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Strong start for Cougar wrestlers
REGION -- A long season looms and there is always room for improvement, some starting out strong provides momentum and that's precisely what the Dirigo wrestling team is banking on.
The Cougars are fully aware that will only transpire though if everyone pulls together and remain fully committed to work at it. The version of Friday Night battles was a near sweep wins against Lisbon 54-21, Dexter 43-36 and Brewer 61-12. The nightcap resulted in a loss to Foxcroft.
Mountain Valley finished eighth with 61 points at the Westbrook Invitational. The lone finalist was Brandon Gill at 126 pounds, who lost to Tyler Everett of Massabesic, 14-5. The Falcons' Jake Thornton and Ian Austin each placed third at 119 and 160, respectively. Dakota Jacques was fourth at 138.
Dirigo started off with Lisbon, who was stronger in the lower weights and dodged matchups with the Cougars strength. Spencer Vaughan, a freshman who has been wrestling very well at 145 pounds, became the stopper by pinning Mike Demierest.
Brett Whittemore followed up with a pin over John Pettingill and at 160 Tom Barnett stuck Ben Kates. The trio of wins was needed because the Cougars had started off slow. Gus Brown got pinned at 126 by J.D. Martin. Reilley Lombardi got pinned by Tyler Bard.
Zack Stevens pinned Dexter Verrill at 138. Lucas MacDonald, freshman, lost a close match to David Moore 3-2.
Another slow start spotted Dexter a 36-0 lead, but the Cougars roared back. Whittemore stopped the bleeding this time by winning 4-0 over Andrew Adams. It was revenge for the Cougar senior, who had been pinned by Adams in the state semifinals last February.
Barnett and D.J. Webber each had pins and Dexter forfeited 182. MacDonald won 11-3 over Josh Haskell, while Zack white pinned Chris Kong and Cliff Boynton also won by pin.
Against undermanned Brewer, Brown won by pin and Vaughn won a 4-0 decision. Dexter Verrill was stuck by Anthony Sprigg, who earlier in the night got his 100th win. White was stuck by Victor Irwin for his 100th win.
The trend continued with spotting Foxcroft a 30-0 lead. Dirigo had a coaching strategy backfire when Dylan Lord and Lombardi were flip-flopped at 132 and 138, but both each stuck. Whittemore was pinned by returning state champion Wesley Stinson.
Webber pinned Brandon Brook in less than a minute, freshman Griffyn Smith pinned Eli Olson and Bennett won a 10-4 decision.