By Kevin Eickman
While it has only been two early season tournaments, the early reviews for the 2019 wrestling program have been very encouraging. After a trip up to Woodside to participate in the Polytech invitational last week and hosting their own annual invitational tournament this week, early season reviews have been quite positive for this year’s Milford wrestling squad. As with all high school sports graduation takes a toll every year, leaving the Buccaneer faithful to wonder how the next generation of wrestlers will fair. They earned team titles at both events
This past weekend’s Milford invitational was very telling of how they plan to take on this season. While the Bucs’ sole individual winner was junior Anthony Diaz at 285, who actually faced off against Buc senior Jacob Bryant in the title tilt, the Buccaneers had six wrestlers qualify for the finals. This solid number enabled them to win the team tournament.
“While we would have liked to have a few more individual titles, when you look at the experience of some of the wrestlers involved I can’t help but come away impressed,” coach Don Parsley stated.
One of the younger wrestlers who has turned a few heads is freshman Jack Thode, who won at 113 at Poly while falling in the finals at Milford to Chas Cassidy of Middletown who was a State tournament placer last season. Another wrestler to keep an eye on is sophomore Trent Grant who has moved up from 113 and will be wrestling at 120 this year. Keeping pace with the youth Moment is freshman Tim O’Hara who has impressed at 126. “Looking at the way the young guys are coming along I can’t help but to be optimistic for the future of this program,” Parsley said. “It’s not just about this season it’s about the seasons ahead as well.”
As always with Milford it is about winning while trying to get the team to peak come tournament time. This will be the final season for Milford wrestling at the Division II level as they move up to Division I next season. It doesn’t change the mindset for Parsley however as he believes wrestling is always about improvement. “We look to improve every time we hit the matt, that never changes.” Parsley said. “This is a very enthusiastic group who I believe we can expect big things from. Not just this season, but when we move up to Division I as well.”
When asked about leadership this year, Parsley offered up an interesting response. “This is a real interesting group, we have leadership at both ends of the spectrum. We have our upperclassmen that demonstrate their leadership daily. However our young guys are leaders as well, it’s great to see.” He said. “When you have young guys like we do and see them stepping up and stepping in when needed you really do appreciate it. The next few years are going to be pretty exciting around here with the talent we have.”
With this being Milford’s final season in the Henlopen South the goal is obviously to take the title in their final season. The Buccaneers will open their season this Wednesday at 6:30 as they host Seaford. Taking a look at the regular season schedule there should be some real thrilling matches as Milford will battle Caesar Rodney, Sussex Central, Cape Henlopen and Dover, all teams that compete at the Division I level.
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