It was like a slap in the face.
Told he was seeded sixth at last weekend’s McDonald’s-Mountain Valley Invitational, Noble High senior 182-pounder Jacob Guimond “just shook his head and said, ‘OK, we’ll see,’ ” said Knights Coach Kip DeVoll.
Guimond then went out and forcefully reminded everyone that he is a wrestler to reckon with, pinning in order third-seed Matt McLaughlin of Madison (2:51), Trevor Henschel of Fryeburg Academy (3:48) and top-seed Nelson Pepin of Dirigo at 4:52 of the final.
Guimond and 113-pound champ Billy Gagner led Noble to the team win with 148 points. Eighteen teams scored, with Class C powers Foxcroft Academy (115) and Dirigo (113) rounding out the top three.
“We’re still in the early-season stuff with a lot of freshmen and sophomores. For us to go up and win that tournament with such a young crew was really nice but we still have a long way to go,” DeVoll said.
Guimond has already traveled a good distance from last February when he was academically ineligible to compete at the state meet. He played lacrosse last spring and football this fall for Noble.
“Guimond, he’s really on a tear. He hasn’t lost yet,” DeVoll said. “I get the impression that he feels a sense of urgency because of what happened last year and basically making a statement. I think he thinks people have kind of forgotten about him because he wasn’t at the state tournament.”
Pepin had stormed through his first two opponents, pinning each in well under a minute.
“It was a real brawl, a couple of real bulls,” DeVoll said of the Guimond-Pepin match. “It was going to be a matter of who caught who first and Jake got him.”
SCARBOROUGH COACH Shane Stevenson is in the early stages of trying to build a program. In his second season, Stevenson said the Red Storm has made gains from last year’s 1-17 dual meet record.
“We’ll fill all the weight classes which was a struggle for us last year,” Stevenson said. “Last year we were probably forfeiting four matches every time.”
Another reason to think the Red Storm will rise is that the middle school program is being coached by Joe Pistone, the head coach at the University of Southern Maine. Stevenson wrestled for Pistone at USM.
“He just lives and breathes wrestling,” Stevenson said of Pistone.
BONNY EAGLE is another team on the rise.
The Scots were a solid sixth, tied with the hosts, at the Dec. 8 Westbrook Invitational with two runners-up, two thirds and two fourths in a field that included Marshwood, Massabesic and Eastern A favorite Skowhegan.
Coach Greg Gonyar, a 1989 Bonny Eagle grad, is in his second year as the head coach.
With competitive Robie Martin (160) and senior captain Sean Turner (182) leading the team, Bonny Eagle showed immediate improvement in the Westlake preseason tourney.
“We were last in 2011 and this year we were seventh out of 16 teams and we had to forfeit two weight classes,” Gonyar said.
THE INVITATIONAL season hits full swing in the coming weeks, starting Saturday with at least 15 teams heading to Wells High for the Atlantic Invitational, including Western Class A powers Marshwood and Massabesic.
On Dec. 28 and 29, Noble hosts its annual invitational.
The Spartan Wrestling Annual Tournament at Sanford is scheduled for Jan. 4-5.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: