Massabesic’s Leo Amabile pins Cony’s Noah Dumas in the 106-pound semifinals at Saturday’s Class A Wrestling Championships. Amabile finished in second place.

Massabesic’s Leo Amabile pins Cony’s Noah Dumas in the 106-pound semifinals at Saturday’s Class A Wrestling Championships. Amabile finished in second place.

NORTH BERWICK — Saturday’s Class A Wrestling Championships ended without a local wrestler capturing gold, but several area grapplers did earn spots on the podium.

Massabesic junior Leo Amabile led all locals with a second-place finish. Biddeford’s Trey Burnham and Chris Lantagne and Sanford’s Sam Anderson all earned third-place medals and Kennebunk’s Alden Shields, Sanford’s Nick Works and Massabesic’s Kevin Nguyen and Matthew Carroll came home with fourth-place finishes.

Biddeford’s Chris Lantagne picks up back points during a match at Saturday’s state tournament.

Biddeford’s Chris Lantagne picks up back points during a match at Saturday’s state tournament.

Amabile has proven to be one of the best pound-for-pound wrestlers in the state, but unfortunately for the Massabesic standout, Skowhegan’s Cody Craig stood in his way at 106 pounds.

Amabile rolled into the championship match with a 36-second pin in the quarterfinals and a fall that took just over one minute in the semifinals.

In the championship bout, Craig took a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes and was in control the entire way as he picked up his third straight state title with a 7-0 win over Amabile.

Above: Sanford’s Sam Anderson controls Mt. Ararat’s John Heatherman during their 182- pound third-place bout. Below: Kennebunk’s Alden Shields looks for a pin on Saturday.

Above: Sanford’s Sam Anderson controls Mt. Ararat’s John Heatherman during their 182- pound third-place bout. Below: Kennebunk’s Alden Shields looks for a pin on Saturday.

Amabile gave credit to Craig, who he feels may be the best 106-pounder in New England.

“I think he has a shot at winning the New England title,” said Amabile, who believes his battle with Craig has prepared him for the New England meet in a few weeks. “It shows me that I can compete there.”

Despite the finals loss, Amabile was pleased with his performance and was happy he could enjoy the experience with his teammates.

 

 

“It was a lot of fun. The environment here and the crowd was just awesome and the team did alright,” said Amabile, who is hoping this experience will help the Mustangs. “I think it was good to have the guys here to see this tournament, so next year we can improve.”

Nguyen, who earned two wins on Saturday, dropped a tight 7-5 decision to Oxford Hills’ Jaden David in the 113- pound consolation final. Carroll, who won his first match with a pin, fell to Cony’s Devon O’Connor by fall in the third-place bout at 195.

Massabesic’s Ethan Huff (126), Noah McGrath (132) and Logan Martin (152) also competed at the state meet. Huff and McGrath each recorded pins, but fell one win short of the medal round.

For Biddeford, having place-winners at both 220 and 285 pounds wasn’t possible until a few weeks ago.

Biddeford coach Steve Vermette decided to bump Lantagne from 220 to 285 to make room for Burnham, who was wrestling on the junior varsity level all year.

“I moved them around and it paid off,” said Vermette.

Burnham won three straight matches after dropping his first-round match to place third. Lantagne won his opening-round match, but would fall in the semifinals before winning two consolation bouts to take third.

“I’m very happy with them, very impressed,” said Vermette. “I was expecting Chris, but Trey was just a gift. He did a great job. He wrestled tough today and Chris wrestled his best all year.”

Burnham faced Works in the third-place bout and was able to outlast the strong Sanford sophomore for an 8-3 win.

Vermette was impressed with Burnham’s performance in the third-place match.

“I just wanted Trey to use hand control and not to tie up with him because I know Nick likes to throw and (Trey needed to) just out-wrestle him,” said Vermette.

Biddeford seniors Dwayne Dyer and Shayne Welch both came up one win short of earning state medals and freshman Josiah Garcia went 0-2 in his state tournament debut.

“All my guys wrestled tough … nobody quit on the mat,” said Vermette.

Vermette was happy with his team’s performance and is excited for the future of his program.

“I feel really good. I was hoping to send three, four to All States, but we have a young program, we have a good feeder program, and I’m proud of them. They did a great job today,” said Vermette.

Sanford’s Anderson came back from a tough 14-6 loss to Skowhegan’s Logan Stevens in the semifinals to capture the bronze.

The Sanford sophomore picked up a hard-fought 2-1 win over Massabesic’s Noah Schneider to reach the medal round and then took down Mt. Ararat’s John Heatherman by a 5-1 decision in the consolation final.

“It feels great. Third place this year, fourth place last year, but there is definitely a lot of room for improvement,” said Anderson.

Anderson is hoping to continue to improve and help the Sanford program reach new heights.

“I wanted to see a lot more of my teammates here with me. We are going to work on our program, we want to get a state championship program here,” said Anderson.

The standout is now focused on this Saturday’s All State meet, which will be held at Mt. Ararat in Topsham.

“I feel great right now. I’m just ready for All States now,” said Anderson, who is hoping to reach the New England meet on March 4-5. “The goal is to go to New Englands. We’ve been saying it since day one. Coach asked me what I wanted to do as an athlete, I’m not worried about a state title, I just wanted to make it to New Englands.”

Kennebunk will have one wrestler competing at All States after Shields earned a medal at 106-pounds in his first trip to states.

Shields dropped a 6-5 heartbreaker in the opening round on Saturday, but would battle back with a pair of pins to reach the third-place bout.

In the consolation final, Shields dropped another tough one-point decision as Nokomis’ Josh Brown earned the 5-4 win over the Kennebunk freshman.

“I’m real happy for him. He’s worked hard all year, he’s battled through a couple injuries this year that he’s not used to. He had a concussion earlier in the year and the foot thing coming up these past couple weeks, but he battled through it,” said Kennebunk coach Steve Young.

The “foot thing” that Young mentioned was a broken bone in his foot, which occurred before last week’s regional meet.

“Obviously the foot was an issue last week. It didn’t bother him as much this week. We let him rest it during the week,” said Young, who was impressed with how Shields battled through the injury and the atmosphere of states. “There’s eight million things running through your mind and being a freshman and coming through and wrestling the way he did, in a pretty tough weight class, you have to be proud of him and what he was able to accomplish. He’s only going to get better from here.”

Kennebunk’s Pat Saunders came up one win short of earning a medal at 195 pounds, while Cole Dickenson went 1-2 at 126 and Jared Dyer was 0-2 at 160.

Young was happy with his young team’s effort at states and is excited to see what all four state qualifiers can do next season.

“The nice thing about our team is we get them all back,” said Young.

Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.


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