Future wrestlers shine at youth classic
RUMFORD -- The atmosphere was electric as approximately 400 wrestlers competed in the 11th annual Mountain Valley Youth Classic at packed Puiia Gymnasium.
MV won the team championship in the fifth through eighth grade event with 87 points, easily outdistancing Saint Dom's and Skowhegan with 55 and 52 points, respectively. The MV pre-kindergartener through fourth grade team finished runnerup (98 points) to Lebanon Die Hard (103). This included champions Caleb Austin (73), Ethan Boucher (82), Jake Parise (200) and Brandon Gill (126). Austin and Boucher essentially clinched the team crown with back-to-back wins on adjoining mats.
“This was the most competitive tournament we’ve had,” said MV coach Eric Austin. “We drew kids from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. They came here because (MV) has a reputation for running a quality tournament.”
Austin wrapped up Connor McGonagle of Rockland and was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler in the 5-6 grade.
It was Austin's second straight MOW, named in honor of the late Lucas Dolloff, who competed for Dirigo.
Boucher executed a takedown and a reversal in a hard fought 4-2 decision over Bailey Coull (Leb). Parise used a leg trip to plant Rachel Dolloff of Dirigo on the mat.
“This is a great experience for these kids,” said coach Austin, who thanked numerous local businesses,
organizations and parents who contributed to the tournament. “It attracted some of the best wrestlers in the State of Maine. The high school team refereed the matches and each of them got their careers going by having competed in this tournament.”
Gill pinned three opponents, including Issac Whittemore (Foxcroft) with a power half nelson/tight waist. Coyote Freeman (245) was a finalist and teammate Dakota Jacques (109) placed third. Dirigo’s Matt Irish (185) and Lucas McDonald (245) third and fourth.
“We are at a point that we can organize this in two to three weeks,” said Joe Thornton. “It takes a lot of
planning, but it was very competitive and there were some very tough semifinal matches.”
The Dirigo fifth and sixth grade team was led by Tucker Barnett, who won a crown at 112; Ethan Bryant (97) and Dalton Berry (153) were finalists; with Nolan DeGroot (finalist, 110) and Colton Carlow (fourth, 110).
Mountain Valley had Cameron Godbois (third, 96), Jesse Pelletier (third, 125) and Vinny Deroche (fourth, 56).
“This is fun,” said Josh "Giblet" Allen, regarding refereeing. “You need to be on the ball because the scoring can occur quickly.”
In the first-second grades, MV champions were Ethan Carey (54), Kyer Heinzen (69) and Anthony Mazza, Jr. Max Merrill and Arthur Dion each placed third, while Kelen Chase (61) and Ben Duguay (72.5) placed fourth.
Dallas Berry of Dirigo (finalist at 61) and Dylan Wright fourth at 56.