There was nothing easy about Danny Del Gallo’s experience at the National High School Wrestling Tournament in Virginia, Beach, Va. over the weekend where he finished 3-2 against some of the best competition in the country.

First, the two-time state champ from Gardiner had to lose 15 pounds to qualify for the 132-pound weight division.

“It’s always pretty tough,” said Del Gallo, who lost the weight in a week-and-a-half. “But it’s not that bad once you learn how to do it.”

Del Gallo’s next problem was his first opponent, Colt Cotton of Pennsylvania. With 61 competitors in his bracket, this proved a tough draw since Cotton eventually finished second overall. Del Gallo lost that first match 5-4 which put him in the loser’s bracket.

“I was in on his legs twice in the last period,” Del Gallo said. “I almost got a takedown. It was real close.”

Del Gallo bounced back to pull out wins over New York’s Ricky Schweickhard (5-0), Virginia’s Luke Stewart (6-3) and Minnesota’s Gus McCarthy (pin at 1:13) before being eliminated 8-1 by Chris Wilkes, a multiple-time state champ from Missouri.

“I felt pretty good,” Del Gallo said. “Things would have been different if I hadn’t wrestled that kid right off the bat.”

There were 45 states represented at the tournament which was broken down by class. Del Gallo’s junior division featured a total of 695 wrestlers.

Del Gallo finished at 52-1 this season, losing only to James Smith of Natick, Mass., in the finals of the New England high school championships. He went unbeaten in Maine, winning his second straight Class B state title, this one at 138 pounds, and was named the meet’s outstanding wrestler.

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Cony softball coach Rocky Gaslin may have more pitching than he needs but he plans to use all three of his quality arms this season. Senior left-hander Emily Soule returns after leading the Rams to a 14-4 record last season. She has good movement on her pitches and works the inside and outside corners of the plate.

New to the lineup is junior Sonja Morse who transferred from Erskine after going 11-5 last year. She’s a power pitcher who works the ball up and down. Freshman Arika Brochu is a combination of both pitchers and can work the the ball up and down and side to side.

“All three of them can pitch,” Gaslin said. “I’m not worried about who’s going to be in there. I’m looking at probably going right-lefty halfway through the game.”

All three pitchers are good hitters and can play in the field, too, which will ease some of Gaslin’s decision-making. Gaslin had Mika Wilson and Jasmin Trott split duties in each game in the 2009 season when the Rams reached the Eastern A title game and finished at 19-2.

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Just about every baseball field in central Maine is playable, a stark contrast to a year ago when there was still snow on the ground. Unseasonably warm temperatures two weeks ago helped thaw the ground, but typical April weather has since returned.

“I’ve never been so cold in my life,” Hall-Dale coach Tim Johnson said following his team’s scrimmage at Kents Hill on Monday.

Game time temperature was 43 degrees with a brisk wind blowing across Kents Hill’s vast expanse of artificial turf.

Erskine’s field, which typically dries quickly, has been ready for some time. The boosters club put $11,000 into a new infield which was skimmed 10 feet into the outfield. Kentucky bluegrass was placed in sections to complete the new infield.

 

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The Monmouth baseball team will miss two key players this season. Sophomores Brandon Goff and DJ McHugh are recovering from injuries and expected to miss the season. Goff, who started every game had shortstop last season, had wrist surgery following the basketball season, while McHugh, who plays second base, tore a knee ligament over the winter. The pair were expected to hit near the top of the lineup and were 2-3 in the pitching rotation.

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Three experienced baseball people have offered their services as assistants to area teams. Dave Morin will assist Marc Fortin at Winthrop, replacing Rick Conant who left due to job commitments. Morin coached Edward Little soccer for 34 years before resigning last fall and earlier coached Leavitt baseball for 16 years before stepping down in 2009. Morin, who lives in Wayne, retired from teaching three years ago.

“He brings a wealth of knowledge,” Fortin said. “He’s a great addition.”

JB MacDonald, who is a state trooper, volunteered his services as a pitching coach for Erskine Academy. MacDonald was the ace of the Boston College staff and was drafted by the Houston Astros in 2009. He left baseball the following year after developing arm problems.

Former Gardiner and UMaine star Kyle Stilphen is helping out at Oak Hill.

“Kyle Stilphen is doing an awesome job,” first-year coach Pete Dennis said. “He’s working with pitchers, infielders and hitters, He’s everywhere.”

Former Mt. Ararat coach Bruce Kingdon returned to Hall-Dale this season to work as an assistant for head coach Tim Johnson but was forced to retire for health reasons.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

 

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