Sanford’s James Blood and Massabesic’s Isaac Boulard compete in the 106-pound class at the 2022 Class A wrestling state championships. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

1. Sanford: The Spartans were one of the top teams in the state a year ago, winning the Class A dual meet championship and finishing second in the Class A championship to Mt. Ararat/Brunswick – Sanford’s best finish since winning its 18th Class A title in 1995. Led by returning Varsity Maine All-State selection James Blood, Sanford has the talent and the depth to win it all this season. Mason Van Gieson (third at 113 pounds), James Chaplick (third at 120), Luke Callis (fourth at 138) and Canton Hill (fourth at 195) were all on the Class A podium in February. Coach Nate Smith is also excited about newcomers like Gabe Roberge, Ricky Callis, Hayden Fuller and Andrew Nickerson. The Class A state championship will be held at Sanford High on Feb. 18.

2. Wells: The Warriors won four straight Class B titles from 2017-20 and appear primed to regain their crown from Mattanawcook Academy. Wells returns five wrestlers who placed at the regional meet, including two-time state champion senior Griffin Brickett. Regional champ Eli Potter (second at state, 170 pounds), Nick Allen (fourth at state, 106), Dominic Capella and Isaiah Martinez are key returners. Newcomers and stepbrothers Dyllan Davis and Karter Crosby, who competed for Class A Biddeford/Thornton Academy last season, are quality wrestlers. Davis was the state runner-up at 126 and Crosby placed in the regional meet. Coach Scott Lewia has his largest team in 10 years with 25 wrestlers and should be able to fill each of the 14 weight classes.

3. Massabesic: Joe Eon, a four-time state champion at Massabesic from 2006-09, is the Mustangs’ first-year coach, taking over for Rick Desrosiers. The Mustangs, who won back-to-back Class A titles in Eon’s sophomore and junior seasons, have boosted their numbers from less than 12 to nearly 30 wrestlers. Regional champions Nicholas Chenard (113 pounds a year ago) and Dominick Bubar (152), were second at the state meet last season, as was Isaac Boulard (106). Freshman John Madigan at 106, Boulard and Chenard will be high-caliber wrestlers in the three lowest weights. Bubar, who is likely to move up to 160 or 170, sets the stage in the heavier weights for teammates Jack Trask, Ethan Masse, Coleman Pennington (third in A South at 170), Jack Harriman (second in A South at 182) and Jared Breton.

4. Noble: The 2020 Class A team and dual meet champion might still be a year away from regain the throne, as the Knights have a young squad, but with 43 wrestlers, their depth will be hard to top. Senior Derek Cote, a two-time state champion, is among the state’s best wrestlers; he’ll move up from 138 pounds to either 152 or 160. Sophomore twins Kaden Dustin (third in Class A) and Kaleb Dustin (fourth in Class A) competed well as freshmen and join junior Cody Marchand (third at states) to form a strong trio, likely in the 126 to 138 range. Freshman Brady Ouellette is one to watch in the lighter weights.

5. Windham/Gray-New Gloucester/Westbrook: The Wolfpack, coached by John Nicholas (who picked up his 200th career win Tuesday), believe they can challenge for the Class A North crown. Sophomore Ayden Cofone won the 113-pound state title and will move up to 120. Senior Scott Ingalls was fourth in Class A and at the New England qualifier in a stacked 170-pound division. Juniors Gavin Tanner (fourth at states), heavyweight Griffin Moreau (third in A North), Chris Harvey and Owen Pillsbury are expected to improve for a team that will likely fill 13 of 14 weight classes. Cofone, Ingalls and Tanner have each started the season 5-0.

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