By Kevin Eickman
With just two weeks to go until the DIAA Dual Championships, the Milford Buccaneers wrestling squad tackled two more tough road challenges this past week. First up on the docket was a trip to their local rival, Lake Forest on Tuesday. Last year it was the Spartans that Milford had to defeat in order to claim the Henlopen South title. While Lake is not going to be the only challenge to Milford retaining the title this year, they were indeed the first.
With both teams entering the meet undefeated in the Division, a loss by either squad would probably spell doom for their title hopes. Milford showed up ready to wrestle and were able to defeat Lake by a comfortable 37-18 margin. The victory moved Milford to 4-1 overall, but more importantly their record is now 4-0 in the South. Speaking with coach Dan Rigby about the match, it was clear that the victory was important to the team. “Beating your rival is always satisfying, taking another step towards repeating as South champions is important as well,” Rigby stated.
Milford faced a tougher test this past Saturday, as they traveled to Camden to battle Division I Caesar Rodney. Considering that Rigby did his high school wrestling at Rodney, he was rather indifferent to facing his former school. “This was just a match like any other to us. While the fact that they are a traditional powerhouse is important, we just wanted to come in here and compete.” Rigby stated.
With the meet starting at 138 pounds, it would be important for Milford to try and be close by the time it worked its way around to the lower weight classes. After winning the opening match by forfeit, the first of some very exciting matches took place. Milford junior Bart Dalious battled fellow junior Thomas Galucci of Caesar Rodney. While Dalious appeared to be in control throughout, it looked as if disaster had struck with just 36 seconds left in the match. Galucci was able to take down Dalious, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Dalious was able to recover, and take down Galucci with just 16 seconds remaining and secure the win. “The fact that Bart did a good job attacking and getting the win was important” Rigby continued “He does all the work in the wight room and the fact he was able to finish like that is proof that the work pays off.”
Milford was able to maintain their lead through most of the match, with Caesar Rodney never that far behind. By the time the meet had worked around to 106 pounds, Milford held a slim four point advantage. Caesar Rodney sophomore Mason Harrington, considered one of the top wrestlers in the 106 pound class, battled Milford freshman Robbie Rosser . While Rosser was outmatched, the one thing he would not do was get pinned. Time and again it looked as if Harrington would finish Rosser, but it never happened. While Harrington was able to square the match at 22-22 with a 10-0 major decision, Rigby was proud of Rosser’s effort .“Robby worked very hard against a really tough kid and he refused to quit. That is what Robby is all about,” Rigby stated.
In the following three matches the Milford strength would be evident as freshman Cameron Hayes, senior Jarek Lugo and sophomore Alex Creasey all won their matches. The clincher came courtesy of a Creasey pin at 2:41 of his match.
The win moved Milford’s overall record to 5-1. While the record is what he expected, Rigby still believes Milford’s best wrestling is ahead of them. “We are really close to being where we want to be, we just have to stop leaving points on the mat,” Rigby commented. “The guys are working very hard and I know that we will get to where we need to be.”