Sunday, March 9, 2014
By Dave Dyer
The Cony wrestling team has proven throughout the season it is one of the team that will challenge Skowhegan at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships.
The Rams finished third at the Skowhegan Invitational last weekend with 140 points and won the team title at the Mid-Maine tournament at Mt. View High School on Dec. 28. Cony had 209 points at Mid-Maine, a solid 78 points over second-place finisher Nokomis. The Rams also won the Tiger Inivitational earlier in the season, finishing with 170 points, 68 points better than second-place Gardiner.
Though the Rams have maintained a consistent showing at tournaments, coach Shawn Totman said Cony still has work to do between now and the conference tournament because winter weather has cost them to lose practice time.
“In all honesty, the team is wrestling OK right now, but we’re not where we should be,” Totman said. “Like everyone else our practice schedule over the last few weeks has been severely disrupted due to the terrible weather we’ve been having. That set us behind a little bit, but we are getting back into a good rhythm and the kids are progressing well.”
Seven Cony wrestlers had first-place finishes at Mid-Maine: Zach Charest (106 pounds), Josh Gilbert (113 pounds), Zeko Caudill (138 pounds), Chris Paradis (152 pounds), Victor Tapia-Smith (160 pounds), Christopher Wilson (195 pounds), Nic Benner (220 pounds) and Elias Younes (285 pounds). Totman said he’s been pleased not only with the wrestling of his core group, but also new wrestlers such as Gilbert, a senior who picked up his first tourament title, and Devon O’Connor, a sophomore who placed fourth at 182 pounds at Mid-Maine, the first time he’s placed in a high school tournament.
As the regular season is wrapping up, Totman said the message to the team remains the same, continue to work and improve.
“Every opponent is important for seeding purposes in the KVACs and regional championships,” Totman said. “We need to continue to focus on working hard in practice and push each other and continue to improve. If we do that then the individual and team wins will follow and at the same time, we will put ourselves in a good position to do well with our championship meets.”
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The Skowhegan wrestling team is riding a wave of success with a roster full of new talent that may lead to another conference championship and shot at a state title.
The Indians, the defending conference champions, won the team title at last weekend’s Skowhegan Invitational. The Indians racked up 211 points, thanks to seven first-place finishes. Ellsworth was second with 208.
“It was great,” Skowhegan co-coach Tenney Noyes said. “The boys were amped up to wrestle under the mat light one last time on their home mat. We didn’t get too many home meets this year, so it was kind of tough not wrestling on the home mat and traveling all the time. They’re doing well, they’re working their tails off.”
Skowhegan’s Kam Doucette, who won the 145-pound division, was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler.
Cody Craig (106 pounds), Ty Craig (120 pounds), Julian Sirois (132 pounds), Kaleb Brown (152 pounds), Mikel Federici (182 pounds) and Justin McGuire (195 pounds) also won titles for Skowhegan. Cody Holland finished second at 113 pounds and Logan Stevens finished second at 160 pounds.
Skowhegan also enjoyed success at the Noble Invitational, battling the best Class A schools in the state and finishing second behind defending state champions Marshwood.
Cody Craig, in particular, has been a prime example of the Skowhegan youth movement. A freshman, Craig has won the 106-pound title at the Skowhegan Invitational, the Noble Invitational and the Nokomis Warrior Clash.
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