Winslow senior Ryan Fredette celebrates after winning the 182-pound title at the New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships on Saturday in Providence.  JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Winslow senior Ryan Fredette celebrates after winning the 182-pound title at the New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships on Saturday in Providence. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

PROVIDENCE — For 364 days, Ryan Fredette had one thing on his mind — get back to Providence and finish the job.
The Winslow standout dropped an 8-6 decision in the 182-pound finals of the 2017 New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships, and that loss had been in the back of Fredette’s mind throughout his senior season.
“This was the goal. After last year I took my plaque for second place and I hung it up right in front of my light switch where I’d see it every single day, and every single day I was reminded of that loss. I just wanted to come back here and do what I do and get the (championship),” said Fredette.
The senior was on a mission and he left no doubt this time around. Fredette gave up just three points throughout the entire 2018 New England tournament and would win by fall in both the semifinals and the 182-pound title bout.
“I can’t even explain it. I’ve worked my whole life to get here … it was just unreal,” said Fredette just moments after stepping off the podium.
Fredette’s tech and deck win — he was up by 15 points before the fall — was also his 200th career victory. The senior is now in rare company as a four-time state champion, member of the 200-win club and New England champ.
“It’s crazy. I mean I’m only the second person to ever get that (New England) title from Winslow. I don’t even know how to explain it, there are no words,” said Fredette, who will leave the Winslow room with plenty of memories. “I’ll never forget this. I’ll never forget the four state titles, I was the first one ever in my school to do that.”
While he was happy to get the pin in the finals, he didn’t care how he got to the top of the podium.
“I mean a win is a win, doesn’t matter how you get it — win by 15 or win by 1,” said Fredette, who was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the entire tournament.
Fredette, who ends his high school career with an incredible 200-15 record, is looking to attend the University of Maine in Orono but he doesn’t think he will join the school’s club wrestling team right away — although he isn’t ruling out a comeback.
“I’m not joining the wrestling team right now, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to switch my sophomore year or not. I’m just taking a year off for now,” Fredette said.

Skowhegan freshman Jake Craig works for a takedown during a match at New Englands. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Skowhegan freshman Jake Craig works for a takedown during a match at New Englands. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Craig brings home bronze

Skowhegan freshman Jake Craig entered high school with some lofty expectations as his older brother had just won four straight state titles and a New England gold, and the younger Craig would be taking over for the Indians at the same weight.
Craig never let the pressure bother him this season as he went undefeated throughout the regular season and captured Class A North, State and All-State titles at 106 pounds — and he continued his impressive freshman campaign in Providence last weekend.
The freshman earned a decision and pin in his first two matches before falling to eventual runner-up Joziah Fry of Coventry, Rhode Island in the semifinals.
Craig bounced back from that loss with two wins, including a major decision in the consolation finals to grab the third spot on the New England podium.
“I mean it’s definitely a step in the right path,” said Craig. “I would much rather have gold but coming down here it’s a big experience, and getting that experience is kind of humbling at the same time because I was undefeated in Maine and I got beat here. So it shows me that I have to improve a bit before I can say, ‘hey, I’m one of the best in New England.’”
The state champ loved the experience of being on “Team Maine” at the New England meet.
“I think it just kind of unites Maine. Maybe at states the teams would be cheering for their own team, but here all of Maine would be cheering for Maine alone,” said Craig.
Looking back on his freshman campaign Craig was obviously happy with what he accomplished, but the standout is also hoping it’s just the beginning of a special career.
“It’s definitely a step in the right direction, and I think it’s actually pretty great. It’s a great experience, wrestling is a great experience in general, especially when you come down here and you actually do pretty decent,” said Craig. “A lot of people didn’t even think I was going to place down here, so it feels nice but it’s definitely just a step in the right direction.”

Peavey pins his way to podium

If you were looking to catch one of Jake Peavey’s matches this postseason you had to make sure you were there on time.
Peavey, who is a senior at Erskine Academy, was a pinning machine throughout wrestling’s second season — and most times the fall would come inside the first minute.
The 285-pound standout went 9-0 at regionals, states and the New England Qualifier with 9 pins and just one that lasted more than a minute.
Peavey continued his pinning ways at last weekend’s New England meet as he racked up two more falls on his way to a fourth-place finish at the region’s toughest tournament.
“I mean it’s unbelievable. It’s four years worth of work. I started as a freshman and never thought I’d be down here, let alone getting on the podium,” said Peavey after receiving his medal. “I set the goal this year to win a state title, get down here and come home with a medal. It’s unbelievable.”
Peavey is hoping his success will give future Erskine Academy wrestlers something to shoot for.
“It was about setting the bar high for my program, and giving somewhere for kids to look up to and hopefully do better than I’ve done. Setting that bar high is going to be worth more than any medal that I’ve ever earned,” Peavey said.
— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.


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