Three Falcon wrestlers place at states
FRYEBURG -- With a lot on the line, sometimes not every thing turns out right and the wrestling team from Mountain Valley experienced it first hand at the Class B state championships.
A trio of Falcon wrestlers - Nicole Burgess (106 pounds), Brandon Gill (126) and Ian Austin (152) each placed fourth. The Falcons had eight wrestlers compete and finished 10th (32 points), one of their worst-ever performances.
The state wrestling meets had been delayed an entire week, so it meant the individual wrestlers and the teams had to remain focused and determined toward striving for the elusive goals.
It's adversity at its best because the state meets was scheduled to be showcased at the Augusta Civic Center last weekend. Instead, the snowstorm forced the entire event to be cancelled and the three state meets were held at separate venues.
Burgess, who was an alternate, had received a reprieve because another wrestler was unable to compete. The senior made the most of her opportunity, winning two of four matches. This included a loss in quarterfinals to eventual state champion Peter DelGallo of Gardiner. It's the third straight year that Burgess placed fourth in the state meet.
Gill also placed fourth for the second straight year. The Falcon pinned his first opponent, but was stuck by Dagon Berenyi of Belfast in the semifinals. Gill refocused and decisioned Ryan McCollett of Medomak Valley by 7-5 in the consolation semifinals. Gill was pinned in the medal match.
Austin won his opening match 7-6, but lost 4-0 to eventual champion Michael Alvarez of Morse. Austin regrouped and stuck Eli Smith of Camden Hills, before losing 4-3 in consolation finals.
Dakota Jacques, who won a regional championship at 132, also won opening match.
Fryeburg brothers Connor Sheehan (113) and Zach (120) each repeated as state champions at their home arena. Connor Sheehan, three-time state champion, was voted most outstanding wrestler. Raider Ian MacFawn also won a state title at 182. MacFawn's father wrestled for Rumford in the 1980s.
Falcon Mike Provencher (113) had been ahead twice on points but lost, and Jake Thornton (120) won 17-8, then lost 9-7 and was leading a third match, but got caught and pinned. Anthony Boucher (182) and Zach Cross (one win at 195) also competed.
Fryeburg was edged out 131.5-128.5 by Camden Hills, which won its 10th state championship since 2000.