Lucas Libby of Mountain Valley High School wrestles Giacomo Smith of Erskine Academy during the Class B state wrestling championships in Rumford on Feb. 17. Libby won the 150-pound title, his third consecutive state championship. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Mountain Valley coach Gary Dolloff found out Lucas Libby can sing during an early March drive from Rhode Island to Rumford.

“He was singing in the van all the way home,” Dolloff said. “And if you know the kid, he’s so stoic and quiet that you’re like, what?”

Libby, a senior, was basking in a job well-done and a mission accomplished.

Twice before, Libby had left the New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships knowing that he didn’t achieve what he went there for.

This year, he placed for the first time, finishing fourth in the 150-pound weight class.

“It was just the feeling that like, that’s a huge weight off your shoulders when you had spent, really, four years just focusing on that one thing and always come out short,” Libby said. “And so I feel like it was just a weight off your shoulders to know you’re not doing it next year and you had achieved that … and no one can take it from you.”


Obviously, he wanted to win, but placing was a big accomplishment. Dolloff has coached Mountain Valley wrestling for more than 20 years, and he said Libby’s fourth-place finish is the highest that one of his wrestlers has placed at New Englands.

Libby’s showing at the New England Championships capped a stellar season, for which he has been selected as the Sun Journal Wrestler of the Year for the second year in row.

Libby also became Mountain Valley’s fifth three-time state champion this season, but from the start he had his sights on the New England tournament.

“I’m proud of them, for sure,” Libby said. “But Maine states was never the goal. It was always placing at New Englands.”

He wanted to prove himself beyond the state level, and he was willing to work for it.

“I’ve been at this for a long time … he is the hardest worker I have ever had on my team,” Dolloff said. “Goes to in-state tournaments, out-of-state tournaments. He’s always in the gym, he’s working out, he’s a gym rat. Wants to get better, always has questions, no matter who the instructor is.


“He’s just one of those kids that he sets big goals for himself and goes after them.”


Libby has been wrestling for so long that he doesn’t even remember starting. He’s told that when his older brother, Owen (who wrestled at Dirigo), started wrestling, 2-year-old Lucas could not be contained at matches and was constantly jumping on other kids.

“There’s these little kids that do that every year,” Libby said, “and generally those kids get shoes slapped on, and they start wrestling each other.

“So that’s kind of how it starts. And then it progresses from there.”

For Libby, it turned into a life pursuit.


“I think with wrestling, he’s just found his passion,” Dolloff said. “Funny thing: someone asked him what he did in the spring, and he looked at him with a strange look, and he goes, ‘I wrestle.’ He just looks at him like, ‘What are you talking about? That’s what I do, is wrestle. That’s all I do, is wrestle.’”

Libby is always working to get better, and always trying to learn more.

“He wants to know every little detail. He wants to know every piece of it — you know, how it affects what he’s doing on the left side and on the right side,” Dolloff said. “He’s very, very strong, but his technique is flawless. He just keeps working on his craft over and over again.”

Mountain Valley’s Lucas Libby gets the advantage against Marshwood’s Cody Bubier in the 150-pound final of the Spartan Wrestling Annual Tournament on Jan. 6 at Sanford High. Libby won the title, 12-2. Steve Craig/Portland Press Herald

Libby has spent a lot of time training with another Mountain Valley three-time state champion, Ethan Boucher, from whom Libby said he learns “the small details and the higher-level stuff.”

Libby also focused on being an effective leader this season, and passing along the knowledge he had gained. Dolloff said the senior took time to help any teammates who needed it or had questions — from the most basic things to intricate details of wrestling, and regardless of their experience or skill level.

“I was really excited to see what I could do for them, if that makes sense,” Libby said. “I just felt like I had a lot to offer, and I felt like I had kids that really wanted to be around and really wanted to learn.”



Libby said that Dolloff and Mountain Valley athletic director Jeff Pelletier were willing to do whatever necessary to help him achieve his goal. That included providing opportunities for Libby to compete against the toughest competition possible, including some tournaments the Falcons didn’t compete in.

Libby racked up a 63-3 record this season and became the fifth wrestler in school history with 150 wins — which he accomplished in only three years because his freshman season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He claimed the 150-pound championship at the Class B state meet on Feb. 17. The following week, he won the all-states title at the New England Qualifier and was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the meet.

“To me, that just states that the coaches were in consensus that he just had a dominant — not just a dominant day, but a dominant year,” Dolloff said.

Then came the New England Championships in Providence on March 2-3, where Libby would put his entire career’s work to the ultimate test.


It’s also where he’d have his greatest triumph, in the second round.

“There was no nerves, there was no nothing,” Dolloff said. “He just went out and wrestled and just beat the tar out of the kid, and I think it was his moment to say, ‘OK, I do belong here,’ you know? And for me, as a coach, that was probably my proudest moment right there.”

Mountain Valley wrestler Lucas Libby, in his first match of the day on Dec. 16, earned his 100th career victory. He is pictured with head coach Gary Dolloff, left, and assistant coach Anthony Mazza.

Libby said he and Boucher spent a lot of time the night before watching film and game planning for the match.

Their preparation paid off. Everything Libby faced was something he was expected, and he beat one of the region’s best wrestlers and guaranteed that he’d place at New Englands.

“I think the realization that I had already placed and that there wasn’t … anything I could do that would unplace me, that was a pretty great feeling,” Libby said.

Great enough for a stoic high school senior to sing.

Libby wants to continue his wrestling career in college. He’s talked to some college coaches and has been contacting as many as he can, and “talking back to whoever talks to me.”

True to form, he’s aiming big.

“The goal, and it’s a lofty one, is Division I wrestling,” Libby said. “It’s really competitive, but it’s something that I think I can do. And I believe in myself enough to think I can do that, and I’ve got people around me who believe I can do that. So that’s the goal.”

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