DIXFIELD – When Tom Moulton stepped on the wrestling mat, he decided to go out and have some fun at the Friendship Series Monday night at Defoe Gymnasium.

Dirigo hosted the third leg of the 23nd annual cultural exchange, and the Maine team was certainly up for the challenge.

Dirigo’s Jon Smith and Pat O’Leary each won their respective matches, and Tyler Childs battled to a draw.

Moulton of Oxford Hills popped the shoulder of Travis Cole and slid behind for a 5-3 overtime decision. Cole had executed a takedown late in the third period to force the extra session.

“I really didn’t have any expectations tonight,” said Moulton, who will leave for the U.S. Marines on Sept. 4. “I knew it was Nebraska, and I know they have some good wrestlers. The idea was just to go out and have fun.”

Nebraska is technical and feasted on Maine kids trying to tie-up and immediately shooting in for takedowns.

The Cornhuskers team had already won 29 of 39 matches at York and Winslow last week.

Smith was aggressive from the start and pinned Matt Oliver with a guillotine in the first period. The two-time state champion had attempted an under-hook early on, but slipped off.

“It was different wrestling,” Smith said. “We had formed friendships with these guys. Nebraska has some sound wrestlers. From watching earlier matches I could see their style.”

In a rough match, O’Leary countered repeated under hooks by Cody Sparks for a 5-3 decision at 215.

The Cougar graduate had executed a takedown for the lead. “I was very tired,” O’Leary said. “But I just looked him in the eye and said I can do this.”

Mark Stambach of Lisbon won a 7-3 decision over Sparks at the Winslow site.

Tyler Childs of Mountain Valley had utilized a firemen’s carry to take a 5-point lead, but Cory Steiger slowly came back. The match ended deadlocked following a scoreless 1-minute overtime.

“We both wanted too get it over with,” Childs said. “I knew his shoulder was still off the mat in the first period.”

There were several close matches, including Kyle Dow who lost 3-2 to Tyler Foss at 275. Falcon teammate Ben Matthews lost 9-8 at 155. The score was tied 7-7, but Seth Kubrick let Matthews escape and then hit a takedown.

“I wanted to see what he’d do in third,” Matthews said. “He had cross faced me, and it got my adrenaline flowing.”

Brothers Ernie Matthews and Devin Roberts each lost decisions, as did Dirigo’s Derek Daley, Mike Jonaitis, Brett Staples, Josh Palmer and Kyle Miele.

Sam Webber of Mt. Blue lost 4-3 on a reversal at 130 and teammate Gary Begin (135) also lost. Oxford Hills’ Jake Pike and Nick Paine each came up short.


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