It took Erskine Academy coach Pat Vigue 13 years to reach 100 wins. With hard work and dedication from his wrestlers, he needed just seven years to earn the next 100.
The lone coach in the 20-year history of the program hopes to reach the next 100 in an even quicker amount of time.
“It be great if the (300th win) came a little quicker, too,” Vigue said.
Vigue reached his 200th career team win Monday when Erskine beat Oceanside 48-18. He earned his 201st win the same day when the Eagles beat Medomak Valley 31-30.
“It’s pretty cool, it makes me feel old sometimes,” Vigue said. “When I got into (coaching), I never thought âI want to win 200, 300, 400 matches.’ It just sort of happened.”
Vigue was quick to give credit to assistant coach Rick Hussey, who has been with the program for 17 years. The two were teammates together at Winslow High School.
“He’s really good, a lot of it has to do with his training,” Vigue said. “He’s a real technician. I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Vigue earned his 100th win in January 2008. During the same meet, Vigue’s top wrestler, Sam Helm, earned his 100th individual career win.
Vigue’s 100th win came at a successful time for the program. The Eagles went 18-3 in the 2008-09 season and went 22-6 the following year.
It was benchmark moment for the Eagles, who ran on lean times when the program was started by Vigue in 1995.
“Our first varsity season, we were 2-14,” Vigue said. “The second year we were 6-13. (The records) went up and went down. We haven’t had a losing season in 10 years now.”
Erskine is guaranteed to not have a losing season this year, either. The Eagles, with a roster heavy with underclassmen, are 13-10 with three matches remaining. Vigue has been happy with the effort of his team, and finds the success of this season as a good indicator of where the program is headed in the next couple of years.
“I’ve got one senior, four tough juniors and a bunch of sophomores,” Vigue said. “The future looks bright.”
Multiple wrestlers have 20 or more wins this season for Erskine, including Cameron Grass (106 pounds), Isaac Taylor (120 pounds), Justin Studholme (126 pounds) and Joe York (138 pounds). Zach Isbell (160 pounds) has 19 wins, while Tyler Azevedo has 19 wins.
“They’re all pretty legit,” Vigue said. “None of them are the best guy in the state, but they’re pretty good for a third or a fourth (place finish at states).”
At a time when some local wrestling programs are struggling to find the numbers to fill out an entire roster, Erskine has been lucky to fill out most of their weight classes.
“It’s nice the kids just want to come out and do their best,” Vigue said. “I couldn’t do it without the kids that come out and work. It’s great to be able to fill most of (the weight classes).”
The Eagles have a solid test Saturday before heading into the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference tournament. Erskine faces Mt. View, Oxford Hills and Oceanside as part of a quad-meet in South Paris. The meets begin at 10 a.m.
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Two of the top Class A programs in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference will get a chance to scout each other this week.
Cony High School will Skowhegan, and three other teams at 5 p.m. Friday in Augusta. Winslow, Belfast and Maine Central Insitute will also compete.
Skowhegan, the defending conference champ, has been successful all season. The only team to give the Indians trouble this season is defending Class A state champion Marshwood. The Indians are young, but are not rebuilding. They finished second at the Noble Invitational and won the team title at both the Nokomis Warrior Clash and the Skowhegan Invitational.
Cody Craig, a freshman who wrestlers at 106, is leading the Indians youth movement. He won his weight class at Noble, Nokomis and Skowhegan.
Though Skowhegan is on a roll, co-coach Tenney Noyes said Cony presents a solid test.
“It’s always great wrestling Cony,” Noyes said. “(Shawn) Totman does a great job with those guys. It’s always fun because they’re always tough. You love wrestling those guys because you love the six minute matches.You want to get tested.”
The Rams are having a strong season as well, winning the Tiger Invitational, the Mid-Maine tournament and the Cony Duals.
Cony coach Shawn Totman said the Rams are looking forward to their matchup with Skowhegan.
“We always like wrestling Skowhegan,” Totman said. “They are loaded with tough kids and Coach Noyes, Coach Thompson and the rest of the staff are excellent coaches. There is no doubt that they are one of the most talented teams in the state, but we feel that we are a pretty tough team also. When the ref blows the whistle I know that our kids are going to give it their best shot to beat those guys.
“Win or lose this is the perfect match up for us leading into the championship part of our season. Friday will only make us a better team regardless of the outcome. You can’t help but get pumped up for a night like this.”
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Mt. View continues to have a strong season, sweeping MCI (33-18), Madison (52-0), Lincoln Academy (39-21) and Mt. Blue (37-36) last Saturday at a quad-meet in Pittsfield.
Job Mesaric may have had the most impressive day for the Mustangs. The 220-pound wrestler won his four matches, all by pin, with only one match lasting over a minute.
Chris Cole (285 pounds) went 4-0, including a 7-2 decision over MCI’s Briar Bussell. Anthony Barnard (145 pounds), Ethan Sewell-Berry (170 and 182 pounds), Scott Vaillancourt (152 pounds) and James Blanchette (126 pounds) all went 3-1. Blanchette’s lone loss was to MCI’s Dylan Dahlberg, who reached the Class B finals last season at 120 pounds.
Dave Dyer — 621-5639