Even in a tight-knit community affectionately known as “Titletown,” where across-the-board athletic success is celebrated and almost expected, you could randomly throw a ball or a helmet and never hit an athlete who knew the experience of winning four state championships.

Until now, and until Griffyn Smith, that is.

Smith made it a career clean sweep this past winter, winning the 113-pound final at the Class B wrestling meet. His single-season and career exploits make him a natural choice as the Sun Journal’s all-region wrestler of the year.

Dirigo’s dominant force in a small package, Smith achieved his perfection across three different weight classes and in two enrollment classifications. He won gold at 106 pounds as a freshman, 113 pounds as a sophomore and 120 pounds as a junior, all in Class C.

After the Maine Principals’ Association consolidated wrestling from three classes to two, Smith returned to 113 pounds and added a Class B title to his bank.

“It’s what I’ve been working for ever since I realized it could be a possibility,” Smith said. “The beginning of sophomore year, we were talking about motivation at practice and Doug (Gilbert, Dirigo coach) said, ‘Griffin could be the first four-time state champ.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, I didn’t even think of that.’”

Two and three-time champions were fairly common in the Cougars’ camp. Dirigo’s 100-win club has outgrown a banner overlooking Defoe Gym.

Smith’s older cousin, Derek Daley, sat atop the list for a while with 147 match victories.

“My goal going into high school was to beat his record,” Smith said.

He moved ahead of Daley before the end of his junior campaign.

Smith is too young to remember the first time he put on a singlet, but he believes in was in preschool. The hobby escalated into a passion during middle school, when River Valley youth coach Eric Austin invited Smith to join his travel team.

“He got hold of me and asked me to do some out-of-state tournaments with him,” Smith said. “After that it turned from a winter thing to an all-year thing.”

In addition to Austin and Gilbert, Smith also benefited from the tutelage of Dana Whittemore on his way through the program.

“They put in time they didn’t have to, just to make me better,” Smith said. “I was able to win four state championships in front of all the people who helped me get started, and it was nice to accomplish two team state titles with those same people.”

Smith’s career on the mat likely is over. He will continue his education at Central Maine Community College and said that he has considered coaching the sport someday.

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  • 106 Jagger Bullen Mt. Blue Fr.
  • 113 Griffyn Smith Dirigo Sr.
  • 120 Danny Buteau Oak Hill Jr.
  • 126 Caleb Austin Mountain Valley Jr.
  • 132 Ethan Boucher Mountain Valley Jr.
  • 138 Mike Provencher Mountain Valley Sr.
  • 145 Eddie DeRoche Mountain Valley Jr.
  • 152 Bryce Whittemore Dirigo Jr.
  • 160 Bradley Harriman Lisbon So.
  • 170 Brendon Tervo Oak Hill Sr.
  • 182 Spencer Vaughan Dirigo Sr.
  • 195 Kyle Dexter Oxford Hills Sr.
  • 220 Logan Truman Oxford Hills Sr.
  • 285 Christof Fox Monmouth Jr.

Second team

106 Vinny DeRoche Mountain Valley So.

113 Jaden David Oxford Hills Fr.

120 Calvin Thompson Monmouth Jr.

126 Jon Wainwright Dirigo So.

132 Taylor Alleano Oxford Hills Sr.

138 Hunter White Dirigo Jr.

145 Tucker Barnett Dirigo Jr.

152 Isaac Therrien Mountain Valley So.

160 Tyreek Rankins Mountain Valley Jr.

170 Nolan DeGroot Dirigo Fr.

182 Marcelo Mazariego Oxford Hills Sr.

195 Dalton Berry Dirigo So.

220 Lucas MacDonald Dirigo Sr.

285 Jarrod Taylor Oxford Hills So.

Meet the Winter 2016 Sun Journal All Region Teams

They skated, ran, swam, poled, carved, slalomed, shot and scored. And they did it better than anyone else.