Baylor Landsman of the Mount Desert Island High School wrestling team on the mat Saturday at Nokomis. Next up for the Trojan wrestlers is a meet in Bucksport. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

Wrestlers look toward championship meets

BAR HARBOR — For Tony Dalisio, much of the 2018-19 season has been about teaching the Mount Desert Island High School wrestling team the fundamentals of the sport. Now he and the team are ready to take the next step.

With the Class B North wrestling championships a couple of weeks away, the Trojans are turning their attention to the their final regular season competitions. After coming so far in such a short time, the team will be approaching the next 16 days with a different attitude.

“Before, it was mostly about technique and the basics because we had kids who hadn’t been wrestlers before,” Dalisio said. “Now that we’ve been growing and continuing to learn, we’re able to focus on each meet and being successful rather than just the start of that learning process.”

Baylor Landsman and Ethan Harkins have already logged individual wins for MDI this season. With Sam Hoff having his own share of success with multiple second- and third-place finishes, the Trojans’ first year back on the mats since the 2014-15 season has been a solid one.

“When it started, those guys were just football players who were interested in the sport,” Dalisio said. “Now that they’ve gotten into it and had this much fun, they’ve really embraced their identities as wrestlers, too.”

MDI’s next meet will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Bucksport High School. That will be the last regular season meet for the Trojans, who will begin championship season when they compete in the Penobscot Valley Conference championships next Saturday, Feb. 2, at Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford.

Those meets will be excellent preparation for the regional championships, which is Dalisio’s focus over the next few weeks. No matter how the Trojans fare, though, the team’s success so far has plenty of positive implications for the future.

“My No. 1 goal has been for these kids to keep up their positive attitudes and just enjoy wrestling,” Dalisio said. “They’re having more fun week in and week out, and they’re talking about continuing the sport. It’s really exciting to see them growing.”

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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