The referee declares Bucksport’s Grayson Fernald the winner of a high school wrestling match during a preseason tournament Dec. 4 at Bucksport High School. Winter sports preseason competitions continued through today, Dec. 9, with the first regular season contests scheduled to begin this weekend. RICK MCHALE PHOTO

Winter sports preseason concludes with final tune-ups



BUCKSPORT — The winter sports preseason slate has reached its conclusion following the final tune-up wrestling matches and basketball games.

Bucksport marked its return to the wrestling mat in style Saturday as it notched a winning record with countless individual wins. On the basketball court, the Ellsworth girls’ team earned a win last Thursday against Deer Isle-Stonington in a matchup between Hancock County’s smallest school and second-largest school.

On Saturday, the Bucksport wrestling team took part in a seven-team preseason tournament at Bucksport High School. The Golden Bucks went 4-2 on the day with wins over Washington Academy, Caribou, Dexter and Foxcroft and losses to Mattanawcook Academy and Piscataquis.

Overall, Bucksport recorded 40 individual wins with 12 wrestlers winning at least one match. The Golden Bucks got five wins each from Jazmyne Rines and Sam Soper, four wins apiece from Naomi Bragg, Joe Bowen, Jacob Coghill and Kaleb Nightingale, three each from Kayden Foster, Cody Overlock and Wyatt Weaver, two each from Paige Anderson and Grayson Fernald and one from Rustin Maguire.

Last Thursday, the Ellsworth girls’ basketball team claimed a 62-15 win over Deer Isle-Stonington in a preseason tune-up at Ellsworth High School. The Eagles got 10 points each from Lily Bean and Megan Jordan, nine each from Grace Jaffray and Abby Radel, eight from Alex Bivins, seven from Addison Atherton, four from Brooke Pirie, three from Morgan Clifford and two from Aaliyah Manning.

The game was the second preseason meeting in four years between Ellsworth (enrollment: 480) and Deer Isle-Stonington (enrollment: 98). Although the gulf in classification was noticeable, the matchup was still an opportunity for the Mariners to learn from a matchup with a high-caliber opponent and for the Eagles to break in a fairly new roster following the graduation of a large senior class last year.

“It was good for us as we have a completely different roster from last year,” said Ellsworth head coach Andy Pooler, whose team would close out the preseason with a seven-point loss in Tuesday’s matchup against Brewer. “[We] needed to start somewhere.”

Teams are eligible to compete in their first regular season competitions, Dec. 10. In Hancock County, the season will begin with the Deer Isle-Stonington girls taking on George Stevens Academy at 6 p.m. in Blue Hill, the Sumner girls and boys hosting Central at 5 and 6:30, respectively, and Ellsworth swim hosting GSA at 6.

On Saturday, Dec. 11, the Ellsworth girls’ team will begin an action-packed day of six local games when it hosts Mount View at 11 a.m. The Bucksport and Mount Desert Island wrestling teams will compete at noon in Bar Harbor with Ellsworth set to compete at 9:30 a.m. at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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