Lisbon’s Marcus Bubar, right, looks to referee Mike Proulx before pinning Dirigo’s Chad Oakes during their semi-final match at the Class C State Qualifying Wrestling Meet Saturday in Jay.

Lisbon’s Matt Nicholson smashes the face of George’s Stevens’ Josia Moore during their 135 lbs. semi-final match Saturday in Jay. Nicholson ended up winning the round.

Dirigo’s Brandon Jonaitis prepares to take Monmouth’s Eric Coulombe down to the mat in their 140 lbs. semi-final match Saturday. Jonaitis won, 3-2 in one overtime.

Lisbon’s Forrest Cornell changes his strategy against Penobscot Valley’s David Sirois during their semi-final match Saturday in Jay. Cornell won the round.

Referee Mike Proulx checks how close Carl Nelson’s shoulders are to the mat shortly before Dirigo’s Alex Miele pinned him in their semi-final match Saturday.

Mike McNamara, of Lisbon, works on pinning Dexter’s Adam Webber during their semi-final match Saturday.

Joel Noonan’s head gear slips over his eyes as he wrestles with Lisbon’s Josh Pomerleau Saturday at the Class C State Qualifying Meet in Jay.

Dexter’s Tyler Salsbury grimaces as Dirigo’s Brett Whittemore twists his arm in their semi-final match Saturday.

JAY – The Lisbon wrestling team mustered all its strength to score 208 points to win the Class C qualifier Saturday, staying just ahead of Dirigo at 189.5.

Lisbon led the way with seven individual champions: Forrest Cornell (112-pounds), Josh Pomerleau (119), Mike McNamara (130), Matt Nicholson (135), Marcus Bubar (145), Art Stambach (189) and Joe Doughty at (215). Dirigo  led Lisbon 173.5-168 and Penobscot Valley had 162 points entering the consolation and championship finals which were held simultaneously.

The tournament, which featured every Class C team and independents statewide, had drawn concerns by respective coaches regarding seeding. The Maine Principals’ Association had pre-seeded each wrestler, based on winning percentages. Dirigo hosted the event in the spacious Tigerdome at Jay High School.

“We knew coming in that we needed seven in the finals and they all would have to win,” Lisbon coach Mark Stevens said. “For us, it has been quality not quantity, and those seven have come through in every tournament. I’m very proud of them.”

In a battle of state champions, Cornell stuck Caleb Hall of Dirigo to give the Greyhounds the lead for good. Cornell was determined to perform up to his top seed.

The top eight wrestlers in each weight class advance to the state meet next Saturday at Dexter High School. Lisbon and Dirigo each qualified 10 wrestlers.

Dirigo champions included Brandon Jonaitis (140) and Alex Miele (160). Jonaitis stuck (reverse half nelson) top-seeded Kalob Raymond of Penobscot Valley and Jonaitis decisioned Eric Colubm (third place) of Monmouth, 3-2 in the semifinals.

“He had obviously changed his style because I couldn’t do anything against him on bottom” said Jonaitis, who decisioned Colubm 4-1 in the Mid States.

Miele, who had pinned his way to the finals, kept his hips up and stepped over for a reversal to pin Lee Gustin of Dexter in 1:24.

“I had beat Gustin in the first match of the season,” Miele said. “But I had watched him earlier during the day and he had improved. I needed to expect the unexpected.”

Cougar freshman Brett Whittemore (103) got caught in a cross-face flash in a 7-0 loss to Mark Smith of Foxcroft in finals. Teammate Chad Oakes (145), Ben Dolloff  (285), Justin Jasper (125) and D.J. Webber (152) (maximum five matches) were each fourth.

“I challenged the kids,” said Dirigo coach Doug Gilbert. “In 15 years of regional-type competition, Dirigo had finished first or second, and I didn’t want this team to be the ones that didn’t do it.”

Lisbon poured it on as Pomerleau, McNamera and Nicholson (seeded fifth) each stuck opponents.

“We wanted to come in here and make a statement,” McNamera said. “The hard work in practice is paying off.”

Because of the seeding, numerous wrestlers faced quality wrestlers in earlier round, including Nicholson who reversed with 35 seconds left to win 5-3 in the semis.

“Coach said we needed to wrestle hard,” Nicholson said. “We are used to extended tournaments like Redskin and Noble and conditioning pays off.”

Stambach escaped with 39 seconds left to beat Doug Richardson of Dexter 5-4. Kyle Foyt-Bridges of Monmouth placed third. Doughty overpowered his finals opponent and Kyle Bell-Cofer (171) of Hall-Dale threw a five-point move to win a crown.


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