By TJ Millman
As the days grow longer and temperatures grow warmer, it is time to say goodbye to winter sports yet again. Despite a State championship, as well as several different athletes placing at the state level, the story for Milford winter sports has to be youth. Across four different sports, the Bucs only had 15 seniors. That is slightly under 20% of the varsity athletes (15 out of 76), and lends hope to the future of an already bright MHS sports season.
It only makes sense to start with wrestling, as the Bucs Wrestling Team made it 5 straight State Titles with their 38-28 victory over Laurel. Milford made it interesting this year, losing their first meets in the Henlopen South in the last 5 years in losses to Indian River and Laurel. Still, the Bucs came out on top when it mattered and were able to hoist the trophy, and their coach, for a fifth consecutive time. Milford Senior Captain Robbie Rosser was already looking to the Bucs future and sees a team that is set to thrive for the next few years as well.
“This year we had a really young team. I think we only graduate three seniors from our starting lineup. They are going to be able to replace us, and they are going to be back here next year. Guys like (Anthony) Diaz, Gaij (Copes), and (Eric) Bennett will be able to keep these guys going,” Rosser said.
Rosser also won an individual State Championship at 120 pounds. Junior Eric Bennett finished 2nd in the state at 195 pounds. Senior Khiry Hovington finished 5th in the state at 152, and sophomore Anthony Diaz finished 6th at 220.
The Milford boys’ and girls’ swim teams both managed to finish at .500 or above for the season. The boys finished 5-5, and the girls finished 6-4, both improving by two wins from the year before. Junior Ben Sobota finished 4th and 9th in the state in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle respectively, and also broke the long-standing school record for the 50 freestyle. The boys managed to bring home 3rd place in the Henlopen South, and the girls finished 2nd in the Henlopen South. Again, these teams featured a large group of underclassmen to add solid depth to an already impressive group of seniors.
“We have a lot of younger swimmers on this team who are only going to get better each year. We have some sophomores and juniors to keep the team focused, and a large group of freshman who can swim a variety of events. This team is going to be perfectly fine without us,” seniors Sydney Millman and Brea Wells said.
The youngest of the Milford winter sports had to be both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. The boys had only 2 seniors and the girls only 1. The boys’ basketball team finished the season at 6-14, losing 7 of their last 8 games, and lacked consistency on the floor. The Bucs were a streaky team, scoring anywhere from 6 to 24 in a quarter, and showed all the signs of a young team. Milford started many of their games without a single senior on the floor, and at the end of the day, the Bucs will return the core of their team for next year with an extra year of experience under their belts.
Girls’ basketball will miss senior Kalaysia Reynolds next year, but will return the every other player from their roster. It was a tough season for the Lady Bucs, but next year will mark a new season, with a new chance to get things going.
All in all, it was a successful winter for the Bucs, with 5 individuals placing at state events, 28 team wins, and of course, a state championship.
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