ELLSWORTH — Despite injuries, the Ellsworth and Bucksport high school wrestling teams placed among the top four at Saturday’s Penobscot Valley Conference championships at EHS.
Foxcroft Academy placed first of 15 schools with 171 points, followed by Ellsworth — the reigning Class B state champion — with 146. Dexter took third with 124 points, and Bucksport finished fourth with 69.5.
Two of Ellsworth’s defending state champions were unable to compete because of injury: Dagan Berenyi and Connor Petros. Still the Eagles managed to split their six championships, with Peyton Cole winning at 138 pounds; Trent Goodman at 182; and Austin Smith at 170.
Cole pinned Isiah Hesseltine of Dexter; Goodman beat Billy Brock of Foxcroft with a 10-0 major decision; and Smith pinned Bryce Sweet of Dexter.
Ellsworth’s runners-up were Logan Lord (126), Josh Wright (145) and Andrew Brown (160).
“We did very well as a team,” Ellsworth coach JF Burns said. “I was very proud.”
But Ellsworth was hit with yet another setback when 220-pound Wally Moon suffered a broken arm in his first match of the day.
“The year has just been that way,” Burns said.
Bucksport, which recently lost 120-pound Devin Darveau to a broken ankle, placed two champions: Foster Ashmore at 113 pounds and Brody Boynton at 152.
Ashmore beat Jacob Emery of John Bapst 6-0, and Boynton topped Dustin Simmons of Foxcroft with a 17-1 technical fall.
“Losing Devin was kind of a rough blow for us,” Bucksport coach Dan Ormsby said. “We had to move around some weight classes.”
Bucksport’s Ethan Minnick dropped weight to fill the 120-pound spot, where he placed second.
“That set the tone,” Ormsby said. “We won the matches we expected to win.”
Ellsworth’s Petros plans to return in time for the Northern Maine championships.
Meanwhile, Ormsby said he will continue to prepare his young squad for the regional level.
“Our kids have grown mentally more than anything,” Ormsby said. “We’ve grown from nervous young boys to competitive young men.”
Find more results from this meet here.