Bradley Beaulieu knows he accomplished a significant personal goal.
He’ll leave it to others to judge where he stands among Maine’s best-ever wrestlers.
Beaulieu, a four-time state champion at Marshwood High, won the 138-pound weight class at the 53rd New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships, held Friday and Saturday in Providence, Rhode Island. He’s the first New England champion from Marshwood, which has won nine state championships – including five of the last six Class A titles – under Coach Matt Rix.
“Other than the national tournaments, it was the only tournament I hadn’t won in high school,” Beaulieu said. “The past three years, I had come up short. I’d placed each year, but in my mind it was a disappointment.
“And, Coach Rix, he’s never had a New England champ, and I didn’t want to let him down. He’d had a couple of finalists, and I didn’t want to let him down again,” said Beaulieu, who will wrestle at Old Dominion University.
Soon after Beaulieu’s 5-2 win in the New England final against Tim Kane of Fairfield, Connecticut, past and current teammates took to Twitter to proclaim Beaulieu the best-ever Maine high school wrestler.
“I wouldn’t say I’m the best, I would still give Cody Hughes the nod over me,” said Beaulieu, referencing his former Marshwood teammate. “I don’t think anyone really dominated Maine wrestling like Cody did. It’s hard to think of somebody better than Cody in my opinion.”
Still, the argument can be made. Beaulieu, who is 53-0 as a senior, eclipsed Hughes’ state record of 217 career wins. Beaulieu is 243-14, including a 26-8 record in two national tournaments – three trips to the National High School Coaches Association championships and two trips to the Super 32 tournament.
Like Hughes, Beaulieu won his four state championships in different weight classes, and both placed in the top six at New Englands all four years. Beaulieu finished sixth as a freshman at 113 pounds, second as a sophomore at 126 and third last season at 132. Hughes’ best finish at New Englands was second, as a junior.
“Brad is definitely one of the best ever,” Rix said. “The way he presents himself and his confidence on the mat, the kid never gets flustered.”
Beaulieu was one of nine Maine wrestlers to place at New Englands this year, including five in the top three.
Skowhegan’s Cody Craig, who is 221-5 in his career, won the 106-pound title. Robert Hetherman of Mt. Ararat/Brunswick and Trent Goodman of Ellsworth were second and third at 170 pounds, and Ryan Fredette of Winslow placed second at 182. Samson Sirois of Skowhegan (132), Peyton Cole of Ellsworth (152) and Dawson Stevens of Oxford Hills (160) each were fourth, and Noble’s Austin Shorey placed sixth at 145.
Beaulieu’s opening match Friday was his toughest. He and freshman Alan Kovacs, the Connecticut runner-up from Danbury, were scoreless after two periods. Beaulieu chose the bottom position to start the third period, worked an escape, then got a takedown to take a 3-0 lead and won 3-1.
Beaulieu said he wrestled better Saturday, starting with a 14-4 win against Vermont champion Jarrett Legg of Champlain Valley. Beaulieu controlled New Hampshire champion Brian Lindsay of Kingswood Regional for an 8-0 semifinal win.
That set up a meeting with Kane, the Connecticut champion and 2016 New England winner at 132. Beaulieu had previously defeated Kane twice this season, including in the final of the Lowell (Massachusetts) Invitational.
Beaulieu used a reversal that he worked into a near fall for a 5-0 lead and controlled the match from there.
“It was my senior year. I wanted to go out there, wrestle tough, wrestle hard and have some fun,” Beaulieu said. “I think I wrestled the best I have all year. It was a good year, ended on a good note, and I think I left my mark on Maine wrestling.”
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or: