Simmons wins his 100th career match, helps Foxcroft to a fifth-place finish at Rumford tourney
DOVER-FOXCROFT — The Foxcroft Academy wrestling team hosted its home opener Thursday, Dec. 13. Three teams from the Penobscot Valley Conference competed with the Ponies, Bucksport, Ellsworth, and Calais.
This turned out to be a special night as Foxcroft senior Dustin Simmons reached a great personal milestone with his 100th career victory. He came in at this event with 99 wins and he would have the opportunity for his 100th against Bucksport. Simmons controlled the match from start to finish and gave the crowd what it wanted. With seconds left in the third period and Simmons in control of the match at 12-1, the crowd begin to cheer loud and wave the 100-win signs.
“It’s always a great moment when one of our wrestlers reaches this goal and extra special when they do it at home,” Foxcroft head coach Luis Ayala said.
Simmons has been a varsity wrestler since his freshman year and has had a stellar career. He was voted team captain this year and last year he was a state runner-up at 160 pounds.
“Dustin has put in the time in the gym and has worked hard in the off season to get to this point,” Ayala said. “He is a great leader that always leads by example. He is one of the hardest workers on the team. This is only one of many goals that Dustin has for this season and I have no doubt that he will achieve them.”
Foxcroft finished the night at 3-0 as the Ponies defeated Bucksport 57-19, Calais 72-12, and Ellsworth 66-15.
Two days later on Saturday, Dec. 15 Foxcroft traveled to Rumford to compete at the Franklin and Savings Bank (FSB) Invitational Tournament held at Mountain Valley High School. The Ponies placed fifth out of 21 teams, with 10 wrestlers competing.
Five finished in the top four in their weight classes. Placing for the Ponies were in fourth place at 106 pounds Sawyer McCarty and at 126 pounds Grady Reardon. In third place at 120 pounds was Rico Ayala. In second place at 145 pounds was Jacob Diamond, and Simmons earned tourney champion honors in the 170-pound division.
“This was a great tournament for us to compete in,” Luis Ayala said. “It gives us a great look at different teams in our class.”
Simmons reached the finals by winning his first two matches by pin and a 9-0 major decision. In the finals he saw Daniel Bolton of Lisbon/Oak Hill. The match was closed all the way through.
During the first period both wrestlers took some shots at each other with no results, the score was 0-0 after one. In the second period, Bolton was able to get an escape from the bottom position and lead the match 1-0. In the third period Simmons choose bottom and fought hard to get to his feet with 45 seconds left in the match. Both wrestlers continued to push each other hard and with 20 seconds to go Simmons was able to hip toss him right to his back for a 5-point move, just inside the out of bounce circle for a 5-1 victory.
“Dustin had a great tournament,” Ayala said. “He just fought hard all day long. In the finals he dug deep to get to his feet and surprised his opponent when he hip tossed him.
“I was very proud of how we competed today. This type of competition will make us work harder at practice. We are not were we want to be at this point.”