By Kevin Eickman
This past Wednesday the Milford wrestling team traveled to Delmar to complete the regular season. With the 85-12 victory over the Wildcats, Milford retained their title as Henlopen South Champions. Milford retained their title courtesy of a 7-0 record in the South. While happy with retaining their title, it was obvious that Milford has bigger plans for this year. “Winning the South is very important to us, but this team has always had the number one goal of winning the State Title,” coach Dan Rigby said.
From the very start of the season the goal has been to repeat as State Champions. With that in mind, the goal has been to be peaking at the right time. On Monday of last week Milford defeated Division I teams Saint Mark’s and Dover. Coupling those victories with the win at Delmar, Rigby believes Milford is right where they need to be. “I thought that if we were going to have a down night it would have been on Monday, just because of the work the guys had been putting in over the last several practices,” Rigby stated.
Senior captain Jarek Lugo, who has been a leader his entire four years at Milford, was happy with wining the South and hopes Milford can repeat as State Champs. “Being able to represent Milford is a great honor, it’s great to be able to represent what this town is about,” Lugo said. “I think coach has us as ready as we can be and we are going to give it everything we have in order to win the championship again this year.”
Milford completed the season with an overall record of 11-1, there only blemish was a loss to Division I top seed Smyrna. Along the way Milford compiled some impressive wins against Division I qualifiers Caesar Rodney and Cape Henlopen. As a result of their overall record and strength of schedule, along with a better common opponent point differential over Sanford, the Buccaneers earned the top seed in Tuesday’s Dual Championship Meet at Smyrna. “We set a very aggressive schedule for ourselves this season, with the plan of earning a top seed in the dual meet,” Rigby said. “There are some very good teams that will be competing in the tournament and we are going to have to be at our best if we want to win.”
Besides second seeded Sanford, the other teams that will be competing in the duals will be Delaware Military Academy, Caravel Academy, Lake Forest and Hodgson Vocational Tech. Besides Lake, Milford has not faced any of the teams in this year’s tournament. Adding to the drama this year is the fact that Milford are defending champs, a fact that Rigby believes could make things just a bit tougher for the Bucs this year. “There is no doubt that teams are gunning for us, you could see it happening all year long,” said Rigby. “We aren’t going to sneak up on anyone this year, that’s for sure.”
The Dual Championships are scheduled for Tuesday at Smyrna High School. Milford’s first match is scheduled for 5:30pm.