Foxcroft wins regional meet and qualifies 13 wrestlers for state championship meet at Augusta Civic Center

By Bill Pearson
Staff Writer

    HOWLAND — It seems the Foxcroft Academy Ponies’ wrestling team is bred for success. The Ponies have shown over the past three seasons they have a stable full of wrestlers who are both talented and committed enough to be reach the pinnacle of their sport. Foxcroft showed the competition during the Feb. 2 regional qualifying wrestling tournament in Howland that they are in full gallop in pursuit for  a third straight state championship.


Observer photo/ Bill Pearson

    LOCKED ARMS — Dexter’s Andy Adams and Fort Kent’s Jeremy Voisine were locked in battle for the second week in a row during the Eastern Maine Class C regional championship. Voisine defeated Adams in the 152-pound weight championship match at last week’s Penobscot Valley Championships and in the semifinals on Feb. 2 during the regional qualifying tournament in Howland.


    Foxcroft had all but one wrestler reach the finals of the 14 individual weight classes en route to a 248-190.5 victory over runner-up Dexter in the Eastern Maine Class C regional qualifying tournament. Foxcroft wresters won nine individual weight class championships: Antonio Ayala (113), Brooks Law (126), Forrest Law (138), Wesley Stinson (152), Todd Francis (160), Corbyn Bruce (182), Corey Bjornson-Weismore (195), Alex Sedore (220) and Caleb Atkinson (285).

    Foxcroft coach Luis Ayala believes his team’s strong performance at the regionals puts them in a strong position to win their third consecutive state championship on Feb. 9 in the Augusta Civic Center.

    “I am so proud of these young men!” Ayala said. “They rose to the challenge again and set new standards for our team. We had an amazing day with 13 wrestlers in the finals. It really sets us up to be in a good position entering the States next week for seeding purposes and numbers-wise.”

    Foxcroft fended off a challenge last year by Dexter in the regional and state championship meets. Dexter is also sending 13 wrestlers to the state meet. This year the Tigers had six wrestlers reach the finals. Three Tigers were crowned as regional champions: Dylan Hanscom (106), Tyler Salsbury (120) and Andrew Levensalor (145).

    Dexter and Foxcroft wrestlers met in eight of the 14 finals. The Ponies won six of the head-to-head final matchups. Dexter’s Tyler Salsbury was one of the two Tigers who defeated a Foxcroft wrestler in the finals. He hopes the added depth to the field in the state meet will improve his team’s chances of capturing a state championship.

    “We don’t seem to matchup that well against Foxcroft,” said Salsbury. “Even though they have beaten us recently I think we still have a good shot at winning the state championship. There are some good teams in the West with Dirigo and Madison and that might provide us with some opportunities that we don’t usually have against them.”

    Piscataquis finished in fifth place with 61 points which trailed third-place Fort Kent (85) and fourth-place Calais (74.5). Piscataquis had five wrestlers qualify for the state tournament.: Cameron Pratt (113), Matthew Bouchard (126), Ethan Cooley (138), T.J. Thomas (195) and Chase Bouton (220).

    The state championship meet will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 in the Augusta Civic Center.

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