The Class A wrestling state championships Saturday should produce a fitting end to the long wrestling history at Sanford’s Memorial Gym.

As many as seven teams have the quality and depth to make a run at the team championship. And host Sanford High will be a factor.

“We’re going to go out with a bang this year,” said Sanford Coach Brent Coleman. “We’re finishing the wrestling tournaments at Memorial Gym with a team that has made a lot of history, and we’re hoping we can see some state championships for our Sanford wrestlers. It’s the last year at Memorial, so it will be historic.”

History also could be made at the Class B state championships at Wells High.

Zoe Buteau of Oak Hill will try to become the first girl to win a Maine high school wrestling state championship. A junior who wrestles for the co-operative Lisbon/Oak Hill team, Buteau won the 120-pound South regional title with a 15-0 technical fall.

Host Wells, the defending team champion, is expected to repeat, with North champion Foxcroft Academy the top threat.

Wells qualified all 13 of its wrestlers at the South regional.

The Class B tournament features two of the state’s best in Winslow’s Ryan Fredette at 182 pounds and Nolan Potter of Wells at 220. Fredette was the New England runner-up at the same weight last season. Both are reigning all-state champions.

Ellsworth senior Peyton Cole, a three-time state champion, will not be wrestling. He missed weight at the North regional by one-tenth of a pound, according to Ellsworth Coach JF Burns, ending his season.

Both meets begin at 9:30 a.m. The championship bouts are estimated to start around 4:30 p.m.

The Class A team meet is expected to be hotly contested.

North champ Nokomis, which has never won a state title, brings eight wrestlers, including four regional champions, led by defending 152-pound state champion Quinton Richards.

Nokomis won the regional meet with 169.5 points. Regional runner-up Cony scored 145 points, with Skowhegan and Oxford Hills tied for third at 144. Cony had two champions and seven qualified wrestlers; Skowhegan three champions and seven qualified wrestlers; and Oxford Hills one champ and six qualified wrestlers.

South champion Noble brings 10 wrestlers and five regional champions – the most for any team in both categories. The Knights’ other five qualifiers were fourth-place finishers who must open the state tournament against the North champion.

“Any team that gets five or six guys to place is probably going to win,” said Noble Coach Kevin Gray.

Noble won its first regional title since 2011. That was the season Noble won its 11th state title in 13 years.

South runner-up and defending state champ Marshwood is an underdog to repeat. But all seven Hawks who qualified were regional finalists, including champs David Spinney (138) and defending 195-pound state champ James Thompson.

Then there’s Sanford. The Spartans were a distant third at regionals but bring firepower to the state meet with seven wrestlers, including regional champs Sam Anderson (170), Isaac Plante (182) and Nick Works (220), with a desire to add to the local lore of Memorial Gym.

Sanford is opening a new high school in the fall, replacing one that opened in 1950. Memorial Gym has been an integral home for Maine high school wrestling since that time. With two decks of seating and enough floor space to continuously use three mats, it has a rare combination of intimacy and functionality.

Sanford won the first eight MPA sanctioned wrestling championships (1961-68) and another nine between 1976 and 1995. The gym has also been home to the state’s premier invitational event, now called the Spartan Wrestling Annual Tournament, for 50 years.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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