WATERBORO — Marshwood High is primed to retake its Class A state wrestling championship.
Marshwood, which won four straight titles from 2012-15 before being beaten by Skowhegan last season, dominated the Class A South regional Saturday at Massabesic High.
Marshwood advanced 12 of a possible 14 wrestlers to next Saturday’s state meet at Camden Hills High and scored 246.5 points. Runner-up Noble had 183.5.
The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the states.
“I think in the beginning of the year no one really expected us to be where we are now,” said Bradley Beaulieu, a three-time state champion for Marshwood. “It was just a lot of hard work and believing in ourselves, and going into the wrestling room every day and getting better.”
Beaulieu won the 138-pound class with a third-period pin against Jonathan Grenier of Noble. The other Marshwood champions were the brother combination of freshman Matthew Thompson at 120 and junior James Thompson at 195, and Matt Caverly at 152.
Noble had first-place finishes from its own brother combo. Freshman Sam Martel won at 106 and senior Jake Martel took a tough match at 132 against Kyle Glidden of Marshwood. Austin Shorey, with 217 career wins, won at 145 pounds.
Marshwood’s victory margin was generated by having five wrestlers place in the six heaviest classes, compared to one for Noble.
Noble, with eight state qualifiers, hopes to make its own title run.
“I definitely feel we have a better chance at states than we did here,” said Jake Martel. “Marshwood just has more numbers than we do. I feel like once we get to states we’ll have a better shot there. The kids we have going in there are pretty solid and also the heavyweights up in the North are going to knock off some of those Marshwood kids.”
That puts the onus on Hawks like James Thompson, and regional runners-up Dylan Strong (170) and Austin Locke (182).
“I can see why they think the Northern heavier weights are better,” Thompson said. “We need to get the points in those first two rounds. We may not make it all the way but the primary rounds are what matters.”
Sanford, led by regional champs Sam Anderson (160) and Isaac Plante (170), placed third with 120.5 points.
Massabesic seniors Leo Amabile (113) and Matthew Carroll (220) finished their final meet in their home gym in style, winning titles. The Mustangs finished fourth with 98 points.
Amabile, 32-1 this season, is looking for his first state title.
“It’s one weekend away. Three more matches. So I’ve got to get myself prepared for that,” Amabile said.
Deering also had two regional champions. Chris Solo came from behind late in his final against David Spinney of Marshwood to win a 5-4 championship match at 126. Ryan Walsh won the 182 title with a 5-4 win against Locke.
Solo, in his first year wrestling for Deering, moved to Portland from Dunwoody, Georgia. The top seed at 126, Solo scored three points in the final half-minute to win.
“When it gets down to the end of the match, you just have to decide how much you want it,” Solo said. “I just couldn’t lose this match.”
There were very few upsets, with the top two seeds advancing to the final in 11 of the 14 weight classes.
Walsh was the only third seed to win a regional title, and Lincoln Andrews of Scarborough was the biggest underdog winner, taking the 285-pound class as the fourth seed. Andrews pinned top-seeded Nick Works of Sanford in his semifnal, then topped second-seeded Zeb Leavitt of Cheverus 5-1 in the final.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or: