By Kevin Eickman
This past Saturday night was a very special one for a pair of Milford Buccaneer wrestlers. As senior Bryan Wynes and junior Robbie Rosser walked away with DIAA Individual Wrestling Championships. The titles came at the end of a long and arduous season for Milford, who ended up with a total of six wrestlers earning All-State honors as a result of the Bucs’ performance over the two-day meet.
The two championship matches were a contrast in styles, with Wynes claiming the first title of the evening in a thrilling, overtime match at 285 pounds. The second seeded Wynes faced off against Cape Henlopen senior and top seed Zach Flores, who had decisioned Wynes 6-2 back on February 8. “I knew that going in it was going to be a battle, I just wanted to make sure I gave it my all,” Wynes stated.
In the first period, it took a great deal of skill on behalf of Wynes to avoid yielding two points by take down. Starting the second round on the bottom, Wynes was quick to escape and score the first point of the match. More importantly for Wynes, he did it quickly, able to conserve energy that would be precious as the match wore on. While he was not able to score any further points in the period, Wynes looked to be in good form and having the better of it. With Flores on the bottom position to start the third period, he was also able to escape, but he used a lot of effort to do it. Setting up a big advantage for Wynes as overtime was rapidly approaching.
Starting from the neutral position in the first overtime period, neither wrestler was able to score a point, setting up what would be a test of wills over the final two 30 second periods. With Wynes quickly escaping and gaining a point in the second period, it would all come down to one thing, could Wynes keep Flores down in the final period to earn the victory. Looking much stronger than his opponent, Wynes was be able to impose his will on his opponent and earn the victory. As the clock hit zero, Wynes was now a State Champion with a 2-1 decision.
“It is just a fantastic feeling, it was something I have wanted for a long time and I’m very happy,” Wynes said. “This is such a great way to end my career at Milford, it’s unreal.”
Milford coach Don Parsley was thrilled about Wynes victory. “What an accomplishment. Bryan had just three losses this season and they were all to Flores. Our motto all season has been you don’t have to win the first match, just win the last one and that is exactly what he did tonight,” Parsley stated. “We knew it was going to be a close match, but the two quick escapes by Bryan made all the difference. Bryan was able to wear down his opponent and get the job done.”
Robbie Rosser was the top seed at 113 pounds, facing off against third seed Owen Klingler of Salisianum. In a stark contrast from Wynes, Rosser was in control from the very start. Rosser got Klingler down and kept him that way for most of the match. Not allowing Klingler to escape and constantly scoring points. The match would end with just six seconds remaining as Rosser secured a 16-0 victory by technical fall.
“It feels great, all the hard work really paid off this season and to end it with a State title is incredible,” Rosser sais. “Last year was in my mind the whole year and I kept it right there as motivation for me.”
When asked about Rosser, Parsley was quick to respond. “He had an outstanding year, he is a great leader for our team and he is still just a junior,” Parsley stated. “He means so much to us in the practice room, it’s just like having another coach in there. He really works hard for me, he works hard for the team and does all the right things. It was great to see him finish on top tonight.”
The tournament was an outstanding showing for Milford overall as well, with all seven Buccaneer wrestlers able to make the podium. Senior Dominyc Hovington would earn third place at 220 pounds. Winning his final match as a Buccaneer was very important to Hovington. “To be able to win my last match and earn third place in the process was great. It was very important for me to go out there and give it my all for my last match,” he said.
Recording a third place finish for the Bucs senior Alex Creasey (145) as he pinned Nick Lee, from Dover, in 37 seconds. Gavin Garcia (138) recorded a forth place finish. The tournament showing was especially important for Garcia, who had been battling injuries all season long. “Gavin missed last year’s tournament due to an elbow injury and was finally cleared in November to start wrestling again,” Parsley said. “What he did this season took a lot of effort and I am very proud of him.”
Freshman Bevensky Augustine, finished sixth at 182, while senior Kaje Reynolds recorded a sixth place finish at 170. “I am so proud of our guys, they really had a fantastic tournament and the results show that,” stated Parsley. “It was a real challenging year and the guys really had a lot to overcome. It’s a testament to what kind of individuals they are.”
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