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Belfast Wrestling

posted Feb 3, 2020, 8:56 AM by Christine Guerette

AUGUSTA — Through the decades, Waldo County traditionally has had some of the state's finest high school wrestlers and that fact was given an emphatic thumbs-up on Saturday, Feb. 1 when a team, two individuals and coach returned home with coveted and impressive Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference accolades.

From the championship meet at Cony, Belfast finished first among Class B teams, while Lion Brian White and Mount View's Mark Ward pinned down individual titles and Mustang leader Hamilton Richards was named the league's best coach for Class B — for the third time.

And, to put a cherry on top of the delicious wrestling banana split, Mark Ward was chosen as the league's wrestler of the year for Class B.

The list of top-four finishers among Waldo County student-athletes included:

Belfast — Brian White (1st at 182 pounds), Connor Fournier (2nd at 106), Cameron Watts (2nd at 220), Gavynn Young (3rd at 113), Timothy Smith (4th at 126) and Nathaniel Porter (4th at 195).

Mount View — Mark Ward (1st at 152) and Zachary Ward (3rd at 145 pounds). The Wards are brothers.

Watch video below. Photos from the league championship meet will appear later with this story.

The team scores were: Mount Ararat of Topsham 174, Camden Hills of Rockport 151, Belfast 128, Skowhegan 123, Oxford Hills of South Paris 121, Nokomis of Newport 107.5, Cony of Augusta 81, Morse of Bath 74, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro 70, Mount View of Thorndike 55, Erskine Academy of South China 53, Winslow 46, Mount Blue of Farmington 45.5, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield 41, Oceanside of Rockland 27, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle 24, Gardiner 21, Messalonskee of Oakland 19, Bangor 15 and Lawrence of Fairfield 12.

Veteran Belfast coach Rick Kelley said, "Yes, this year's team has already achieved some great individual and team accomplishments. Despite having a schedule that included many of the top Class A schools, we ended up just three wins shy of a perfect season at 28-3. Those three losses were very close and, what's exciting to think about, is that we could have potentially won those matches if our roster had been at full strength. To my knowledge, according to the late longtime coach Ted Heroux, Belfast wrestling, in it's 53-plus year history, has only posted an unbeaten record once.

"This year, we knew that we had some good upperclassmen talent returning from last year's 16-10 campaign. That, combined with a very talented group of incoming freshmen, acquired from our always strong middle school program, led by coach Brent Waterman Sr., seemed set the stage for a very promising year.

"After how well we performed at our first home meet and the Tiger tournament, I started to get that feeling that we had a very strong team this year and that was evident again this past Saturday at KVACs with a third-place finish overall and first place Class B.

"Every year that I've coached, I've been incredibly fortunate to be blessed with great assistant coaches to help keep our storied program strong. Former high school coaches Travis Spencer and Brent Waterman Sr. logged thousands of hours each working with our kids over the years. This year's staff is once again absolutely amazing. Volunteers Phil Keiser and Scott Stevens have been just awesome helping out. Our new head techniques coach Logan Walsh is an incredible coaching talent, he brings a love and passion for the sport that is second to none. His proven coaching schemes and drilling techniques have paid huge dividends for us this year. He brings a very 'high'-energy style to our room while demanding respect and discipline at the same time. Logan has a special way with kids, he has that unique ability to really connect with kids that goes beyond the mats and the sport itself ... a great mentor of young men and women. Very lucky to have him at Belfast and hope he stays a long time."

Richards, the longtime coach of the Mustangs, said he was happy to receive recognition from his coaching peers.

"Me being the KVAC Class B coach of the year: I’m genuinely humbled on this one … I received the award last year and never thought for one moment that they would nominate me again this year," said the man who also received the award in 2014. "Obviously I think Mark’s performance along with brother Zach’s third place and most of the team nailing down at least one mat win contributed significantly. Without that, I don’t think I would have been recognized. Otherwise, I think my rapport with fellow coaches came into play. I think I’ve forged some solid relationships, based on mutual respect, with many peers and that certainly doesn’t hurt."

As for Mark Ward's recognition, coach Richards said the senior is a three-time league finalist and two-time champion. "Mark wrestled well throughout the day and demonstrated his superior talents. My best guess is the day’s performance combined with making the finals three times in his career combined to impress my fellow coaches enough to select him."

At this point, Mark Ward is 156-17 overall (with 10 his freshman year) in his high school career. He also holds the school record for most wins in a season at 47.

Next up for Waldo County wrestlers are the regional and state meets.

For the regional tournaments on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 9:30 a.m., Belfast competes in Class B North at Caribou and Mount View at Medomak Valley in Waldoboro.

Qualifying wrestlers from Mount View and Belfast will compete in the state Class B championships on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 9:30 a.m. at Fryeburg Academy.

The state girls championships will be on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 9:15 a.m. in Windham.

During the regular dual-meet season, Belfast finished 28-3 and Mount View.

The individual league championship results for Waldo County student-athletes were:

106 pounds — Connor Fournier, Bel, received a first-round bye; pinned Dyllan Lingley, Con, at 1:29; beat Bryce Atkisson, OxH, 9-2; and was pinned by Julian Henderson, CH, at 1:19 in the championship final. Fournier finished second.

113 pounds — Gavynn Young, Bel, received a first-round bye, beat Jake Emond, EA, 4-2; lost to Carter Fogarty, Ocean, 8-1; pinned Kaiden Beasley, MtA, at 4:56; and beat Jared Bellemare, OxH, 9-5, in the consolation final. Young finished third.

120 pounds — Junne Robertson-McIntire, Bel, was pinned by Aiden Clark, Skow, at 0:47; and was pinned by Taiton Schutt, Mor, at 0:59.

126 pounds — Timothy Smith, Bel, pinned Morgan Fonger, MtV, at 1:26; was pinned by Malik Keresey, MCI, at 3:25; pinned Rachel Tuck, Skow, at 1:47; pinned Anh-Miinh Nguyen, LA, at 2:37; pinned Momo Alibrahim, Con, at 3:44; and lost by forfeit to Malik Keresey, MCI, in the consolation final. Smith finished fourth.

Morgan Fonger, MtV, was pinned by Timothy Smith, Bel, at 1:26; pinned Ian Doughty, Med, at 2:30; and was pinned by C. Evans, OxH, at 0:58.

132 pounds — Kaden Bonin, Bel, pinned Nathan McKenney, MCI, at 1:10; won by major decision over Caleb Johnson, OxH, 11-1; lost by technical fall to Robert Davies, Skow, 17-1; and was pinned by Caden Trask, Mess, at 4:27.

Emma Fonger, MtV, was pinned by Caleb Johnson, OxH, at 1:49; pinned Nathan McKenney, MCI, at 1:05; and was pinned by Caden Trask, Mess, at 2:17.

138 pounds — Michael Ham, Bel, received a first-round bye; lost by technical fall to Isaiah Morin, Nok, 20-5; received a bye; beat Riley Smith, OxH, 16-12; and lost to Connor McNish, Mor, 11-6.

145 pounds — Zachary Ward, MtV, pinned Josh Swift, MCI, at 0:10; pinned Adam Loewen, MtB, at 1:11; lost to Ian Henderson, CH, 9-5; pinned Brady Carter, Med, at 3;48; and won by forfeit over Adam Loewen, MtB, in the consolation final. Ward finished third.

Jonah Lovejoy, Bel, received a first-round bye; beat Cameron Strout, OxH, 9-8; was pinned by Caden Kowalsky, MtA, at 5:09; and was pinned by Adam Loewen, MtB, at 1:58.

152 pounds — Mark Ward, MtV, pinned Jay Choi, MCI, at 0:15; pinned Kobe Butters, Skow, at 0:20; pinned Griffin Carnell, CH, 13-5; and beat Bre3tt Raio, MtA, 6-2, in the championship final. Ward finished first.

Jackson Lapierre, Bel, was pinned by Brett Raio, MtA, at 0:21; and was pinned by Dakota Andow, Con, at 2:10.

Damien Henry, Med, was pinned by Kobe Butters, Skow, at 3:07; pinned Jay Choi, MCI, at 1:03; and was pinned by Hayden Riley, OxH, at 1:50.

160 pounds — Elijah Charbonnier, Bel, beat Stefan Baciu, Nok, 10-9; pinned Seth Lothrop, Con, at 1:49; pinned Nolan Grubb, Med, at 2:09; and was pinned by Bristol Leahy, OxH, at 0:17.

Aeden Barrett, MtV, was pinned Timber Parlin, EA, at 0:08; and was pinned by Connor Bell, Gard, at 0:15.

170 pounds — Francesco Martin, Bel, was pinned by Tyler Cox, Med, at 0:57; received a bye; and was pinned by Kaden Salley, Skow, at 1:48.

182 pounds — Brian White, Bel, pinned Erik Williamson, MtB, at 0:53; pinned Isaak Sinclair, Mor, at 1:10; pinned Lucas Steinberger, LA, at 1:42; and beat Dillon Worster, OxH, 6-5, in the championship final. White finished first.

195 pounds — Nathaniel Porter, Belfast, received a first-round bye; beat Camryn Atwood, Skow, 1-0; was pinned by Aaron Lettre, Con, at 3:05; pinned Ty Knowlton, Mors, at 3:59; and was pinned by Isaak Peavey, EA, at 1:38 in the consolation final. Porter finished fourth.

Garrett Dunton, MtV, lost by technical fall to Camryn Atwood, Skow, 17-0; received a bye; and was pinned by Ty Knowlton, Mor, at 1:27.

220 pounds — Cameron Watts, Bel, pinned Nicholas Popp, LA, at 1:05; pinned Arron Erving, Win, at 3:44; beat John Howard, MtB, 11-0; and was pinned by Jeffrey Worster, OxH, at 5:20 in the championship final. Watts finished second.

285 pounds — Ben Watts, Bel, received a first-round bye; was pinned by Mohammad Aljendi, Con, at 3:38; pinned Tyreke Hitchner, EA, at 3:00; and was pinned by Travis Doucette, Mess, at 3:49.