Rollins, Chase, Boetsch honored by MAWABoetsch, now UFC fighter, inducted into hall of fame
Bath — Midcoast high school wrestlers from the recent and more distant past were honored Aug. 4 at Hyde School when the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance held its annual hall-of-fame banquet, with three former Windjammer mat athletes awarded the night's highest honors.
Levi Rollins nabbed coach-of-the-year honors, Rhett Chase won senior wrestler of the year and current Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) competitor and former Windjammer Tim Boetsch was inducted into the organization's hall of fame.
Rollins led the Windjammers to an undefeated record in his final season (2011-12) as the team won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title, Eastern Class B championship and state Class B titles en route to a dream campaign. In five seasons, Rollins amassed a 127-7 record as coach for Camden Hills, his alma mater.
"It was a very exciting award to get, especially only coaching for five years," Rollins said. "It means a lot that the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance could see how hard I worked and how much effort I've put into it over the last five years. It was nice to go out on top like that, especially it being my last year for a while."
It was the second state title the Windjammers won in five years under Rollins, who stepped down at the end of the season. He also was a 2003 graduate of the school and finished his high school wrestling career with a mark of 154-22. Rollins, who stepped down to spend more time with his family, also has made it known he would like to return to coaching in the future.
Chase was a key part of the Windjammers' successes and, like his team, went undefeated in his senior season. Chase went 43-0 en route to conference, regional and state titles in the 220-pound weight class and qualified for the New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships, going 3-1 in the tournament and finishing fourth. Chase graduated from Camden Hills in 2012.
Chase, despite going unbeaten all season for the Windjammers, was floored by receiving the award.
"It was really just amazing to get recognized for the award alone," he said. "I honestly thought the award was going to [Gardiner's Dan DelGallo]. I thought he'd get it hands down."
"I was very happy for Rhett," Rollins said. "He deserved it. He's worked his butt off the past couple years and it all came together this last season. He was the best wrestler in the whole state of Maine in my opinion and I'm just happy to know that the rest of the state feels the same way about it."
Chase said, "It was great to share that [moment]" with coach Rollins as both are moving away from the mats, at least for now. While Rollins may return to coach down the line, Chase has enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and reports to basic training in February.
Boetsch was a four-time state champion for then Camden-Rockport High School, graduating in 1999 and compiling a high school record of 147-7, earning All-American status. He then went on to study and wrestle at Division I Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, earning a degree in criminal justice.
Since then, Boetsch became a mixed martial arts fighter and fights for the highly-touted UFC, where he has a 16-4 record and is fighting in the organization's middleweight division.
Boetsch is unbeaten thus far in the middleweight division and is making a case for himself to be considered in the title hunt. Anderson Silva is the UFC middleweight champion with a record of 32-4, recently defeating Chael Sonnen at UFC 148 to retain the title.
Boetsch, along with John Gordon and Kip Devoll, all were inducted into the MAWA hall Aug. 4.
Rollins, Chase and Boetsch were on hand to accept their awards.
Rollins, who was an eighth-grader when Boetsch was a senior at then Camden-Rockport High School and attended meets with him in the past, said he spoke to Boetsch at length at the event and it was great to catch up.
"It's kind of cool to see a Camden [high school] kid standing up there getting inducted into the hall of fame and being a top UFC fighter too that you see on national television," he said. "It was pretty cool."
Chase, on the other hand, had never met Boetsch and called meeting him "the highlight of my summer."
"I did get to talk to him for a little bit," Boetsch said. "I was waiting for that after they called me. They said something about Tim Boetsch and I said, 'He's not going to be there?' And then he got there and it was the most exciting thing."
The departing Windjammer said it was great for his high school career "to end on such a good note" at the banquet.
Boetsch could not be reached for comment.
Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at email@example.com.