By Kevin Eickman
The gym at Smyrna was rocking now, the fans were in full throttle. From a Milford perspective however, it was the wrong fans making all the noise. It had all started according to plan as Milford battled Saint Georges in the finals of the State Division II Dual Meet Championship as sophomore Robbie Rosser winning the first match with a major decision.
The next two matches however did not go well for Milford as the Seahawks recorded back to back pins. With Milford on the wrong end of 12-5 score, there was a decision to be made. With the 126 pound match coming up, Saint Georges would be sending one of the top wrestlers in Delaware, Nicholas Novarnik. If Creasey were to fall to Novarnik, Milford’s quest for a championship might be in danger. “Their crowd was really excited and I don’t really like to forfeit, but at the end of the day my job is win matches,” Buccaneers coach Don Parsley stated.
Parsley chose to forfeit at 126 pounds and move Creasey up to 132 pounds. It was a move that worked out wonderfully for the Bucs, as Creasey responded by pinning his opponent at the 1:07 mark. “It was just something I needed to do for the team,” Creasey spoke about being moved up. “I believe in the coaches and they thought that this was the move.” Milford had their first victory since Rosser’s and had given the Milford faithful something to cheer about.
While the Seahawks did not know it at the time, it was the beginning of the end. Junior Gavin Garcia was next up for the Buccaneers at 138 pounds. While he would not get a pin, Garcia would score a win by major decision. The Milford ship had now been righted and they were about to steamroll the opposition. For Garcia who transferred in from Maryland this season, this would be his first state title. “This is just fantastic. I’m just so proud to be a part of this team,” Garcia stated.
Beginning with senior Bart Dalious at 145 pounds, Milford would record five consecutive pins. There was little Saint Georges could do to stop it, the Buccaneers were rolling like a freight train now. It was like a giant wave crashing down upon the Seahawks. Seniors Chase Taylor and Philip Ruiz would earn the next two pins, before sophomore Kaje Reynolds got into the act at 170 pounds. The final pin of the streak was recorded by senior Kenny VanVorst, who was thrilled with how it had all turned out. “Three titles is incredible, just something very special,” VanVorst said. “To have the fans being loud and getting all those pins, it was just fantastic.”
The Buccaneers forfeited at 195 pounds before closing out the match with two more pins, coming courtesy of juniors Dominyc Hovington and Bryan Wynes. As the match came to a close, the Buccaneers wrestlers raised coach Don Parsley over their shoulders in triumph. The victory was sweet for all involved, with Parsley being no exception. While this may have been Milford’s third consecutive title, Parsley did not think it was a factor heading into the match. “It’s a wonderful achievement, yeah that’s great winning three in a row. But the other two don’t matter because today was the day we had to win,” Parsley stated.
Following the State Dual’s on Tuesday, Milford wrestlers would compete at the Henlopen Championships Friday and Saturday. Milford qualified nine wrestlers for next weekend at Cape Henlopen. Milford garnered two individual titles with Hovington at 220 and VanVorst at at 182 pounds. Wynes and Dalious would be runners up at 285 and 145 respectively as they were defeated in their championship matches. Other wrestlers qualifying for the State tournament included Rosser at 106, Creasey 126, Garcia 132, Ruiz 160 and Reynolds at 170.