LINCOLN, Maine — Foxcroft Academy won the Penobscot Valley Conference wrestling championship by the slightest of margins Saturday, edging rival Dexter by one point to win the 18-school event hosted by Mattanawcook Academy.
Foxcroft, the defending Class C state champion, had three individual titlists in Trevor Weymouth, Forrest Law and Wesley Stinson and placed 10 wrestlers overall among the top four in their weight classes to outpoint Dexter 177-176.
Bucksport was third with 150 points, while Ellsworth (121) and Fort Kent (93) rounded out the top five.
“It was tough tournament, especially with the seedings,” said Foxcroft coach Luis Ayala. “There were a lot of people shifting weights and that changed a lot of things because all of a sudden some kids were in new weight classes so we had some matches in the beginning that were not traditional 1-8 matches and that threw everything off.
“Sometimes kids get rattled pretty easy, but my kids fought through that and came together at the end. It was great that they rallied at the end, and hopefully it will be motivation to keep working hard.”
Weymouth scored his 150th career victory in the 132-pound final by pinning Jordan Lord of George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill 30 seconds into the second period.
“I just look at it as going out and try to win every match,” said Weymouth, who had won his previous two matches in the tournament in a combined 62 seconds.
Law won the 138-pound title for Foxcroft with a 7-5 decision over Fort Kent’s Cody Lozier, while Stinson outlasted Dexter’s Andrew Levensalor 2-0 in the 145-pound final — the only head-to-head championship-round matchup between the top two teams.
Dexter had two individual champions in Tyler Salsbury and Bryce Webber among their nine top-four finishers. Salsbury won the 113-pound crown with a first-round pin of David Sirois of Penobscot Valley of Howland, while Webber decisioned Caribou’s Brendan Wood 4-2 in the 126-pound final.
“I’m very proud of them,” said Dexter coach Brian Salsbury. “The major thing was we wanted to do was just improve, and we went from third last year to second this year. They wrestled very tough.”
Bucksport crowned the most individual champions with Matthew Stewart, Jacob Stewart, Jordan Fogg and Damon Klinedinst all winning titles to lead the Golden Bucks to their third-place finish.
Matthew Stewart, a freshman, scored a pivotal victory in terms of the final team scoring when he avenged two earlier losses this winter with a 9-6 decision over Dexter’s Dylan Hanscom in the 106-pound championship match.
“Matthew hadn’t beaten him all year and the matches hadn’t been close,” said Bucksport coach Larry Clement, whose team will host the Western Maine Class C regional next Saturday. “This time it was just a line he decided to cross. Finally in his mind he decided he would take that extra plunge, and he ended up scoring some points and gaining some confidence, and then he started wrestling toward his strengths.”
The Golden Bucks’ Jacob Stewart pinned Fort Kent’s Josh Pelletier in the 152-pound final, Fogg scored a second-round pin of Mount Desert Island’s Thomas Bully at 160 pounds and Klinedinst pinned Foxcroft’s Alex Sedore at 1:48 of their 285-pound title match.
“Overall, we wrestled real well. Our leaders we expected to do well and be in the finals and we had four out of five champions,” said Clement.
Ellsworth was led by Michael Phillippon, who scored a 2-1 overtime victory over Foxcroft’s Zach Smith in the 170-pound final.
Washington Academy of East Machias, sixth in the team scoring with 63.5 points, crowned two individual champions in freshman Chris Weiss and senior Zac Ragot. Weiss rallied from an 8-2 deficit to pin Samuel Thomas of Piscataquis of Guilford at 4:27 of their 120-pound final, while Ragot celebrated his 18th birthday by pinning Ellsworth’s Michael Garland at 3:55 of their 220-pound championship match.
Weiss, seeded eighth in his weight class, also upended top-ranked Robert Caudill of Caribou in his first match of the day en route to his title and was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler.
Other individual winners were Deion Caudill of Caribou and Alex Urquhart of Hermon. Caudill scored a major decision over Foxcroft’s Corey Bjornson in the 182-pound final, and Urquhart edged Bucksport’s Chris Powell 6-3 to win the 195-pound crown.