Wells High heavyweight Nate Malloy celebrates after pinning top-seeded Nuh Adjindoski of Danbury, Connecticut, in the semifinals of the Spartan Wrestling Annual Tournament in Sanford. Steve Craig photo

SANFORD — Sanford High sophomore Canton Hill knew the competition in his own high school gym would be the toughest he’s faced.

The Spartan Wresting Annual Tournament, back after a two-year absence, is regarded as the most challenging wrestling event in Maine.

“Home crowd nerves get you more nervous, but it also gets you more amped to go win it,” Hill said.

Hill was coming off a championship at last week’s Noble Invitational, another two-day event with a deep field. But he admitted he didn’t think he’d be able to pull off the title on Saturday, “knowing that this was a harder tournament than last week, from the history of it.”

Hill showed he was up for the challenge. He won all four of his 195-pound matches by pin, including stopping Dan Craig of team champion Danbury, Connecticut, 1:22 into the first period.

“My goal for the season was to win states. That hasn’t changed. But now I want to go out there and continue my undefeated record and place at New Englands now,” Hill said.


After the pandemic shutdown of wrestling in Maine in 2021 and the meet being canceled in 2022 because of a spike in COVID cases, the Spartan tournament returned with 24 teams, including New England powers Danbury; Cumberland, Rhode Island; and Timberlane from Plaistow, New Hampshire.

Danbury won with 226 points. Wells, a Class B school in Maine, placed second with 171 points. Timberlane (163.5), Sanford (150) and Cumberland (147) rounded out the top five.

“This is the best we’ve ever finished,” said Wells Coach Scott Lewia. “We’ve had, maybe, two finalists before. We’ve never placed second. Probably not even top five. It’s the toughest tournament we’re in.”

Eli Potter of Wells applies the pressure to Luke St. Goddard of Cumberland, Rhode Island, in their 170-pound semifinal. Steve Craig photo

Wells had five finalists. Senior Karter Crosby won the 126-pound division. Juniors Calvin Chase (120) and Dyllan Davis (132), and sophomores Eli Potter (170) and Nate Malloy (heavyweight) each placed second.

“I can’t say that we’re the best team, but I can say we all get along good. I would describe it as a family, and in the practice room we all get along, we all push each other, and that’s how we get better,” Crosby said.

Ten of the 14 individual champions came from Maine. For returning state champions like James Blood of Sanford (a 4-3 winner at 113 pounds) and Derek Cote of Noble (pin in 152 final), winning against tough competition is nothing new.


But for several Maine wrestlers, taking a Spartan title represented a breakout effort.

Trevor Perkins, a senior at Bonny Eagle, trailed Kaden Dustin of Noble by a point in the 138-pound final when he took Dustin down with less than 10 seconds remaining in the match and turned it into a pin with two seconds left.

“I lost to him previously in the season, and being able to come back and beat him, it was really nice. There was limited time on the clock and I knew I had to make a big move,” Perkins said.

Last season, Perkins was runner-up to Noble’s Cote in the 138-pound division at regionals, states and the New England Qualifier. This winter, Dustin will be the Noble wrestler standing in his way.

“It’s just going to make me work hard, just going to make me want it more, because I know he’s gong to be coming after me,” Perkins said.

The 145-pound final was a back-and-forth affair, with Marshwood sophomore Cody Bubier eventually pulling out a 12-9 decision against Jacob Andrade of Timberlane. Bubier placed third at the Noble Invitational. As a freshman, he competed at 160 pounds.


“I won only nine matches last year. I was out of shape a lot,” Bubier said. “This year, I’m working my way up.”

At 160 pounds, Caleb Chamberland of Mt. Ararat/Brunswick edged top-seeded Dom Bubar of Massabesic, 8-7. After two periods, with the score tied 4-4, it was clear both wrestlers were tired. For Chamberland, that was an improvement. In the Noble Invitational semifinals, Bubar pinned him in the first period. This time, Chamberland twice took Bubar to the mat in the third period.

“We were both tired. Whoever put in the most effort was going to win the match,” said Chamberland, a senior. “It’s one of the biggest tournaments in Maine, so if I can win this, maybe I can win states. I took fourth last year. It’s my last year to win states, so this is it. Got to win it.”

Chamberland’s training partner, Shea Farrell, is another senior looking for his first state title. Farrell only needed 50 seconds to pin Potter in the 170-pound final.

“We expect nothing but the best of each other in practice, and then in the tournaments we’re always there to support each other,” Farrell said of Chamberland.

Other individual champions from Maine were sophomore Ayden Cofone of Windham/Gray-New Gloucester/Westbrook, who continued to impress at 120 pounds; Isaac Hainer of Mattanawcook Academy at 182; and Jared Breton of Massabessic at 220. Breton won all four of his matches by pin.

Comments are not available on this story.