WELLS – Colin Sevigney has seen large numbers of top-caliber wrestlers gathered in one spot.
He’s earned the bruises and gained technique from such a group during offseason training sessions at the well-known Smitty’s Wrestling Barn in Danville, N.H.
“You go there and you’re drilling with some of the best kids in the country. Some nights I was just getting my face mopped all over the mat,” Sevigney said.
The Wells High junior has traveled to regional and national freestyle tournaments, but he never competed in a bracket quite as stuffed as the 126-pound division for the two-day Noble Invitational earlier this season.
“We had nine or 10 state finalists and five or six state champs in that bracket,” Sevigney said. “Brooks Law (of Foxcroft Academy), who was a state champion last year, didn’t even place. The kid from Skowhegan (John Swett), who was a runner-up, didn’t even place. It was just a dogfight.”
Sevigney, entering as the sixth seed, finished as top dog.
He said the quarterfinal matches looked like state championship finals and he wasn’t exaggerating, especially in his own case.
Sevigney beat three-time Class A champ Tyler Davidson in the quarters, edged Class A defending 120-pound champ Iain Whitis of Cheverus 3-2 in triple overtime, then came from a 4-0 hole to edge Tyler Everett of Massabesic (runner-up as a freshman, third in A as a sophomore), 6-4 in overtime in the final.
Also in the division that weekend was a 2012 champion, Zach Sheehan of Fryeburg.
“It helped me a lot, obviously, because I was wrestling tough kids the whole tournament, and it got my confidence up and it also helped me realize I can win those tough matches. I can go into overtime, go in an 8 1/2- minute match and pull out the victory,” Sevigney said.
A two-time Class B runner-up himself (at 112 as a freshman and 120 last year, losing to Sheehan), Sevigney believes he’s now ready to take the next step and become a state champion himself.
First up will be the Western Class B regionals Saturday at Wells.
The weigh-ins will begin at 8 a.m. and Wells Coach Scott Lewia believes the meet should be concluded by 4 p.m. or a bit sooner.
The state championships for Class A, B, and C will be held Feb. 9 at the Augusta Civic Center.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class from each regional will advance to the state championship meets.
Sevigney will enter Saturday’s regional with a 29-2 overall record.
His two losses have both come at 132 pounds.
Lewia said Sevigney has always been a strong technical wrestler. This year Sevigney has addressed an off-the-mat area that has bedeviled many a wrestler before him: weight management.
“His problem in the past was the way he lost weight. He’d cut a lot of weight the day before and it didn’t leave him with enough stamina,” Lewia said. “He’s much better about it this year, much more comfortable with it.”
Lewia feels Sevigney also benefited from limiting his time spent wrestling in the offseason. He played football for the first time in high school this past fall and ran track last spring.
“I mean, it’s great to wrestle in the offseason but I think he was getting burned out,” Lewia said. “He played football and he loved it.”
Sevigney said he hasn’t wrestled as well as he did those two days in Noble.
As much as he appreciates that tournament championship — he admits he’s watched his come-from-behind finals win against Everett “like a hundred times” — he doesn’t want it to define his season.
“I don’t wrestle because I want to win the Noble tournament,” Sevigney said. “I wrestle because I want to win a state championship.”
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: