Nokomis is enjoying a strong season thanks in part to a pair of heavyweights who are opening some eyes around the state.

Hunter Glidden and Jacob Nichols showed their mettle with strong showings at the highly competitive Nobile Invitational recently.

Nichols easily won the heavyweight class at Noble, running his season record to 28-0 while pinning each of his five opponents, including Glidden.

Glidden finished a highly respectable fourth.

Nichols, a senior, sat out last wrestling season after finishing second in the state as a sophomore. That opened the door for Glidden, a junior, to take the varsity spot last season. Glidden responded to the opportunity by placing second in Eastern Maine.

This season, Nichols is back and gunning for the state title that he narrowly missed.

“I want what slipped away from me my sophomore year,” Nichols said. “It’s been haunting me for two years now. I want to be a Class A Maine state champion.”

Nichols had held a lead against Bonny Eagle’s Isaiah Reynolds in the championship finals before losing 5-4 two seasons ago.

Glidden accepts that he is likely to finish the season as the back-up to Nichols.

“He is just a little bit better than me and he is a bit bigger and stronger so he has an advantage on me with that,” said Glidden.

Nichols is 6-foot-5 and weighs a solid 275 pounds. Glidden is shorter, but still finds a way to win.

“Before the start of matches I get nervous and think I’m gonna lose but after I get called up for the match I get myself angry and do as good as I know I can,” he said.

Once on the mat, Glidden is tenacious, Nokomis coach Scot Preble said.

“He just keeps going after kids,” said Preble.

Glidden is 10-5, with two of those losses coming against Nichols.

Glidden is happy to have the chance to get on the mat whenever he can. Some tournaments allow for junior varsity wrestlers to compete. Glidden also had a third-place finish at the Gardiner Tiger Tournament and finished second to Nichols at the Nokomis Warrior Clash on Saturday.

Preble says that Glidden knew what the season was likely to bring.

“He knew when they were playing football that Jacob was coming back and he knew he was going to be the JV wrestler,” he said. “But that didn’t discourage him; he’s stuck with the team and he’s biding his time. He’s looking forward to being on top of victory podiums next year.”

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Skowhegan wrestlers won nine semifinal matches as the Indians easily outdistanced the rest of the field in winning the Nokomis Warrior Clash Tournament on Saturday. Skowhegan scored 186 points to defeat runnerup Dirigo, which had 103. Oxford Hills (93), Foxcroft Academy (84) and Nokomis (67) rounded out the top five in the 16-team field.

Cody Craig (106), Samson Sirois (113), Tyler Craig (120), Julian Sirois (145), Kameron Doucette (152) and Logan Stevens (160) each won individual titles. Jon Bell (120), Cooper Holland (132), and Luke Bolster each finished second.

Doucette was named the tournament outstanding wrestler after beating former state champion Brooks Law of Foxcroft 4-3 in the finals.

“Kam is putting it together on the mat,” said Indians coach Tenney Noyes. “He is believing in his skills and his conditioning.”

Christopher Wilson (195) and Jacob Nichols (285) won titles for the host Warriors. Jacob Booth (106) was second. Hunter Glidden (285) placed second while representing the Nokomis “B” team.

Anthony Barnard (145) and Job Mesaric (195) each finished as runners-up for Mount View High School. The Mustangs finished 10th.

• • •

Gardiner coach Matt Hanley received some good news recently when he learned standout lightweight Peter Del Gallo (120- and 126-pound classes) will be able to return to the mats this winter.

Del Gallo, a two-time state champion and former New England champion, suffered an elbow injury at a preseason clinic at Brown University that threatened to sideline him for the season. However, Del Gallo received good news at a recent doctor’s visit.

“Peter has been cleared by the doctor to wrestle,” said Hanley. “Now it is up to our athletic trainer to determine the time frame of when that will happen.”

Del Gallo suffered a tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, an injury that was projected to require surgery in a worst-case scenario. However, the speed of the healing time has exceeded expectations.

“I’m hoping to be able to compete at our home meet on Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 19),” said Del Gallo. “Right now the trainer is evaluating the strength of my elbow in order to determine exactly when I’ll be ready. I’m restricted to doing cardio and light drilling in the meantime.”

Del Gallo says he is uncertain whether he will compete at 120 pounds or 126 pounds during postseason tournaments.

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