By TJ Millman
You would have to go back to the winter of 2013 to remember a time where the Milford Buccaneers were not the Division II Wrestling State Champions. Last year’s title made it 4 in a row for the Bucs, and expectations are high for a fifth title this year. While it would seem natural for this winning culture to put a pressure on Milford to win it all, Milford Head Coach Don Parsley is not solely focused on the end game.
“I train my wrestlers to focus on the small things. Winning a championship is a culmination of doing the little things well. We don’t win championships by winning championships, we win championships by performing good technique, by being fit, by making sacrifices that separate you from everyone else. We put all of those things together, we go compete, and at the completion of the event we see who the victor is,” Parsley said.
Even still, Parsley does have high expectations for his team. His goals are a Division Championship, a State Championship, and to have as many individual State Champions/Placewinners as possible.
One wrestler who looks poised to accomplish all of those goals is Milford Senior Captain Robbie Rosser. Rosser was the State Champion last year at 113 pounds, but this year has moved up to 120 pounds. Rosser was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Polytech Invitational, and has been tearing through his opponents all preseason. Aside from Rosser, senior Khi Hovington has stepped up as to lead the Bucs as well.
“Each of my leaders are an extension of me. They bring an intensity to practice and a dimension to the team that I can’t. As the coach, I lead from the outside, but they lead from the inside. They demonstrate what needs to be done on a daily basis work to help us achieve our goals,” Parsley said of Rosser and Hovington.
This past Saturday Milford hosted the Milford Invitational, a 10 team tournament featuring the top wrestling teams from across the state of Delaware.
“Hosting an early season event not only brings the Delaware wrestling community together, but it brings our team together as well. From the Delaware perspective, assembling the top teams here to Milford sets the stage for the upcoming season, allowing the top competition to meet and to help establish goals as we forge ahead. Placing in the top 4 of our tournament helps wrestlers identify where they are across the conference, and it also allows them to see a comparison with the best from upstate. As a Milford team, it brings our wrestlers and parents together to manage the task of conducting such a great event. The effort it requires to complete this task is significant and requires the effort of many. Our Milford wrestling community (MHS administrators, teachers, parents, siblings, wrestlers and coaches) work tirelessly to plan and execute this season opening event,” Parsley said.
Smyrna won the tournament with a total score of 333.5, but Milford finished fourth overall and was the highest placing team from Division II. Robbie Rosser won the 120 pound weight class, and sophomore Anthony Diaz won the 285 pound weight class. Senior Oscar Rosario and sophomore Jacob Crenshaw each finished second in their weight classes.
The Bucs begin their drive for five straight championships this Wednesday, December 13 away at Seaford. The match is set to begin at 5:00 PM.
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