SOUTH BERWICK – With six individual champions and three runners-up, Marshwood High’s wrestling team proved what everyone thought all year long: It is the best team in Western Class A.
The Hawks, defending state champions, won the regional at their home gym Saturday, scoring 237.5 points. But this was by no means easy.
“Noble came out right off the bat and was hanging right with us,” Marshwood Coach Matt Rix said. “We got the kids in (to the state tournament) that we wanted in.”
Noble, which won 11 of 13 Class A titles between 1999 and 2011, rallied in the consolation rounds to close the gap and finished second with 197 points — despite losing 120-pounder Ethan Trott to an injury in the first minute of the first match.
“I have mixed feelings. We probably had some guys who could have done a little better,” Noble Coach Kip DeVoll said. “Overall as a team we wrestled really well, but we still have some work to do to catch them and we have one week left to get it done.”
The Knights matched Marshwood in one critical category. Both teams will send 12 wrestlers to the Class A state championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. The top four finishers in the regional tournaments qualify for the state meet.
Massabesic finished third (157 points) and will take eight wrestlers to Augusta.
Three-time state champion Tyler Davidson of Marshwood showed he’s ready to win a fourth title, beating Lucas Dion of Massabesic 7-3 in the 120-pound final. Dion had beaten Davidson in their two previous matches this season.
“This was my last time wrestling here. My coach told me at the start of the day that every time I come back I’m going to remember this day. I didn’t want to remember losing, you know?” Davidson said. “That helped, actually. That just added to the stress and pressure, and I do well with stress and pressure.”
Also winning championships for Marshwood were Nick Janes at 138 (9-2 decision over Josh Downs of Sanford), Jackson Howarth at 145 (7-1 over Otto Keisker of Noble), Cody Hughes at 152 (a rugged 7-3 win over Bonny Eagle’s Robie Martin), Terrence O’Brien at 160 (4-2 over top-seeded Jon Badger of Noble), and Brett Gerry at 182 (2-1 in overtime against Mike Risti of Massabesic).
The Hughes-Martin final at 152 started contentiously, with Martin repeatedly banging at the protective face-mask style head gear worn by Hughes. In the first period, Hughes got Martin in a cradle, lifted him off the mat and forcefully put him down, with Hughes landing on top. The match was stopped for an injury timeout. The move was ruled as legal.
“I thought he put him down pretty hard. I’ll leave it at that,” Bonny Eagle Coach Greg Gonyea said.
Martin recovered and the physical match went the distance, with Martin called for a foul in the final seconds for repeatedly banging on the back of Hughes’ neck and head.
“I wrestled him once before and that match got a little rough, too,” Hughes said. “This time it started out rough and when I returned him to the mat, it escalated from there.”
Noble was led by Jacob Guimond, who won the 195-pound class one year after missing the regional and state tournaments because of academic ineligibility. Guimond beat Andrew Moriarty of Sanford 12-2 in the final. Noble’s other individual champ was Bill Gagner at 113 (8-2 over Marshwood’s Elliott Allen).
“Last year we all know that I failed off,” Guimond said. “I wanted to show everyone that I’m here to compete this year and I’m in the competition to win it.”
Josh Andrews of Massabesic won the 220-pound division after recording his 100th career pin in the semifinals. Andrews is 148-28 in his career and placed sixth in New England as a junior.
“I knew I was right around (100 pins). I knew I’d either get it here or at states,” Andrews said. “I don’t know of other guys that have done it. I’m sure people have, but it’s still pretty cool.”
Evan Fecko of Kennebunk won his 100th career match when he edged Luke Howarth of Marshwood 1-0 in the 170-pound final.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: