Despite having just 10 wrestlers on its roster, the Skowhegan Area High School wrestling team made a run at the title at the Nokomis Warrior Tournament on Saturday.

Skowhegan held a lead in the tournament before finishing second with 135.5 points, 13.5 points behind Dirigo.

“The team did an outstanding job wrestling to their potential,” Skowhegan coach Tenney Noyes said. “Each wrestler wrestled to their seed or better. Each of the 10 wrestlers entered in the tourney wrestled like we knew they could, resulting in seven of them placing, with six being in the finals.”

In the end, Dirigo’s depth proved to be too much. The Cougars filled all 14 weight classes. Only four Cougars made it to the finals, but five others picked up valuable points by advancing to the consolation finals.

Skowhegan got championship performances from Kaleb Brown (138), Carter Stevens (152), Christian Jackson (160), Andrew Pineo (195), and Zach Witham (220). Levi Hayden (182) placed second while John Swett (120) was fourth.

Brown, Stevens and Jackson are still undefeated this season, according to Noyes.

“The entire team had an exceptional performance,” Noyes said. “Nobody had a down day or match. In head-to-head competition, Skowhegan wrestlers went 22-9, with 11 pins, 3 tech falls, and 1 major decision.”

* * *

Nokomis Regional High School’s Zach McFarlin (182) became just the second Warrior wrestler to win the Nokomis Tournament since its inception four seasons ago. Heiko Nichols won the 285-pound class during the inaugural edition of the tournament.

Ironically, Nichols was the lone Nokomis entrant in the tournament the following year. Graduation and other factors had decimated the Nokomis program.

Wrestling is a sport that generally relies on its athletes to get mats moved and the gym set up for tournaments, however, Nokomis coach Scott Preble didn’t have to look far for help.

“I’ve got an awesome group of parents who provide a lot of help for this event,” Preble said. “Even parents whose kids have graduated, come back to help.”

This year, Nokomis filled nine of the 14 weight classes and kept four medals at home. Besides McFarlin’s championship win, Robert Hamburger (106) placed second, Jonathon Crocker (126) was third, while Jacob Nichols (285) placed fourth.

McFarlin, a sophomore, is in just his third year of wrestling, according to Preble.

“He hasn’t even begun to reach his talent yet,” Preble said.

After a couple of lean seasons, Nokomis has seen an increase in numbers.

“The results are coming from the middle school program and I’ve got some parents who really work at recruiting,” Preble said.

* * *

Maine Central Institute’s Jacob McGowan (285) opened his senior campaign by winning his weight class at the preseason Westlake Memorial Tournament. On Saturday, he defeated Wells High School’s Noah French 3-1 at the Nokomis Tournament to win his first-ever regular-season tournament.

Last season, McGowan placed third in the Eastern B regional, but was unable to compete in the state championship due to an injury.

“I think winning the Westlake showed him he could be one of the top guys at 285,” MCI coach Mike Libby said. “His confidence in his abilities has really improved.”

Libby said that attending a wrestling camp last summer has been a big factor in McGowan’s improvement.

“Most of my coaching is around speed, agility and technique,” Libby said. “That leaves out a lot of the upper body work you see in heavyweight matches. The camp was great for Jake because he got to work with some bigger guys specifically on moves for the heavier weight classes.”

McGowan usually weighs in around 225 pounds and is often considerably lighter than his opponents.

“220 (pound class) is still a possibility and we will probably get him a match or two at that weight,” said Libby.

* * *

Mt. Blue finished in third place at the Nokomis Tournament. Tyler Craig (106), Kevin Moore (126) and Caleb Farrington (170) captured individual championships for the Cougars. Chris Ingram (152) was second while Khalil Newbill (120) placed third. Tyler Sennick (182), and Raymond Clark (220) were fourth.

Other local wrestlers earning medals at the tournament were Monmouth Academy’s Alex Turbide (second at 113 pounds) and teammate Stewart Buzzell (fourth at 138).

MCI’s Dylan Dahlbergh placed fourth at 106 pounds.


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.