Saturday, March 8, 2014
By Gary Hawkins firstname.lastname@example.org
TOPSHAM — Skowhegan took care of business as expected at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference wrestling championships Saturday, winning its second KVAC title in a row in impressive fashion.
The Indians scored 197 points in the 20-team meet, that included Class A and Class B schools, to 131.5 for runner-up Camden Hills. Cony finished third with 120 points.
“We pushed really hard this week in practice,” said Skowhegan sophomore Logan Stevens, who won the 160-pound title. “I think our coach is really proud of us.”
The Indians placed eight wrestlers in the finals and came away with six titles. In addition to Stevens, freshman Cody Craig won at 106, junior Tyler Craig at 120, sophomore Luke Bolster at 132, sophomore Kameron Doucette at 145, and junior Kaleb Brown at 152. Brown was named the KVAC’s outstanding Class A wrestler while Skowhegan’s Tenny Noyes and Brooks Thompson were named Class A coaches of the year. Class B KVAC seasonal awards went to Winslow senior Aaron Lint, who won the 285-pound championship Saturday, and Mt. View coach Hamilton Richards.
“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 able to put it all together and wrestle just like they do in the practice room.”
Cody Craig, who won a major decision over Brunswick’s Christian Jensen, remains unbeaten this season as does Brown, who pinned Mt. Ararat’s Robert Hetherman in a minute, eight seconds. The only two Skowhegan wrestlers to lose in the finals were freshman Cooper Higgins at 113 and sophomore Julian Sirois at 138. Higgins had the misfortune of wrestling defending state and New England champion Peter Del Gallo of Gardiner and was pinned early in the third period. Del Gallo, who is 91-0 in Maine over his first two years at Gardiner, is gearing up for showdown at the regionals next week against unbeaten Caleb Austin of Mountain Valley.
“I’ve definitely improved,” Del Gallo said. “I’m getting more in shape.”
Sirois lost a 6-4 decision to Cony’s Zeko Claudill, but nearly caught him at the end of the third period. The two had not met before since Sirois jumped up a weight class. Claudill has over 30 wins this season and just one loss, to Walker Roberts of Belfast, which he avenged Saturday with a 6-0 decision.
Cony also got a win from senior Nic Benner, who pinned Winslow’s Nat Beckwith in the 220-pound division. Senior Griffin Richards finished second at 170 for the Rams while Chris Paradis (152) and Jake Fraser (195) each won consolation finals.
“For the most part, I thought the kids wrestled tough all day,” Cony coach Shawn Totman said. “Really the KVACs are a tuneup for the regional meet and I think we’re ready.”
Nokomis got a win at 182 from Rusty Wallace, who pinned his opponent at 1:27. The Warriors got a second place finish from Christopher Wilson at 195 while Maine Central Institutes’s Dylan Dahlbergh (126) and Mt. Blue’s Nick Hickey (160) also took second. Lint was impressive in running his record to 39-0 with a pin, his 31st, of Mt. View’s Chris Cole in the first period of their heavyweight match.
“He’s very strong but he’s also quick for his size,” Winslow coach Terry Devereaux said. “He moves his feet very well and has good balance for a big guy. And he’s very, very aggressive.”
Erskine’s Joe York (138) and Tyler Azevedo each won in the consolation finals by pinning their opponents while Winslow’s Dillon Pelletier also finished third at 126.Gary Hawkins — email@example.comTwitter: @GaryHawkinsKJ