Tyler Craig had the best freshman season of any Mt. Blue High School wrestler. He won titles at the Tiger Invitational, the Noble Invitational and the Nokomis Tournament in the regular season, then won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and Eastern A regional titles at 106 pounds. He capped his season by becoming the first Mt. Blue wrestler to win a state title as a freshman at the Class A state championships.

He finished the season 45-0.

For his outstanding season, Craig has been named the Morning Sentinel Wrestler of the Year.
Craig didn’t show any of the typical characteristics of a rookie during his freshman season, according to Mt. Blue coach Bob O’Connor. Craig, according to O’Connor, wrestled close to 100 matches a year during middle school, traveling with his father Bob and younger brothers, Cody and Jacob, to enter tournaments.

“Tyler has a very strong work ethic and has the support of his parents,” O’Connor said. “They will send him to any tournament or clinic if it means he can get the edge on the competition. Getting mat time is how you become a great wrestler.”

As good as his season was, Craig expresses disappointment over his performance at the New England tournament, where he won only one of three matches.

“I feel that I had a great year, but at the same time, I wish I had done better at New Englands,” Craig said. “My goal was to either win or get on the podium (earn a top-six finish), but I fell short.”

The New England tournament is a six state tournament with 22 wrestlers in each weight class. Craig lost to Pascal Medor of Connecticut in his first match. Medor went on to win the weight class.

“I have a lot of goals for the future,” Craig said. “First, I want to repeat at states and take at least top three at New Englands. I would love to wrestle Division I in college and try to become an All-American.”

O’Connor doesn’t expect Craig to stay at 106 next year.

“I see Tyler growing, possibly going up a class or two,” O’Connor said. “He will hit some national events this summer and being a little heavier will show him what he will need to do before next season.”

Bob Craig also sees his son moving up in weight.

“At first Ty had no problem making weight as he was around 104 pounds in early November, but he did hit a bit of a growth spurt midseason,” Bob said. “His goals are to build up some muscle as he grows and improve a lot more on his technique in the offseason.”

O’Connor added: “Tyler is a good kid and is a great asset to the Mt. Blue program. He is the perfect example of how hard work and dedication can put you on top. My hope is that others in the Mt. Blue program will see this and be motivated by it.”


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