By Mike Whaley
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Marshwood High School wrestling coach Matt Rix thought he might experiment with the 120-pound division during Wednesday’s Class A dual meet with rival Noble. But when the meet was slated to start at 120, Rix thought better of that move.
Instead he went with tested Bradley Beaulieu against Noble’s Austin Shorey, the seventh time in two years the two sophomores had met. Beaulieu made it a perfect 7 for 7 with a 10-4 decision and the Hawks went on to stop the Knights, 37-21.
“Every time it’s a good match with him,” Beaulieu said. “This time I really went out there to score a lot more points. I went out and just dominated the match. I felt great.”
After Beaulieu’s win put the Hawks up, 3-0, Noble went up 12-6 thanks to Jonathan Grenier’s pin at 126, Jake Martel in a surprise win over Marshwood’s Killian Murphy at 132, 7-5, and Josh Grenier’s 11-8 win at 145.
Marshwood, however, reeled off wins in the next five matches to take a commanding 28-12 lead, with its three multiple returning state champs smack in the middle of that — Jackson Howarth, Cody Hughes and Brett Gerry.
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Noble kept some life with Zac Schluntz’s win by pin at 220 to close to 28-18, but at 285, Marshwood’s Zach Eastman wrestled up from 220 and surprised Noble’s promising freshman, Eric Pilcher, with a pin at 4:23 to sew up the win.
“He moves a little bit better on the mat,” said Rix of Eastman. “He’s been wrestling longer and has a little more experience. That’s kind of why we went with him.”
Marshwood’s other wins came at 138 (Eric Glidden, 14-11), 152 (Justin Stacy, 8-2), 160 (Howarth, 16-2 major decision), 170 (Austin Boyle, 8-2), 182 (Hughes, pin, 51 seconds), 195 (Gerry, pin, 3:40), and 106 (Kyle Glidden, 16-8).
Noble’s other win came at 113 from Hil Keisker, 10-6, over Matt Caverly.
The Beaulieu-Shorey match was tight until late in the second period when Beaulieu was able to widen a 4-3 lead to 8-3.
The two met in both the regional and state finals last winter with Beaulieu claiming both titles.
“I wanted to set the tone and get our guys going,” Beaulieu said about winning the first match of the night. “I think we came out a little flat in the beginning, but once we got the momentum we kept rolling on it. I think we wrestled great. It was important getting that win, especially where everybody thought it might be a close match. But opening it up, it built us up and said we can do this. We can put it to them. It was just a great performance by us.”
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Three matches that Noble coach Kip DeVoll felt his team could have won were 138, 152 and 285.
“We figured it would be a little bit closer,” DeVoll said. “We didn’t get it done. That’s the bottom line.”
The Stacy win over Noble’s Otto Keisker at 152 was one of those that DeVoll was leaning on.
“I don’t know if he wasn’t feeling well or what,” DeVoll said. “I think that’s where the tide turned right there. We expected our heavyweight to do a little better. Those things start adding up.”
The biggest win for the Knights probably came from Martel, who took an early 5-0 lead at 132 on Murphy and then held on.
“Once I got the lead, I kept the pace,” Martel said. “I tried to set the pace and kept the pace. I kept it up the whole match. I didn’t give him a chance to recover.”
Both teams are back in action this weekend. Noble hosts the Southern Maine Classic, which Marshwood will send some wrestlers to. The Hawks are also going to as tournament in Essex Junction, Vt.