Cougar matmen win Nokomis Clash
NEWPORT - Dirigo certainly proved once again the importance of depth in a wrestling tournament by scoring 149 points on Saturday to win the Nokomis Clash over runner-up Skowhegan.
Dirigo champions were Eric "King" Holman (113) and Caleb Hall (132). Mount Blue beat Dirigo 185-177 last year. Mount Blue (116) finished third, Wells (101.5) and Fryeburg (90) rounded out the top five.
“This was a total team effort,” said Dirigo coach Doug Gilbert, regarding nine medalists and 11 wrestlers scoring. “Coming into the day, we anticipated our big three, DJ Webber (152), Thomas Barnett 160 and Nelson Pepin (disqualified on a referees judgment call) at 171 to advance right through, but then they each got knocked off, boom, boom, boom (semifinals) in succession. But they all battled back and a number of other kids stepped up."
The Cougars held a 120 to 111 margin over Skowhegan entering the finale. The championship and consolation finals were held simultaneously on adjoining mats. Holman and Hall came through to score 10.5 team points (four for a win).
Holman used a power-half nelson to pin (two additional points) Alex Turbide of Monmouth in 35 seconds. It was the senior’s first tournament win since winning the Mid State League crown as a freshman. Hall executed pinning moves en route to earn a double-digit lead on Scott Kilpatrick of Westbrook. Hall encountered trouble, forced to kick out of a cradle in the third period.
“I thought I was going to get stuck,” said Hall said, who regained control to win a 15-3 major decision. “At that point, all you can do is keep moving.”
Skowhegan had six finalists and in a head-to-head match, freshman Kaleb Brown stuck Dirigo Brett Whittemore at 138. In an extremely physical match, Whittemore had escaped with two seconds left to decision Stewart Buzzell of Monmouth by 9-8 in a semifinal match.
“But that’s all Skowhegan has, big seven,” said Gilbert. “They had no one to back things up and we did. Four of our five placed third in the consolations and that’s what you need.”
Fryeburg’s Jake Thurston stuck Jesse Hutchinson of Dirigo at 145. Barnett stuck Shawn Bang of Edward Little for third. The Cougars' DJ Webber, Pepin and Zach White 189 each placed third. Dirigo exchange student Marcel Secio placed third for ‘B’ team.