Winter Sports Report: Mount Abe wrestling
BRISTOL — Four accomplished senior wrestlers graduated from the Mount Abraham Union program this past spring, three of whom won more than 100 matches and finished high on the state-meet podium and one of whom — Roman Mayer — won multiple Vermont championships and set the school record for wins.
Coach Nick Mayer and his assistants naturally figured this winter might mean a step backward, but then 17 wrestlers signed up, enough to fill all the weight classes and create healthy competition in the Eagle wrestling room.
And some of them, Mayer said, should again stand on the podium at the end of the season.
“We were thinking this year might be more of a rebuilding year,” he said. “But the way everybody has fallen in the spread of the weights, and looking at the experience level, it’s actually looking pretty good.”
The competition starts at 106 pounds, where veterans Izzy Emmons, a junior, and Logan Pierro, a sophomore, are both eligible. Mayer said Pierro might wrestle at 113 at times during the season, but then challenge for the 106 slot for the state meet.
There’s a logjam of promising wrestlers that will fill the weights in some order at 120, 126 and 132. Senior Dawson Phillips brings experience as he returns after a year off, freshman Devan Hemingway was a middle-school state champ, freshman Matt Conant was a middle-school runner-up, and sophomore newcomer Maddie Donaldson will also look to stake a claim.
At 138 senior Parker Gero and sophomore newcomer Ruby Markowski will both seek mat time, and at 145 freshman Lucas Grover and senior newcomer Ulysses Suazo will duel.
The next two weights are locked down by returning podium placers for whom Mayer has high expectations: Senior John Bent at 152 and junior Nate Lavoie at 160.
Next in line are sophomore Hunter Gorton at 170, junior Colby Pierro at 182, and senior Justice Green at 195.
Finally, senior Matt Cleaves and junior Keaton Rayborn will battle for the 220 slot, with the 285 weight class as a consolation prize.
This past season the Eagles were fifth at the state meet as a team, the best finish for a team that normally competes as a Division II program.
Mayer believes there could be more of the same.
“I’m feeling really optimistic, and I think we all are, about how we’re going to do this season,” he said.
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