By Matt Pascarella
The Skowhegan wrestling tournament was held on Saturday, January 12 at Skowhegan High School. The tournament featured 27 schools in Maine. Windham senior wrestler, Dominic “DJ” Pelletier, took first place in his bracket at this tournament.
|DJ Pelletier (left) gets the win!|
Pelletier explained that the tournament was structured with several 16 men brackets. Many of the teams that Windham/Gray/New Gloucester went up against were not teams that they would necessarily see on a regular basis or at all throughout the regular season.
Going into the tournament, Pelletier was ready to wrestle, and he was aware there were some good teams that would prove to be a challenge. Pelletier was in fifth place going into the tournament, based upon whom he had previously beaten in wrestling matches.
Pelletier beat the fourth-place wrestler in his bracket and now it was time to go up against the first-place wrestler. Pelletier described himself as always having a little bit of nerves before a match but said getting this win took a lot of mental preparation. “Usually wrestlers underestimate the power of preparing your confidence levels, but it plays into the match quite a bit.”
Once Pelletier took down the first placed wrestler, his confidence levels were boosted. “It felt really good to know that I had bested the first person in the bracket. It boosted my confidence for the next match...it automatically made me the best of that bracket in my mind and it carried into the next match,” adds Pelletier.
He beat the second-place wrestler in his bracket and came in first for his bracket in the tournament.
Pelletier says there are many people who helped him get to where he is today; his parents, coaches and teammates. He explained that beating the number one wrestler in his bracket as a clear display of better skill and better stamina, but mainly it was about the time spent wrestling that included more dedication, determination and discipline throughout his wrestling career. His parents, coaches and teammates helped to form that discipline and he definitely wouldn’t have been able to win that match without all of those people.
Coach, John Nicholas described Pelletier as someone who’s in every match. “He’s going to wrestle hard for six, seven, eight minutes if he has to. He’s not concerned about what place the other kid is. Mentally, he’s focused and he gives 110% at every match. I’m really happy with his progress throughout the season and I think his best is yet to come.”
Pelletier is looking forward to the rest of the season. He’s hoping to make it to the New England Qualifiers and then on to state. Next year he wants to wrestle in college, at the University of Southern Maine, and is planning to major in physics.