Sanford senior Sol Demers celebrates after pinning Timberlane’s Chris Lund in the 220-pound final of the Spartan Wrestling Annual Tournament on Saturday evening. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

SANFORD — The out-of-state powerhouse programs once again dominated the team standings at the Spartan Wrestling Annual Tournament, but three local wrestlers were able to climb to the top of the podium at the always rugged event.
Sanford seniors Isaac Plante and Sol Demers and Wells senior Nathan Curtis all won individual titles inside the brand-new SHS gym on Saturday evening.
It was a special night for both Plante and Demers, who wanted to close out their SWAT careers the right way.
“It’s probably the biggest win of my career so far,” said Plante, who won the 182-pound championship.
Getting a chance to compete in — and actually win — the SWAT was special for Plante as he missed last year’s tournament with an injury.
“It’s awesome. Last year, I didn’t get to wrestle because of my shoulder and then the year before I just had a rough second day,” Plante said. “This has been one of (the tournaments) where I just haven’t been able to break through. I think there were nerves wrestling in front of my hometown, but it was big.”

Sanford senior Isaac Plante looks for a takedown against Wells sophomore Jonah Potter in the 182-pound final on Saturday night. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Demers won his second straight 220-pound title, but last year’s tournament featured a weaker field due to a snow storm that forced Danbury and Xavier from Connecticut and Cumberland, Rhode Island to skip the 2018 SWAT.
“This is very special to me because last year I won the SWAT, but not a lot of teams showed up so it wasn’t like the same thing,” said Demers, who was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler after pinning his way through the tournament. “This year with all the teams here, it feels like the real deal, especially in this new gym. It’s a really nice feeling.”
The Sanford seniors — who are also practice partners and good friends — were thrilled to share this moment.
“We’re best friends and we’ve been working for this,” said Plante, who admitted the two sometimes have to be separated in the wrestling room it gets so intense. “We’ve been working hard and me and him both getting on top of the podium just feels great, but I think the biggest thing is we want to get more of our teammates on the podium. That’s our biggest focus right now.”
Sanford coach Nate Smith was thrilled to see the two seniors on top of the podium.
“They drill together all the time. They do summer wrestling together all the time, so to see those two together was a really good moment,” Smith said.
Curtis continued his strong run at tournaments with a championship at 170 pounds on Saturday. The Wells senior pinned Danbury’s Jesse Patton in the title bout.
“It feels awesome. I’m the first kid from Wells to do it, but I mean we haven’t come here in a while,” said Curtis, who was part of a Warriors team that was making its first trip to the SWAT since 2004.

Wells’ Nathan Curtis and his coaches Jim Worthing (left) and Scott Lewia celebrate after Curtis pinned Danbury’s Jesse Patton in the 170-pound final. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Just like Demers and Plante in the Sanford wrestling room, Curtis and sophomore Jonah Potter are pushing each other as drilling partners in Wells.
“It’s awesome. He’s a fantastic wrestler and he just pushes me during practice, pushes me during live,” said Curtis.
“That’s big. Nathan and I have been drilling together since probably my fifth grade year, so it’s great to have somebody like that and I’m really going to miss him next year when he graduates,” added Potter.
Potter made a run to the 182-pound finals at the two-day tournament, but he would end up dropping a 12-5 decision to Plante in the championship match.
“Isaac’s a great wrestler. He helped me out coming into wrestling in high school, giving me some tips so he’s a great guy for me to wrestle. He’s real strong and you always have to be careful with those throws. It’s always tough to wrestle him,” Potter said.
Massabesic had two wrestlers earn second-place finishes on Saturday. Junior Matt Pooler dropped a 5-2 decision to Marshwood’s David Spinney in the 152-pound final and sophomore Noah Hernandez came up short in a 6-1 loss to Portland’s Zack Elowitch in the 160-pound title match.
“It was tough, but it was a good one to (let me know) where I need to be at states, All-States and New Englands,” said Hernandez. “It’s really big because so far I haven’t had many close matches, but this (tournament) I had a lot of close matches.”
Pooler agreed with his teammate.
“It’s good because if you’re just wrestling guys that you’re always beating and pinning all the time and then you get to the state finals and you end up choking because you haven’t had that kind of pressure on you before,” Pooler said.
Biddeford would get a third-place finish from senior Josiah Garcia, who beat Xavier’s Quinn Moynihan in the 138-pound consolation final.
Wells’ Morgan Welch-Thompson earned a third-place finish with a 2-1 win over Mountain Valley’s Darin Buono at 195 pounds, while Travis Foster finished fourth at 126 pounds and Danny Marquis was sixth at 113.
Massabesic’s James Cline was fourth at 182 pounds and Noble’s Alex Rachoskie was fifth at 138 pounds.
Danbury won the team title with 243 points and Timberlane (New Hampshire) was second with 217.5 points. Cumberland finished third and Xavier was fourth.
Marshwood, which got a second-place finish from Sean Moriarty (120) and third-place finishes from Carsen Goodwin (126) and Dylan Strong (182), was the top Maine team in fifth place with 123 points. Wells finished in sixth with 117.
NOTES: Scarborough’s Addison Boisvert was the runner-up at 285 pounds … Timberlane got some help from a pair of Maine natives as Connor McGonagle was the champion at 132 pounds and Codey Wild finished second at 126 pounds … In addition to being named the MOW, Demers won the award for the most pins in the least amount of time. The Sanford senior had four pins in a total of five minutes and 53 seconds.
— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 780-9017. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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