By Kevin Eickman
Last Tuesday evening the Milford Buccaneers wrestling team was supposed to be wrestling in the DIAA dual meet, seeking their second consecutive State team title. Mother Nature had other plans however, as snow forced the postponement of the event to this Tuesday. As a result the next competitive action Milford faced was at the Henlopen Conference Championships this weekend.
With both Division I and II teams competing in the tournament, and some of those conference teams considered to be the better teams in Delaware, it was a tough spot for Milford. The event contained with Division I tournament qualifiers Smyrna, Polytech, Cape Henlopen and Caesar Rodney, along with Division II qualifiers Lake Forest.
Milford placed a solid third, with Junior Bart Dalious claiming Milford’s only individual title at 138 pounds. Milford also had four other wrestlers finish on the podium, freshman Cameron Hayes was second at 106 pounds, senior Jarek Lugo was third at 120, sophomore Alex Creasey was second at 126 and sophomore Kenny VanVorst finished third.
While the performance was not spectacular, it was steady. Taking third place was not the goal, but coach Dan Rigby will take it. “We enter every tournament we participate in looking to win, but you also have to take into consideration who you are up against,” Rigby said. “We had 10 guys qualify for the State individual tournament, that’s a real nice accomplishment.”
The timing of the conference tournament presents a huge challenge to Milford, coming ahead of the dual meet they will have a quick turn around prior to Tuesday’s meet. “The teams we will be wrestling against Tuesday are very good, the last thing we needed was to battle four D-I qualifiers with just two days rest in between,” Rigby stated. “But there are no excuses, champions step up when they need to, and I believe our guys have it in them.”
Milford will compete in their semi-final match Tuesday February 24 at 5:30. The meet will be held at Smyrna High School.