Friday, March 7, 2014
By Dave Dyer
If last week’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference tournament was any indicator, this weekend’s regional wrestling championships will feature strong competition from area teams.
• Peter Del Gallo of Gardiner beat Cooper Holland of Skowhegan for the 113-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
• Zeko Caudill of Cony beat Julian Sirois of Skowhegan for the 138-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
• Nic Benner of Cony beat Nat Beckwith of Winslow for the 220-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
• Griffin Richards of Cony finished second at 170 pounds at the KVAC tournament.
• Joe York of Erskine Academy finished third at 138 pounds at the KVAC tournament.
• Tyler Azevedo of Erskine Academy finished third at 170 pounds at the KVAC tournament.
• Jake Fraser of Cony finished third at 195 pounds at the KVAC tournament.
• Cody Craig of Skowhegan beat Christian Jensen of Brunswick for the 106-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
• Tyler Craig of Skowhegan beat James Archer of Camden Hills for the 120-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
• Dylan Dahlberg of MCI finished second at 126 pounds at the KVAC tournament.
• Luke Bolster of Skowhegan beat Sheldon Bang of Edward Little for the 132-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
• Kameron Doucette of Skowhegan beat Mike McFadden of Belfast for the 145-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
• Kaleb Brown of Skowhegan beat Robert Hetherman of Mt. Ararat for the 152-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
• Logan Stevens of Skowhegan beat Nick Hickey of Mt. Blue for the 160-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
• Rusty Wilson of Nokomis beat Brandon Jusseaume of Mt. Ararat for the 182-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
• Christopher Wilson of Nokomis finished second at 195 pounds at the KVAC tournament.
• Nat Beckwith finished second at 220 pounds at the KVAC tournament.
• Aaron Lint of Winslow beat Chris Cole of Mt. View for the 285-pound title at the KVAC tournament.
Skowhegan walked away with its second consecutive KVAC title, totaling 197 points, 65.5 points higher than second place Camden Hills, which had 131.5 points. Cony followed in third place with 120 points.
Heading into the Eastern Class A regionals, the Indians will be the heavy favorite, though the Rams have the talent for a second-place finish and the ability to pressure Skowhegan for first (Camden Hills wrestles in Eastern B).
Six Skowhegan wrestlers won titles last weekend: Cody Craig (106 pounds), Tyler Craig (120), Luke Bolster (132), Kameron Doucette (145), Kaleb Brown (152) and Logan Stevens (160). Cooper Holland (113) and Julian Sirois (138) had second-place finishes. Brown, who pinned Mt. Ararat’s Robert Hetherman in the first period of the championship final, was named the KVAC Class A Wrestler of the Year at the tournament.
None of the Indians’ success at the tournament was a surprise to co-coach Tenney Noyes, who has said all season the team has wrestled to his expectations.
“The boys did a great job,” Noyes said. “It’s what I expected out of them. I see what they put in for work day in and day out. They’ll be able to put it all together and wrestle just like they do in the practice room.”
Cony finished with two champions, Zeko Caudill (138) and Nic Benner (220). Griffin Richards (170) finished second, while Chris Paradis (152) and Jake Fraser (195) each finished third.
“For the most part, I thought the kids wrestled tough all day (during the KVACs),” Cony coach Shawn Totman said after the tournament. “Really the KVACs are a tuneup for the regional meet and I think we’re ready.”
Mt. Ararat, the host of the Eastern A tournament, will also be in the championship hunt. The Eagles had two second-place finishers at the KVACs (Hetherman and Brandon Jusseaume at 182) and finished in sixth place with 78 points.
Mt. Blue and Nokomis are two teams that can also challenge at the tournament. The Cougars had two wrestlers with top-four finishes last weeked, with Nick Hickey (160) fininshing second and J.T. Williams (220) finishing third. The Warriors boasted a first-place finisher in Rusty Wilson (182) and a second-place finisher in Christopher Wilson (195). Jonathan Crocker finished in fourth place at 132 pounds for the Warriors.
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Winslow gets the home advantage on Saturday for the Western Class B tournament.
The Black Raiders are the host school, a positive for a team that had a good showing at the KVAC tournament. Winslow finished in seventh place with 71 points. Nat Beckwith (220) had a second-place finish and Dillon Pelletier (126) finished third.
Leading Winslow is 285-pound KVAC champion Aaron Lint. A senior, Lint, who is undefeated this season, is a two-time state champion, well on his way to capturing his third. Lint was named the KVAC Class B Wrestler of the Year at the KVAC tournament.
“He’s just a big strong kid,” Winslow coach Terry Devereaux said of Lint earlier this season. “He’s only 5 foot 7, but he’s a full 285 (pounds). I haven’t seen anybody yet that equals his strength level. He’s also pretty quick. He moves pretty well on his feet. He’s very compact and almost impossible to take down.”
The Black Raiders will have stiff competition. Mountain Valley resides at the top of the standings, followed by Fryeburg and southern Maine wrestling staples York and Wells.
Erskine is another Western B team that could make noise. The Eagles had six wrestlers at the end of the regular season with 20 or more wins. Joe York (138) and Tyler Azevedo (170) each had a third-place finish a the KVAC tournament while Zach Isbell finished fourth at 160 pounds.
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