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100 wins each by five Cougar wrestlers
DIXFIELD -- For decades, reaching the century mark in career wins is in the back of the mind of countless wrestlers and that opportunity has become even more attainable in recent years. Still, the feat that five Dirigo teammates accomplished during the recently completed season was truly amazing.
There had been small talk about it, prior to the season because the seniors realized the milestone(s) were achievable. So each one made it a goal and in under a span of one month - January to February - the century mark became history.
The Cougars included Brett Whittemore (152 pounds), Thomas Barnett (160), DJ Webber (170), Nelson Pepin (182) and Zack White (220). Remarkably, every week an individual reached his goal.
Webber became the first to 100, when he recorded a quick pin in the consolation final to place third at the Nokomis Clash. The moment was highly-anticipated and a large group of fans mat side waved their "100" signs.
The team traveled to Fryeburg and when Whittemore warmed-up, he was well aware of the situation and was determined not to be denied. Even a dose of adversity couldn't derail the moment. Whittemore recorded a major decision for his 100th career win at Wadsworth Arena.
''My first thought was that I hope I can finish the match,” said Whittemore, who sought medical assistance after suffering a dislocated finger following the start of the third period. "It was not like every other match, even though I had wrestled (Angus of Monmouth) before.''
Barnett won his 100th career match in fine style with a pin against Winslow on Martin Luther King Day.
"It's been a goal for a long time,'' said Barnett, while extending his eyes toward the rafters. He entered the day four wins shy of reaching the milestone and when the win was needed, Barnett stepped on the mat and certainly didn't waste any time, securing an inside cradle in 1:38.
Pepin maintained his focus and promptly took care of business in a Mid State League championship for his 100th career win. Pepin started attacking early and finished with a 14-2 major decision. It ended a long day for Pepin, who was sick during his first match, after having eaten Chinese food the previous evening.
“It doesn't feel like I've even wrestled 100 matches,” said Pepin. “I contribute much of my success to lifting weights.”
White hit 100 by winning a regional championship. Dirigo won Mid State league and regional crowns, and placed second in the state meet.