Cony’s Noah Dumas is the 2019 Kennebec Journal Wrestler of the Year. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

AUGUSTA — At every meet in which he competed, Noah Dumas was the favorite. The one to beat. And the one all other wrestlers were trying a little bit harder to take down.

The Cony senior didn’t mind the pressure. In fact, he loved it.

“That definitely feels good, too,” he said. “Knowing that I’m the guy to beat and still, no one can stop me.”

This year, in Maine, no one did. Dumas was a force in the 106-pound class for the Rams, piling up Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, Class A North and Class A state titles — and often making it look easy in the process.

For his performance, Dumas is the Kennebec Journal’s wrestler of the year. Teammate Aaron Lettre and Erskine’s Anthony Sanborn were also considered.

“It was just a real pleasure to coach a kid that has such an amazing amount of passion for wrestling,” coach Shawn Totman said. “That was his thing. Just all year long, that’s all he thought about, was wrestling.”

Dumas won every time he took the mat. He won meets in Westbrook, Gardiner, Noble and Skowhegan, as well as the conference and regional titles and the New England qualifier.

“Every meet’s the same. I just want to go out there and be as aggressive as possible, and dominate the whole time. Don’t give them a chance to score,” Dumas said. “I think I just keep attacking, attacking, attacking until they kind of just quit. I can almost see it in their eyes. They just give up.”

All paled in comparison to the state title, however, which Dumas had lost by one point as a junior – and which he was determined to take this time.

“I went into the season with one goal, and that goal was to be a state champ,” he said. “I worked all season to make that happen.”

Each week leading up to the meet, Totman could sense his star’s focus.

“He wanted a state championship so bad. That’s what drove him,” he said. “That motivated him for a year. That fueled that fire. … Every day, it was like ‘Okay, what am I doing right now? Is it going to help me win a state championship? And if not, I’ve got to do something else.’ ”

When the chance came, Dumas was ready. He pinned Westbrook/Gorham’s Zachary Davis, then beat Kennebunk’s Eli Soule 5-0 to reach the final. Bonny Eagle’s Caden Frost was up next, but he was going up against a buzzsaw. Dumas pinned him with 48 seconds to go in the first period, and it was time to celebrate.

“It just felt so good. It’s just been something I’ve been waiting for all my life,” Dumas said. “To finally get it and go over and give my dad a hug was the best feeling in the world.”

His coach was almost as thrilled.

“I was so happy when he won,” Totman said. “Knowing how much Noah has poured into this sport, to finally see that pay off with a state championship meant the world to me, to our team and obviously to him. I’ve never seen him so happy.”

The state title was the highlight, but Dumas said a close second came in the KVAC championships, where on his way to first place he set the Cony record with his 188th career win.

“The win record was definitely a goal that I had in the back of my mind coming into the season,” he said. “I counted it down pretty much from the start of the season.”

Totman wasn’t surprised to see him reach it. He praised Dumas’s work ethic and dedication to the sport, which turned out both a physically dominant wrestler and a mentally superior one. No one had Dumas’s combination of strength and speed, and they weren’t going to have any more luck trying to out-think him.

“He could coach himself. He really could,” Totman said. “You want them to be able to think through the match. That’s what the great wrestlers do. … They know the situation they’re in, and they can think through ‘Okay, what’s going to be next.’ I call it chain wrestling, and Noah is the epitome of that.”

It all took place under a calm exterior that never seemed to change even in the biggest meets. That look, however, was a lie, and Dumas’s opponents quickly found that out.

“I think that he’s a perfect example of what you see on the outside not being indicative of what’s on the inside, because he was a fierce competitor,” Totman said. “He may have looked calm on the outside, which is great, but I know on the inside he was ready to go. Winning was everything to him.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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