Forty-two wrestlers from Maine qualified to compete in this weekend’s New England Championship in Providence, Rhode Island, by finishing first, second or third at the state’s third annual New England Qualifying tournament.

The qualifying tournament was created to get the best wrestlers representing Maine. It apparently is also working to create willing participants.

“This year, as far as I know, there’s only been one scratch and that’s our kid because he broke his hand,” Noble Coach Kip DeVoll said, referring to 145-pound Class A champ and NEQ runner-up Josh Grenier. “Normally we have six to eight kids who decide not to go to New Englands and as far as I know Josh is the only one.”

Eric Glidden of Marshwood will replace Grenier. All other Maine qualifiers are listed on the brackets posted Monday – nine days after the Maine tournament.

The 52nd New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championship begins Friday and concludes Saturday at the Providence Career and Technical Academy.

Maine has not had an individual champion since 2013, when Peter Del Gallo of Gardiner won the 106-pound division as a freshman.

“We’re due. We’re due as a state,” Marshwood Coach Matt Rix said.

Rix identified Del Gallo, Austin Shorey of Noble, Bradley Beaulieu of Marshwood and Cody Craig of Skowhegan as Maine’s top picks for individual honors.

Del Gallo, a four-time Maine champ, has placed each year at New Englands. Last season he was fourth at 126 pounds despite missing most of the season because of injury. This year he is in the 120-pound division.

Shorey, a junior, is also in the 120-pound division. Four of his five losses this year have been to Del Gallo. The other was to Massachusetts champ Chris DeRosa of Billerica, whom Shorey will likely face if he wins his first match. As a sophomore at 120, Shorey won three matches at New Englands, including wins against the New Hampshire and Massachusetts top seeds.

Beaulieu is at 132 pounds. A three-time Class A champion, he was the New England runner-up at 126 pounds last season as a sophomore.

Craig, a junior and three-time state champ at 106 pounds, has never lost to a wrestler from Maine. He went 2-2 last year at New Englands, falling to the eventual champion and fourth-place finisher.

Del Gallo, Beaulieu and Craig are all undefeated this season.

Rix and DeVoll also pointed to Mountain Valley junior Caleb Austin, wrestling at 126, as someone capable of making a deep run. It will be Austin’s first trip to New Englands. DeVoll said his own wrestler at 126, Jake Martel, could also be a factor.

“At New Englands so much depends on the draw, because they don’t do real seeding,” DeVoll said. “Jake has a pretty good draw. The thing is, it’s just a meat grinder. Every match is like a state final and you have to be ready for it.”

DeVoll said Maine high school wrestling still has “one problem we need to fix.”

“We have a two-week break and everybody else just wrestled their all-state or state tournaments,” DeVoll said. “When you’re not competing for two weeks it makes a difference. It makes it tough.”