The Caribou Wrestling team is looking to make some noise in the PVC this year. Head coach Chico Hernandez is leaning on three sophomore captains to lead the way for the Vikings.
It's a really big team and it's really fun to be a part of it, especially being a captain moving into our sophomore year it's going to be a lot of fun helping, working with the other kids and with Chico Hernandez.
Caleb Robbins is one of the three sophomore captains. Sophomore sounds young, but Robbins has been wrestling for seven years. One of his co-captains is only in his second year, he says he's honored to be named a captain and he's looking forward to working with the team.
It feels pretty good, but I got a lot to improve on, everybody's nice we all look for each other, we all pick each other up even after losses, it's good to be a part of.
Head coach Chico Hernandez recognizes this is a young group and they are bringing the new Vikings up to speed.
It's a growing year, we have some experience coming back, but we have a lot of new faces, you know you lose kids, you know you gotta re-grow kids, miracle grow and hopefully they get real good.
There was a big change this year in Maine high school wrestling, a change coach Hernandez is happy to see.
I'm pretty excited about the girls state tournament this year.
According to the National Wrestling Coaches Association, the number of girls wrestling in high school has increased from just over 800 in 1994 to over 16-thousand five hundred in 2018. That's an almost two-thousand percent increase. To reflect this trend, the Maine Principal's Association announced that girl wrestlers will have their own state tournament in addition to the co-ed tournament. Caribou's third sophomore captain is Rylee Saucier is pumped about the change.
I'm really excited, I honestly can't wait, I think I'm honestly going to do quite well at the girls states.
Saucier holds her own with the boys as well, the sophomore racked up 18 wins last season in her 106 weight class and Hernandez thinks she has what it takes to compete in both the girls and the co-ed tournaments.
As far as wrestling in the girls, you know I'd say she's definitely a front-runner right now in her weight class. If she grows a bit more technically, and be more proficient, she could probably get a meddle in the boys tournament this year too.
Saucier, Demerchant, and Robbins say they're all aiming for the chance to compete for a state title and as just sophomores, as they and their teammates improve, they're also creating a foundation for a promising Viking wrestling future.