Raiders just miss pinning down team crown

TITLE DEFENDED — Zach Sheehan defended his 120-pound weight class title with a 12-1 decision over Dylan Dahlbergh of Maine Central Institute. (Rivet Photos)

TITLE DEFENDED — Zach Sheehan defended his 120-pound weight class title with a 12-1 decision over Dylan Dahlbergh of Maine Central Institute. (Rivet Photos)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — To win a team state title, you need a load of talent and some little breaks along the way.

For most of Saturday, Fryeburg Academy was in the hunt for a Class B state wrestling title. The Raiders hoped to “wrestle” away the crown from Camden Hills, the defending champ.

Early on, the Raiders enjoyed a 7.5-point lead over the Windjammers on the strength of placing five wrestlers into the championship round.

Fryeburg won its first four matches in convincing fashion, from Connor Sheehan’s 17-0 rout to Matt Boucher’s thrilling 6-4 victory courtesy of a big reversal with 13.2 seconds left in the match. The win propelled the rookie wrestler into the finals.

“Matthew Boucher had an awesome day. Going into the tournament, he wasn’t predicted to place, but Matt sure proved them wrong. Matt had a come-from-behind win in the quarterfinals to advance to the semis. He then won a close match in the semi-finals to move on to the state championship match as a freshman. He’s worked so hard all season and had an awesome day,” teammate Connor Sheehan said.

FA also received strong efforts from Hunter Day at 138 and Trevor Henschel at 195.

A WINDJAMMER IN A JAM — Fryeburg Academy's Ian MacFawn takes down a Camden Hills wrestler during Saturday's Class B State Championship Meet at Wadsworth Arena. MacFawn won the state title at 182 pounds.

A WINDJAMMER IN A JAM — Fryeburg Academy's Ian MacFawn takes down a Camden Hills wrestler during Saturday's Class B State Championship Meet at Wadsworth Arena. MacFawn won the state title at 182 pounds.

Unfortunately, the magic carpet ride came to a halt for several Raiders. Fryeburg lost ground in the team title hunt by picking up just a few points in the consolation semi-finals. Camden Hills closed the gap to 1.5 points. Then, FA was shutout in the consolation finals, losing both bouts. The Jammers moved ahead, 120 to 111.5.

Still, optimism was high for the Raiders, who had five wrestlers in the finals. Both schools held serve early with the Sheehans each winning their titles.

Zach had faced some stiff competition throughout the day, but rolled in the finals against Maine Central Institute’s Dylan Dahlbergh 12-1.

“I felt in control the whole time, and the first matches are always hard for me because I am dehydrated and still processing food after the long week of cutting weight. But, as my coach always says, you only have to win by one,” Zach said. “I had never wrestled him (Dahlbergh) before in my life and I saw he was short and stocky so I had to be careful. But I knew as soon as I got the first takedown that I was going to win, so from that point on I was just trying to pin him so I could get the team points.”

Camden won its two early matches, but moved further ahead when Coleman Powers pinned Boucher just 53 seconds into the match.

Momentum had shifted.

HAD HIM FOR A MOMENT — FA's Jake Thurston seemingly had Michael Alvarez of Morse in his control, taking a 5-2 lead into the final 30 seconds of the state finals in the 152-pound weight class. But, Thurston was stunned in the final countdown as Alvarez rallied for a 7-5 decision.

HAD HIM FOR A MOMENT — FA's Jake Thurston seemingly had Michael Alvarez of Morse in his control, taking a 5-2 lead into the final 30 seconds of the state finals in the 152-pound weight class. But, Thurston was stunned in the final countdown as Alvarez rallied for a 7-5 decision.

Maybe the day’s most heartbreaking loss was shouldered by FA’s Jake Thurston at 152-pounds. In a tight contest with Michael Alvarez of Morse, Thurston went up 5-2 with about 30 seconds left. But, Alvarez stunned Thurston with a late-scoring flurry to take a 7-5 victory.

“It was heartbreaking. I wanted Jake to win more than I wanted myself to win, to be honest. Nobody has put more time in than Jake. The refs made a lot of questionable calls against him. He is the most deserving and is one of the best wrestlers to come through Fryeburg Academy,” Zach Sheehan said. “On the flip side, seeing Matt Boucher go to the state finals was amazing. I was so proud of him. He chose the right day to wrestle his best.”

Brother Connor shared those thoughts.

“Over the past four years, Jake has worked incredibly hard. His motivation and heart exceeds anyone’s on the team, if not the state. Despite a loss in any of his four years, he was always there to cheer on his teammates. I honestly cannot think of anyone else more deserving of winning a state championship. To watch him wrestle so hard against a kid who stalled out the match until the last 20 seconds was tough,” Connor said. “Despite his loss, Jake was there to cheer Ian (MacFawn) on in his championship match. I can only hope that someday I will be as much of a team player as Jake is.”

MacFawn claimed the 182-pound title with a pin of Belfast’s Wyatt Roberts just into the second period.

The final points tally had the Windjammers edging the Raiders 131.5 to 128.5. Wells was third at 118 points.

“I was very upset. I wanted to win it as a team because I knew I wouldn’t have an opportunity like this again,” Zach Sheehan said.

Going into States, expectations were high, Connor said, especially with the Raiders winning Regionals for the first time since 1986.

“Despite a rocky regular season, we finally had everyone back ready to go. Everyone was working hard in practice and I felt that we had a good shot of taking the team title. Falling three points short was definitely disappointing. To work so hard and to lose by such a small margin stunk,” he said. “But I’m very proud of the team. Looking back at the start of the season, I wouldn’t have guessed that we’d be contending for the state title. Both our veteran and rookie wrestlers stepped it up and we pushed it till the end. Despite falling short, we had a great run and I had a blast wrestling with my teammates.”

 

 

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