BUCKSPORT — The Mount Desert Island High School wrestling team had a strong showing in the annual Ryan Detour Memorial Round Robin preseason tournament at Bucksport High School Saturday.
It was the team’s second of two preseason competitions. The first was Saturday, Nov. 22, at Penobscot Valley High School in Howland.
“We’ve had some kids come out of the gate wrestling well,” MDI Coach Chip Dugans said. “We may not have a big team, but we’ve got some kids that can really contend. They are all really into it.”
Senior Wilder Young, one of the team captains, went undefeated in Bucksport in three bouts. He and the other captain, junior Elijah Malloy, have been helping get new wrestlers up to speed.
“I try to utilize them for teaching,” Dugans said. “You think of the sport differently when you’re helping coach.”
Malloy put in a lot of work in the off season, Dugans said. “He had a great weekend in Howland. In Bucksport, he had a tough match against the defending 145 Eastern Maine champion.” He’s recovering from a minor injury.
Senior Silas VanDyne took first place in the meet in Howland in the 195 class. “It was tougher going in Bucksport,” Dugans said, “more of the bigger schools were there.” VanDyne also finished the Bucksport meet 1-3.
Junior Taner Bickford is new to wrestling, but shows a lot of potential, Dugans said. “When you come in at a higher weight class, you’re wrestling guys that are more experienced. A lot of it is a matter of learning what not to do. In some of his bouts, he’d be winning and then get himself in a bad position. He’s got some good standing technique. Another couple of practices, and we can iron those things out.” He won one and lost two Saturday.
Freshman Abram Malloy went 4-0 in Bucksport. Last weekend in Howland, Dugans said, “they combined the 113 and 120 classes, and he mowed through it.” He finished second in the combined class, falling to last year’s 106 state runner-up.
Another freshman on the team, Christian Wehrfritz, won one match and lost three in Bucksport. “He’s a really hard worker,” Dugans said. “He gives all he’s got.”
Sophomore Marcus Parsons was the one member of last year’s team to qualify for states. He did not compete in the preseason, but he is on the team.
The team’s season opener is set for Saturday at 9 a.m. in Belfast. “The preseason was good for showing us what to work on,” Dugans said. He tells the team, “You’ll never come into practice and hear me say, ‘I’ve showed you everything there is to know.’”