SOUTH BERWICK — Sixteen Maine wrestlers have won four high school state titles.

Jackson Howarth of Marshwood High, wrestling at 160 pounds, is heavily favored to become No. 17 sometime around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

If Howarth is successful it will be his 190th career win against just 16 losses, according to the Marshwood coaching staff.

Then, in all likelihood, less than six minutes later, Howarth’s more celebrated teammate, Cody Hughes, will become the 18th four-time champ with his 204th career win. That would set a record for victories by a Maine high school wrestler.

So it goes for Howarth.

Overshadowed again.

“It doesn’t really bother Jackson,” said his father, Tom Howarth. “He doesn’t really care. He just wants to compete.”

Howarth, Hughes and Brett Gerry – Marshwood’s two-time state champ who likely will win his third title at 182 – are the best of friends, often hanging out at Tom and Tiffany Howarth’s home in South Berwick.

“Everyone’s a little overshadowed because of Cody,” Gerry said. “When you talk of Maine wrestling, Marshwood wrestling, Class A wrestling, whatever, everyone thinks of Cody Hughes first. All of us, especially Jackson, understand that.”

Of course Gerry has gotten his share of the limelight. He won the Fitzpatrick Trophy as the state’s best senior football player after leading the Hawks to the Class B title.

And Howarth again took the backseat. On offense he was a complementary running threat. Gerry said Howarth was the team’s best defensive player. A few minutes later Gerry came back to a reporter. He had just remembered Howarth was left off a local newspaper’s football “Dream Team.”

“He wasn’t even on the honorable mention list,” Gerry spat.

So Howarth’s lack of acclaim bothers his friend. Does it bother Howarth just a little?

“Not really. I mean it’s all about the team whether it’s football or wrestling,” Howarth said. “Wrestling’s more individual but you still have the team aspect of it. You want what’s best for your team. You do your job and hope for a championship. I feel that’s more important than an individual championship.”

And the best way for Howarth to make sure Marshwood wins its fourth straight Class A team title is to make sure he wins his own fourth championship.

He admits he’s thought about it often this season.

“That’s the one thing I want the most this year is to win that fourth state championship,” Howarth said. “Putting the hard work in (during) practice. Making sure everybody’s mind is in the right place. We want everybody just thinking about wrestling. We don’t want any other distractions.”

Coach Matt Rix said Howarth could have been a 200-win wrestler. Instead he (and Hughes) willingly gave up matches in dual meets so junior varsity wrestlers could gain experience.

“Jackson probably would have gotten his 200th win if he wasn’t such a nice kid,” Rix said. “I really think football is his favorite sport. He’s good at wrestling. All of his friends are here and he enjoys what he contributes to the team. Jack’s a leader by example. Not real vocal. A great kid.”

This season Howarth is undefeated (as are Hughes and sophomore 126-pounder Bradley Beaulieu). His toughest opponents have been the ones he sees daily in the Marshwood wrestling room: Hughes, Gerry and 152-pounder Justin Stacy.

“Wrestling Cody and Brett, they’re so good, they know their stuff and they’re so fast and strong, it really helps me out,” Howarth said.

Howarth and Hughes have been wrestling partners since before kindergarten. They won New England titles as sixth graders, said Tom Howarth.

“We’ve been partners since then and I couldn’t even imagine how many hours we spent wrestling each other and together,” Hughes said. “I’ve always been a little bit heavier or a little bit lighter. I’d eat breakfast one morning and he wouldn’t, so we’d be in different brackets.”

As freshmen, Howarth won the 132-pound title and Hughes took 138. As sophomores they both moved up two weight classes. Last season Howarth won at 152 and Hughes at 160.

Now Hughes is looking to share the spotlight.

“It would definitely be something special because we grew up wrestling together,” Hughes said. “We’ve been training together since we were that young. It would definitely be a little more special, something we’ll always be able to share.”