By Kevin Eickman
Wrestling can be an unforgiving sport. It is a constant battle between time and your opponent. This past Saturday night time ran out on three Milford wrestlers, each of them falling in the title round of the DIAA Individual Wrestling Championships.
Senior Bart Dalious was first up for Milford at 145 pounds, facing off against Justin Bennett of Sussex Central. The match was one for the ages as it went three overtimes, before Dalious would drop the 2-1 decision. It was a brutal way for Dalious to lose his final match as a Buccaneer and it was especially more painful considering that he appeared to out wrestle his opponent for much of the match. While being second in the State is nothing to sneeze at, the time, work and dedication to the craft can not be easily measured.
Next up for Milford was senior Kenny VanVorst at 182 pounds. VanVorst had recorded two wins by fall and another by decision on his way to the finals, living up to the number two seed he had received. The problem VanVorst faced however was in the person of Joseph Miller from Saliesianum, top seed in the weight class. Miller recorded three wins by fall, all in short order as he entered the title bout. VanVorst would last longer than the rest, but succumb to Miller none the less. Miller would go on to be named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. VanVorst, who hopes to continue wrestling and looks to study marketing in college, enjoyed his time in Milford. “The coaches, both Rigby and Parsley, both push you to make your full potential,” VanVorst stated.
The final Buccaneer wrestler of the evening was sophomore Robbie Rosser, who battled Anthony Caruso of the host facility, Cape Henlopen. Rosser would drop the match 3-2, in painful manner as well. Trailing 3-2 heading into the final period, Rosser was on top and needed to turn Caruso to secure the two points required to take the lead. Time and again it looked as if Rosser would get the job done, but he either did not make it happen or the whistle was blown due to a dangerous position. In the end, Caruso would hang on to earn the title. It was a tough loss for him and it left Milford with no individual title holders this year.
Speaking with coach Don Parsley after the match, it was evident that he felt horrible for his wrestlers on the evening. “I don’t know that there are words. Honestly, two of the three matches we out-wrestled our opponent and we didn’t win,” Parsley stated. He also looked at it from an over perspective and knew that while they may have left disappointed, the Buccaneers preformed well in the meet. “We had six guys in the top six,” Parsley said. “We wrestled well, I mean I really couldn’t ask any more from the kids.”
Parsley opened up a bit about his seniors, who will never have the opportunity of an individual State title again. “I can tell you that when I was in high school I was a State runner-up and that has fueled the fire for many years,” he stated. “We don’t know what their future has to hold, certainly it’s a difficult day today knowing that they were second and they are not going to get another opportunity, but I’m real proud of them and want to see what their going to do with their futures.”
Summing it all up, Parsley mused, “As bitter as it is to be number two, if you lay it all out on the line like they did. You really can’t hang your head, even in defeat.”