By Kevin Eickman
With two invitational tournament titles and a dual meet victory against Henlopen North rival Cape Henlopen, the Milford wrestling squad has enjoyed some early season success. While there is a long way to go for the Buccaneers, the signs are promising that they will be a team to watch as the season goes on.
This past Saturday, Milford held their annual invitational tournament. The tournament featured top teams in Delaware as well a pair of teams from out of state, making for quality wrestling for an early season tournament. The Buccaneers earned the team title along with four individual 1st place finishes. Milford ended up distancing themselves from Greensburg Salem (PA) 428.5 to 388.0.
Buccaneer sophomore Jack Thode at 120 pounds was the first to earn a title for the Buccaneers as he was able to pin his opponent in the second period. The win was big for Thode as he finished as a runner-up in last year’s event.
“Coming in second last year left me a little disappointed, so this was definitely one that I had circled on the calendar,” Thode commented. “Dual meets are very important to the team and that is what comes first. However, it’s nice to earn an individual accomplishment like this in your home gym.”
The next Buccaneer to title was sophomore Tim O’Hara at 138 pounds, who was also able to avenge a second place finish last season. O’Hara was dominant in his win, earning a 9-1 decision over his opponent. From the start O’Hara was pressing and scoring on his way to victory.
“It’s really nice to get a win at home. Finishing second last year kind of fed my fire a bit so I really wanted to make it happen,” O’Hara stated.
Next up of the five finalists was another sophomore Dalton Deevey who had the closest of all the Milford matches, battling Drew Mayhall of Smyrna.With the wrestlers knotted at two with time running down in the third period, Deevey scored a take-down midway through the match to earn a hard fought victory.
The final winner for Milford was senior Bevensky Augustin who pinned his opponent in an astonishing 17 seconds. The take-down was so quick it bordered on the impossible. “That’s something you really don’t see. I was pretty confident going into the match, but to win like that is just amazing,” Augustin said.
The only wrestler not to win his title match was senior Anthony Diaz. While it was most assuredly disappointing for Diaz, he is a rock solid wrestler and will be a big part of the team going forward. It is important to remember that it is not where you start it is where you finish and Diaz has a history of rounding into shape as the season continues.
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the festivities was the fact that the Greensburg Salem team was able to make it down for the one day event. The Pennsylvania school is coached by none other than Randy Parsley, brother of Milford coach Don Parsley. The Parsleys have made wrestling a family tradition. Randy Parsley’s son Seth came in fourth in the heavyweight division.
“It’s certainly nice seeing him. Family is family and we all have our lives and we’re all busy doing our own things that sometimes we don’t make the time, but this year he was able to bring his team down and it was just great to see him,” Stated Parsley.
In addition to wining the Milford invitational, Milford also finished at the top while competing in the Polytech Invitational.
The Buccaneers will participate in a few tournaments over the next few weeks before returning to Henlopen Conference action, as they host Dover January 8 at 6:30 PM.