ELLSWORTH — Hancock County’s three high school wrestling teams got a full afternoon of competition in over the weekend in a locally held meet.
Ellsworth, Bucksport and MDI wrestlers competed in a round-robin tournament Saturday afternoon at Ellsworth High School. A total of 94 matches were held with local wrestlers claiming an impressive 46 wins.
Luke McKenney led the way for the host team as he won via fall in all four of his 170-pound bouts. Luke Horne and Grayson Mote also claimed multiple wins for Ellsworth with records of 2-0 and 3-2 at 120 and 132 pounds, respectively.
Gianna Anderson (126 pounds) and Dominic Hamm (160 pounds) earned one win each for the Eagles. Hamm earned a first-round pin against Caribou’s Grace Jean after returning from injury, and Anderson topped Bucksport’s Jazmyne Rines via a 13-3 decision as part of a day where she spent nearly a half-hour on the mats.
“I think she had 28 minutes of match time today,” Ellsworth head coach Dakota Jewett said of Anderson. “It’s a long day at these meets to begin with, and [wrestling that much] makes it a marathon. That was impressive.”
For Bucksport, Rines won a match of her own at 126 pounds as she claimed a second-round pin against Washington Academy’s Siobhan Duffy. Kaleb Nightingale (4-1 at 132 pounds) and Dhane Smith (2-1 at 145 pounds) added victories for the Golden Bucks in the other lower-weight classes.
A trio of other Bucksport wrestlers added multiple wins in the sub-285 classes. Sam Soper (3-2 at 170 pounds) and Joe Bowen (3-0 at 225 pounds) won three matches apiece for the Golden Bucks, and Paige Anderson finished the day 2-1 at 195.
Twelve of Bucksport’s wins came at the 285-pound level, where the Golden Bucks entered three wrestlers. Grayson Fernald won all five of his matches with two wins coming against teammates Jacob Coghill and Wyatt Weaver, respectively. Coghill (4-1) beat Weaver (3-2) via pin in the afternoon’s other all-Bucksport heavyweight bout.
Earning two wins apiece for MDI were Logan Blanchette (132 pounds), Nick Jacobs (145 pounds) and Evan Davidson (182 pounds). Jacobs won both of his matches to finish unbeaten on the day, and Blanchette and Davidson each won twice via fall en route to 2-1 afternoons.
At 138 pounds, MDI’s Nick Roos earned his first career victory as he defeated Woodland’s Cole Dunphy 2-0 in his second match of the day. The Trojans’ Tyler Lunt also earned his first career victory as he beat Caribou’s Maxwell Ryan via fall at 195 pounds in his final bout.
Ellsworth, Bucksport and MDI will be back at Ellsworth High School at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, for a five-team meet that will also include Washington Academy and Woodland. That will be the last high school wrestling competition held in Hancock County this season.
Local teams will then get eight days of rest before beginning their final slates of regular season meets and tournaments. Bucksport is scheduled to compete at 5 p.m. Jan. 20 at Mattanawcook Academy, and Ellsworth and MDI will compete at that time the following day, Jan. 21, at Piscataquis Community High School.
“I feel like I say this every time, but I feel like we’re hitting our stride right now,” Jewett said. “Things are still ramping up, and we haven’t plateaued or anything. … Hopefully, we’re done with the flu season and don’t have any more COVID issues.”