Erskine Academy senior Isaac Taylor recently became the second wrestler in program history to win his 100th career match. Taylor joined Justin Studholme in accomplishing the feat.

Taylor, who wrestles at 132 pounds, reached the milestone Jan. 2 in South China against Winslow and Belfast.

“Isaac is a great kid and one of my captains,” said coach Patrick Vigue. “He has worked hard for this and I’m proud of him. It was nice that it was at home and lots of his family were there.”

Taylor is 20-2 on the season and won his weight class at the Gardiner Tiger tournament.

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New Mt Blue wrestling coach Justin Nile says a love for the sport coupled with an opportunity to coach his son is what drew him to the position after former coach Scott Jennings returned to his home state of Iowa.

“I’ve always had a passion for the sport and had coached peewee wrestling for a few years and was the assistant coach last season for the middle school,” said Nile. “When the job came open, I figured I would try it out.”

Nile’s son, Justin, is currently the 152-pound starter as a freshman on the squad.

“Coaching my son was hard at first — trying to separate the dad-versus-coach role,” he said. “But I think we finally have got a handle on me treating him like the other kids and him treating me as a coach.”

Nile graduated from Mt. Blue in 1993 and was a member of a regional championship team. He is employed by Coca-Cola and starts his work day at 5 a.m. so he can be done in time to spend a little time in the high school before practice begins.

“I try to get into the school to talk kids into coming out, even in the middle of the season. The numbers were really low at the end of last season and I’m working to build things back up,” he said.

The Cougars are young, but getting better with experience.

“I have five freshmen, one sophomore and four juniors in the starting lineup,” Nile said. “We are improving week by week and I can really see us peaking by regionals.”

Jagger Bullen, Adam Brooker, Breanna Inman, Hayden Nile, Amber Dunham are the freshmen on the team. Katianne McLaughlin is the lone sophomore, while Hunter Centeio, Austin Seeley, Ryan Larkin and Levi Libby are juniors.

Senior captain Terry Storer provides leadership for the team.

“I couldn’t ask any thing more of Terry,” said Nile. “He has been a giant help to me in making sure kids are ready for matches. He is an outstanding wrestler and will definitely be missed next year.”

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Winslow placed seventh out of 16 teams at the Skowhegan Invitationl tournament. The Black Raiders were led by a championship performance by Ryan Fredette and had four other individuals earn medals. Fredette defeated Oceanside’s Dallas Ball 7-1 in the 170-pound finals match to capture gold.

Nat Beckwith also reached the championship match in the 285-pound class. Beckwith would finish second to Nokomis’ Hunter Glidden.

Beckwith, a senior, earned his 100th career victory during the day. Beckwith is a four-year starter and has improved greatly over his career, coach Kris Segars said.

“Nat has a lot of natural athleticism,” he said. “He is much stronger now than even last year and he is finally learning how to combine that with his quickness.”

Ben Abbott (160) placed third while Devon Vigue (120) and Patrick Hopkins (182) were fourth. Segars sees good things happening as the season progresses.

“The entire team is improving,” he said. “Wyatt Dutton won a couple matches at 195, so did Tony Park at 145 and Andrew Mattingly at 152. Both Wyatt and Andrew are first year wrestlers.”

Segars expects Beckwith and Vigue to both move down a weight class as the regular season draws to a close. Vigue was a Class B state champion at 113 last season while Beckwith was second at 220.

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