High school wrestling

Girls rule: Wood, Emma Fonger highlight first girls state championships

First official Maine Principals' Association state female mat event in books
By Zack Miller | Feb 22, 2019
Photo by: Zack Miller Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Jordana Duncan, right, and Windham/Gray-New Gloucester's Katelyn Walker.

Howland — It was a series of firsts for high school female student-athletes, coaches, fans and organizers as the initial Maine Principals' Association-sanctioned girls state wrestling championships shone the spotlight on the mat and crowned the Pine Tree State's best.

Nearly 60 athletes from the far reaches of Maine made the trek to Penobscot Valley High School on Wednesday, Feb. 20 to compete for the right to be crowned one of Maine's first female state mat champions.

There have been other all-female wrestling tournaments in the state, but this was the first sanctioned by the high school governing body, the MPA, the same as other sports in the state.

Watch video and see more photos below.

The Midcoast saw 11 athletes compete, with seven from Waldo County. They included: Mount View's Emma Fonger, Morgan Fonger, Hailey Wood and Felicity Magnant; and Belfast's Oceana Pacholski-Proctor, Jordana Duncan and Brooke Richards. The Fongers are identical twins.

In fact, teammates Morgan Fonger and Wood faced off against one another, which put Mustang coach Hamilton Richards in a tough position as he essentially coached both girls — at the same time.

There also were four other Midcoast participants, three from Medomak Valley of Waldoboro and one from Camden Hills of Rockport.

This was an individual event with no team scores kept.

When the matches had finished for the day, Emma Fonger (2-1 at 132) was second, Wood (4-1 at 120) third and Richards (0-2 at 160) fourth.

According to the MPA website, "the 2018-19 girls individual championship will allow girls the opportunity to wrestle exclusively against other girls for a championship, but still allow them to be contributing members to their respective boys teams and compete in the team championship. The eight weight classes for the girls [championship tournament] will be 106, 113, 120, 132, 145, 160, 182, 220, which follows the weight classes established in Alaska. Schools may enter more than one entry per weight class. To qualify for the girls championship, all wrestlers must have competed in at least one countable varsity bout."

In Wednesday's tourney, each weight bracket had a different number of competitors, with some filling a full bracket, while others consisted of only two or four wrestlers.

"It was a really big turnout for this year," said Emma Fonger. "Other years when it wasn't sanctioned it wasn't as big, and I'm really surprised at the number of girls [competing]."

"I was surprised at how many people are here," said Morgan Fonger. "In other years it hasn't been as put together. There are girls that are wrestling during the season, but they are not getting matches [in meets], so this gives them a chance to wrestle."

Before this meet became a reality, boys and girls competed for a state championships together at the end of the season, but the female state championship event provides another opportunity for hardware.

"In other tournaments, sometimes I was in a pigtail [match], and I would get knocked out in the first round, so it wasn't as competitive [for me]," said Morgan Fonger.

"You can definitely go a lot further with [this meet]," said Emma Fonger. "It's kind of competitive, but you are actually able to [win matches]. I like it better [than a normal meet] because it gives me more of a chance. I kind of knew what was coming my way, but I was surprised at the competition."

"More people know about [this meet] now, so hopefully more girls may be more willing to wrestle during the season, knowing that there is something at the end [for them]," said Morgan Fonger.

For the first time in Maine history, female wrestlers had the opportunity to potentially win two high school state championships, with the first coming in the state meets which encompasses male and females, and, now, the female-only meet.

Participating wrestlers came from Monmouth Academy, Mount Ararat of Topsham, Windham/Gray-New Gloucester, Sanford, Erskine Academy of South China, Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft, Lisbon of Lisbon Falls/Oak Hill of Sabattus, Deering, Oxford Hills of South Paris, Cheverus of Portland, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, Caribou, Mount View of Thorndike, Skowhegan, Mountain Valley of Rumford, Bucksport, Dexter, Penobscot Valley, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield, Nokomis of Nwport, Camden Hills of Rockport, Falmouth, Morse of Bath, Ellsworth, Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln, Lincoln Academy of Newastle, Belfast, Washington Academy of East Machias and Madison.

The results of the championship and consolation finals for area wrestlers were:

120 pounds — Wood, MtV, pinned Molly Bennett, Dex, at 2:54 of the consolation final. Wood finished third.

132 pounds — Emma Fonger, MtV, was pinned by Zoe Buteau, Lis/OaH, at 5:46 in the championship final. Fonger finished second..

160 pounds — Richards, Bel, was pinned by Neringa Parutyete, MtA, at 0:59 of the consolation final. Richards finished fourth.

The individual results for Waldo County wrestlers were:

120 pounds — Wood (4-1), MtV, lost to Morgan Fonger, MtV, 6-1; won by forfeit over Kylie Burns, Lis/OaH; beat Kia Wilson, Buck; beat Alayna Alton, Skow, at 1:44; and pinned Molly Bennett, Dex, at 2:54 in the consolation final. Wood finished third.

Morgan Fonger (2-2), MtV, beat Wood, MtV, 6-1; was pinned by Kiah Wilson, Buck, at 5:37; pinned Kate Jordan, Mon, at 0:46; and lost to Marina Theriault, MA.

132 pounds — Emma Fonger, MtV, pinned Shawnee Berke, Chev, at 1:22; beat Rachel Tuck, Skow; and was pinned by Zoe Buteau, Lis/OaH, at 5:46 in the championship final. Fonger finished second.

Pacholski-Proctor (0-2), Bel, lost to Shawnee Berke, Chev, 7-4; and lost to Josie Smith, OxH, 5-4.

145 pounds — Duncan, Bel (0-2), was pinned by Brooke Birkhahn, Deer, at 0:58; and lost to Katelyn Walker, Wind/GNG, 9-7.

160 pounds — Richards (0-2), Bel, lost to Breeanna Cameron, Mon, at 1:02; and was pinned by Neringa Parutyte, MtA, at 0:59 in the consolation final. Richards finished fourth.

182 pounds — Magnant (0-2), MtV, was pinned by Paige Anderson, Buck, 0:36; and was pinned by Elyse Homer, Mon, at 0:22.

High school girls wrestling championships
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High school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. (Video by: Zack Miller)
Mount View wrestlers at girls wrestling state championships
High school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. (Courtesy of: Mark Cooper)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, top, and Morgan Fonger. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, top, and Morgan Fonger. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, left, and Morgan Fonger. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, top, and Morgan Fonger. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, right, and Morgan Fonger. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, right, and Morgan Fonger. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, front, and Morgan Fonger. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, bottom, and Morgan Fonger. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, bottom, and Morgan Fonger. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Oceana Pacholski-Proctor. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Oceana Pacholski-Proctor, right, and Cheverus'  Shawnee Berke. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Oceana Pacholski-Proctor, left, and Cheverus' Shawnee Berke. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Oceana Pacholski-Proctor, left, and Cheverus' Shawnee Berke. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Oceana Pacholski-Proctor, left, and Cheverus' Shawnee Berke. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Jordana Duncan. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Jordana Duncan. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Felicity Magnant. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, left, and Felicity Magnant. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Morgan Fonger, right, and Bucksport's Kiah Wilson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Morgan Fonger, bottom, and Bucksport's Kiah Wilson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Morgan Fonger, right, and Bucksport's Kiah Wilson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Morgan Fonger, left, and Bucksport's Kiah Wilson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Emma Fonger, right, and Cheverus' Shawnee Berke. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Emma Fonger, right, and Cheverus' Shawnee Berke. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Emma Fonger, top, and Cheverus' Shawnee Berke. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Jordana Duncan, left, and Windham/Gray-New Gloucester's Katelyn Walker. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Jordana Duncan, left, and Windham/Gray-New Gloucester's Katelyn Walker. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Jordana Duncan, right, and Windham/Gray-New Gloucester's Katelyn Walker. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Jordana Duncan, right, and Windham/Gray-New Gloucester's Katelyn Walker. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Jordana Duncan, right, and Windham/Gray-New Gloucester's Katelyn Walker. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Jordana Duncan, right, and Windham/Gray-New Gloucester's Katelyn Walker. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Emma Fonger, top, and Skowhegan's Rachel Tuck. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Emma Fonger, top, and Skowhegan's Rachel Tuck. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Emma Fonger, right, and Skowhegan's Rachel Tuck. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Emma Fonger, top, and Skowhegan's Rachel Tuck. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Emma Fonger, right, and Skowhegan's Rachel Tuck. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Brooke Richards, right, and Monmouth's Breeanna Cameron. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Brooke Richards, right, and Monmouth Academy's Breeanna Cameron. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Brooke Richards. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Brooke Richards. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Oceana Pacholski-Proctor, front, and assistant coach Travis Spencer. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Oceana Pacholski-Proctor, right, and Oxford Hills' Jozie Smith. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Oceana Pacholski-Proctor, left, and Oxford Hills' Jozie Smith. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Belfast's Oceana Pacholski-Proctor, bottom, and Oxford Hills' Jozie Smith. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, top, and Skowhegan's Alayna Alton. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood, top, and Skowhegan's Alayna Alton. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Hailey Wood. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Felicity Magnant, right, and Monmouth Academy's Elyse Homer. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from high school girls wrestling championships on Feb. 20 at Penobscot Valley in Howland. Mount View's Felicity Magnant, top, and Monmouth Academy's Elyse Homer. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
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