Sports

Foxcroft wrestling wins Dexter Duals

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DEXTER — On Saturday, Nov. 24 the Foxcroft Academy wrestling team traveled to Dexter Regional High School for an annual preseason event, the Dexter Duals tournament. This event consisted of eight teams divided into two groups. The winner of each group advances to the finals and will face the winner of the other group.

Foxcroft first faced Bucksport. The Ponies defeated the Golden Bucks 67-6. Next Foxcroft faced Class A Skowhegan Area High School and defeated the Indians 66-12.

Foxcroft wrestling

Photo courtesy of Angela Ayala
GREAT START TO THE SEASON — The Foxcroft Academy wrestling team won the Dexter Duals preseason tourney on Nov. 24 at Dexter Regional High School. The Ponies first won the team’s four-school group and then defeated the host Tigers 46-36 in the finals to capture top honors.

The Ponies then faced a much improved Piscataquis Community High School team. The Pirates were also 2-0 on the day after defeating Bucksport and Skowhegan. The winner of this dual would advance to the finals, and the Ponies quickly got out to a 41-15 lead before the highly anticipated matchup at 182 pounds between the Pirates’ returning state champion senior Zac Wilson and Foxcroft’s returning state runner-up senior Dustin Simmons.

The match was very intense from the beginning, both wrestlers came out hard ready to wrestle. Wilson took an early lead 3-1 going into the third period. Simmons was able to get an escape early in the period and now was trailing 3-2. He started pushing the tempo to get a takedown but Wilson was able to counter and got the takedown and near fall points for an 8-3 win. These two will see a lot of each other this season.

Foxcroft came out with 53-24 team victory to advance to the finals where the Ponies saw rival Dexter. Again the Ponies got out to a quick 30-point lead. The Tigers never gave up and came roaring back and closed the lead to 40-36. With one match to go it came down to the 285-pound wrestlers. Foxcroft senior Jared Atkinson rose to the challenge. He came out on fire and pinned his Dexter opponent in 25 seconds to give his team the title. Foxcroft defeated Dexter 46-36.

Foxcroft wrestling

Photo courtesy of Angela Ayala
TOPPING THE HEAVYWEIGHT BRACKET — Pony senior Jared Atkinson celebrates his victory at 285 pounds with his coaches Chris O’Connell, left, and Luis Ayala. Atkinson won all five of his matches on Nov. 24 in Dexter, including a pinfall victory at the 25-second mark of the weight class final.

Pony head coach Luisa Ayala was very proud of his team’s performance at this event, “Today was very exciting. I was very impressed how our new wrestlers came out today. We had a great week of practice and that credit goes out to our captains for pushing everyone at practice to do their best. And what a great way for Jared to finish the day. He really stepped up today for our team! He went 5-0 on the day. We still have a lot to work on but this gives us a little taste of what we are capable of this year.”

Foxcroft wrestling

Photo courtesy of Angela Ayala
PONY CAPTAINS AND COACHES — The Foxcroft Academy captains and coaching staff celebrate after the Ponies earned top honors at the Dexter Duals. From left are Chris O’Connell, Rico Ayala, Dustin Simmons, Grady Reardon, Josh Tatlock, head coach Luis Ayala, and Ryan Reardon.

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