By Kevin Eickman
With winter break coming to a close, the winter sports schedule is about to heat up for the Milford Buccaneers. With just about a third of the winter season gone, we are going to take a look at what has happened so far and what might happen going forward.
While the team has only competed in two dual meets to this point, it is becoming obvious that this is a team on a mission. The clearly stated goal for the squad is to repeat as Division II State Champions and early indications are that the Buccaneers are well on their way. In dual meets the Buccaneers hold a 2-0 record, with a quality win over Division I Caesar Rodney.
Milford has already competed in three tournaments however and here is where some of the key indicators are emerging. The Milford squad has won both the Polytech and Milford invitationals, while finishing second behind Malvern Prep at the just completed Battle at the Beach.
The list of wrestlers that have titled in these tournaments has been fairly impressive and is an indicator of what this team can accomplish. Sophomore Robbie Rosser has won all three of his tournaments at 106 pounds. While senior Bart Dalious has also duplicated the feat at 145 pounds. Sophomore Bryan Wynes, heavyweight, won at the Battle of the Beach and Poly, while finishing second at Milford. Also finding the top step one time were senior Kenny VanVorst at Poly at 195 along with Dominyc Hovington at 220.
Milford is about to get to the meat of their schedule that includes a load of quality opponents including D-1 powerhouse Smyrna. Winning at Smyrna will be a tall order for the Bucs, but do not be surprised if Milford does not run the schedule the rest of the way, garnering the top seed in the State Dual Tournament.
One of the great joys of watching the Milford girls basketball team is how they have taken on the intensity of their coach, Leona White. Speaking with White prior to the season, it was clear that the goal was to win the Henlopen South and make some noise in the State tournament. This year’s squad may be a little short in stature, but they are tenacious on the court. Milford has contested every plat and is well on their way to retaining their Henlopen South title, having complied a 5-1 (3-0) record up to this point. The only loss for the Buccaneers came over the holidays to Sussex Central in the Pate Borowski tournament.
Trying to find the top play maker for Milford can be difficult as the players seem to take turns scoring in double digits. To this point every starter has recorded double digits in points at least once this season. This is an indication of the unselfish play that Milford needs if they want to retain their Henlopen South title.
This may be the toughest nut to crack when it comes to Milford winter sports. There is no doubt the talent is there, the question is whether second year coach Bob Spath can get them to meld together. The Buccaneers are looking to retain their Henlopen South title and have gotten of to a decent enough start at 4-2 (3-0). The question is just how good they can be. There are quality players all up and down the lineup, starting with leading scorer junior Henry Neismith. Also having a solid season on the offensive end is fellow junior Brion Murray.
Milford has gotten stronger in the middle as well this year, with the addition of junior Marcus Correa, who is playing his first year of organized basketball. Milford also has a great senior presence with Devin Kravitz, Son Martinez, Tyler Norwood, Rakwon Williams and David Shockley all contributing minutes and points.
The mission for Spath will be to find the right match of talent and shorten the bench a bit as the season progresses. While it is still early in the year, this is a confident bunch that should be fun to watch going down the stretch. There will be some bumps down the road, but there is little doubt that the Buccaneers should be relevant come tournament time.