FRYEBURG – Led by the only two seniors on the team, a young Camden Hills squad fended off a challenge from host Fryeburg Academy to capture its second consecutive Class B wrestling state championship Saturday.
It was the 14th state championship for the Windjammers and the fourth for Coach Patrick Kelly, who returned this season after a six-year absence.
“This is the sweetest of all the state titles for me,” Kelly said. “I had more fun this year. The average age of this team was 15, and what made it really special is they would look like diamonds one day and a piece of coal the next, and we hung with them.”
Camden Hills finished with 131.5 points, three more than Fryeburg. Wells was third with 118, followed by Belfast (93) and Gardiner (79).
Seniors Coleman Powers and Calen Bragg nailed down the team title for the Windjammers by winning their first individual state championships.
“I’ve been wanting this for four years now,” Powers said. “Every year, I had pretty much the best people in my weight class, and this year they were spread out so I got a shot and I took it.”
Going into the consolation finals, Fryeburg held a 1½-point lead. Camden Hills got pins from Chris Weiss at 126 pounds and Jared Gilbert at 170 during that round to move ahead by 8½ points.
“You don’t always know who is helping you or hurting you in terms of wins and losses during the course of the day,” Kelly said. “But at the end of the day you can look at specific kids, and we can point to the pins in the consolation round that really propelled us.”
Brothers Connor and Zach Sheehan did all they could to keep Fryeburg in contention for the school’s first state title since 1969.
Connor, a senior who was named the meet’s outstanding wrestler, pinned Camden Hills’ James Archer with 34 seconds left in the second period of the 113-pound final to earn his third state title. Zach, a sophomore, then recorded a 12-0 decision over Dylan Dahlbergh of Maine Central Institute at 120 pounds.
The Windjammers regained the lead when Bragg scored a 17-2 decision over Ellsworth’s Jack Weeks in the 132-pound division. Two weeks ago, Weeks defeated Bragg in the consolation round of the Eastern Maine regional.
Powers extended the advantage to nine points when he pinned Matt Boucher of Fryeburg just 1:06 into the 145-pound final.
Fryeburg’s Ian McFawn pinned Wyatt Roberts of Belfast in the 182-pound division, but the six points he earned wasn’t enough to close the gap.
Brent Waterman’s quest to capture a fourth consecutive Class B state title ended early Saturday morning when he broke an ankle while out for a jog. The Belfast wrestler, who competes in the 132-pound weight class, tripped and fell while stepping off a curb.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: