The state Class B wrestling championships will kick off this weekend, and for the many Midcoast teams and individuals participating, it will not be at an unfamiliar venue.

This year’s state championships will be contested on Saturday, Feb. 13 at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro. The day-long event will kick off at 9:30 a.m. Weigh-in are at 8 a.m.

Medomak Valley has hosted many wrestling competitions, including last year’s Eastern Class B event. However, the Panthers have never hosted a state championship meet.

Two-time defending state Class B champion Belfast will participate in this weekend’s event, as will Camden Hills, Mount View of Thorndike and host Medomak Valley among the Midcoast schools.

Other Eastern Class B teams that may have wrestlers involved are Caribou, Central of East Corinth, Ellsworth, Hermon, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield, Mount Desert Island, Old Town and Sumner of East Sullivan.

Western Class B squads that may have wrestlers involved are Fryeburg Academy, Gardiner, Lake Region of Bridgton, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, Morse of Bath, Mountain Valley of Rumford, Oak Hill of Sabattus, Poland, York, Wells and Winslow.

There are 14 weight classes with eight wrestlers per bracket, four from Eastern Class B and four from Western Class B. The tournament will be in a crossover format, meaning first-round matchups will showcase wrestlers from the East squaring off against wrestlers from the West.

The Midcoast will be well represented at the state meet, with 28 grapplers among five schools competing for state titles.

For Camden Hills, Coleman Powers (103 pounds), Zac Fields (130), Brandon Rich (140), R.J. Muir (152), Jacob Powers (160), Calan Bragg (119), Tom Cassidy (125), Brandon Graffam (189), Rhett Chase (215), Max Bragg (135), Neal Harrison (145) and Anthony Batty (171) will compete for state titles at their respective weight classes. Coleman Powers, Fields, Rich, Muir and Jacob Powers all won regional titles at last week’s meet in Pittsfield.

For Belfast, Jordan Young (112 pounds), Brent Waterman (119), Justin Boyle (285), Evan Drinkwater (103), John Seekins (130), Justin Philbrook (152), Forrest Boynton (160), Peter Kelley (189) and Winston Poole (125) will also be vying for individual state crowns. Young, Waterman and Boyle all won regional titles at last week’s meet.

Mount View’s Tristan Ripley (160) and Georges Valley’s Phil Kyser (135), an independent who practices with Medomak Valley, also qualified for this weekend’s state championship meet.

There are five Medomak Valley wrestlers that will have a chance to win an individual state title in their home gymnasium at Saturday’s meet . They include Steven Genthner (145 pounds), Trevor Neilson (171), Stefan Nicholls (125), Cheyenne Augustine (119) and Taylor Olsen (140). Genthner and Neilson each won regional titles last week.

Of the 28 Midcoast student-athletes who will compete, only Camden Hills’ Fields won an individual state championship last year.

Medomak Valley athletic director Matt Lash, who is also the chairman of the Maine Principals’ Association wrestling committee, is excited for the opportunity bestowed upon the school in hosting the prestigious event.

“We’ve hosted two or three regionals in recent years and I feel we’ve done a very good job,” said Lash. “No one else had put their name in the hat as far as hosting the [Class] B states, so I took it as an opportunity to promote our program and give our school an opportunity to host.”

Lash has been on the wrestling committee for six years, with this being his third year as chairman. Medomak Valley also hosted the Eastern Class B regional meet last year.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.