Saturday, March 8, 2014
By Steve Craig email@example.com
SANFORD — Such was the quality of competition at the two-day Spartan wrestling tournament that only nine wrestlers from Maine made the final.
Jackson Howarth of Marshwood attempts to work out of a hold applied by Shane Jennings of Danbury, Conn., during the wrestling tournament in Sanford. Howarth reached the 145-pound final.
Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer
Tyler Everett of Massabesic controls his match against Ryan Peters of Timberlane High of Plaistow, N.H. Everett won the 126-pound division by defeating Peters, 6-4.
Tyler Everett of Massabesic was one of the four in-state competitors to go one step further Saturday.
Everett upset top-seeded Ryan Peters of Timberlane of Plaistow, N.H., 6-4 to win the 126-pound final.
Everett was quickly behind 4-0 but worked a late first-period reversal with back points to tie the match.
He won it in the third period when he was able to escape with a reversal from the down position.
“It’s a tough tournament,” Everett said. “Coach (Rick DeRosier) told us on the way down here he’s only had four kids from Massabesic in the finals here. For me to come here and get to the finals was big. To win it, it felt really good.”
Timberlane, the reigning five-time New England champion, had 10 finalists and four champions en route to winning the team title with 265.5 points.
Danbury, the top-ranked team in Connecticut, was second with 248.5 and also had four individual champs. Marshwood, the defending Class A champion, had three runner-ups and placed third with 181.5, followed by Massabesic (153.0) and Cumberland, R.I. (110.5).
“Besides the actual New England meet and maybe the Lowell holiday tournament, this is easily the toughest meet in New England,” said Sanford Coach Nate Smith.
Brent Waterman of Belfast at 138 pounds, Alex Mercurio of York at 220 and Isiah Reynolds of Bonny Eagle at 285 were the other Maine champs. Waterman pinned three of his four opponents in the first period, including Josh Burnham of Timberlane in the final.
He was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler and also won the award for most falls in the least amount of time.
“I go into every match confident but not looking to pin, just to wrestle to win,” Waterman said.
It was the first Sanford wrestling title for Waterman, a three-time state champ and the New England champ at 132 as a junior.
“I’ve always had a tough kid in the semifinals or something,” Waterman said. “I wanted to get it done my last year, win it as a senior.”
Mercurio beat Massabesic’s Josh Andrews, the Class A state champ, 2-1 in overtime. Andrews had beaten Mercurio, the Class B 285 champ, on Wednesday, 3-1, also in overtime.
“I was glad I could do it in front of a crowd like this,” Mercurio said. “Since I made it to the New Englands last year I’m kind of looking to place at the New Englands. This just tests myself to see how far I could get.”
Reynolds’ 7-1 victory in the final over Cody Spicer of York and a convincing semifinal pin against Zach Stewart of Timberlane showed he’s on the right track to a first state championship.
Last season he was headed toward a top seed at the Western Regional before a concussion ended his season.
“I’m almost there. I’m not there yet,” Reynolds said. “There isn’t anyone in Maine that I haven’t beaten. Winning here helps a lot. Just that I know I can do it.”
Marshwood’s effort was led by finalists Jackson Howarth (145), Luke Howarth (170) and Brett Gerry (182).
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be reached at 749-6413 or at:
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Brent Waterman of Belfast is on his way to pinning Josh Burnham of Timberlane to take the 138-pound division.