Connor Sheehan has never had to look far to find a wrestling companion.

Ever since he took up the sport in the third grade, Sheehan, a junior at Fryeburg Academy and the reigning Class B state champion at 103 pounds, has been able to perfect his moves by wrestling with his younger brother, Zach.

“My little brother got into it before I did,” Connor said. “I was playing basketball and he came home and showed me all of the moves, so I started wrestling.”

This season, the Sheehans are both wrestling for Fryeburg Academy for the first time.

“When those guys go out and wrestle the way they do, they set the tone,” said Fryeburg Academy Coach Bryce Thurston, who began coaching the two brothers when they were in elementary school in their hometown of Lovell. “It gets the crowd into it and gets us fired up.”

Connor, who will start the season in the 113-pound division, captured his first state title last season and was unbeaten before going 3-2 to finish fourth in his weight class at the New Englands.

Zach, who will start the season in the 120-pound division, was named the outstanding wrestler at the state middle-school tournament in Rumford and at a qualifier for the New England middle school tournament last season. After losing his first match in the New Englands, he wrestled back through the consolation bracket to finish third with a 6-1 record.

“We wrestle all the time,” Connor said.

“He’s my only wrestling partner,” Zach added.

The two brothers wanted to put a wrestling mat down in their older sister Kelsey’s bedroom after she left this year to attend the University of Rhode Island.

“That didn’t happen,” said Heather Sheehan, their mother. “We put our foot down. Kelsey does come home for visits.”

While wrestling is important to both brothers, it isn’t the only thing they feel passionate about.

Both Sheehans also are accomplished vocalists who are involved with Fryeburg Academy’s renowned music program.

Musicians and singers from the school usually are among place winners at the prestigious Berklee Jazz Festival and have won numerous state championships for jazz band and vocal ensembles.

“It’s been very rare that kids can do well (here) in music and do well in a winter sport, too,” Fryeburg Athletic Director Susan Thurston said. “They have to practice their music all winter to prepare for spring competition.”

Both brothers sing tenor, and their interest in music springs from a family tradition.

“My mom’s side of the family has always grown up with singing,” Connor said. “She plays the piano and the guitar, and all her brothers play guitar, so whenever they come over we have a huge jam session. It’s fun.”

Wrestling isn’t the Sheehans only athletic endeavor.

For the last two springs, Connor has played second base for the academy’s baseball team.

This past fall, Zach was the only freshman to earn a varsity letter on the football team while starting at outside linebacker.

But wrestling has really tightened the bond between the brothers.

“Sure, there are times when I just want to kill him, and we get frustrated with each other, but overall it brings us closer together,” Zach said. “I think we help each other.”


Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH