BATH – Wrestling is extremely challenging along the way, but the satisfaction of achieving success is quite rewarding. That was the theme echoed by the 2006 induction class into the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame.

Brian Borkowski, who wrestled at Oak Hill High School and then excelled on the national level at Plymouth State College, joined competitors Bill Brochu of Cony and Jason York of Bonny Eagle. Camden Hills coach John Kelly was also inducted Saturday evening at Hyde School.

The foursome increased the membership in the MAWA to 45.

“This is a gala event,” hall-of-famer Wally LaFountain said, who hosted the affair. “It’s for high school wrestling that we recognize these inductees. They say that the cream rises to the top and they have certainly paid their dues. In that respect, they are very deserving of induction.”

Borkowski, Brochu and Kelly are the first inductees from their respective schools.

Borkowski proved that hard work and dedication eventually earns a degree of respect. The former Raider adopted the philosophy of never quitting early in his career. He won a Class B state championship in 1994.

“Brian developed his own technique,” presenter Phillip Hatch said. “He would play around with opponents during the first period to try and figure out (strategy) to attack. Then, in the second period and as the match went on, he’d become even more serious. It was very cool to watch his matches.”

At Plymouth State, he earned All-New England honors three times and won New England championships as a junior and senior.

He advanced to the finals of the NCAA Division III nationals in the 158-pound class. Plymouth State named him its male athlete of the year in 1998 and he was inducted in to the PSC athletic hall of fame in 2005.

“Wrestling is an awesome sport,” Borkowski said. “It builds character and helps an individual to find out the type of person they will become. The memories last a lifetime.”

///////////////

Always in control on the mat, Brochu captured three Class A state championships from 1992-94.

He won four Eastern regional championships and was voted the most outstanding wrestler at the state meet as a sophomore.

“You need a strong up-bringing,” Brochu said. “I say that because it’s important to have people around who will support you in life’s choices. The true meaning of success, is more than just wins and losses.”

Brochu compiled a 118-12 career record, losing two matches after his freshman year. He earned All-American honors by Amateur Wrestling in 1994.

/////////////////////////

York was a two-time state champion in 1993-94, pinning everyone at the states meet in his junior and senior years. Only one competitor made it to the second period. York was highly technical and perfected the Mills nelson-and-cradle.

York earned Academic All American and honorable mention All American by Wrestling USA. He was captain of the wrestling team at Boston University for two years. He earned a communications degree from BU and works for a television station in Pennsylvania.

///////////////////////

Kelly compiled an impressive record with the Windjammers from 1988-2002. His Camden teams were well prepared. Kelly was the USA coach of the year in 1998.

“It’s very rewarding,” Kelly said, who is returning to coaching next year at Camden Hills. “As a coach, you don’t do it alone, so surround yourself with good people”

His dual-meet record was 299-30. The Windjammers won seven KVAC titles, 10 Eastern Regional crowns and seven Class B state championships, including 1990-92 and 2000-02. This also included four state runner-up teams.

Mike Taylor was the MAWA Person of the Year. He, coaches Peewee, junior high wrestling, and is an assistant coach at Mount Ararat.

Josh Pelletier of Foxcroft Academy was honored as Wrestler of the Year. The three-time Class C state champion, capped off a brilliant career by winning a New England championship.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.