Mt. View placed fifth out of 21 teams at the Penobscot Valley Holiday Tournament. James Blanchette (106) and Mark Dolloff (138) each placed second for the Mustangs, while Tyler Stevenson (220) placed fourth.

“Blanchette and Dolloff recently dropped down a weight class,” Mt. View coach Hamilton Richards said. “They are faring better at the lower weights.”

The Mustangs depth allowed them to finish fifth.

“Almost all our kids won a match and several nearly made it into the consolation finals,” Richards said. “We picked up a lot of pins and that kept us in the hunt for a top four finish most of the day.”

Depth has been an elusive quality for the Mustangs over the past few years, according to Richards. An officer in the Maine Army National Guard, Richards missed two seasons due to overseas deployment.

While he was gone, the program numbers dwindled.

“When I came back from Afghanistan for the 2007-2008 season, I had three kids that first practice and none of them had wrestled for me before,” Richards said.

“The district had cut our middle school program as well. Since then, our numbers have been creeping back: Eight or so the next year; 15 or so by 2009-2010; and 17-18 last season. Meanwhile, we got the middle school program reinstated and we have an active Pee Wee program too.”

This season, there are more than 20 wrestlers on the high school squad, according to Richards.

• • •

Gardiner’s Daniel Del Gallo turned in a dominating performance at the Noble Invitational Tournament, winning three matches by pin and a fourth by major decision. Del Gallo pinned Foxcroft’s Forrest Law late in the third period to win the 138-pound title.

Del Gallo finished third at the tournament last season and the win this year was especially satisfying.

“It felt really great to win the tournament,” Del Gallo said. “I like the Noble Tournament because you can see the southern teams and some-out-of state kids. I wasn’t scored on the whole tournament and that made me feel really good about my wrestling.”

Still, DelGallo doesn’t feel he is quite where he wants to be.

“I had a couple of matches that went the full three periods and that usually doesn’t happen,” Del Gallo said. “It made me realize I have some more work to do to get in the best shape I can be for the end-of-the-season tournaments.”

Teammate Wyatt Thornton (152) finished third in his weight class.
• • •

Erskine finished third at the Penobscot Valley Holiday Tournament, the best among local teams. Ryan Wood (170) and Cade Ayotte (182) both finished in second place. Joe York (126) was third while Robert Soohey (145) was fourth.

Nokomis’ Jon Crocker captured the 120-pound title while teammate Zach McFarlin (182) placed third.

Madison had three medalists: Cody Soucier (145), Kyle Foley (170) and Ryan Malcolm (220) each placed third in their respective weight classes.

Maine Central Institute’s Dylan Dahlberg took second at 113 pounds, while Will Cu was fourth at 126. Winslow’s Aaron Lint placed third at 285.

• • •

Mt Blue finished fourth and Cony finished sixth out of 25 teams at the highly competitive Noble Invitational Tournament. Noble won the tournament, followed by Camden Hills and Massabesic.

 Mt. Blue freshman Tyler Craig (106) advanced from the No. 6 seed to the championship finals by pinning two opponents and beating third-seeded Elliot Allen (Marshwood) by an 8-1 decision.
In the finals, Craig pinned top-seeded Bill Gagner (Noble) in the first period to win the title.

“Tyler Craig is a perfect example of what you can be with a total commitment to the sport, both during and off season,” Mt. Blue coach Bob O’Connor said. “If things keep going and we can make small adjustments with his game he will become more unpredictable on the mat and has a great chance at being Mt. Blue’s first freshman state champion.”

Khalil Newbill (120) placed second, while Caleb Farrington (170) placed third. Chris Ingram (152) was fourth and Kevin Moore (126), Drew Blanchette (138), and Zach Faulkner (160) each placed fifth.    

“We went to Noble with the idea of seeing how we stack up to other Class A teams,” O’Connor said. “I think it went very well. If you take out all the matchups that were out of class and Mt Blue wrestlers who still plan on dropping a weight class, we will be very strong come February.”

Thon Itthipalakorn (145), Cody Dular (195), and Steven Morse (285) each placed third for Cony. Mikal Federici (170) took fourth. Nic Benner was fifth at 182 and Connor Dufour was sixth at 132.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.