Maybe it was because he had planned for success. Maybe it was because Ryan Fredette knew the goal was achievable. Maybe the Winslow High senior had some heavenly support.

Whatever the reason, when Fredette arrived at the New England high school wrestling championships, he felt oddly relaxed.

Then he went out and absolutely dominated the 182-pound division, capping his New England title with pins in both the semifinal and final matches. He allowed three points in four matches and earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors.

“My first match, I came out and I had to shake the rust off because I hadn’t really been challenged all season, and after that I just felt I got better,” Fredette said. “In the finals, that was probably better than I’d wrestled all season, probably better than I ever have.”

Fredette was already a leading contender for the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Wrestler of the Year award after winning his fourth Class B state title and rolling through the New England qualifier. Finishing off a 49-0 season with a New England title – with his 200th career win coming in the championship match – clinched the annual honor.

“The word awesome is used by children in all different ways, but I think it was the perfect word for the way he wrestled at the New Englands. It was awe-inspiring,” said Winslow Coach Tony Dalisio. “He was clearly the best wrestler at that entire tournament.”

As a junior, Fredette went 50-1. His only loss was an 8-6 decision in the New England championship match.

Fredette’s senior-season challenges came off the mat.

A knee injury during football season (Fredette was a four-year varsity player in football) continued to linger all season.

“My MCL was damaged,” Fredette said. “It was there the whole season. I just kind of worked through it the best I could.”

Then, the week after Christmas, Fredette’s grandmothers – Carmel Fredette and Germaine Daigneault, both of Winslow – died.

“It was pretty tough on me for a while there,” Ryan said. “I just kind of dedicated the season to them.”

In her obituary, it was noted that Carmel Fredette was “well known for being the Winslow Wrestling Assistant coach from the sidelines.”

“She was at every meet. Sometimes it felt like she wanted to win more than I did. I just went out there to make both of us proud,” Ryan said.

On the mat, Fredette faced minimal competition. Only two of his matches before the New England championships went the six-minute distance.

“I worked with my coach a lot and he kept up the pace with me,” Fredette said. “He wrestled in college (at Michigan State), so he was pretty good.”

Fredette plans to attend the University of Maine to pursue a kinesiology degree with the intention of being a physical therapist. Maine’s club team has become a competitive force in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association, winning the Division II national title in 2017.

“Right now, I’m thinking about taking a year off and maybe wrestling sophomore year,” Fredette said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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