Massabesic wrestler seeks to become his family’s first ‘three-peater’ at state meet

WATERBORO – Come wrestling tournament time, it’s all about the bragging rights.
There are those that are earned at regionals for being the “Best in the West”, and there are those that come at states with being crowned Maine’s “Main Man of the Mat”.
Still, in this wrestling-mad York County town, it would hard to top the props that go with being the best grappler at the Gilman House.
That distinction could come Ethan Gilman’s way at the Maine Class A state championship if he should win his third consecutive Maine title.
Gilman, a Massabesic senior, took a big step in that direction, Saturday, by winning his Western Maine Regional championship round match in the 126 lb. weight class, at Noble High.
Gilman defeated freshman Trevor Smith of Marshwood, 8-2, and will take to the mat as the No. 1 seed at the state meet, to be held Saturday at Windham High.
His previous trips to the state meet have netted him titles at 119 (as a sophomore) and 125 (last year), putting him on par with his older brother Peter, who also won twice at states and now wrestles for USM.
But nothing would thrill Gilman more than to become his family’s first “three-peater”.
“It would mean a whole heck of a lot,” said Gilman. “My dad was a ‘no time’ state champ – he took second – and my brother was a ‘two’. It’s always been a back-and-forth competition for me to one up him. This is my chance for me to do it.”
If Gilman’s match with Smith is any indication, he’s peaking at the right time.
He jumped to an early 3-0 lead, then, after Smith closed to within one, Gilman pulled ahead by piling up points.
“That was a closer match than I wanted it to be,” said Gilman, who had defeated Smith, 7-1, earlier this season. “You’ve have both (mental and physical) working well together. My stamina still feels good, I’m not breathing too hard. And mentally, I’ve been ready for this for a long time. This match has made me want it even more.”