By TJ Millman
It was a rematch of last year’s State Final this past Wednesday, when the Indian River Indians rolled into the Milford Central Academy Gym to take on the Bucs who had beaten them the year before. It came down to the final match, but this time it was the Indians who emerged victorious, winning by a final score 33-30. After the match, Milford Head Coach Don Parsley was already looking at how this match can help his team down the road.
“I would rather wrestle these matches all day long and lose, than wrestle some of these matches that we have to where we win 75-0. These are the matches that challenge us, and they expose us. The reality is, if we win 75-0, I can’t go into my room and tell my guys that they did anything wrong. Sure, they could make mistakes, but they still come out of that match thinking that they did it right. Tonight, they exposed us. We have some things to work on, and this is the starting point for our future. We don’t like to lose these ever, but it’s all about where we go from here,” Parsley said.
The first bout of the night set the tone for the match, with Milford freshman Corey Messick going head-to-head against IR freshman Ian Shaubach at 106 pounds. Messick and Shaubach traded the lead twice, but in the end Messick proved to be too much for Shaubach to handle and won an 11-7 decision.
Milford had wins from Messick at 106, senior Robbie Rosser at 120, sophomore Dominic Feightner at 138, senior Khiry Hovington at 160, sophomore Bevensky Augustin at 182, senior Eric Bennett at 195, and sophomore Anthony Diaz at 220. Augustin, Feightner, and Rosser all pinned their opponents in the first round, with Augustin winning his match in only 18 seconds.
“We just weren’t good enough tonight. People will act like this is some big upset, but IR is a really good team. We beat them in the State Finals by one match last year, and tonight they beat us by one. We have a lot of young guys on this team who always talk about our ranking, and where we are seeded, and I hope this opens their eyes up. Our number one seed in Division II is because of the work from guys last year, and if we want to get another championship this year, it’s time to step up and start working hard,” Milford Captain Robbie Rosser said.
The Bucs squad is young, with only 3 of their starting wrestlers being seniors, and they will have to do a lot of growing in a short amount of time. This week alone they have meets on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and a 5 team dual-meet on Saturday.
“We still have a lot of matches ahead of us to build and prepare for when it all really matters. The road to the Division II State Championship is going to go through Milford, Indian River, and Laurel. Our goal for now is to put ourselves in the best position possible when that time comes, and to be at our very best when we need to be. Tonight was a benchmark. We see where we are, and we know where we need to be. Now it’s time to get to work,” Parsley said.
The Bucs next match is Wednesday, January 24 at home against Lake Forest. The first match starts at 6:30 PM.
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