Michael Wrigley, top, of Wells battles with Dalton Berry of Dirigo in the 196-pound weight class at the Class B state wrestling championships at Wells High School on Saturday (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)
WELLS — When the Wells High wrestling team posed for a team picture after winning its second straight Class B state championship Saturday, senior Sean McCormack-Kuhman was standing in the top row with Coach Scott Lewia.
McCormack-Kuhman looked stoic at first, having just lost a 1-0 decision in the 285-pound class, but slowly a smile came, along with the realization of what the team had accomplished.
“It all came together, to win as a team,” McCormack-Kuhman said. “Even though I didn’t win it individually, I have to look past that and know I did what I had to do for the team, a piece of the puzzle.”
Five Wells wrestlers reached the championship finals, with Michael Wrigley finally winning an individual title in the 195-pound division – after runner-up finishes the previous two years – and Nolan Potter taking a second straight title at 220.
Wells won with 121 points, beating second-place Foxcroft Academy (105.5). Mt. View (73) placed third, with Dexter and Medomak Valley right behind (72.5) in a tie for fifth.
Other individual winners were Landon St. Peter (106 pounds) of Ellsworth, Codi Sirois (113) of Penobscot Valley, Caleb Weeks (120) and Tyler Beem (160) of Dexter, Zy Anthony (126) of Maine Central Institute (126), R.J. Nelson (132) of Foxcroft (132), Mark Ward (138) and Zachary Ward (145) of Mt. View, Elias Miller (152) of Medomak Valley, Zachary Wilson (170) of Piscataquis, Ryan Fredette (182) of Winslow and Seth Padelford (285) of Madison.
Fredette pinned all three of his opponents to win his fourth straight state championship.
Wilson was named the outstanding wrestler after earning the first title for his school.
In the 138-pound final, Mark Ward held off Oceanside’s Alex Fogarty, last year’s 120 champion, for a 9-8 victory.
Miller had the easiest day. After a first-round bye, he recorded two first-period pins.
Wells’ got runner-up finishes from Ryan Norton (113), Jonah Potter (182) and McCormack-Kuhman. Drew Peters (152) placed third and Nathan Curtis (170) placed fourth.
In the 120-pound class, Zoe Buteau of Lisbon/Oak Hill was attempting to become the first girl to win a state title. Buteau, the South region champion, lost her first-round match to Brandon Weston of Foxcroft, 6-5. Buteau won her next match but lost in the consolation semifinals.
Heading into the consolation finals, Foxcroft trailed Wells by 10 points. The Ponies had three wrestlers in the finals and four in the consolation finals.
“I thought we had a chance with the consolations,” Foxcroft Coach Luis Ayala said. “But we needed to win three (of the consolation matches).”
Instead, the Ponies lost their first three consolation finals, with only Jacob Diamond winning in the 145 class.
Heading into the championship finals, Wells led the Ponies 111-102.5.
“We’re like the Patriots. We can’t blow anybody out,” Lewia said. “Foxcroft gave us a run for our money.”
But Wells clinched it even before their final three wrestlers headed out to the mat.
Wrigley, who placed second at 160 as a sophomore and 170 as a junior, faced Dirigo’s Dalton Berry in the 195 final. He held for a 10-7 win.
“It felt great finally getting it, but it felt better to help out my team,” Wrigley said.
Next up was Nolan Potter, who recorded his 150th career win in the semifinals, then pinned Penobscot Valley’s Joe Tuulima in the final. Potter, like most of his teammates, also played on the Class D state champion football team.
“It’s been a pretty great year,” said Potter, who will play football for Bates College next year.
“I was very nervous going into this. This is just unreal. I’m so relieved.”
All the Wells wrestlers who placed in the top four were seniors except for Curtis, a junior, and freshman Jonah Potter.
“We pretty much did as I expected. It was a great day,” Lewia said. “Now, it’s time to rebuild.”
Zoe Buteau, top, of Lisbon/Oak Hiils wrestles with Ashton James of Calais in the consultation semifinals at the Class B state wrestling championships at Wells High School on Saturday. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)
Nathan White of Mtn. Valley, left battles with Zachary Ward of Mt. View during the Class B state wrestling championships at Wells High School on Saturday. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)Zoe Buteau, top, of Lisbon/Oak Hiils wrestles with Ashton James of Calais in the consultation semifinals at the Class B state wrestling championships at Wells High School on Saturday. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)