2018-02-13 / Sports

Wells sends 13 wrestlers to states

By PAT McDONALD
Sports Editor

RUMFORD — Every high school wrestling coach’s goal is to get as many kids as possible to the state tournament. For Wells coach Scott Lewia this year’s Class B South regional was nearly perfect as the Warriors qualified a wrestler for this weekend’s state meet in 13 of the 14 weight classes.

“I believe that’s the most we’ve ever sent from Wells,” said Lewia.

The 13 state qualifiers — led by four champions and seven runners-up — helped the Warriors capture their second straight regional team title with an impressive 206 points. Wells was ahead of second place Mountain Valley by 74 points.

“It was kind of what I expected. All the kids wrestled to their potential, and actually the one kid that didn’t make (states) was a backup because my (starter) got hurt on Thursday. I would have liked to take 14, but 13 is pretty good,” said Lewia.

Ryan Norton won the 113-pound title for Wells with an 8-7 decision over Lisbon/Oak Hill’s Jack Tibbets.

“Ryan wrestled really well. He beat a kid that beat him last week,” Lewia said.

The Warriors would also get a title at 170 pounds from Nathan Curtis who took down Lisbon/Oak Hill’s Brad Harriman with a fall at the 5:06 mark.

“Nathan Curtis wrestled really good in the finals and actually pinned the kid. Nathan’s been hurt probably half of the season and just came back maybe three weeks ago,” said Lewia.

Freshman Jonah Potter was the next champ for the Warriors as he took down Lisbon/Oak Hill’s Dan Bolton in the 182-pound final.

“Jonah’s just trucking along and kind of beating everybody in his way. He’s got 32 wins as a freshman which is pretty good at a high weight class,” said Lewia.

The final individual title for Wells would come from defending state champion Nolan Potter at 220 pounds. The now three-time regional champ pinned Dirigo’s Nolan DeGroot at the end of the second period.

“Nolan’s just Nolan. He’s doing everything he’s done for the past few years,” said Lewia. “It seems like everybody that tries to challenge him, he kind of just puts it to him and he actually pins all these guys. He’s wrestling really well right now and hopefully he’ll keep it going.”

Second-place finishers for Wells were Craig Chase (106), Jacob Scott (120), Caden Gibson (126), Devin Chace (145), Drew Peters (152), Mike Wrigley (195) and Sean McCormack-Kuhman (285).

Lewia believes both Wrigley and McCormack-Kuhman, who have been looked at as legitimate state title contenders all year, will bounce back this week.

“Michael just got caught. He was ahead the whole match and just got caught at the end. I’m assuming he’ll probably get another chance at that kid and hopefully if he can just stay away from that one move, he should be fine,” said Lewia. “Sean lost by a point and the kid that he lost to (Madison’s Seth Padelford) was a state champ last year. We’ve got a couple things that we’re going to do different this week if he matches up with the kid again, so hopefully those things work.”

Wells got a third-place finish from Spencer Poulin at 138 pounds and Evan Cash finished in fourth place at 160 to qualify for states.

Lewia is excited for the opportunity to host the Class B state meet on Saturday.

“It’s huge. We’ve got a lot of local fans that will be there,” said Lewia. “We usually have a pretty good crowd of fans anyway, but this will be a lot of the local people that wouldn’t take the trip some place up north, but they’ll come to our gym. Hopefully everything runs great and we come out on top.”

Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at pmcdonald@journaltribune.com or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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