The Belfast wrestling team had its share of growing pains this season, but the Lions were battle-tested all winter and could be all the better going forward.

Led by veteran coach Rick Kelley, the Lions prowled to a 12-13 regular-season dual-meet record, along with steady finishes in the conference, regional and state meets.

The Lions finished 19th (14 points) in the state Class B championship meet, eighth (61.5 points) in the Class B North championship and 12th (49 points) in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships.

Belfast wrestlers, with their record for the season, included:

Chris Fournier, freshman, finished 3-4.

Ryan Peavey, freshman, finished 4-6.

Cameron Watt, freshman, finished 16-17.

Nathaniel Porter, freshman, finished 7-12.

Patrick Hanley, freshman, finished 15-15.

Isaac Ham, sophomore, finished 7-7.

Timothy Smith, sophomore, finished 18-11.

Elijah Charbonnier, sophomore, finished 10-17.

Brian White, sophomore, finished 29-15.

Patrick Curtis, junior captain, finished 15-8.

Wyatt Staples, junior, finished 8-9.

Jason Norwood, junior, finished 23-15.

David Warren, senior captain, finished 15-17.

Jacob Racioppi, senior, finished 9-6.

Chase Curry, senior captain, finished 42-8.

Kelley said the Lions “made a lot of progress this year,” but were done in by several factors late in the season.

“We just had a hard time putting a complete lineup on the mat,” said Kelley. “Oftentimes we’re forfeiting lots of weight classes and that limited us in our dual-meet success. When you’re giving away 24, 30, 36 points, it’s pretty hard to overcome that when you’re going up against teams with complete rosters.”

Kelley said the Lions also had a handful of injuries, most notably Racioppi, who racked up 64 wins by the end of his sophomore season but had the final two years of his high school career cut short by an elbow injury.

Kelley said the problems began for Racioppi’s elbow at the tail end of his sophomore year. He then missed most of his junior year with a partial tear of his medial collateral ligament (MCL) and was forced to have surgery.

“We thought it was going to be his year [as a senior],” said Kelley of Racioppi. “He’s a super-talented wrestler. But it started being problematic again. He didn’t have very many matches this year.”

Belfast also had a few wrestlers fail to make weight at the regional competition and also lost Warren, another senior, to a torn rotator cuff prior to regionals. But the Lions also had several bright spots this season, such as the emergence of White and Charbonnier.

White had never wrestled prior to this year and placed in the regionals, while Charbonnier, in his second year, “was going toe-to-toe with kids and he’s starting to get confidence.”

Curry was the team’s top grappler as he went 42-8 on the season and secured his 100th career win early in the season in a meet at Mountain Valley of Rumford. Two of those eight losses were in the state Class B championship meet — both in overtime — as he ultimately secured a fourth-place finish.

“He’s a tough kid,” said Kelley of Curry. “He’s a great young man and we were lucky to have him.”

Kelley conceded the season did not go the way he had hoped, but “most of those reasons were out of our control.”

And he likes the potential makeup of next year’s squad.

“These kids came a long way and gained a lot of valuable experience and went toe-to-toe with some pretty good wrestlers,” said Kelley. “I’m pretty confident going into next year.”