The landscape of Maine’s high school wrestling may dramatically change next season under a proposal by the Maine Principals’ Association wrestling committee. The proposal would eliminate Class C wrestling and realign all existing programs into Class A and B divisions.

Currently, Class A and B each have regional championships. Class C did away with regional tournaments several years ago in favor of just a State C championship tournament. The proposed new format would retain the A and B regionals.

Declining participation in the sport has been noted as being one of the major reasons behind the proposal, which has met with mixed reviews by local coaches.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Scot Padelford, coach of Class C Madison. “We need to do whatever we can to keep wrestling competitive. Right now, there are no Class C regional tournaments, so all the Class C kids make it to states regardless of record. It takes away from the whole prestige of being a state qualifier.”

Gardiner’s Matt Hanley would see his team move to Class A from Class B under the proposal.

“I don’t love it, because Gardiner is low in numbers right now,” Hanley said. “But I’m in favor of the consolidation. I feel it’s better for the sport as a whole. It should make for larger numbers in each weight class at the regional tournament. Currently, kids sometimes make the state tournament just because there are only four entrants in their weight class at regionals. It will mean more to earn a regional medal if this change happens.”

Cony coach Shawn Totman, whose team competes in Eastern A, is unconvinced that the elimination of Class C is the solution.

“I do not believe that what is being proposed by the MPA will solve the issues that Maine wrestling faces,” he said. “Going to two classes does not address the problem of numbers of kids participating, which is a problem for a lot of high school sports, not just wrestling, as a lot of people seem to perceive. The New England qualifier/All-State tournament takes care of the problem of figuring out who the best in the state are. This tournament was created to put the highest quality kids in the state on the mat together to figure out who the three best are to represent Maine at the New England championships. Until someone come up with a rock solid plan to make wrestling better for everyone who participates I am in favor of letting the classes stay the way they are.”

The proposal will be voted upon at an MPA spring meetings, which will be held April 30-May 1.

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Danny Buteau won the 106-pound class with a pin in the championship finals and led Oak Hill to a fifth-place finish at the Mid State League Championship tournament Saturday. Logan Childs finished second in the 285-pound class, while Frank Smith was third at 126 pounds. Zach Cloutier (120), Sam Woodard (160), and Brendon Tervo (170) each placed fourth.

Madison’s Ryan Cass finished second at 182 pounds while Matt Brown was third at 285 pounds.

For Monmouth Academy, freshman Abram Sirois placed fourth at 138 pounds.

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Skowhegan appears to be the clear favorite to defend its team title in the 10-team Eastern A regionals, which will be held Saturday at Oxford Hills. The Indians are extremely strong in the lower and middle weight classes and are anchored by state champion brothers, Cody and Tyler Craig. Another set of brothers, Samson and Julian Sirois, have also been standouts for the Indians. Logan Stevens won an individual regional title last season while Kameron Doucette was second. Jon Bell has won close to 30 matches as a freshman. Luke Bolster and Cooper Holland add quality to the Skowhegan lineup.

Nokomis also has quality competitors in its lineup. Senior Jacob Nichols is 35-0 at 285 pounds while sophomore Christopher Wilson (195) has 32 wins. Jacob Booth (106) has 32 wins while Jacob Richards (182) has 29.

Cony’s Zeko Caudill (138) holds a perfect 30-0 record.

• • •

The Eastern and Western regionals will be held in Class A and B on Saturday. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the state championships, which are scheduled Feb. 14.

Erskine, Winslow, Gardiner, Mount View, and Oak Hill will travel to Wells for the Western B championships. MCI will be at Medomak Valley for the Eastern B tournament.

Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. at all venues.


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