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Foxcroft wrestling wins Warrior Clash

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NEWPORT — The Foxcroft Academy wrestling team competed at the Warrior Clash at Nokomis Regional High School on Jan. 5. The Ponies bested 14 other schools to become tournament champions. Foxcroft had 13 wrestlers competing and 10 placed in the top four in their respective weight classes.

“It was great to have everyone back and to see what we are capable of,” head coach Luis Ayala said. “We had some guys really step up and wrestle tough today. We beat some teams here that we lost to at earlier tournaments.”

Foxcroft wrestling

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TOURNAMENT CHAMPS — The Foxcroft Academy wrestling team ended the day in first place at the Warrior Clash at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport on Jan. 5. The Ponies bested 14 other schools as 10 of the team’s 13 wrestlers recorded top four finishes.

A couple of those wrestlers coming back from injuries were Austin Jackson and Josh Tatlock. Jackson had been sidelined by an early season concussion and was out a month. He finished second at 113 pounds. Josh Tatlock was also out due to pneumonia. He finished fourth at 138 pounds.

“The biggest thing for these guys is building up their conditioning and drilling their moves to the point where they are just reacting and not thinking of what to do next,” Ayala explained. “We definitely missed them and they are glad to be wrestling again.”

Foxcroft stood in fourth place with two rounds to go. Leading the tournament was Class A Oxford Hills of South Paris. The Vikings had five wrestlers in the finals compared to Foxcroft’s three. In order for the Ponies to have a chance at winning the tournament the team needed a big round in the consolation finals. Foxcroft had seven wrestlers to the Vikings’ two wrestling for third or fourth place.

These wrestlers came through for the Ponies, as five won their matches to only one of the Vikings. This gave a the Ponies a 21-point lead going into the final round. “We had a phenomenal round! The kids showed a lot of grit and toughness to help the team win,” Ayala said.

Oxford Hills could still end the day in first place if all of the team’s wrestlers won in the championship finals. Foxcroft needed one victory in the finals to seal the top finish. This win came at the 145-pound weight class.

Foxcroft wrestling

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145-POUND WINNER — Pony junior Jacob Ireland stands atop the podium in the 145-pound class at the Warrior Clash on Jan. 5 in Newport. To his left is third-place wrestler, Nathan Schobel of Dexter.

Junior Jacob Ireland was facing a tough opponent from Class A Mt. Blue of Farmington. Trailing 4-1, Ireland kept pushing through and he was able to get a 2-point reversal and was ready to put his opponent to his back when the ref stopped the match. His Mt. Blue opponent was in serious pain holding his shoulder. The Mt. Blue coach quickly came out with the trainer and they decided that he could not longer wrestle in the match, giving Ireland the victory.

“Jacob had an incredible tournament,” Ayala said. “He really stepped up for the team when we need him. He never gave up in the finals match even though he was down he grinded through to a victory. I like where we are heading right now. With this victory here, it gives the team a lot confidence heading forward.”

Placing for the Ponies were in fourth place: Khrystofor Downing and Josh Tatlock; third place: Rico Ayala, Grady Reardon, AJ Atkinson, Dustin Simmons, and Sam Robinson; and second place: Sawyer McCarty and Austin Jackson. Tournament champion: Jacob Ireland.

Foxcroft wrestling

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113-POUND RUNNER-UP — Foxcroft’s Sawyer McCarty, right, came in second at 113 pounds in Newport.

Foxcroft wrestling

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BACK ON THE MAT — Foxcroft head coach Luis Ayala and Austin Jackson celebrate as Jackson placed second at 113-pounds, returning after being out of action for a month with a concussion.

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