Bucs Reflect On Championship Year

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By Kevin Eickman

Over a month ago, the Milford wrestling team won their second consecutive DIAA dual meet State Championship. This past Monday they gathered at their annual awards banquet to reflect on their accomplishments.

The first group of wrestlers to be recognized were the unsung members of the Milford squad, the Junior Varsity. This group’s selfless dedication to the team often goes unnoticed, not on this occasion however. “I can’t begin to explain how much these guys mean to us, they are such a huge part of this team,” coach Dan Rigby commented. “They work just as hard as the varsity, sometimes not even getting a chance to wrestle. There effort and selflessness is what makes this team as good as is.”

Rigby then went on to acknowledge all the varsity wrestlers, sharing thoughts on each member of this special squad:

Cameron Hayes, freshman106: “As a freshman Cam faced some challenges not unique to a first year wrestler but as the year went on he continued to improve.” Rigby said. “His effort payed off when he won the State title at 106 pounds.”

Robby Rosser, freshman, 113: “Another freshman that we were lucky to have, Robby weighs about 95 pounds and wrestled at 113 this year,” said Rigby. “He was the ultimate teammate, wrestling way above his weight for the good of the team. What was amazing is he managed to place in every tournament we wrestled in”

Jarek Lugo, senior 120: “Jarek was a four-year starter here at Milford and he provided a great deal of leadership this year. He was an enforcer type, making sure they guys stayed on point,” Rigby stated. “He recorded over 100 wins in his career, that reflects how consistent he was for this team.”

 

Photo Taken By Kevin Eickman

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Alex “The Body” Creasey, sophomore, 126: “Alex had a ton of wind again this year, I have a feeling that Alvontae Drummond’s all time win record may not be safe with Alex around,” said Rigby. “He wrestled in one of the deepest weight classes in Delaware that I have ever seen, and was fantastic all year long.”

Adam Funkhouser, junior 132: “On a team as deep as this, Adam was another guy who had to wrestle above his weight,” Rigby commented. “Even being in a tough spot, he had some huge wins for us. Particularly in the State Duals, where he came up big for us when we needed it the most.”

Bart Dalious, junior, 138: “This is a guy that was disappointed in his previous season and committed in the off season to make himself better,” Rigby said. “The effort put him on the podium as a runner up. If he continues to put forth that type of effort, I can see him being a State champion next season.”

Philiip Ruiz, junior, 145: “Just another guy that was in a tough spot in the lineup, having two of the toughest wrestlers in the state above and below him in the lineup.” Rigby went on to say, “He is still finding his way, but when it all comes together for him it is going to be a thing of beauty, I can’t wait for that to happen.”

Don Scott, sophomore, 145: Another wrestler who put the team ahead of himself. He wrestled at 145 and until Ruiz got down to that weight,” Rigby said. “This is a guy with some big potential, it’s all about putting in the effort in the off season.”

Chase Taylor, junior, 152: “Another wrestler who had a great year based on his commitment to off season work,” Rigby said. “When things are going good for him, it is something really special to watch.”

Kaje Reynolds, sophomore, 160: “In the beginning of the year, he was looked at as kind of a JV wrestler. He was caught between two sports and then made the decision to commit to wrestling full time,” stated Rigby. “Kaje is tremendously gifted athletically, once his wrestling knowledge catches up with that he will be something to see.”

Ben Mitzel, senior, 170: “Here was another guy coming back from a tough year, but he really put forth the effort needed,” said Rigby. “He was such a real great guy to have around, always finding a way to keep everybody loose.”

Matt Groce, senior, 182, “Another guy who did the off season work to make a difference on the mat,” Rigby commented. “It isn’t just about wrestling with him, he’s the complete package. He is a scholar and tremendous citizen. The kind of guy that you are honored just to know.”

Kenny VanVorst, junior, 195: “Even though he was a State qualifier last year, he knew that there was a lot he could improve on.” Rigby went on to say, “The thing about Kenny is that he was able to overcome his biggest nemesis in the State finals, to be able to qualify for the championship match.”

Bryan Wynes, sophomore, 220: “Bryan had a very impressive year, he wrestled at heavyweight when we asked him to,” Rigby said. “His biggest moment came in the State duals, when he recoded a huge win for us when Sanford tried to avoid VanVorst.”

Dominic Hovington, sophomore, various: “He is a two sport athlete, who is probably the most coachable kid we have,” said Rigby. “It didn’t matter who we wrestled him against, we put him up against some of the toughest guys in the state and he always came to compete.”

The following wrestlers also received additional, special recognition:

Outstanding Freshman: Robby Rosser
Most Improved: Chase Taylor
Paul Mills Award (community involvement): Matt Groce
Coaches Award: Jarek Lugo
Coaches Award: Ben Mitzel
Outstanding Wrestler: Cameron Hayes
Superintendents Award: Matt Groce