By Kevin Eickman
With the disappointment of the fall season behind them, Milford eagerly turned their attention to the start of the winter session. Returning to Division-II after a four year absence, Milford took aim at being a force in the Henlopen South. While it is still early, there is reason for optimism this year as the Buccaneers have looked solid in both boys and girls basketball, as well as wrestling.
The Milford boys basketball team has made it their goal to win the Southern Division and make the State tournament this season. Unlike last season when the Bucs saddled themselves with an 0-6 start, this years team has started with a 4-2 record, 2-0 in the Henlopen South.
While the record is not a losing one, it is not where the Bucs wanted to be. Talking with coach B.J. Joseph following a tough loss to Caesar Rodney in Milford’s home opener, he was disappointed that the Bucs squandered a big halftime lead. “It was a game that we would have loved to have had, it just wasn’t our night,” Joseph commented. “We had our two big guys (Tikeace Harris and Jason Parker) get into foul trouble, and we just couldn’t adjust.”
Milford will have their work cut out for them coming out of winter break, as they host a 2-1 Seaford team, that looks very strong this season. If Milford is to achieve their goal of winning the Henlopen South, they will have to go through the Blue Jays to do it. Tip-off is set for 6:15 Tuesday night.
The Milford girls have gotten off to a solid start as well, starting the season off with a 3-1 record. The Lady Bucs added to that, winning their bracket at the Pat Borowski Classic. Much like the boys team, the girls have a great deal of work in front of them if they are going emerge victorious in the South.
Talking with coach Leona White after a recent game, she thinks this team has what it takes. “These girls work very hard, they never give up and continue to improve,” stated White. “If they keep on putting in this effort, in the end the results will be there.” Milford will face a tough test this week as they travel to Woodbridge on Tuesday, the Blue Raiders will no doubt be looking for some payback after falling to Milford in the Borowoski tournament. Tip is at 5 pm.
Not to be overlooked this season is the wrestling team. With coach Dan Rigby at the helm for his fourth season, the Buccaneers have gotten off to a solid start. With an influx of young talent, Milford is poised to make a run at the Southern Division title as well. While Milford has only had two regular season matches, they have both resulted in impressive wins. The first was a 34-30 road victory at Division-1 Dover. The second match victory was even more eye popping. Hosting a Woodbridge team considered to be very solid, Milford stunned their opponent with a 69-9 victory. It was something that even Rigby didn’t expect. “That was a situation that just kind of snowballed for Woodbridge, we got up early and they just never seemed to get it going,” Rigby stated.
Milford has been solid in their tournaments as well, while they have not won any, they have continually been the number one or two Division-II team in all of them. In the Battle of the Beach tournament, Milford finished a very respectable ninth place, with freshman Alex Creasey claiming top honors at 106 pounds. In their last tournament, The Delcastle Invitational, Milford posted a fifth place team finish, with senior John Badger claiming the top spot at 145 pounds.
Milford will pick the regular season back up again on Wednesday, as they travel to Seaford for a 7 pm start.