Southern Maine Preview

Joe Pistone begins his sixth season at Southern Maine as the team continues its second decade of competition.  Two wrestlers with NCAA experience return in 2008 qualifier Michael Morin and 2007 qualifier Stephen Valastro.  Both are still seeking their first NCAA wins, and all four matches they have wrestled at the NCAA tournament have come against seeded wrestlers.  Valastro comes into 2008-2009 looking for redemption after last year’s disappointing DNP at the NEWA Championships in which he was the top seed.  Morin won the NEWA and returns to defend his title, and four other NEWA placewinners will be looking to improve on last year’s finish and earn a trip to Cedar Rapids.  A strong incoming class will help Southern Maine as it works to move into the national rankings for the first time.  The top of the list is occupied by 2005 high school graduate and National Prep champion Ben Kinerson.  Kinerson has been out of competition for a few years, but he has the talent to do very well in the NEWA and beyond.  He will begin competition in the 2nd semester.  A number of other state champions and placewinners from New England states fill out the class, including 3x NH state champ Billy Cole.

Team: University of Southern Maine
Head Coach: Joseph Pistone (American International ’98)
Years at School as head coach: 6th season
Career Record at school: 37-44
Assistant Coaches: Julio Santiago, Joseph Narvaez, Shane Stephenson, Brian Leighton

2007-2008 Dual Meet Record: 11-7-1
2007-2008 National Qualifiers and All-Americans: Michael Morin (165/NQ)
Returning Qualifiers and All-Americans (any year): Stephen Valastro (133/NQ ’07), Morin

Top returning starters: 133 Stephen Valastro 2007 NEWA Champion, National Qualifier; 165 Michael Morin NEWA Champion, National Qualifier; Doug Christensen 6th NEWA; Nick Spencer 6th NEWA; 157 Mark Moyer 2nd NEWA, 2x placer

Top incoming wrestlers: Ben Kinerson Prep National Champion, Billy Cole 3x NH State Champion, Corbin Decker 3x NH State Placewinner, Keith Corley NY State Qualifier, Matthew Doolittle NY State Qualifier, Cinjin Goewey Maine State Champion & New England Placewinner, Curt Hill NH State Place Winner, Nick Marchant ME State Placewinner, Ryan Stanton 2x NH State Placewinner, Tony Labbe ME State Place winner, Jim LaMarca ME State Champion 2x Placewinner, Paul Rivard ME State Runner up