Sports

Stone and Ayalas represent the state at Maine-Nebraska Wrestling Exchange

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Senior Gage Stone of Dexter Regional High School and Foxcroft Academy senior Enrico Ayala have been selected along with 16 other of Maine’s top wrestlers for the 34th annual Maine–Nebraska Wrestling Exchange. Foxcroft head coach Luis Ayala has also been selected along with three other coaches for the trip.

This wrestling event is the longest running exchange of its kind in the United States. This year Team Maine will be traveling to Nebraska to compete against some of the Cornhusker State’s finest grapplers at four different locations. The squad will travel on Saturday, June 22 and return Monday, July 1. Wrestlers will compete at Cross County High School in Stromberg, North Platte High School, Arlington Public High School and Platteview High School in Springfield.

Maine-Nebraska Wrestling Exchange Gage Stone

Contributed photo
TEAM MAINE MEMBER — Dexter senior Gage Stone, pictured with his coaches — from left — Ian Weigle, head coach Andrew Levensalor, and Kyle Lockhart, is one of 18 grapplers from across the state selected for the 34th annual Maine–Nebraska Wrestling Exchange. Team Maine will be traveling west to take on some of the best high school wrestlers in Nebraska at four different sites while also enjoying activities together.

While at each site wrestlers will enjoy activities planned by their host team. In the past these activities have included water parks, lakes, national parks, water skiing, airboat rides, paintball, go karting, volleyball, barbeques and cultural activities. At the end of each stop Team Maine members will compete in a dual meet against a Nebraska all-star team. The Maine team has enjoyed great success in the last two trips to Nebraska (2015 and 2017) by going 8-0 in the last eight dual meets.

Stone, a resident of Exeter, was a Class B champion this year at 152 pounds. He started wrestling in grade 2 with Dexter Rec Wrestling. He was very successful at the youth level with a fourth-place finish, two third-place performances and a second-place finish at Marshwood’s Youth New England Tournament. Stone was a 2-year member of the Invictus Wrestling Club.

He has competed in Class B tournament three straight years. As a sophomore he was a state runner-up. In 2019 after winning states, Stone was voted the Class B Most Outstanding Wrestler. He went on to the all-state tournament and won at 152 pounds and was named Maine’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. Stone’s high school record is 108-25.

He also plays baseball and football for Dexter. Stone has received his varsity letter in baseball for three years and football for two years. Stone is an honor roll student, member of student council and was recently inducted into the National Honor Society.

Ayala, a resident of Dover-Foxcroft, placed third at the Class B tournament as a junior. He started wrestling when he was in kindergarten for Foxcroft Youth Wrestling. Ayala placed fourth and second at the Marshwood Youth New England Tournament. At SeDoMoCha Middle School he was a 3-time Penquis League champion and has been a 5- year member of the Invictus Wrestling Club.

Maine-Nebraska Wrestling Exchange Enrico Luis Ayala

Contributed photo
FATHER, SON TRIP — Foxcroft Academy senior Enrico Ayala and his father Pony head wrestling coach Luis Ayala will be part of Team Maine for the 34th annual Maine–Nebraska Wrestling Exchange as the Pine Tree State contingent travels to the Cornhusker State for four dual meets against Team Nebraska.

Ayala has competed three times at the Class B tourney. He placed fourth at the all-state tournament this past year. During his time at Foxcroft Ayala has led the wrestling team to three conference championships, three regional championships and a Class B state runner-up finish. His high school record is 113-31.

Ayala also plays soccer at Foxcroft Academy. He is a 3-year varsity soccer player and a 2-time team captain. Ayala is an honor roll student, vice president of the student council, member of the Key Club and he is a member of the National Honor Society.

Coach Ayala has been leading the Foxcroft wrestling team for the last 18 years. During that time he has guided the Ponies to six state championships, 12 regional championships and 11 conference championships.

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