WELLS – One man doesn’t win a team wrestling championship, but the return of senior Connor Sheehan sure did help Fryeburg Academy defeat Wells at the Western Class B championships Saturday.
Sheehan broke his foot in a preseason match and hadn’t returned until last weekend.
At the regional tournament he captured the 113-pound division, racking up a pair of technical fall victories in his five-man bracket.
“That definitely helped,” Fryeburg Coach Bryce Thurston said.
“We had a real good effort from a lot of kids, like his brother Zach at 120, and our 126-pounder (third-place Conor Smith) got a couple of pins in the consolation rounds that really helped.”
Fryeburg scored 176.5 points with Wells second at 153. York (114.5), Mountain Valley (96.5) and Gardiner (88.0) rounded out the top five in the nine-team meet.
“We haven’t won the (regional) since 1986,” Thurston said. “It was a great feeling.”
The top four wrestlers in each weight class advanced to Saturday’s Class B state championships at the Augusta Civic Center.
With 11 of his 12 wrestlers advancing, Thurston said his team has a chance at a state title, with the two Sheehans, and Ian MacFawn at 182 pounds entering as defending state champs.
Fryeburg also received a big day from sophomore Trevor Henschel at 195.
Earlier in the week, Thurston was sure an elbow injury would keep Henschel out of the tournament.
Instead Henschel, the fifth seed, was cleared to wrestle. He upset No. 2 seed Mitchell Chesley of Gardiner and nearly topped Zach Handley of York in the final, losing 6-5.
Wells advanced nine of its 10 wrestlers to the state final, led by championship performances from Colin Sevigney (126 pounds), Chad Daly (145), Michael Curtis (170) and Marc Surprenant (285).
“I think we did about as good as we expected to do,” Wells Coach Scott Lewia said. “It just hurt us to have those four weight classes without a wrestler, and I think Fryeburg scored in all four of them.”
Daly was a surprise champ with two pins.
Daly and Surprenant won regional titles in their final home match, and Teddy Durfee (160) and Sam Lapointe (138) reached the final.
York had five qualifiers, led by champions Zach Faskianos, who defeated Teddy Durfee of Wells 5-1 in overtime in the final; Handley; and 220-pounder Alex Mercurio.
Michael Alvarez of Morse won the 152-pound class with a 5-3 overtime decision against Jake Thurston of Fryeburg.
The tournament had limited participation. Only the 106-pound class had a full eight-man bracket. Four weight classes had five wrestlers, and the 220-pound division had just three.
“The numbers have never been as small as they’ve been this year,” said Lewia, who has coached in Class B for 27 seasons as a head or assistant coach. “Even a lot of traditionally strong (Eastern) teams don’t have a full squad.”
CLASS C: Dirigo finished with a total of 181 points to win the Western Class C meet at Bucksport.
Championship-round winners for Dirigo included Griffyn Smith at 106 pounds, Jesse Hutchinson at 145 pounds, Brett Whittemore at 152, Thomas Barnett at 160, D.J. Webber at 170, Nelson Pepin at 182 and Zach White at 220.
Madison was the runner-up with 106 points. Lisbon finished third with 72 points and Monmouth Academy ended up fourth with 71.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be reached at 749-6413 or at: