Cony finished in fourth place at the recent Cony Duals Tournament. The Rams went 4-1 in dual matches to add to a season record that currently stands at 10-2. Coach Shawn Totman stresses the importance of dual meets to his athletes, but says his philosophy is not shared by everyone.
“I disagree with the many coaches who have told me that they do not consider the dual meet part of the season important,” said Totman.
“Cony wrestles in seven tournaments, but we compete against 24 teams in dual meets. I tell our kids that every meet is essential for us to wrestle well in and hopefully win. The dual meets allow kids more of an opportunity to hone and practice skills and new technique. Most important, it helps build a team atmosphere in a sport that relies heavily on individual success.”
The Rams have a 134-16 dual meet record since 2006 and have won 20 or more matches in six consecutive seasons, according to Totman.
“When we are in a close, heated dual meet, sometimes I will take a second to look around and take in the amazing scene,” said Totman. “What I will see are the fans cheering, coaches are intense, but most important everyone on the team is up, yelling and cheering, adding to what is one of the coolest atmospheres in all of high school sports.”
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The Del Gallo brothers continued their winning ways at the recent Noble Tournament. The Noble Tournament fields 24 teams and is considered one of the toughest regular-season tournaments in the state.
Daniel recorded two pins, a technical fall and a 5-3 decision in winning the 145-pound weight class. It was the second consecutive year that Daniel won the tournament.
Peter, a freshman, won the 113 pound title with a 14-5 major decision against Noble’s Bill Gagner. But, it was his semifinal win in triple overtime against Skowhegan’s defending state champion Tyler Craig that had the crowd on its feet, according to Tiger coach Matt Hanley.
“That was one of the best matches of the entire tournament,” said Hanley. “There were some great scrambles and both Peter and Tyler wrestled great.”
In the end, Del Gallo controlled Craig in the final ride-out to secure a 3-2 win.
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The Skowhegan team has had great success over the past few weeks. The Indians won the Cony Duals, beating traditional Western A power Noble in the finals. Skowhegan wrestlers earned eight medals at the Noble Tournament. Andrew Pineo (195) won his weight class while Kam Doucette (132) placed second.
Indian wrestlers captured six individual titles and handily won the team championship at the Nokomis Tournament. Freshman Julian Sirois was named the meet’s Outstanding Wrestler after capturing the 126-pound class. Tyler Craig (113), Kaleb Brown (138), Carter Stevens (152), Mikal Federici (170), and Andrew Pineo (195) also won gold medals.
Beating Noble in the Cony Duals was a highlight for Skowhegan coach Tenney Noyes.
“I’ve been involved with Skowhegan wrestling since the early to mid ’90s (wrestling, then coaching) and this is the first win over Noble in that timeframe,” said Noyes. “But, the biggest highlight for me is seeing them change from a group of great individual wrestlers into a great team.”
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Mt Blue turned in a solid performance at the Nokomis tournament finishing in third place behind individual winners Kevin Moore (132) and Travis Stuard (220).
Moore beat Skowhegan’s Kameron Doucette 6-4 in the semifinals before knocking off top-seeded Colin Sevigney of Wells in the finals by a 1-0 score. Sevigney won his class in the Noble tournament and was named the Outstanding Wrestler.
“Kevin really stepped it up at Nokomis, beating two of the toughest wrestlers in the state,” said coach Bob O’Connor.
Stuard won all three of his bouts by pin.
“Travis has been a powerhouse all year,” said O’Connor.
Khalil Newbill (126) also reached the championship finals, finishing in second place. Danny Read (120) was third while Tyler Sennick (182) placed fourth.
O’Connor sees even better days ahead for the Cougars.
“We are suffering with some injuries and illnesses so I believe our performance was not up to what we are capable of,” he said. “Within the next two weeks, we will have two starters, Nick Hyde and Drew Blanchet, back on the mat.”
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MCI hosted the 1st Mid-Maine Tournament over the holiday break. The tournament is scheduled to rotate between MCI and Mt View each year.
The Huskies finished in third place in a field that was reduced from eight teams to seven when Caribou had to cancel due to bad weather conditions. Ellsworth won the overall team title.
“I would love to grow the tournament and I think it will grow in the years to come,” said MCI coach Mike Libby. “I especially was happy to see some teams that we otherwise might not see, such as Ellsworth who is in our region.”
MCI advanced six wrestlers to the championship finals. Tanner Littlefield won the 126-pound class while Chris Watrous (113), Dylan Dahlbergh (120), Trevor Kitchin (152), Gus McWilliams (160) and Seth Wilcox (195) placed second.
“We had a great showing out of Gus McWilliams at 160 and Tanner Littlefield dominated his finals match,” said Libby. “Dylan Dahlbergh continues his strong campaign though he has been suffering through some sickness which went through the team over break. Trevor Kitchin has also been wrestling pretty tough in a tough weight class.”
Mt.View’s Anthony Barnard won the 145-pound class while teammates Matt Wheeler (138) and Devan Fuller (285) finished in second place.
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Cony, Gardiner, Madison, Mt. Blue, Mt View, Nokomis, Skowhegan and Winslow are among 14 teams that will compete at the 1st Skowhegan Wrestling Tournament on Saturday. Brewer, Deering, Ellsworth, Portland, Westbrook and Windham complete the field.
“The start time is 9 a.m.,” said Skowhegan coach Brooks Thompson. “We are hoping to have 20-plus teams next year but this should be a good start for our first year.”