Mt. Blue’s Stephen Galkowski, right, wrestles Lawrence’s Ashton Darling in the 165-pound weight class during the Class A North wrestling championships on Feb 10 at Oxford Hills High in Paris. Galkowski went on to win the regional title. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The 2023-24 wrestling season saw several central Maine wrestlers win state championships and one team, Mt. Blue, establish itself as the area’s top team.

Mt. Blue won the Class A North championship on Feb. 10 at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris. The Cougars also had five wrestlers win regional crowns, including: Preston Garland (106 pounds), Nick Rowe (138), Dillon Gray (144), Stephen Galkowski (157) and Jason Bagley (190). The Cougars would go on to take third place at the Class A championships, behind Noble and champion Massabesic.

Gray, a freshman, would go on to capture an individual Class A title, edging Noble’s Cody Marchand by a 10-9 decision for the 144-pound championship.

“(Gray) is always willing to put in the extra work and take the extra risks, to show his hard work,” Mt. Blue head coach Mike Hansen said. “He works hard, he’s got the right mentality for the sport. I was trying not to be arrogant about him all year long, but really was confident in him that he was going to be able to do what he did… I don’t see why, pending any injuries, why he can’t get similar results for the next three years.”

None of Mt. Blue’s success was a surprise to Hansen, who’s known many of his wrestlers since middle school.

“I was really excited, I have so much faith in this squad because I’ve been working with them for so long,” Hansen said. “It was nice to see it all come together.”


Mt. Blue’s success didn’t end there. The Cougars (94 points) finished as runner-ups to Noble (104.5) for the team title at the Maine State Girls’ Wrestling Championship on Feb. 20 at Winslow High School, with Brooklyn Webber (114) and Kendall Foster (185) capturing individual titles.

The Cougars graduate eight wrestlers, but have a strong core of returners set for next season.

“I have expectations that we should be able to repeat these type of results, year after year, for the next three to five years,” Hansen said. “Depending on our feeder program at the middle school, which is really good right now.”

Cony had yet another strong season with a deep roster. The Rams finished fifth at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships and fourth at the Class A North championships.

Cony’s Jonny Lettre celebrates after winning the 285-pound class at the Class A state wrestling championships on Feb. 17 in Augusta. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

“This team did an amazing job overcoming adversity all year,” Cony head coach Shawn Totman said. “We had a lot of injuries, a lot of illness, probably like a lot of other teams. But it never got them down. It didn’t matter if we were missing two or three kids from the lineup, we had two or three kids step up. I really liked the ‘next man up’ mentality that this group embraced. That helped bring the team together just a little bit tighter, because they knew they might be asked to contribute. I just think that’s one piece of this year that’s going to help us moving forward.”

As they have been for years, the Rams were led by senior Jonny Lettre — the state’s top heavyweight wrestler — who won his third consecutive individual title at the Class A championships.


“Jonny has been a huge part of this program for a long time,” Totman said. “What he adds as a wrestler is probably minimal compared to what he brings as a person to this program, and I think people forget that. He’s just an unbelievable kid with an unbelievable passion for the sport, and it’s contagious. He loves the grind. He’s a role model for the younger kids. I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for Cony wrestling. … Clearly, he’s going to graduate as one of the best wrestlers we’ve ever had. Only one other guy has won three state championships (at Cony). He just has a will to win, and a will to work to win, that is unparalleled and that’s what’s taken him to this much success.”

The Rams also had strong seasons from Kaiden Veilleux, who won a KVAC title at 190 pounds, and Kai Arnold, a regional runner-up at 165.

Edward Little’s Cody Vincecruz, right, wrestles Gardiner’s Elijah Farias in the 132-pound weight class during Saturday’s Class A North wrestling championships on Feb. 10 at Oxford Hills High in Paris. Farias won the regional title. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Cony’s rival, Gardiner, had a state champion of its own in Elijah Farias. A senior, Farias won both the A North title and the Class A title — an 11-9 decision over Massabesic’s Nicholas Chenard — at 132 pounds.

Lawrence had two wrestlers — Colby Nadeau (144) and Colton Carter (175) — who finished third in their weight classes at the Class A championships.

In Class B, Maine Central Institute had its top two wrestlers — Keith Cook (138) and Isaac Keresey (157) — win Class B North titles and finish second in their respective weight classes at the Class B championships at Mountain Valley High School. Erskine Academy also had a Class B runner-up in senior Giacomo Smith (150 pounds).

Mount View had a strong postseason. The Mustangs finished third at the Class B North championships, behind runner-up Dexter and champion Mattanawcook/Lee. Mount View had regional title winners in Antonio Viera (132 pounds) and Riley Bryant (285). Both were third-place finishers in their respective weight classes at the Class B championships.

Madison had a third-place finisher in Class B in Spencer Richard (126 pounds).

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