By Kevin Eickman
The last time the Milford wrestling team took to the mat in competition, they defeated highly regarded Saint George Tech for the DIAA Division II State Championship. On that Tuesday night this past February, Milford was dominant, winning by a score of 42-20. The next time Milford takes to the mat, they will be looking to repeat that success. Clearly one of the favorites in Division II, this promises to be a very exciting year for Milford.
Talking with coach Dan Rigby, he knows that this year will be a much more difficult task than last season, a year in which Milford’s only loss came at the hands of Division I tournament qualifier Cape Henlopen. “Last year was great, but that was last year,” stated Rigby. “It is going to be real different for us this season, we will be going into every match with a target on our backs.” Continuing the discussion about how difficult the task will be this year, Rigby added “Everyone will be giving it there all against us, we have to be on our game every night.”
While the team has been practicing well, Rigby believes that there is a lot of work that needs to be done to repeat last year’s success. “We have been working hard, but I honestly haven’t seen the work ethic where I think it needs to be,” Rigby said. “We have very high expectations for this season and I believe we will get to the level we need at to accomplish our goals.”
Milford will welcome some new faces to the squad this season. Coming over from the middle school this year will be Robby Rosser along with Cameron Hayes. These freshman will be looked at to contribute at the 106 and 113 pound weight classes. “These are a pair of super tough kids that have been working very hard,” commented Rigby. “They are in the process of making the transition into high school wrestling. It will be a challenge but I believe they can do it.”
The Buccaneers will be looking at a pair of seniors to provide leadership to their young squad. Jerek Lugo will be returning for his final year and Rigby knows he can be counted on to lead the way. “Jerek is the tough type of kid that leads by example,” Rigby stated. “He is a tough no nonsense kid that we look at to steer us in the right direction.”
The other senior that Rigby will be counting on is Matt Groce, a wrestler who has gotten consistently better every year at Milford. “Matty has come such a long way, he is an example of what hard work and dedication can do for a person,” said Rigby. “He is the type of kid that does everything right. Whether it’s on the mat or in the classroom, he does things the right way.”
Milford will be participating in the Polytech invitational this Saturday and will open their regular season by hosting Dover next Monday at 7 pm.