YORK – It was a combination of grit and determination that led the Mountain Valley wrestling team to score 208 points and pull away from runner-up Dirigo 158.5 at the 2005 Mid-State League wrestling championships at Robert Butler Gymnasium on Saturday

MV individual champions included T.J Burgess (112 pounds), Ben Matthews (140), Chris Cayer (145), Aaron Arsenault (152), Tyler Child (189) and Brenden Bradley (215). The Falcons ran away with the title by winning 10 semifinal matches.

Lisbon (150.5) was third behind champions Tyler Clark (125), Dan Cornell (130) and Mark Stambach (215) and Elijah Trefts at (275).

Dirigo was solid with Derek Daley (119), John Smith (135), Devin Brann (160) and Kyle Meile (171) turning in impressive performances

York and Wells finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

The MSL competition was highly anticipated because of the addition of five teams.

Lisbon coach Mark Stevens said: ‘For the past several years, we’ve strengthened our schedule by competing in several tournaments, and then we’d come to the Mid-States and there was only two or three kids in a weight class. It wasn’t good because the best way for wrestlers to learn is by competing on the mat.”

Dirigo and arch-rival Mountain Valley went head-to-head four times in the finals. Brett Staples and Burgess, who executed a standing escape in third period, en route to a 7-5 decision. Daley, with a bloody nose, won 3-0 over Falcon Mike Gilbert.

‘I felt more confident against him this time,” Daley said. ‘I wasn’t able to do some things I wanted to do, cause of his style, but I got the win.”

Meile, competing with a mask to protect a broken nose, beat Chris Brennick of Mountain Valley. Meile was voted most outstanding wrestler.

‘We were in pretty good shape coming in here,” Mountain Valley coach Gary Dolloff said. ‘The kids had to wrestle up to their seeds. A main goal for today’s competition was to get ready for regional next week .”

The Falcons’ Ernie Matthews injury defaulted to Cornell in the first period. Ben Matthews decisioned Mike Jonaitis of Dirigo. Cayer (34-4) decisioned Bill Berry of Wells.

‘I knew he liked cradles so I stayed away,” Cayer said. ‘Plus, I moved over to the right on cross body because he is so strong. I’ll face him next week again.” Arsenault (26-8) used an overhook to secure a takedown with 20 seconds left to decision Billy Hardy of Wells

‘I’m excited,”Arsenault said, who won his 100th career match. ‘I’ve been sick with strep throat, and I weighed in at 143 today, but I’m working hard in practice to build back my stamina. I need to be able to finish matches in the third period.”

Child, who won an overtime match in the semifinals, slid behind for a takedown with 20 seconds left to beat Dan Gallaher of Madison. The match between at 215-pounds between Bradley and Lisbon’s Mark Stambach went in overtime, with Bradley speeding off with a standing escape with four seconds left in double OT for 4-3 win.

‘I knew I had to get away,” Bradley said. ‘He kept grabbing my ankle. I’m glad I was on bottom, he’s a tough kid.”

Trefts pinned Steve Chadwick of Lake Region. Absent was David Smith of Mountain Valley. The two-time Class B state champion is sidelined knee injury for the rest of the season.

Smith improved to 30-1 and executed four takedowns in a 12-4 win. The Cougar sophomore was tested by Shawn Hogeland of Fryeburg. The Raiders won the Sportsmanship award.

‘The confidence of having beat him before helped,” Smith said. ‘I had a headache and was nervous. He is strong, but I adjusted.”

In another rematch, Brann 24-3 held off Nic Adams of Lisbon, 6-5. Brann is the third Cougar wrestler to surpass 100 career wins, tying Derek Turnbull and has a chance to reach all-time leader Merle Lufkin at 107 wins.

‘I was stoked at getting my 100th on Monday,” Brann said ‘I had nothing to lose so I went all out.”

Pat O’Leary iced the the Cougars standing by placing third at 215.

‘This isn’t a typical MSL.” said Dirigo coach Doug Gilbert, who was voted coach of year for fourth time. ‘It is a big tournament now. Our team had a biggest semifinal round in a long time. Brett Staples and Mike Jonaitis really pulled through.”

Lisbon’s Jeff Cossar was decisioned 11-8 by Nain Frichittvang of Traip in the 103-pound finals. Clark shot in for a takedown with 35 seconds left to win 5-4 against Derek Sicotte of Mountain Valley. The Falcon sophomore had let Clark up with one minute, but the strategy backfired. The Greyhounds’ Ryan Guisto (135) and Mike Bolduc (145) and Andrew Dubois (152), and Momouth’s Mike Danforth each finished third.

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