Riopelle leads Caribou at wrestling tourney
The Caribou wrestling team lost a dual meet at Fort Kent on Jan. 3, but came back for some strong individual performances Saturday during a tournament in Calais.
The Vikings were beaten soundly by the Warriors, 48-12. Angel Riopelle won his 145-pound division match and Caleb Robbins prevailed in 138. Both victories came on pins.
Sickness limited Caribou’s lineup, leading to multiple forfeit losses. The Warriors won the other six contested matches. Rylee Saucier, competing in 120, lost a 12-9 decision to Lance Daigle. Kaden DeMerchant lost to CJ Rocheleau by a 10-3 decision after losing to him earlier this season by fall once and by major decision twice.
“Both Rylee and Kaden fought valiantly,” said Caribou coach James “Chico” Hernandez. “They just need to clean up their mistakes and wrestle smarter.”
At Calais, the highlight of the tourney was the runner-up finish by Riopelle in 145. In the semifinals against Mattanawcook’s Josh Hesseltine, Riopelle scored a surprising pin as he had lost to Hesseltine in four previous meetings.
“This was Angel’s biggest victory of his wrestling career,” Hernandez said. “He is working very hard to be a better wrestler, never misses a day of practice and continually is competing in a very rugged weight class.”
Robbins picked up his 14th victory on the season in 138 by topping Ellsworth’s Everett Huckins in the semifinals. He also ended up as the runner-up in the division.
Four other Caribou wrestlers ended up in fourth place in their respective classes.
“Overall we are improving and I am very pleased with what I am seeing from the team and individually too,” Hernandez said. “We still have to get those winnable bouts and turn defeats into wins, but I thought we did pretty good as a team.”