Vermont Wrestling; 2017 State Finals
The 2017 Vermont Wrestling State Finals was the epitome of a first class tournament. Host team, Vergennes High School provided an outstanding venue, complete with more than ample parking, terrific concessions, a boatload of enthusiastic and congenial staff, and the coup de grace; outstanding competition in a tourney that ran with the precision of a Swiss Watch. All in all, one of the finest tournaments I’ve ever had the pleasure to attend.
The following is a brief synopsis of the final matches held on a raised stage and witnessed by an electrified audience.
120 Mayer By Fall
Keenan Taylor – Sophomore MAU VS. Roman Mayer – Sophomore Mt. Abe
Season Record 47-6 49-6
Career Record 91-18 95-22
State Champ 2016 2016-7 Hubie Wagner Champ, Jason Lowell Memorial Champ
5th at Lowell 2016 Essex Mike Baker 2nd place
2nd seeded Roman Mayer got taken down early but that wasn’t to last. Mayer got the reversal. A take down later Mayer cut Taylor loose only to take him down again, roll him onto his back and get the win by pin. Mayer is one to keep your eyes on for the next two years.
170 Stawinski 3-2
John Stawinski – Senior Essex VS. Austin Prendergrast – Senior MAU
Season Record 46-3 46-7
Career Record 169-27 115-15
Vt. State Champ 2016 2016 Vt. State Champ, 7th Lowell, Methuen Champ
2016 Lowell Finalist
Stawinski and Prendergrast continued the excitement where Mayer and Taylor left off. A back and forth first saw no points but plenty of shots and counters. The chess match continued through the 2nd with no advantage. 3rd period, Stawinski gets an escape and a takedown, Prendergrast gets the escape with 8 seconds left but can’t capitalize.
285 Ladd 4-0
Hunter Ladd – Junior St. J VS. Calvin Hayford – Junior MAU
Season Record 29-2 48-6
Career Record 82-24 112-26
3x All State Wrestler 2nd Sophomore Nationals, 1st Place Methuen
2016 Early Bird Champ 1st MAU Tournament
Placed Capital City Wrestling Classic
Another chess match through the first, Ladd took up in the second. Ladd kept control and Hayford was called for stalling. Ladd got the escape in the 3rd and then a takedown to finish the match. Two quick and agile heavyweights kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. Can’t wait to see these two go at it next year.
126 Schaefer By Fall
Ashdin Schaefer – Senior MAU VS. John Lucey – Senior Spaulding
Season Record 50-1 35-6
Career Record 209-14 117-50
2015/2016 Vt. State Champ 2014 Otter Valley Champ, 2016 Sandy Murray Champ
200 Career Wins 2017 Jason Lowell Champ, 3rd 2016 Vt. States
2015 Lowell Champ
In what proved to be one of the few short matches of the night, Ashdin Schaefer totally overpowered Lucey only 14 seconds in the 1st for the pin.
182 Cousino By Fall
Anthony Wright – Senior MAU VS. Brandon Cousino – Senior Vergennes
Season Record 47-4 37-1
Career Record 100-23 170-27
MAU Tournament Champ 2016 State Champ
8th Lowell Essex Mike Baker Champ
Another match that wasn’t expected to go the distance, Brandon Cousino took out Anthony Wright by pin in the 1st. Cousino got a quick takedown, cut Wright loose, took him down again with a nice ankle pic and was into a cradle that turned into a half for the pin. In what proved to be an incredible season, Cousino walked away with a State Championship, the Sportsmanship Award and State Tournament OW. Nice way to finish!
106 Verge By Tech 18-1
Dylan Ross – Senior MAU VS. Hunter Verge – Freshman St. J
Season Record 43-9 48-2
Career Record 90-32 48-2
Berlin Tourney Champ Lowell Champ, Early Bird Champ, MAU Tournament Champ
2x JV State Champ
Senior Dylan Ross had his hands full with freshman buzz saw Hunter Verge. Between takedowns, reversals and backpoints, Verge came away with a tech fall in the 3rd. This kid has quite the career in front of him.
160 Wilkins 4-2
Samson Wilkins – Freshman MAU VS Jack Carney – Junior Essex
Season Record 43-8 51-6
Career Record 43-8 132-24
Methuen Champ 2x Vermont State Champ
MAU Tournament Champ Essex Mike Baker Champ
An exciting match that went the distance saw Wilkins come away with the bacon. Carney got an early takedown to lead 2-0. Wilkins managed 2 escapes to tie it up at 2. With 5 ticks left on the clock, Wilkins managed the takedown and walked off with his first Vermont State Championship. What appears to be a promising career, I don’t think it will be his last.
145 Cram 11-10
Dakota Peters – Sophomore RHS VS. Tyson Cram – Senior OV
Season Record 39-6 36-6
Career Record 79-19 147-46
4th 2016 Vermont States 4x Vermont State Place Winner, 2015 State Runner-Up, 2017 NVAC Champ
Another seesaw battle that went right down to the wire. Senior Tyson Cram had his hands full with Soph Dakota Peters. Cram got 2 quick takedowns to an escape by Peters. Dakota came back with a takedown and 2 back points to make it 5-4. By virtue of 2 escapes Cram takes a 6-5 lead. A takedown by Cram and escape by Peters brings the tally to 8-6. Peters gets an escape from down in the 3rd but Cram gets another takedown and Peters yet another escape 10-8. Peters gets a takedown to tie it at 10 but Cram gets the escape for the go ahead and what proved to be the game winner. Watch for Peters to make some waves next year!
195 Griggs By Fall
Colin Crowley – Junior MAU VS. Jacob Griggs – Senior CVU
Season Record 34-7 49-4
Career Record 59-16 132-24
7th Lowell Essex Mike Baker Champ, Saratoga Champ, Timberlane Champ
Senior Jacob Griggs finished his Vermont Wrestling career with a 3rd period fall over MAU’s Colin Crowley. Hat’s off to a valiant effort by Crowley who was down 7-4 prior to the pin but Griggs proved to be more than he could handle.
138 Legg By Tech Fall 20-5
Dustin Davio – Junior Midd VS. Jarrett Legg – Senior CVU
Season Record 33-8 49-6
Career Record 75-41 135-62
1st Hubie Wagner 2017 Timberlane Champ, 2017 Essex Mike Baker Champ
Wrestling in Australia this summer 2017 Saratoga Champ
for Eastern Conference Team
Junior Dustin Davio was a game opponent who moved up in the rankings all season, but this one lived up to expectations with Legg winning by tech fall. Legg got an early takedown with backpoints and the 1st ended at 5-1. Legg took down in the 2nd, got a quick escape, reversal and backpoints but Davio managed to roll to his stomach. In the 3rd, Davio got a reversal and a takedown on Legg and it looked like it might start going the other way but Legg grabbed another takedown and more back points to finish the match.
220 Rocher By Fall
Sebastian Rocher – Senior MAU VS. Nick Johnson – Junior Milton
Season Record 36-6 18-2
Career Record 94-20 42-11
Returning Finalist 1st Early Bird, 1st Vergennes Invitational
Enlisted in the Marines 1st Jason Lowell
Johnson got an early takedown and looked like he cut Rocher loose for another takedown but turned to just an escape; 2-1 Johnson. Later Johnson tried a shot and slipped giving Rocher the takedown. In the 2nd, Johnson got an escape and a takedown to make it 5-3. Johnson tried for a headlock, lost the grip and got taken down. (I’m not a big fan of that move in the heavier weights) In the process, Rocher got called for a full Nelson and coughed up a penalty point; 6-5 Johnson. In the 3rd, Rocher stood up and Johnson tried to pull him down, landed on his back and Rocher capitalized with the pin.
113 Call By Tech Fall 15-0
Noah Call – Sophomore MAU VS. Josh Hanlon – Sophomore Williamstown
Season Record 47-4 20-5
Career Record 72-15 35-14
2nd Lowell 3rd 2016 Vermont States, 3rd Corinth Invitational,
2017 MAU Tournament Champ 1st – OW Capen Tournament
2017 Methuen Champ
Never much doubt about this one as Call dominated the match and ended it with a tech 15-0. Call has a bright future and is sure to be a force in the next two years of his Vermont career.
152 Burgess 7-4
Tyler Burgess – Junior MAU VS. James Danis – Freshman Essex
Season Record 48-6 52-4
Career Record 142-31 52-4
2x Lowell Place Finish 2016 Hubie Wagner Champ, 2016 Hubie Wagner OW
2x Place Vermont States 2017 Finalist Peru Invitational
2017 Methuen Champ
Burgess jumped out to a 6-0 lead and carried it into the 3rd when Danis scored a reversal and Burgess was called for stalling. 6-3 with a minute left. Both wrestlers were called for stalling in the final seconds and Burgess rode it to the win. Danis will be one to watch in the next couple of years.
132 Bliss 6-5
Gage McLaughlin – Sophomore MAU VS. Daniel Bliss – Senior MMU
Season Record 45-8 42-4
Career Record 87-30 162-29
7th Lowell 2x Vermont State Champ, 4x Vermont State Finalist
MAU Tournament Champ
A scoreless 1st, McLaughlin got the escape only to be taken down, Bliss 2-1. McLaughlin gets an escape and a takedown to go up 4-2. 2 escapes later, Bliss ties it at 4. Bliss then gets a takedown and gets called for a stall to bring it to 6-5. McLaughlin almost gets the reversal as it goes right down to the wire and Bliss gets the top spot on the podium. Look for McLaughlin to do some damage in the next two years.