|Windham High freshman Ayden Cofone, center, receives |
congratulations from Coach John Nicolas, left, and Assistant
Coach Nick Buckley after Cofone won the Class A
state championship during a meet at Mount Ararat on Feb. 19.
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
The Windham/Westbrook/Gray New-Gloucester wrestling team enjoyed some considerable moments during the Class A state championship at Mount Ararat in Topsham on Saturday, Feb. 19. This younger team with minimal postseason exposure came to wrestle and got it done.
Windham freshman Ayden Cofone become the program’s first state champion after he beat Massabesic 6-2 in three periods in the 113-weight class.
Cofone said he was confident going into the state championship round and had wrestled his Massabesic opponent twice before, so he knew how to counter him. He waited for his opponent to shoot in and Cofone circled around, got his six points and rode him out.
“It felt really good,” said Cofone. “This [win] is for my great-grandmother and for Windham.”
GNG senior Owen McDuffie achieved his 100th career win early in the tournament.
In the 152-weight class, McDuffie went up against Kennebunk. McDuffie went right for his legs and brought Kennebunk to the mat. Although Kennebunk tried to bring McDuffie to the mat, he was able to get out of Kennebunk’s grip. McDuffie got the win.
McDuffie said it meant a lot to him to get his 100th win. He’s put a lot of hard work in over the years at camps and tournaments and even though he lost some time because of the pandemic, finishing this strong means a lot to him.
“To get a hundred wins is quite an accomplishment,” said Windham/Westbrook/GNG coach John Nicholas. “You got to really persevere through all the ups and downs we’ve had the last two years.”
Windham junior Scott Ingalls had a win against Massabesic in the 170-weight class and although he lost in the consolation finals to Sanford, Ingalls lasted seven periods against his Spartan opponent.
Windham sophomore Griffin Moreau battled hard in the 285-weight class but lost to Sanford and Kennnebunk.
Westbrook senior Zach Davis had a super close match against Bonny Eagle in the 160-weight class in the consolation round, but after tremendous effort by Davis, Bonny Eagle got by.
In the 182-weight class, Westbrook sophomore Gavin Tanner revenged two earlier losses to Kennebunk and Massabesic and finished in fourth place.
Nicholas said he’s impressed by the way the team stuck together through a tough season.
“Now they can see what you can accomplish if you stick it out and keep working hard so I’m super proud of the team today,” said Nicholas. “Only positives are going to come out of today. I’m hoping this team seeing the first state champ will set the bar for next year.” <