The Foxcroft Academy wrestling team has competed in the shadow of neighboring Dexter High School in recent years.But the Ponies used a recent meet hosted by Dexter to suggest they may challenge the Tigers' regional supremacy this winter.
Foxcroft improved its record to 7-0 by winning the 14-team Dexter Invitational last Saturday, scoring 237.5 points to comfortably best second-place Dexter (172).
Bucksport was third with 92 points, with Ellsworth (87.5) and Brewer (76.5) rounding out the top five.
"Our confidence level is up," said Foxcroft coach Luis Ayala. "We had some guys who were sick and didn't wrestle their best. We had nine in the finals, and probably would have had three more.
"The fact we won even though we know we can do better is a confidence boost for us."
Foxcroft had four individual champions at the Dexter meet: Kyle Heaney (112 pounds), Mike McNaughton (119), Max Kennedy (145), and Randy Briggs (171).
Five other Ponies earned second-place finishes: Colby Johnson (103), Chris Cookson (140), Caleb Pelletier (152), Andrew Pomeroy (160), and Chris Lewis (275).
"Dexter is real strong in the lower classes, but in the middle and upper weights, we had the advantage," said Ayala.
Foxcroft returns two state champions - Pelletier and Briggs - from last year's squad that won the Penobscot Valley Conference championship before placing second to Dexter at the regional and third at the state Class C meet behind three-time state champion Lisbon and Dexter. The Tigers have finished as state runner-up each of the last three years after winning four straight state titles from 1997 to 2000.
But Foxcroft is building momentum within in its program, in part from a weekly practice schedule that includes meeting at 6:15 each morning to run and lift weights before school and then regular practices after school.
"I think it has helped build up our stamina, and it's also helped team unity," said Ayala of the practice regimen. "The unity on the team is great."
Foxcroft also has attempted to strengthen its program by strengthening its schedule. Already the Ponies have traveled to southern Maine to wrestle Class A programs Biddeford and Sanford this season. This weekend, the team will compete in a meet at Keene, N.H.
"Our new athletic director, Tim Smith, has been great about helping us build up our schedule," Ayala said.
About half of the 23 wrestlers on the squad were members of Foxcroft's state Class C championship football team this fall.
"Last year they took a week off after football season," Ayala said. "This year they were all extremely excited after winning the state championship, and they came right out ready to wrestle."
Brewer's Noyes tops 100 wins
Brewer High's Chris Noyes recently became the first wrestler in the six-year history of the school's program to record 100 career victories.
Noyes, a senior who has lost just once this season, went on last Saturday to win the 160-pound title at the Dexter Invitational.
Noyes decisioned Andrew Pomeroy of Foxcroft Academy 6-1 in the championship round.
A four-year member of the Witches' wrestling team, Noyes moved up to 160 pounds this year after wrestling at 152 as a junior, according to Brewer wrestling coach Joe Bowen.
Noyes was one of two Witches who won individual titles at the Dexter meet. Sophomore Justin Bowen won the 275-pound title by defeating Foxcroft's Chris Lewis 8-3 in the championship match.
Noyes, who serves as a team captain, also won his weight division at the prestigious Falcon-McDonald's Tournament held Dec. 13 at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.
Noyes, who now has 106 career wins, likely will be joined in the 100-victory club soon by classmate Ryan Elliott, who is closing in on the milestone while competing at 171 pounds.
Ernie Clark may be reached at 990-8045, 1-800-310-8600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Back to News||Home||Print This Story|