December 5, 2013

Telegram All-State Wrestling: Building on family's success

Gardiner's Daniel DelGallo combined talent and hard work to become a feared wrestler, like his brothers.

By Steve Craig
Staff Writer

Daniel DelGallo was already a high-caliber wrestler when he went to the 2011 New England high school championships as a sophomore.

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Daniel DelGallo of Gardiner finished his high school career with nearly 200 victories, including three state championships. He was unbeaten in Maine this year, losing only in the final of the New England championships.

Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

All-State Wrestling Team

Peter DelGallo, Gardiner, freshman, 106

Following in the footsteps of older brothers Matt (four-time state champ) and Daniel, he went 54-0 and became the first Gardiner wrestler to win a New England title. 

Connor Sheehan, Fryeburg Academy, senior, 113

A repeat All-State selection, Sheehan recovered from a broken ankle in time to win his third Class B title, then captured the New England championship.

Tyler Davidson, Marshwood, senior, 120

Davidson became the 16th Maine wrestler to win four state championships. He was 43-8, with four of his losses at 126 pounds. 

Colin Sevigney, Wells, junior, 126

Sevigney earned his first Class B title, placed fourth at the New England championships and finished 35-4 overall. His career record is 96-12. 

Brent Waterman, Belfast, senior, 132

A freak injury on the eve of the state meet derailed his bid for a fourth state title. Waterman, a repeat All-Telegram choice, finished the season 19-1 and was 127-14 for his career. 

Daniel DelGallo, Gardiner, senior, 138

DelGallo won his third state championship, went 56-1 overall and placed second in New England. He finished with a 194-12 career mark. 

Coleman Powers, Camden Hills, senior, 145

The Class B champ had an overall record of 31-4 and finished sixth in New England, beating Maine's Class A and C champs. 

Cody Hughes, Marshwood, sophomore, 152

Hughes moved up from 138 to win his second Class A title. Undefeated in Maine, Hughes finished 39-2 overall and third at the New England championships. 

Nick Vogel, Greely, senior, 160

Vogel, an independent who became Windham's co-captain, placed at the Class A state for the first time by winning the title. He was 36-5 this season and 124-53 in his career. 

Jared Jensen, Brunswick, senior, 170

Jensen, a repeat selection, moved up from 152 and went undefeated in Maine for a third straight season. He finished 50-1, losing only in the New England final. 

Brett Gerry, Marshwood, sophomore, 182

An intense competitor, Gerry went 48-2, with one loss to Jared Jensen, and was Class A champion. 

Andrew Pineo, Skowhegan, senior, 195

Pineo, the Class A champion, posted a 43-4 record. He split two matches with Class B champ Peter Kelley (37-6) of Belfast. 

Victor Irwin, Brewer, senior, 220

The 2012 Class A champ at 195, Irwin went 43-0 in Maine, and 48-2 overall with 40 pins. He won the Class A title and placed fifth in New England.

Aaron Lint, Winslow, junior, 285

Lint won his second straight Class C title, avenging four losses to Madison's Ryan Malcolm, and finished 48-6 with three wins at the New England championships.

Coach of the Year

Matt Rix, Marshwood

A repeat pick, Rix put together a powerhouse team that won its second straight Class A title, with six individual champions and 10 wrestlers who finished in the top three. "I think you have to go with Matt Rix," Brewer Coach Patrick Ahmann said. "He's very supportive of wrestling around the state and he reaches out to people."

After that experience, DelGallo made an increased commitment to himself and his sport.

"In order to compete at a higher level I had to put the work in," DelGallo said. "I wanted to do the best I possibly could, and the only way to do that was to put in the work in practice.

"I wanted to excel," he added.

DelGallo has excelled, and the Gardiner High senior and Class B state champion at 138 pounds is the Maine Sunday Telegram Wrestler of the Year.

DelGallo won 56 consecutive matches this season before losing 4-3 in the New England final.

He concluded his career with a 194-12 record, winning three state titles after placing second as a freshman.

He was also second in New England as a junior.

That DelGallo would be a good wrestler was almost a foregone conclusion, as he followed three older brothers to the mat, including next-oldest Matt, a four-time state champion and a Maine Sunday Telegram MVP. But his success was more than a product of genetics and his helpful background as a competitive gymnast with power-lifting experience.

"He outworks everybody. You can put Danny in any room and he's going to eventually figure out what he needs to do be the hardest worker in the room," Gardiner Coach Matt Hanley said.

DelGallo was elected Gardiner's senior class president after unsuccessfully running for the office as a sophomore and junior.

The Wrestler of the Year candidates were many and strong.

Peter DelGallo (106 pounds), Daniel's freshman brother, and Fryeburg Academy's Connor Sheehan (113) claimed New England titles.

Four wrestlers went through the Maine season undefeated: Both DelGallos, Brunswick three-time state champ Jared Jensen at 170, and Brewer's Victor Irwin at 220 pounds. Sheehan was also undefeated, but had only two regular-season matches because of an injury.

Prior to being injured on the eve of the Class B state meet, defending New England champ Brent Waterman was in the conversation. Marshwood sophomore Cody Hughes, the acknowledged best wrestler on the state's best team, could not be overlooked.

"The one thing that set Danny apart a little was that top guys tried to stay away from him," Matt Hanley said. "I know (Belfast state champ Coleman) Powers was at 145 to stay away from Danny. Waterman went down to 132 to stay away from Danny."

"Danny DelGallo, in my view, is strikingly different from most of the top wrestlers," Camden Hills Coach Patrick Kelly said. "What he brings to the table is extraordinary. His ability to score, to get out of trouble, and then put a guy on his back; his combination of athleticism and gymnastics, I just think he's a cut above." 

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:

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