Marshwood’s Jacob Brengolini, top, and Cony’s Jonny Lettre wrestle in the 285-pound championship semifinals during the Tiger Invitational on Dec. 16 in Gardiner. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The high school wrestling postseason begins this weekend as area teams make their way to Morse High School in Bath for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships.

The meet, originally set to be hosted at Cony High School in Augusta, had to be moved to Morse due to the Cony gymnasium being double-booked.

“Every four years, Cony is the host site for the (Maine) All-State Music Festival,” said Cony head coach Shawn Totman. “Basically, the facility was double-booked and nobody realized it until two weeks ago. Usually, we would head to Mt. Ararat (in Topsham, during the off year), because they’re big enough, they can hold four mats. They sent out the word (for a new host to step up) and it ended up that Morse was the one to host KVACs. We’re lucky their (athletic director) and school administrators decided to take this on at the last minute.

“It’s a bummer, I know our seniors are really bummed, they were pretty psyched to wrestle in the KVACs at home,” Totman continued. “They’ll be on the road (instead), which is no big deal, wrestlers are used to being on the road a lot.”

Cony still has one major tournament left to host, the Class A championships scheduled for Feb. 17.

On the mat, it’s anyone’s guess who could walk away with the team championships. Camden Hills (Class A) and Oceanside (Class B) are the defending KVAC team champions. Several area teams, including Cony, Mt. Blue and Oxford Hills, have all made contender cases at various tournaments during the regular season.


“I think we’ve been on a nice trajectory for quite a while now,” Totman said. “The team’s really improving almost daily. It just kind of took a while for things to really click. I just get that feeling that it’s happening now. The practice room has been great, we’ve been wrestling well at our meets. We’re banged up, like every team, we can’t make an excuse of that.”

Gardiner’s Eli Farias, left, and Marshwood’s Drew Webber wrestling during the 132-pound championship semifinals during the Tiger Invitational on Dec. 16 in Gardiner. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Jonny Lettre, the defending Class A champion at 285 pounds, goes into the tournament as Cony’s best wrestler, but Sam Lafavor (120), Logan Childs (126), Evan Pitcher (144), Anderson St. Onge (150), Liam Schleis-Hooyman (175) and Kaiden Veilleux (190) have all shown promise as contenders for the finals in their respective weight classes.

Mt. Blue has consistently been a Top 5 team in nearly every tournament it has participated in, and won the Nokomis Warrior Clash on Jan. 6 in Newport. However, the Cougars have also been hit by the injury bug. Head coach Mike Hansen said he plans to sit several of his wrestlers — including top state contender Noah Krsyztofiak (120) — during KVACs in the hopes they return for the regional and state championships. Hansen estimates he’ll have at least five contenders sitting out the KVACs on Saturday.

“I do believe we can still win the tournament,” Hansen said. “But if I send athletes (to the mat) at 75 percent, then it’s just not responsible as a coach to do that. I do believe if I sent my starting roster in there, we’d win the tournament, but they’ll come out beat up a little bit and that’ll be a disadvantage for them going into regionals and states. I believe we’re going to run away (with the title) at regionals and we have a good chance at winning states, also, but not if we’re going to come out of KVACs all banged up.”

Hansen said he’s a big fan of the KVACs, as it brings the best of the best from the area.

“I love it because you get to see the whole league,” Hansen said. “There’s so many teams in there, and you get to see how they all stack up when everybody is on the mat. When you go to some smaller tournaments, there may be 16 to 18 teams in there, and some of them may be in your league, some may not. This is as good as it gets to get everybody to the same tournament.”



• • •

Mother Nature has not been kind to the Skowhegan wrestling team this season.

Due to weather events, the River Hawks were forced to cancel multiple meets and tournaments, which included the annual Skowhegan Invitational.

“It’s always rough, because you can’t get in a groove,” Skowhegan head coach Tenney Noyes said. “It messes with your schedule, you can’t get into a routine. Unfortunately, the boys lost about seven matches from their season. We only got one of the three dates rescheduled. The others were straight up canceled. That goes a long ways. We’ve got two wrestlers — (Lawrence wrestlers) Colby Nadeau and Colton Carter — earned their 100th career wins this season. We have another junior who is looking at (100), but with seven (less matches), he’s got to run the table at tournaments to do it. Obviously, that’s very hard to do.”

Noyes said the loss of the Skowhegan Invitational hurts the team from a financial aspect as well.


“Losing that tournament, in terms of fundraising for the program, that hurts,” Noyes said. “You’re looking at about $5,000-$6,000 that we lost out on. Wrestlers like to eat, and we sell so much food (during the tournament) and they love to eat. And they’re there, essentially, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Skowhegan managed to reschedule its girls wrestling tournament, which has been moved to Feb. 3.

“We’re excited that we’re able to keep that going,” Noyes said. “Right now, it’s the same weekend as the (state duals championships),” Noyes said. “Obviously, there will be a few teams tied up with that. Other than that, it’ll be a free weekend for everybody else. We’re hoping to have a good showing and we’ve gotten some good responses by a handful of the teams… We hope to have a good turnout and we’re ready to put on a good show. We’ve got everything set up and ready to go and excited to run it.”


• • •

Cony’s Bryce Bowden, left, and MCI’s Keith Cook wrestle in the 138-pound championship semifinals during T the Tiger Invitational Dec. 16 in Gardiner. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal



The wrestling postseason promises to be busy, and it promises to be well spread throughout the state.

The regional championships are set for Feb. 10, and will be hosted at four different sites. Class A North will be at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, while A South will be at Sanford High School. Teams in Class B North will be taking a trip, as the host will be the University of Maine at Fort Kent, while B South is at Morse.

The duals championships — both Class A and B — will be at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham on Feb. 3. Cony High School will host the Class A finals, while Mountain Valley High School of Rumford hosts the Class B finals. Both are set for Feb. 17.

The Maine high school wrestling season wraps up with the New England qualifier, which will be at Belfast Area High School on Feb. 23.

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