All they do is win: Mount Anthony's six champions propel Patriots to 32nd straight crown
By Adam Samrov
BENNINGTON — With the team race the tightest it had been in at least a decade, the Mount Anthony wrestling team needed someone to stay calm when the pressure was at its highest.
That person came in the form of Sam Wilkins, who was the first of six Mount Anthony champions on the night and who became the 10th person to win four Vermont state titles.
His win at 195 pounds propelled the Patriots to its 32nd state championship in a row, finishing up with 278 team points to Essex's 254.
It was the closest margin of victory since the 2008-09 season, when MAU topped Spaulding by 13 points.
Mount Anthony and Essex battled back-and-forth for the top spot and heading into the finals, the Patriots led by eight points. Having eight finalists to Essex's seven, it would be a matter of who could come up when the lights were brightest and they did, winning six individual crowns to the Hornets' three.
Along with Wilkins, other Mount Anthony champions included Keegan Coon at 138 pounds, Hayden Gaudette at 285, Landon Davis at 120, Adam Frost at 160 and Stephen Brillon at 152 pounds.
Wilkins pinned Essex's Kam Cyr in the second period and became the 10th four-time state champion. Later in the night, Hunter Verge from St. Johnsbury became the 11th person when the Clarion-bound senior topped Vergennes' Aidan Gebo 9-0 at 126 pounds.
Coon won his third state championship in a row and was honored before the finals as one of three wrestlers to reach 200 for his career.
Coon pinned Spaulding's Ryan Glassford in 3:23 to win No. 202 in his four years.
Sophomores Gaudette and Davis became two-time champions, their trek for four titles still intact. Gaudette got a pair of takedowns in the third period against Spaulding's Coltan Perkins to win 5-2. Davis led 2-0 after two periods over Spaulding's Nick Pierce and turned the Tide wrestler on his back in the third for a 7-3 decision.
First-time champions included a pair of seniors, Adam Frost at 160 pounds and Stephen Brillon at 152 pounds. Frost took a 6-2 lead against Essex's Gill Stawinski and held on for a 9-6 win.
Brillon was in a battle with Fair Haven's Dylan Lee before Brillon stuck Lee at 5:44 to win the title.
Kyle Hurley and Aaron Johnson were both runner-up for the Patriots at 132 and 145, respectively. Hurley lost a heartbreaking 10-9 decision to Fair Haven's Sam Worthing on a locked-hands call in the ultimate tie breaker, while Johnson gave up a takedown with eight seconds left in a 5-4 decision.
Jordan Ross (106), Devon Hurley (113), Sebastian Peltier (170) and Logan Sprague finished fourth, while Kaleb Carpenter won his final match for fifth place at 220. Sam Blackman finished sixth at 126.
The rest of the top 10 were Spaulding in third with 201 points (two champions), followed by St. Johnsbury (152.5 and one champion — another four-time winner in Hunter Verge), Vergennes in fifth with 116 points, CVU sixth with 107 points (one champion), Colchester in seventh with 100, Mount Abe eighth, Otter Valley ninth and Fair Haven (with one champion) in 10th.
More to come in Monday's Banner.
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