High school wrestling’s postseason commences Saturday morning with conference championship meets around the state.
While these meets have no direct bearing on the Eastern and Western Maine championship events scheduled for next weekend, they do provide one more opportunity to earn local bragging rights as well as the chance to build momentum for the meets to come.
Ellsworth is the defending Penobscot Valley Conference champion, but last year’s runner-up, Foxcroft Academy, is the favorite heading into this year’s meet to be held at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln.
Coach Luis Ayala’s Ponies, who went on to win the 2011 Class C state championship, have 12 of their 14 wrestlers seeded among the top four in their weight classes, including five ranked first according to the meet’s preliminary seedings.
Foxcroft’s No. 1 seeds are Trevor Weymouth, 29-0 at 132 pound; Zac Smith, 27-1 at 170 pounds; Brooks Law, 21-1 at 113 pounds; Wesley Stinson, 17-1 at 145 pounds; and Corey Bjornson, 8-1 at 182 pounds.
Foxcroft also has two second-seeded wrestlers in Todd Francis at 152 pounds and Alex Sedore at 285, three third seeds in Mark Smith (120 pounds), Forrest Law (138) and Damien Small (220), and two fourth seeds in Eli Olson (106), Isaac Whittemore (126).
Bucksport, which will host the Western Maine Class C championship next weekend, has four No. 1 seeds in Jacob Stewart (152), Jordan Fogg (160), Chris Powell (195) and Damon Klinedinst (285), while Caribou is the only other team with multiple top seeds in Robert Caudill (120) and Brendan Wood (126).
Other top seeds are Dexter’s Dylan Hanscom (106), Fort Kent’s Cody Lozier (138) and Washington Academy of East Machias’ Zac Ragot (220).
Seedings for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship meet were slated to be determined Thursday evening, but defending overall champion Camden Hills of Rockport is the favorite to win its third straight title in the 23-school competition at Cony High School of Augusta.
Coach Levi Rollins’ Windjammers are 27-0 in dual meets this winter and consistently has been ranked among the top teams statewide regardless of class thanks to a deep roster that includes Calan Bragg (126 pounds), Coleman Powers (138), Anthony Batty (182) and Rhett Chase (220), all of whom have gained their 100th career victories this season.
Other standouts for Camden Hills include Connor Winchenbach (120), Neal Harrison-Billiat (145) and Brandon Graffam (195), who needs just two wins this weekend to reach No. 100 for his career.
Another top Windjammer wrestler, defending Class B 130-pound state champion Tom Cassidy, has been sidelined by a shoulder injury but hopes to return to action in time for the regional and state championship meets.
Mt. Blue High School of Farmington, the defending KVAC Class A champion, is expected to retain that title this weekend, with host Cony among the Cougars’ top challengers. Mt. Blue’s lone dual-meet loss this season came against Camden Hills.