Sanford senior Sam Anderson works for a takedown on Saturday at the New England Qualifier. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Sanford senior Sam Anderson works for a takedown on Saturday at the New England Qualifier. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

NEWPORT — Sanford senior Sam Anderson and Wells senior Nolan Potter wanted to end their high school wrestling careers in Maine with one last gold — and that’s exactly what they did.
Anderson and Potter would win titles at the New England Qualifier at Nokomis Regional High School on Saturday as they punched their tickets to this weekend’s New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships.
“This was my last tournament in Maine and I thought to myself before the day started, ‘man, it would be really nice to end my Maine career with a win, that would be perfect.’ And it ended up working out that way,” said Potter, who won the 220-pound championship with a 9-1 major decision over Nokomis’ James Boyd.
“The goal was to come out with the All-State championship by any means necessary — one point, two points, tech fall or pin,” added Anderson.
Anderson, who picked up a 14-4 major over Marshwood’s Dylan Strong in the 170-pound final, was focused heading into the qualifier.
“(It’s about) being prepared and being sharp because at this point in the season you already know the kids that are in front of you and you already know what’s coming, so having a gameplan and executing is the most important thing,” Anderson said.
The seniors have a common goal as they head to Providence — get on the podium.
“I’ll be happy, there will be a smile on my face if I get a top six and get on the podium. I’m just shooting for the podium, that’s it,” Anderson said.
“I want to place at New Englands. That’s been my goal ever since I started wrestling in high school,” added Potter, who was one win away from placing last year. “I was so close I could taste it, but I didn’t quite get there.”
Potter is excited to go to New Englands with teammates Mike Wrigley and Sean McCormack-Kuhman, who both placed third at the qualifier.
“It’s great because last year it was just me. To be honest with you it was great to be at New Englands (last year) but not being able to share that with my teammates was kind of tough, so I’m really glad that they’re coming too because they deserve it,” Potter said.
Noble had a pair of wrestlers capture gold on Saturday with freshman Josh Cote winning the 120-pound title and sophomore Sam Martel earning the top spot at 126.
Both wrestlers admitted there was some weight lifted off their shoulders once they had secured a spot at New Englands.
“That’s definitely a stress reliever knowing that you’re already moving on to the next level regardless of what happens (in the finals),” Cote said.
“Today is really just a qualifier so I wanted to get into the finals because I wanted to be sure that I qualified. Once I got there it was really just like, ‘I could win, I could lose, either way I’m still going to New Englands,’ but I wanted to win,” added Martel.
Cote made it back-to-back wins over Nokomis’ Josh Brown in the 120-pound finals, but Saturday’s 126-pound final was about avenging a loss in last week’s Class A title bout for Martel.
“Last week all I had in my head was the state title, I could get a state title and that was just what my mind was set on — winning instead of wrestling good,” said Martel, who dropped a 15-10 decision to Marshwood’s Liam Coomey last week.
Martel turned the tables on Coomey at the qualifier as he picked up a 10-6 victory to claim gold.
“Today, all I was telling myself was just work yourself until you’re completely dead tired, until the end of every match and just don’t stop working hard. Don’t worry about the win because if you work hard it will come,” said Martel.
It will be the second trip to New Englands for Martel, but the sophomore is hoping to find some success this time around.
“I was cutting (weight) a lot all year and I was really exhausted so I didn’t perform very well at all,” said Martel, who went 0-2 last season in Providence. “This year I just want to wrestle well, that’s the big thing. If I wrestle good enough I can feel good about it … but I want to do some damage.”
The young Knights are excited to make the trip with teammates, including second-place finisher Jon Grenier and third-place finisher Hil Keisker.
“It’s definitely really good because having a practice room when it’s pretty much empty it’s really (tough) to work hard. You want to have people there with you on that ride,” Martel said.
Grenier, who dropped a 17-2 tech fall to Camden Hills’ Noah Lang in the 145-pound final, is excited to be making his first trip to New Englands.
“It’s definitely going to be a good experience to finish off senior year. I’m pretty excited to have some fun and see what I can do down there,” said Grenier.
Noble coach Kevin Gray is thrilled to be taking four wrestlers down to Providence.
“We’re taking four down to New Englands and that’s huge. We said at the beginning of the year our goal is to start to really have our teams look toward New Englands, try to be one of those top-tier New England programs. We’re obviously not there yet but to get these four guys to go is huge.” Gray said.
Kennebunk junior Alden Shields will be making a return trip to Providence after finishing second at 113 pounds on Saturday. The standout, who qualified as a freshman but didn’t make it last year, is thrilled to be back.
“It’s great. I’m just hoping that I can win a couple matches and maybe even place, that would be awesome,” said Shields, who dropped a hard-fought 6-4 decision to Cony’s Noah Dumas in Saturday’s finals.
Kennebunk coach Steve Young is hoping Shields can make some noise and a little bit of history in Providence.
“I think the ultimate goal all year has been to prove himself and to place at New Englands and I think he’s taking the steps to do that,” said Young. “I’d love to see him get his 100th win while he’s down there and I’d love to see him place. I mean I think that’s something that’s realistic for him. I think that’s something that he knows he’s capable of doing and it’s just about going down there and executing.”
The New England tournament will kick off at 5 p.m. on Friday at the Providence Career and Technical Academy. The finals are set for 5:15 p.m. on Saturday.
— 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.


Wells senior Nolan Potter controls Nokomis' James Boyd in the 220-pound finals of the New England Qualifier. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Wells senior Nolan Potter controls Nokomis’ James Boyd in the 220-pound finals of the New England Qualifier. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Noble's Sam Martel looks for a way to turn Marshwood's Liam Coomey in the 126-pound finals on Saturday. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Noble’s Sam Martel looks for a way to turn Marshwood’s Liam Coomey in the 126-pound finals on Saturday. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

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