AUGUSTA – Like a lot of boys, Sam Webber grew up wrestling his brothers. Except his older siblings, Scott, Shane and Seth, would go on to win seven state wrestling titles among them.

As one might imagine, coming out on top of those household matches was a difficult proposition for the youngest of the four boys.

“Maybe if we tag-teamed on somebody or something,” Sam Webber said Saturday. “But I didn’t win often.”

But as the old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them, which is what Webber did Saturday.

The Mt. Blue junior won his first state title in his third try, pinning Sanford’s Zach Clarke in the final to earn the 125-pound championship.

Oxford Hills’ Brad Smith also picked up his first state title, and Massabesic ended Noble’s eight-year stranglehold on the team championship.

With Seth mat-side and Scott and Shane looking on from the stands, Webber also collected his 100th career win on the Augusta Civic Center mats. His pin of Clarke at 1:48 was his 22nd of his undefeated (43-0) season.

“He was at the Noble meet, but I never faced him. He got beat at the beginning,” Webber said. “I won the Noble, but I never got to see him. All I’d heard was he’s more of a stalling guy.”

Webber had finished second as a freshman and sophomore.

“He was more controlled this year than I’ve ever seen,” Mt. Blue coach Bob O’Connor said. “He changed his stance from tying with his right hand to tying with his left hand and doing his shooting with the right. He was able to get a lot deeper shots because of that.”

Smith, a senior who had finished third last year, used a takedown to defeat Marshwood’s Cody Loiselle, 5-3, in overtime.

“That was everything I had wrapped into one move,” Smith said. “You feel the crowd. You look around and you feel the adrenaline. You feel like you can lift a 10-ton truck.”

“I just told him to stay focused and stay loose,” said Oxford Hills coach Mark Dolloff, who coached his last meet for the Vikings. “Last week, he didn’t fare too well in the regional finals. He was exhausted in the end, so we went back and I worked with him a lot this week myself, just to get him to relax. He’s a muscular kid, so I wanted him to relax so his muscles didn’t take all the oxygen.”

Smith and several of his Oxford Hills teammates had other things on their mind during their late-round matches. Jack Pike, the Vikings’ 171-pound wrestler, suffered a bruised spine during his semifinal match with Massabesic’s Josh Eon. He was immobilized and taken out of the Civic Center by stretcher to an Augusta hospital, where he was treated and released early Saturday evening.

“He lost sensation in both hands for a couple of hours,” Dolloff said. “He was turning and they were both coming down and once he lost sensation in his arms, he just went flaccid and just laid there. They did a good job of stabilizing him and getting him where he needed to be and he got the feeling back in his hands after a couple of hours. It makes you think that wrestling is irrelevant compared to a young man’s life.”

“We had a rough time after that happened trying to bounce back,” he added.

“Tom Moulton and him, they’re best friends. He sees his buddy laying on the mat and it’s hard to get your thoughts together and go out there and do your business.”

Moulton (189) lost his semifinal match to Justin Toussaint of Biddeford, 3-2, but bounced back to take third.

“I didn’t really notice (Pike) was hurt until after my match,” he said. “My coach said something during the match but I didn’t think he was really hurt until after.”

Ron Packard also picked up a third-place finish for the Vikings in the 285 consolation. Nick Paine (103) and Craig Varney (112) took fourth in their weight classes.

Massabesic, which was the last school to win a Class A title before Noble began its remarkable run, topped their SMAA rival by 15 points on the strength of championships from Peter Gilman (135), Joey Eon (140) and Josh Eon (171). Bonny Eagle (82) finished third, while Oxford Hills and Biddeford tied for fourth (68.5).


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.