Law breaks school record for wins; Ayala tops 100
In what Coach Luis Ayala called “a very special day,” the Foxcroft Academy wrestling team compiled 84 points to place fourth behind Skowhegan, Dirigo, and Oxford Hills at the Nokomis Warrior Clash on Saturday.
Brooks Law lost a grueling 4-3 match to rival Kameron Doucette of Skowhegan in the 152-pound final, but not before picking up career win number 168 in the semifinals to become the winningest wrestler in Foxcroft Academy history–a crown previously worn by US Army Airborne Ranger and big brother Forrest, who was able to be in Nokomis for the feat.
“Having the opportunity to hold the school win record in wrestling is a huge honor,” said Brooks. “But being able to achieve this by besting my brother’s win record is indescribable. I love my brother and we are closer than most siblings, so for me to surpass his win record is one of my greatest accomplishments yet.”
“Having Brooks accomplish FA’s career record win was a very special moment, especially having his brother being there,” added Coach Ayala. “It just made it even better. They have a very close relationship. Forrest has always been there for Brooks–always encouraging him and giving him advice on and off the mat.” (For more on the Law brothers, click here to watch WABI-TV5’s excellent story.)
Eli Olson (126) and Brandon Brock (182) also fell in championship matches at Nokomis while Brandon Weston (106), Tino Ayala (120), and Billy Brock (170) all won consolation finals to finish third in their brackets.
Saturday also marked a major milestone for Ayala, who secured his 100th win early in the tournament. Still just a junior, Ayala has battled back from a ruptured appendix earlier this season and will be seeking his second state championship in February.
“[100 wins] is always a great accomplishment, but what made it extra special this time was enjoying it as a dad,” said Coach Ayala. “Tino has been through a lot this year, just coming out of his surgery from his appendix rupturing and not knowing if he would be able to wrestle this year. He overcome a lot to get back on the mat and be able to reach this moment. I am very proud of both he and Brooks, as they have been great leaders and are just great kids.”
Prior to the Nokomis Warrior Clash, the Ponies finished a strong sixth out of 36 teams at the prestigious Noble Invitational Tournament on December 29-30. The team’s 113 points trailed only Class A contenders Marshwood, Noble, Skowhegan, Massabesic, and Mountain Valley.
Law battled through a very difficult bracket to finish third amongst 152-pounders, Billy Brock took fourth at 170, and Olson (120), Conner Johnson (132), and Brandon Brock (195) earned sixth-place finishes.
The Ponies will be back in action at PCHS Tuesday at 6 pm and will host a handful of teams Saturday at noon.
Photo of Forrest and Brooks Law was taken by Kristie Law.
Basketball teams each pick up another win
The Foxcroft Academy boys’ basketball team fell to unbeaten Old Town 71-36 on the road last Monday but bounced back nicely with a 70-36 win over visiting John Bapst on Saturday. The victory over the Crusaders improved the Ponies’ season mark to 3-4, and they now check in at 15th in the Class B East Heal Point standings.
Hunter Smith and Drew Dankert, who are both among the top ten scorers in the Big East Conference, combined for 34 points to lead Coach Dave Carey’s team to the win on Saturday. Smith (14.6 ppg) finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals while Dankert (11.9 ppg) had 15 points, five caroms, and three takeaways. Sean Cody, the Big East’s leading rebounder at eight per contest, chipped in eight points and three rebounds; Dylan Harmon-Weeks had eight points and three helpers; Nick Clawson had five points and three steals; Max Santagata had six points and three rebounds; Riley Richard had three points, four steals, and four assists; and Drew Smith popped in six points.
The Ponies will play at 7-1 PCHS Wednesday at 7 pm, will host 2-5 MDI Thursday at 7 pm, and will play at 1-7 Presque Isle Saturday at 4:30.
Coach Blake Smith’s improving girls’ team defeated visiting Old Town 46-33 on Tuesday and came within a point of upsetting 6-1 John Bapst at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor Friday night.
On Tuesday, the Ponies trailed 18-13 at the break but exploded for 33 second-half points to come away with a comfortable win, their second of the 2014-2015 campaign. Alli Bourget paced the offense with a career-high 13 points while Madison Chadbourne–who ranks among the Big East leaders in points, rebounds, field goal percentage, and free throw percentage–scored 10. Abigail Simpson, the conference’s number two rebounder with more than seven per game, had nine points while Grace Bickford added six.
On Friday, the Ponies battled back from an 11-point deficit at the break and scored five points in the closing seconds (three pointer from Liz Richard followed by a Chadbourne steal and Bickford layup) to bring the final tally to 52-51. Chadbourne finished with a game-high 21 points while Bickford scored 12 of her 18 points in the final frame. Richard and Alli Bourget chipped in five points a piece.
The Ponies, who are now 2-7 and in 14th place in the Class B Eastern Maine Heal Point standings (top 13 qualify for postseason play), have a tough week ahead. They’ll host 8-2 Dexter Tuesday night at 7:00 and will journey to Presque Isle on Saturday to battle the 8-1 Wildcats at 3 pm.
Nelson proving to be one of league’s top distance runners
The Foxcroft Academy boys’ indoor track team scored 24 points to finish sixth at the season’s second PVC-Eastern Maine Indoor Track League Meet held at New Balance Field House in Orono on Saturday.
Cooper Nelson won the mile run with a blistering 4:46.96, the second fastest time in the EMITL this season, and also finished third in the 800 meter run. Gabe Piquette placed fourth in the 2-mile run and teamed with Paul Birtwistle, Kohei Kotani, and Taylor Smith to take fourth in the 4×800 meter relay.
On the girls’ side, Desirae Brawn took third in the shot put to capture six points while Virginia Macomber earned four points with a fourth-place finish in the 2-mile run.
Both teams were shorthanded with several key contributors away for break. “With some of our top athletes gone, I was excited to see some of our less experienced runners step up,” said Coach Graham Pearsall. “I was very impressed by Jason Eubanks (first season of track), who just missed the finals in the 55 and led the team in the 200.”
The Ponies expect to be back at full strength for meet number three on Saturday at 10 am in Orono.
Photo of Cooper Nelson (# 358) during cross country season was taken by Matthew Kim ’16.
Clukey sets school record in 500-yard freestyle
Foxcroft Academy freshman Jenna Clukey established a new school record in the 500-yard freestyle at Hampden Academy on Saturday. Her time of 5:42.58 was 0.39 seconds better than the mark set by Marley Clark in 2008. Clukey also cruised to victory in the 200-yard freestyle and was a part of two winning relays.
Julia Annis won the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke, Avery Carroll won the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard butterfly, and Jil Annis won the 100-yard freestyle for Coach Jody Annis’s Ponies, who were edged out by Hampden’s deeper squad. The Annis sisters partnered with Clukey and Chloe Waugh to win the 200-yard medley relay and with Carroll and Clukey to win the 200-yard freestyle relay.
The shorthanded boys’ team was led by Clay Carroll, who swam to victory in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke.
The Ponies will next compete in Caribou on Saturday.