Is state championship trifecta in Camden Hills' mat future?
Rockport — The following is a synopsis of the 2013-14 Camden Hills Regional High School wrestling team:
Coach/years coached current team: Pat Kelly, second year (during his latest stint with the squad).
Last year's record/playoff information: The Windjammers finished second (142.5 points) at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships, first (182) at the Eastern Class B championships and first (131.5) at the state Class B championships.
Roster: Seniors Connor Winchenbach (152 pounds), Brian Jones (182), Jake Pascal (220) and Brooks Bumbalo (113); juniors Zach Annis (113), James Archer (120), John Underhill (126), Wyatt Parra (170), Bryan Clement (195), Kaylo Littlejohn (285) and Jared Gilbert (195); sophomores Alex Copeland (180), Hillary Merrifield (106), Eli Smith (145), Taylor Crosby (138) and Josiah Farrell (120); and freshmen Dawson Lane (285), Kaden Harrison-Billiat (106), Elvis Bowen (160), Gabe Salo (138), Brian Gunn (145), Zach Collins (126) and Tyler Wood (132).
Known graduation losses: Calan Bragg, Coleman Powers, Mike Haskell and John White.
Significant impact wrestlers: Annis, Underhill, Archer, Crosby, Smith, Winchenbach, Jones, Clement, Gilbert and Littlejohn.
Team strengths: Dedication and motivation.
Team goal: To win the state Class B championship.
Top league/regional opponents: Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft, Ellsworth and Belfast.
Outlook: The Windjammers won the state Class B championship for the second straight year last season and this year look for the trifecta.
The Windjammers have a great deal of depth and look to again be in the driver's seat for conference, regional and state championships. Camden Hills graduated only two grapplers who were top-tier contributors in Bragg and Powers, both of whom won state crowns last year.
Camden Hills also returns a multitude of talent from last year's squad that saw action in conference, regional and state championship matches, including Gilbert, Winchenbach and Annis, all of whom won regional crowns.
“My expectation is for each wrestler to set high goals and work hard to attain those goals and that is what makes a wrestling team successful,” said Kelly. “I look to a season filled with uncertainty, but also I look with an optimism of showing up to all meets and tournaments ready to wrestle.”
Kelly said his team boasts “an outstanding group of freshmen that have already made a positive impact on this historic program, both in the practice room and in competition.”