Every day at Monmouth Academy, Stewart Buzzell walks by a board in the hallway that charts the history of the school’s wrestling program.

The Mustangs’ wall of fame lists the names of the best wrestlers to wear a Monmouth singlet. As a freshman, Buzzell, who had already begun to stand out as a middle school wrestler, hoped he could look up and see his name there some day.

“Ever since I got into high school, I knew that was my goal, to get on that board,” he said.

Last year, Buzzell put his name on the board with his 145-pound state championship. This year, the senior set himself apart by shattering Aaron Kaluzynski’s school record for career victories. He heads into Saturday’s Mid-State League championships with 107.

Buzzell hopes to add to that number, and add another state title, to the wall so that future Stewart Buzzells can use it for inspiration, just as he did four years ago.

“(One hundred wins) is something I’ve also strived for in addition to the state championship,” he said. “It is just a number, but it’s a significant one, one that everyone can look up to and, I hope, reach for.”

A wrestling demonstration in middle school inspired Buzzell to devote himself to the sport. Once he was exposed to the rigors of a tournament and a season of wrestling, he was hooked.

“I like the mental toughness it takes. It really takes a toll on you,” Buzzell said. “I like the challenge. You have to treat your body right, get to bed on time, eat healthy. It’s definitely helped me, not just in the sport, but all around. Ever since I turned to wrestling, I feel better.”

Buzzell excelled as a freshman and sophomore, but an ankle injury his freshman year and ineligibility his sophomore year sidelined him during postseason competition.

With the help of practice partner James Gambno, Buzzell became a more well-rounded wrestler.

“You always need someone to push you in practice. You can’t just do it by yourself,” he said. “He’s been that person for me.”

“He’s coachable. He wants to learn. He wants to know what to do better,” Schultz said.

At meets, Buzzell will sometimes unveil a new move that surprises even Schultz. But it’s his consistency and focus that impresses the coach.

“He just keeps a steady pace,” Schultz said. “He takes it all in stride, one match at a time.”

Buzzell chalks that reliability up to his parents, Sherry and Scott, and a large extended family that faithfully cheers him on at meets.

“They all like to get involved. It’s great to see them and hear them and know they’re there supporting me,” he said.

 “All of the support, you really just get into the moment,” he said. “It was like that getting to the state championship. I knew it was my shot.”

He had to beat his good friend, Jesse Hutchinson of Dirigo, in the state championship finals. Hutchinson was also there for Buzzell’s other milestone victory this year, coincidentally picking up his own 100th career win at the same meet.

“That’s another thing I love about this sport, the sportsmanship and the people that you meet,” he said. “Jesse and I have been wrestling each other since middle school and we’ve really grown up together.”

Hutchinson moved up to 160 this year, so a friendly rematch is out of the question. But it only makes Buzzell’s weight class, which also includes Lisbon’s Zach Stevens, a little less crowded minefield in the post-season.

It’s a challenge Buzzell eagerly accepts.

“It’s getting towards the end of the season and that’s when it starts to get tougher on the body,” said Buzzell, an Eagle Scout who hopes to continue wrestling in college. “You’ve been through so many matches, so many practices. The mental drain is tough. It’s going to take a lot of work, definitely. We’re doing a lot of endurance, because those matches are going to last a while.”

As will Buzzell’s name on Monmouth’s wall of fame.


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