PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The first time Bucksport junior David Gross traveled to Providence to compete in the New England wrestling championships, he left with a serious knee injury, and a long and tough recovery process ahead.

“Honestly, when I came in here I had a lot of built-up emotion … I was scared,” said Gross, who missed his sophomore season after getting hurt in the 2017 New England tournament. “I hadn’t wrestled here since that happened and I think that’s why I (was) hesitant in those first two matches.”

Gross overcame those emotions – and erased some bad memories – by making it to the New England final in the 285-pound division before settling for a second-place finish.

Gross faced Mattuez Kudra, a University of Virginia commit, in the heavyweight final. Gross fell behind early but pushed Kudra for six minutes in a 5-4 loss.

“My mindset was just go out there, wrestle, have fun and do what I’ve done since I was 4 years old,” said Gross.

Gross will use the loss to a future Division I wrestler as motivation while looking to his senior season.

“He’s legit, he’s real and I only lost to him by one point. It just gives me more motivation coming through next year,” said Gross, who wasn’t overlooking what he accomplished this season. “I mean, I’m not complaining coming off an ACL surgery and placing second in New England.”

Gross will head into next season with one thing on his mind – winning.

“Win everything and take nothing less,” Gross said.

Gross was one of the seven Maine wrestlers to medal at the New England meet. Noah Lang of Camden Hills (145 pounds) and Addison Boisvert of Scarborough (285) placed fourth; Zack Elowitch of Portland/South Portland (160) and Jeff Worster of Oxford Hills (220) finished fifth, and Massabesic teammates Noah Hernandez (152) and Matt Pooler (170) came home with sixth-place medals.

After starting the second day of the tournament with a pin, Lang avenged a loss in the New England qualifier by defeating Mark Ward of Mt. View 7-4 to keep his medal hopes alive.

Lang earned a fall over Antonio Pallaria of New Hampshire to secure a spot on the podium. The Camden Hills senior pinned his way into the third-place match before falling 10-5 to Aidan Faria of Rhode Island.

Boisvert, who was pinned by Kudra in the semifinals, bounced back with a 50-second fall to earn a trip to the third-place bout.

In the consolation final, Boisvert dropped a 9-2 decision to Grant Laws of Massachusetts to finish fourth.

Elowitch came into the season looking to accomplish two major goals and was able to finish the job.

“My goal was to win states and then place at the New Englands and I was able to do both, so I’m happy with my year,” Elowitch said.

After picking up a fall in the quarterfinals, Elowitch dropped his semifinal 5-1 to the eventual New England champion, Cesar Alvan of Massachusetts.

Elowitch also fell in the consolation semifinals – which put him in the fifth-place match – then finished his career with a win over Andrew Goddard of Massachusetts in 5:49.

“I just didn’t want to end my career on a loss, so it was nice to go out there and get a win,” said Elowitch, who was happy to bring home a medal. “It’s great. Obviously, Maine didn’t do as well as we hoped but it was nice to be able to represent Maine well and get on the podium.”

Worster fell to the eventual champion, Omar Eldaly of Massachusetts, in the semifinals, then dropped a 5-2 decision in the consolation semifinals.

In the fifth-place match, Worster pinned D.J. Pekacar of New Hampshire in just 1:02.

“It’s a great feeling. I’ve had a decent season. I kind of fell off at the end so it was good to come down here and prove myself a little bit,” Worster said.

Hernandez reeled off three straight wins to start off Saturday before falling in the consolation final. In the fifth-place match, the Massabesic junior dropped a 6-3 decision to Chase Anestis of Massachusetts.

Pooler also earned three straight wins to secure a medal before dropping the consolation semifinals 8-2 to Isaac Gladey of New Hampshire.

In the fifth-place match, Pooler lost a 9-1 major decision to Dohnivin Harvey of Massachusetts.

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