Friendship Series gets underway today
REGION -- The wrestling will be genuine when competitors step on the mat for the 27th annual Maine/Nebraska Friendship Series, with Mount Blue hosting the second leg of the event on June 23 at 6 p.m.
The Cougar venue will feature 15 wrestlers from Mountain Valley, Oak Hill and Dirigo.
The Cornhuskers competed at Winslow on June 21, and wrestle at Morse on June 25th and Marshwood on June 27th. The exchange was created in 1985 and is the longest running exchange between two states in the entire country.
The two states have alternated hosting each other, with the visiting team typically wrestling at four different sites.
The Mount Blue stop will be led by Mountain Valley three-time state champion Ryan Burgess (118), state champion Christian Durland (200) and two-time finalist Taylor Carey (175). Also competing will be Oak Hill’s Keith Madore and former state champion Craig Morrill (155), and MB state medalists’ Khalil Newbill (120), Nick Hyde (130) and Joey Metcalf at 220.
"I think this is a great opportunity for the Farmington area to see some high end wrestling,” said Mount Blue coach Bob O’Connor. “So many (Mount Blue) wrestlers have been a part of the FS and now it is our turn to give back. Picking a team has been a challenge due to the amount of wrestlers who wrestle only in the winter. I think I have put together a good group of wrestlers and there should be some dog fights in the mix.”
Dirigo state champion DJ Webber (159) will be at MB, along with incoming freshmen, Pine Tree Wrestling League champions Taylor Craig of MB and Nate Boucher (125) of Mountain Valley, and Taylor Pomerleau of Oak Hill and Drew Blanchet (135) of MB.
Competing at Morse is Lisbon’s Forrest Cornell, Mike McNamara and Matt Nicholson, and Connor Sheehan and Jake Thurston from Fryeburg Academy.
Cornell, a four-time state champion, earned All-American Honorable Mention by Wrestling U.S.A. Magazine last month. Experience might be assets to Sheehan, Burgess, McNamara, Morrill and Madore who each toured Nebraska last summer. Burgess is the Falcons all-time career wins leader in wrestling. The Cornhusker wrestlers are well-known for aggressive takedowns and securing legs to control matches.