Cony High School made the most of the Christmas break by winning the Tiger Invitational and finishing second by 2.5 points to Oxford Hills at the MCI Winter Classic.

The Rams were led by individual champions Noah Dumas (113 pounds), Adrian Larrabee (138), Aaron Lettre (182) and Nic Mills (195) at the Tiger. Quinton Arbour (126), Jakob French (160) and Mitchell MacFarland (285) placed second.

Dumas and Mills repeated their championship performance at MCI while Jakob Arbour (145) and MacFarland were second.

Dumas’ and Mills’ two titles are even more impressive considering that Cony coach Shawn Totman entered them up a weight class above where they normally wrestle for tournaments.

“Doing that allowed me to put our team and wrestlers in the best position possible to succeed,” Totman said. “This has put a little added pressure on those guys to perform against some heavier kids. I think they need that at this time of the year. Moving them up in weight has assured that they will get more matches under their belt and have to work hard against good competition.”

Totman says the team has bought into the idea and everyone accepts that they may have to wrestle higher than the weight class that they qualify for. Kayne Bowden placed at both tournaments at 170 pounds despite weighing in at 160 pounds.

“Our latest dual meet and tournament results have been very good because of this concept,” Totman said. “I firmly believe it will make us better as a team in the long run.”

Dumas, a sophomore captain for the Rams, and junior Dylan Trevino each qualify for 106 pounds.

“Wrestling at 113 has certainly given me more competition in matches,” Dumas said. “The kids there are stronger and it makes me have to use more technique. Having Dylan at 106 is good because he really seems to shine and do well there. I’ll do whatever it takes to get us the win as a team.”

Trevino placed third at both the Tiger and MCI tournaments at 106 pounds.

• • •

Nokomis showed that it still has tournament horsepower at the Noble Invitational. The Warriors placed sixth in the 18-team field and were led by Quinton Richards’ individual championship.

Richards scored a pin against Noble’s Kasey Rogers in the championship finals to claim the gold medal in the 152-pound weight class. Nokomis wrestlers took home six medals.

“This year’s performance really did exceed expectations for Nokomis as we have a very young team — not graduating anyone until 2018,” coach Scott Preble said. “Nokomis took nine kids to the tournament and was able to place six individuals.”

Sophomore David Wilson (160) made it to the finals, losing in overtime to Sanford’s Sam Anderson. Anderson was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.

Josh Brown (113) placed third while James Boyd (195) was fourth. Jarek Munson (138) was fifth and Hunter Glidden placed sixth in the 285-pound weight class.

“Our team needs the experience of those big matches and to be able to capitalize on the opponents’ subtle mistakes,” said Preble. “I was extremely pleased with how the Nokomis team wrestled in this tournament.”

Nokomis will host the Warrior Clash on Saturday.

Fifteen schools will be represented at the Clash. Skowhegan will aim to defend its team championship earned last season and is expected to be challenged by Foxcroft Academy, Oxford Hills and host Nokomis. Skowhegan’s Cody Craig, Samson Sirois and Cooper Holland each won individual championships last season and are expected to battle for top honors again. Wrestling is expected to begin at 10 a.m.

• • •

Mount View freshman Mark Ward has made an immediate impact. Ward caught the attention of coaches and fans at the MCI Winter Classic when he captured the 132-pound championship by pinning two opponents in preliminary round matches and then winning the championship by an 18-2 technical fall over returning champion Donavin Rector of Morse.

“Mark has been wrestling since a young pee wee and has availed himself of many opportunities to wrestle out of state and against some of Maine’s elite wrestlers (at clubs),” coach Hamilton Richards said. “He’s tough, competitive and pretty technical. He’s also very coachable and willing to work hard. He’s hungry and willing to put in the work to stay competitive with the very best.”

Ward holds a current season record of 9-2 with his only losses being to two very tough competitors — Oak Hill’s Danny Buteau (3-0) and Mt. Ararat’s Christian Jensen (10-6). Buteau is a senior going after his fourth state title while Jensen is also a senior who has placed three times at the Class A state meet. Ward wrestled Jensen up a weight, at 138 pounds, and is unlikely to face him again. He could potentially meet up again with Buteau at the Skowhegan Tournament on January 14.

“He’s had a good start, beating some tough opponents and being competitive with the few top wrestlers who have managed to best him,” Richards said. “Our intent is for continued improvement and to see how much he’s narrowing the gap against those at the top.”

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