,” said DeVoll, now in his 34th season and 30th as head coach. “I don’t even know if I’ll be back next year. It’s getting close. I have to take some time off to give it some thought.”

Last year DeVoll intimated he would stay on to coach his youngest son, Jack, who will be a freshman next year, and then call it a day. Saturday he backed off that somewhat, leaving the door open for a more immediate exit from coaching.

DeVoll, a 1979 Noble graduate, has coached the Knights to 12 Class A titles, including 11 during a 13-year stretch from 1998 to 2011, and eight straight at one point.

He had mixed feelings about his team’s effort on Saturday.

“We’re getting there,” he said. “I think the freshmen got a little overwhelmed when they got in there. ... It’s one of those things you don’t know about until you get them into this atmosphere. It was a good start for these young kids. It’s something to look forward to.” 

Noble junior Otto Keisker holds the Maine Class A wrestling runners-up plaque Saturday in Topsham. (Whaley/Democrat photo)

Eight of Noble’s 11 wrestlers placed, and six were underclassmen.

Sophomore Austin Shorey went 3-0 to win the 120 state crown, Noble’s first since Ben Valencia captured the old 140 title in 2011. Shorey had three wins by pin. In the final he pinned Brunswick’s Christian Jensen at 3:26.

Josh Grenier (138), Otto Keisker (145) and Zac Schluntz (220) each took second.

Schluntz was unable to wrestle in his final after his opponent in the semis, Max Story of Cony, drove his teeth into Schluntz’s cheek, opening a sizeable cut. Schluntz went onto win by pin, but he was unable to wrestle in the final.

“We didn’t want to open it up again” DeVoll said. “It’s too bad. He worked hard to get to the final. But he had a heck of a year. This is his first year at the state tournament placing.”

Jake Martel (126) and Bailey Coull (132) were third, and Joe Pilecki (106) and Robert Worell (195) were fourth.

“It was disappointing in terms of you get your hopes up to do a little better,” DeVoll said. “I think we could have done a little bit better. I don’t think we could have caught Marshwood, not without help from other schools. On our own, it wasn’t going to happen.” 

While Marshwood loses six seniors who scored Saturday, Noble departs only two.

“We have a lot of underclassmen,” DeVoll added. “Now that they’ve been here, they know what it’s like. They’ll get that shot again next year, hopefully. That makes the biggest difference, when you’ve got that experience.”

Ellsworth wrestling team wins Class B state championship

The Ellsworth wrestling team poses with its new state championship trophy after placing first at Saturday’s Class B state tournament at Fryeburg Academy. PHOTO BY KAYLA HARDISON

Ellsworth wrestlers (from left) Jack Weeks, Connor Petros and Jeff Weeks pose with their new Class B team championship trophy after Saturday’s wrestling state championships at Fryeburg Academy. Petros and Jack Weeks placed first in their weight classes while Jeff Weeks placed fourth. PHOTO BY KAYLA HARDISON

Ellsworth coach Travis Hardison hugs Jack Weeks after Weeks won the 138-pound title at Saturday’s Class B state wrestling championships at Fryeburg Academy. PHOTO BY KAYLA HARDISON

Ellsworth wrestlers received Class B wrestling state championship medals after Saturday’s state tournament at Fryeburg Academy. PHOTO BY KAYLA HARDISON

The Ellsworth wrestling team took home the Class B wrestling state championship trophy after Saturday’s state tournament at Fryeburg Academy. PHOTO BY KAYLA HARDISON

FRYEBURG – The Ellsworth wrestling team dethroned three-time defending Class B state champion Camden Hills on Saturday at Fryeburg Academy.

After notching the program’s first Eastern Maine championship last weekend, the Ellsworth Eagles scored 147.5 points to claim the state title – their first since 1982 and the school’s first team championship of any sport since 2002.

Camden Hills finished second with 105 points – one of the largest margins of victory in state competition. Foxcroft Academy took third with 96.5 points.

“An excellent week of mental and physical preparation set the stage for a day of class B wrestling that was beyond even the coaching staff’s best expectations,” Ellsworth coach JF Burns said.

The Eagles’ week before their 3.5-hour drive to Fryeburg on Friday looked something like this: On Monday, they met with clinician Logan Walsh. On Wednesday, they were introduced to a packed gymnasium before the boys’ basketball prelim against Mount Desert Island. On Thursday, superintendent Dan Higgins provided them with a motivational speech, which appeared to be effective.

In what Burns described as “one of the greatest moments in the school’s wrestling history,” Ellsworth captured five straight individual championships by freshman Peyton Cole (132), senior Jack Weeks (138), junior Dagan Berenyi (145), junior Connor Petros (152) and sophomore Trent Goodman (160).

Burns said Ellsworth’s effort was so dominating that if you were to compare the head to head scores of the 10 weight classes in which Ellsworth entered wrestlers, the team outscored the combined effort of the entire field of class B schools. But the afternoon belonged to captains Weeks and Petros.

Coming out of the No. 3 seed in the East, Weeks won his championship by defeating the No. 2 seed in the West, the No. 1 seed in the East and, in the finals, the No. 1 seed in the West – Dakota Jacques – by a score of 4 to 3. Weeks’ upset victory was the only one for the day, as the other 13 weight classes were won by No. 1 seeds.

Seeded first in the East, Petros pinned eventual third-place finisher Hunter Reed of Morse in the semifinals before coming from behind in the finals to beat the No. 1 seed from the West – Josh Smith of York – by a score of 9 to 6.

As for the other three champions, Cole remained undefeated for the season by pinning Steven Thompson of Medomak Valley in the second period. Berenyi won the championship by a technical fall score of 18 to 3 over Conor Smith of Fryeburg, and Goodman pinned Eli Smith of Camden Hills in the first period.

Burns said Ellsworth also did well in the consolation rounds.

Senior captain Jeff Weeks suffered a tough 1-0 loss in the semifinals to the eventual champion, Ian Austin of Mountain Valley. Jeff Weeks, who recorded two pins for the day, finished fourth after losing to Brandon Brock of Foxcroft by score of 7-1 in the consolation finals. But Jeff Weeks’ victory in the consolation semifinals eliminated Mountain Valley and Camden Hills from catching Ellsworth in the standings.

At 126 pounds, senior Robert Banner removed the last obstacle for Ellsworth when he beat Eli Olson of Foxcroft in the consolation finals by a score of 6 to 2. The win capped off Banner’s career and earned him a third-place finish. His only loss of the day was to the Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet, Peter DelGallo.

Junior Noah Robidoux placed fourth at 120 pounds after losing 4-1 to Chase Curry of Belfast.

At 170 pounds, Tyler Hardwick won one match on the day.

First-year wrestler Jared Brown lost his two matches on the day at 195 pounds.

Each of the competing wrestlers received a state championship medal.

“The team greatly appreciates the fans who travelled the 3+ hours to watch us compete,” Burns said. “With seven of the 10 wrestlers returning next year, we are looking forward to the continuation of the team’s success.”

An evening reception is planned for the team on Feb. 24 at Ellsworth High School.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Westbrook finishes well at States

Westbrook’s Mikiel Lepage battles at 220 with Deering’s Jonah Rogers.

Westbrook’s Noah Featherson and Portland’s Clautel Buba battle out a consolation bout at Saturday’s state championships.

By Adam Birt

The state wrestling championship unfolded at Mt. Ararat Saturday. The Eagles played host to 20 other teams and hundreds of spectators even as a blizzard descended on southern Maine. For the fourth year in a row, Marshwood took home the top team prize, while Noble broke Massabesic’s three-year hold on second. The Mustangs finished fourth.

Westbrook – which has had a very strong season – was well represented at States. Persistent threat Max Storm took second place in the 132-pound division, and Abraham Eaton, who hails from Gorham but trains and competes alongside the Blazes, finished third at 190.

Storm and Bailey Coull of Noble put on a particularly fiery show in the semis.

“That match was…intense,” said Westbrook head coach John Nicholas. “We told Max to be prepared to wrestle a six-minute match and try to wrestle hard to the end.”

In fact, Storm pinned Coull at 5:42.

“He saw an opportunity at the end and went for it,” Nicholas said. “That was definitely one of the most exciting endings to a match that I’ve been part of. The crowd energy was awesome!”

Storm faced Marshwood’s Killian Murphy in the Championship bout, ultimately succumbing 9-4.

“Even though the result was not what we’d hoped for,” Nicholas said, “Max can hold his head up high, because he wrestled a great tournament.”

Eaton “was in maybe the toughest bracket of the day,” Nicholas said. “After dropping a tough loss to (Greg Casella of) Portland in the first round, he battled back for three straight wins against tough opponents.”

Both Storm and Eaton will test their skills again next weekend at the New England Qualifiers.

“Team-wise, we fell short of our goals,” Nicholas said, though he emphasized the importance of States-level experience and nodded to 2016, noting the Blazes will return much of their top talent next season.