LEWISTON — Ben Madigan got right to the point.

“This is not WWE,” he said during Parent Night at the start of the season.

“WWE is about hurting each other,” Madigan said about World Wrestling Entertainment. “Wrestling is about the exact opposite.”

Madigan grew up in Rumford, an area rich in wrestling culture. He wrestled from third grade on up through his senior year of high school, where he won a state championship and three regional titles for Mountain Valley High School.

Madigan moved to Auburn 1o years ago and started a family. “That’s the reason I got back into it.”

“It’s never too early to get a kid wrestling,” Madigan said about his 9-year-old son Evan, a fourth-grader at Fairview Elementary School in Auburn.

Madigan said that despite there being “excellent youth wrestling programs across the state,” there was one large gap — the Lewiston-Auburn area.

So he started the Auburn Youth Wrestling Club, a program that meets twice a week in the Acadia Academy gym in Lewiston and wrestles in weekend tournaments from November through the first weekend in April.

“The long grinding wrestling season,” Madigan said with a smile.

Neither Edward Little High School nor Lewiston High School have wrestling programs. The occasional wrestler to have come through Lewiston or Auburn has trained with programs outside the area, such as Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris.

Madigan said if the L-A area develops some demand for it, the local high schools could, perhaps, field a wrestling team.

“Lewiston-Auburn has the potential to be a powerhouse. The demand is certainly there,” he said.

Madigan advertised his wrestling club through Auburn elementary schools. Flyers went home in students’ backpacks and “we crossed our fingers,” he said.

“I saw a picture when I came home from school,” said 6-year-old Tia St. Peter-Scott.

“I want to do this,” Peter-Scott told her mother, Michelle Scott.

“We encourage the kids to do whatever they want to do,” said Michelle, who signed her daughter up to learn how to wrestle.

Weighing in at 40 pounds, Peter-Scott took first place wrestling other girls during a recent tournament at Noble High School in North Berwick.

“She really enjoys it,” Michelle Scott said about her daughter, one of three girls wrestling for the club.

Madigan said out of the 33 students he has in the program, 25 are new to wrestling.

He said learning the basics and being in control are key to being a good wrestler. “To be successful in wrestling, you don’t have to be fancy. You can be very successful with just the basics.”

“Wrestling is a very one-on-one sport,” Madigan said. “It is a sport that you can control the success that you have.”

“The foundation is in the basics. You better get good at them now,” Madigan tells his wrestlers.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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