By Kevin Eickman
Way back in November Coach Dan Rigby knew that this was going to be a tough season with a mostly young squad, the key word being “mostly”. Coming into the season Rigby new exactly what he had in senior Alvontae Drummond, a proven winner in every year he has wrestled. Another senior he hoped would be a factor was Jeff Delva. The quietly confident Buccaneer has continued to improve this season and his star has continued to rise as the wrestling season draws to a close.
Delva made it to the Championship match of the Henlopen Conference tournament this past Saturday, at Milford. Competing at 285 pounds, Delva faced top seed Zack Parker of Caesar Rodney, a match that saw Parker win by a decision of 7-1. Talking to Delva after the match, he was clearly disappointed with the loss and hopes to improve in the upcoming State tournament. “I don’t think I gave it my best tonight,” commented Delva. “I believe I can do better, I had hoped I would have wrestled better.”
Talking with Coach Rigby, he believes that Delva has come a long way this season. “Jeff is such a hard worker and a great leader for us,” stated Rigby.“The loss was tough but I know he will find a way to turn it into a positive.”
Milford's Alvontae Drummond has just been named the 2013 Henlopen Conference Champion at 138lbs. Photo taken by Kevin Eickman.
While Delva may have been a mild surprise in making the finals, there was very little doubt that Drummond would be in the final match. Coming in as the top-seed in the 138 pound class, Drummond had earned his way into the final courtesy of a bye and a pair of pins. Going up against the number two seed Lucas Monson of Woodbridge, Drummond hoped to get his third pin to go along with the conference title. The Woodbridge sophomore was not going to let that happen however, Monson wrestled as to not be pinned but gave himself little chance to win in the process. Drummond barely broke a sweat on his way to the 9-3 decision.
It was a victory that Drummond was very happy to have. “I would have hoped to get a pin but that didn’t happen,” stated Drummond. “I was just thrilled to win the conference championship in my last match here at Milford.”
Drummond who is closing in on the all-time Milford victory total of 126, held by assistant coach Nate Fleming has his eyes focused on a much larger prize. The clearly stated goal, all season long, has been the State title. Next weekend, at Cape Henlopen High School, Drummond will have a chance to achieve that goal. “I think I am as ready as I can be,” Drummond added. “It has been my goal all season, I have worked very hard to put myself in a good position to win the title and I believe that it is something I can do.”
Looking forward to next weekend as well is coach Rigby, he believes that it is within Drummond to gain the title he yearns for. “I believe Alvontae can do it, he is a very special wrestler and just a wonderful person as well,” commented Coach Rigby. “He has worked all season for this, it has been the stated goal from the beginning.” Besides Drummond and Delva, Milford also had two other wrestlers qualify for the State tournament. Sophomore Jarek Lugo and senior Antonio West will also be headed down to Cape Henlopen next weekend.