2020 Vermont State Wrestling Tournament – By the Numbers
2020 Individual State Champions
Bennington – The 52nd (51st Official) State Wrestling Tournament was contested February 28th & 29th at Mt. Anthony Union High School. The event was professionally run and everyone was welcome by Coach Brian Coon, his team, Athletic Director Ashley Hoyt and her Administration. Everyone knew Kates gym would be packed to the ceiling and very loud. One coach mentioned to his team – “you have never heard the level of noise until you compete in this gym.” It truly was a weekend made of memories.
Heading into the State’s this February weekend, the run for the title was thought to be a lot closer than in recent memory. Would Spaulding’s dominant light weights, Essex’s experience in the upper weights or St. Johnsbury’s balance (only other school to fill all fourteen weight classes) be enough to stop “The Streak”. Or would those three teams hurt each other due to their different make-ups. Toss in a young CVU, Vergennes and Colchester and it would be difficult. The seeding numbers showed MAU with a fairly comfortable lead (place points for your seed). Mt. Anthony had 172 pts., Essex 137 pts., Spaulding 92 pts., and St. Johnsbury 61.
2020 Michael J. Baker
Coach of the year
Eugene Stearns – Vergennes
Spaulding started the tournament out on fire getting 23 points in the first round, as compared to Mt. Anthony’s 12 and Essex’s 71/2. However, Essex and Mt. Anthony redeemed themselves the next round with the Patriots sending 13 wrestlers to the semi’s and the Hornet’s had 11to move into 1st and 2nd respectfully. Spaulding was able to advance 7 competitors and stay close to Essex. As they closed the gym that night most people thought it was a battle for second and we would have to wait another year.
Saturday morning started with the “Blood” round (meaning if you win this match, you will be an All State Wrestler.) This was a tough round for the Tide and Essex only had one competitor so neither team could close the gap. On to the semi’s and what a set of matches they were. Some great battles and upsets, dotted the round. Spaulding started with their young but talented light weights, gaining finalist in the first three weight classes, then they pulled an upset at 138 lbs. with Glassford beating Leo on the buzzer.
However, the Hornets would recover and send seven to the finals with an upset of their own @ 195 lbs. with Kameron Cyr beating Gabriel Payne-Vinick of Vergennes in a fall @ 5:48. Mt. Anthony continued their dominance in the semi’s with getting eight grapplers to the night’s spotlight.
Mike Baker, made his way back as a spectator. Shown here with the Tournament’s Officials. David Fournier, Mike Baker, Scott Kleinschrodt, Tim Ayer, Head Official Scott Elithorpe and James Helak. Not seen Eric Campbell
All Wrestling Coaches preach how important the wrestle-backs are. Most tight battles are won because of wrestlers fighting their way back to third place. Essex’s four semi-finals losers and their Heavyweight William Danis laced up their shoes and all five fought back for third to give the Hornets critical points and an outside shot of winning, with senior captain Calvin Leo leading the charge by controlling his next two opponents. (The Hornets and Patriots would go head to head three times in the Finals.) Essex pulled to within 8 points of the Mt. Anthony team before the finals, would it happen tonight?
The Senior Patriots led by Keegan Coon and Sam Wilkins kept their troops calm and reminded them of all the large tournaments Coach Coon had them compete in, along with the out-of-season work. Tonight, was their night! Essex had three Champs, but they couldn’t match Mt. Anthony who had six individual winners with Mt. Anthony pulling away from the Hornets. Mt. Anthony had 278 points; Essex finished with the most second place points ever with 254. Also, the first time three schools have had more than 200 points with Spaulding in third with 201 points.
2020 – 200 Wins Club: Sam Wilkins, Keegan Coon, James Danis and Hunter Verge.
This is the first time Vermont has had 4 Wrestlers obtain 200 wins in one year. Many up and coming teams really excelled over the two days. Colchester scored 100 team points for the first time in years and had a finalist in Noah Quigley 113 lbs. Gunner Olsen’s team really improved from December a lot of Freshman, but good leadership in 220 lb. Champion Will Murphy, Otter Valley continues it’s climb back to an elite team and returns a good core and some talented 8 graders, Randolph led by Coy Lyford and Harwood led by Sully O‘Hara had very strong years and believe they will be in the mix before long. We could mention every team, as each one had a highlight, but these are the ones that stuck in my mind.
Tracking Vermont participation Numbers:
|2019-20 Participation Numbers|
|Weight Class||Entries||Entries||Wrestled Both||Net Entries|
|* They may have wrestled in different weight classes|
|Final # s||% Increase/Decrease|
We Started the season with approx. 300 participants that submitted weight certifications and we ended with 206 wrestlers participating in the post season. This number is up 14 % after being virtually flat for the last three years. We did have 41 Seniors this year which is a little larger than the past three, but that is a good sign, they are competing for four years. Our Junior High Numbers were down, but looks like 8th grade numbers about normal. (Hard to track not all coaches put grades on their entries.)
Vermont had three New England Champs and competed to the best of their abilities. We are the smallest state for wrestling in America, but looks like we are trending in the right direction.
Sam Wilkins, Four Time State Champion, Two Time New England Champion
What does next year look like?
Returning Points: Top Ten Teams
- Spaulding – 171 pts.
- Essex – 155.5 pts.
- Mt. Anthony – 137 pts.
- Vergennes – 110 pts.
- St. Johnsbury – 78 pts.
- CVU – 75 pts.
- Otter Valley – 75pts.
- Colchester – 72 pts.
- Mt, Abraham – 49 pts.
- Randolph 32 points
152 lb. place winners – Many will say this was the deepest weight class this year.
Most Pins – least amount of time:
- Oliver Orvis – Essex (4) in 8:40
- Seb Jacobs – Colchester (4) in 8:53
- Elliot Powell – Essex – :12
Fastest Tech Fall:
- Hunter Verge (time not posted)
Most Team Points: – 3 tied with 28 team points.
Keegan Coon – Mt. Anthony
James Danis – Essex
Sam Wilkins – Mt. Anthony
Most Individual Match Points:
- Hunter Verge – St. Johnsbury – 21 pts.
Most overall Match Points:
- Eric Davis – Milton – 34 pints.
Note: Some Statistics from Track Wrestling and various picture references.
Hopefully, you will enjoy as much as I have putting together for Vermont Wrestler. Remember don’t just be a guest, sign on as a member – no fees, just be a part of the Vermont Wrestling Family.