Jaxon Gross shows off his championship bracket after winning the 195-pound weight class at the Pine Tree Wrestling League championships March 23 in Belfast. The win gave the Bucksport eighth-grader back-to-back middle school state champions. CAROLYN SEIDL PHOTO

Jaxon Gross claims state middle school wrestling crown



BUCKSPORT — Bucksport Middle School’s Jaxon Gross claimed first place in his weight class Saturday at the Pine Tree Wrestling League championships in Belfast.

Gross went undefeated in the tournament to win the 195-pound division title over Dedham School’s Joey Bowen. The eighth-grader also completed an unbeaten season overall with the title bout win.

The result gave Gross, who also beat Bowen to win the East regional title March 16 at Bangor High School, his second straight Pine Tree Wrestling League title at the 195-pound level. Last season, he topped Isaiah Oufiero of Oxford Hills to claim the championship.

Eighth-grader Grayson Fernald also had a solid tournament for Bucksport with a second-place finish in the 240-pound weight class. Seventh-grader Connor Fitch made the consolation title bout for the Golden Bucks in the 117-pound division. He claimed fourth place.

The Golden Bucks placed 11th in the overall team competition, which featured wrestlers from 24 middle school varsity programs and seven independent schools from across the state. Skowhegan finished with 99 points as a team to edge Troy Howard (86), Oxford Hills (81) and Dirigo (79) for first.

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