Cony High School’s Chris Paradis pulled off an upset win over defending state champion Nick Janes of Marshwood to win the 145-pound class at Saturday’s Westbrook Invitational Tournament. Paradis won two preliminary matches by pin before beating Janes by decision, 15-9, in the championship finals.
“I was thrilled for Chris,” Cony coach Shawn Totman said. “He wrestled more focused and confident than I have seen him in the past. He stayed relatively calm in a pretty intense atmosphere and was able to pull out a tough match against a high quality wrestler.”
It was the first time Paradis, a junior, had won a tournament championship, according to Totman.
“I watched his (Janes’) semifinals match and saw that he liked to take quick shots,” Paradis said. “So, I played it smart and kept a good defense and was able to score with my own leg shots.”
The Rams finished fifth in the 10-team field. Chantelle Miller (106) placed second while Jake Fraser (220) was third. Steven Beland (138), Nic Benner (195) and Elias Younes (285) each finished fourth.
Totman had mixed emotions about the day.
“I was satisfied with where we ended up in the team score of the tournament,” he said, “but frustrated by some of the careless mistakes we were making in some earlier matches in the day. Those silly errors really cost us in the competition, though it was nice to see the kids wrestle better as the day went on.”
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Skowhegan Area High School placed third at the Westbrook Invitational behind defending Class A champion Marshwood High School and traditional Western A power Massabesic High School. Skowhegan brought just nine wrestlers to the meet but seven placed in the top four in their individual weight classes, including individual champions Carter Stevens (160) and Kameron Doucette (138).
“As coaches, we were very impressed with our team’s performance,” Skowhegan coach Tenney Noyes said. Wrestling a handful of the (strongest) Western A teams right out of the gate is great, it shows us what we need to do to get to the next level.”
Stevens, a senior captain, cruised to the finals by pinning two opponents and beat Bonny Eagle’s Robie Martin 15-7 in the final match.
“I can’t say enough good things about this kid,” Noyes said. “He was voted student of the month for December, is on the honor roll and in the school band, and is an animal on the mat.”
Doucette led a strong group of freshmen who earned three medals Saturday. Doucette, seeded fourth, knocked off top-ranked Scott Kirkpatrick of Westbrook by a 6-2 decision in the semifinals. He then beat Massabesic’s second-seeded Zac Richards 7-2 in the finals.
“We’ve been watching Kam rise up through the youth program for years,” Noyes said. “He is a very coachable wrestler that is always looking to improve, and he loves pushing the upper classman in the practice room.”
Freshmen Julian Sirois (132) placed third and Logan Stevens (145) was fourth. Tyler Craig (120) and Andrew Pineo (195) placed second. Kaleb Brown (152) was third.
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Erskine Academy kicked off its season at the Penobsct Valley Tournament and had five wrestlers win their weight class (Isaac Taylor at 106, Joe York at 132, Tyler Azevedo at 170, Cade Ayotte at 182 and Kyle Cassidy at 220). No team scores were kept.
“It’s a small tournament, but I like it because all our kids get to wrestle, not just one per weight class,” Erskine coach Patrick Vigue said. “I took 23 kids there and 18 placed in the top four.”
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The 39th Tiger Invitational Tournament will be held Saturday at Gardiner Area High School. Gardiner, Cony, Erskine, MCI, Morse, Mt Blue, Monmouth Academy, Westbrook, and Nokomis will compete for the team title. Mt Blue’s Khalil Newbill and Kevin Moore, Cony’s Nic Benner and Gardiner’s Daniel Del Gallo each won their weight class last season and are expected back to defend their titles.
Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 9:30 am and the finals are expected to begin at 3:30 pm.