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Cougar grapplers capture Viking Duals
SOUTH PARIS -- It was all on the line and Cliff Boynton wasn't about to back down and recorded a pin for six points as Dirigo rallied for a 34-33 win against Massabesic to capture its first-ever wrestling championship at the annual Viking Duals Saturday.
It was an opportunity for both Dirigo and Mountain Valley to test their skills on the mat in four-dual meet. The Cougars won all their meets, including rallying past Camden Hills and Oxford Hills, 42-33.
The Falcons, despite being undermanned, won a majority of their matches, led by Nate Boucher and Ian Austin, who each won four times at 126 and 160 pounds, respectively.
Dirigo had four wins each by Thomas Bennett (160), D.J. Webber (170, 2011 state champion), Nelson Pepin (182) and Zack White (220).
“There's no question that our upper weights will carry us," said Dirigo coach Doug Gilbert, who has high expectations. “We were down 33-3 to Camden, but from Brett Whittemore at 152 up, we didn't allow a point. Our lighter weights just need mat time.”
After White pulled Dirigo to within 33-29 against Massabesic, Boiynton went out went to-to-toe against Jordon Drain. The pair tied up and the Cougar senior secured a head and arm and teed off for a stick. The event was created so wrestlers could compete against live competition and allow them to evaluate their personal strengths and weaknesses.
Mountain Valley has limited wrestlers and is hindered at the dual meets. However, freshman Mike Provencher (106), Nicole Burgess (113), Jake Thornton (119), Dakota Jacques (132), Kyle Cote (170) and Zack Cross each had their moments. The Falcons beat Windham 35-33, trailed Massabesic 34-27 on the mat and won six of eight matches against Belfast.
"We've got a good little team," said MV coach Chris Bean. "There are some promising wrestlers from 106 up to 138 and Ian (Austin) has really shown a great amount of improvement (four first period pins). It's better suited for tournaments because this team can score points."
Teams were divided into pools of three teams and wrestled each team in their respective pool. The top teams from each pool automatically advanced to the semifinals.
Dirigo starts four freshmen, including Griffyn Smith (106) and Lucas "Bull" McDonald at 195. Smith lost a 2-1 decision to Michel Aboud of Massabesic, who placed in the Class A state meet.
"I was hoping we could win this today," said Pepin. “We start eight seniors and we are the only Class C team here and we proved that we can beat Class A and B schools. It's a big confidence boost for us. A big key going in to a match and believing that you can win.”