MILLTOWN – The DIAA wrestling committee will meet Sunday to determine the six-team Division I and II fields for the DIAA Dual Team Wrestling Tournaments.
Caesar Rodney had one last chance to make its case on Saturday, and the Riders gave the committee something to consider with a 41-27 victory at St. Mark’s.
“We just wanted to finish the season strong,” CR coach Chris Harris said. “If this gets us in, great. If it doesn’t, we’ll come back next year. But it’s a good way to end the season with a win.”
The Riders have won eight Division I Dual Meet state titles and lost to Smyrna in the finals the past two seasons. But Caesar Rodney has had a tumultuous season. Richard L. “Dickie” Howell II, the Riders’ longtime coach, surrendered to state police on Jan. 14 to face charges of child sex abuse and rape in what authorities said was a 10-month sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student. Harris has taken over for the final six weeks of the season.
“They’re tough kids,” the new coach said. “We just wanted to focus on wrestling, getting better every day. I think for the most part, we’ve done that.”
CR is 7-11 overall, 5-5 against in-state competition. The Riders have lost to Smyrna, Cape Henlopen and Polytech – all very likely to make the D-I field – and Milford, which is expected to be the top seed in Division II. CR has wins over Sussex Tech, Salesianum, Woodbridge, Dover and St. Mark’s, but a 40-25 loss at Sussex Central on Thursday may be too much to overcome.
“It’s going to be close,” Harris said. “It’s out of our hands now. That loss to Central really made it tough.”
The Riders conceded forfeits at 106 and 126 pounds on Saturday, but won nine of the 12 contested matches. Chase Mounts (152), Matt Donovan (113) and Adam Greenly (138) scored pins for CR.
Greenly, a freshman, bumped up from 132 to face St. Mark’s Chris Matt. It was close until Greenly found a way to end it with one second left in the second period.
“It was pretty scary for me because the kid looked a little bit bigger than me,” Greenly said. “I had to be smart. … I was trying a crank down, and I couldn’t really get that. So I just threw my legs in and went for the half, and I was able to get a pin.”
Andrew Sudler (170), Dante Walker (182), Michael Clavier (195), Troy McNally (285) and Bobby Stevenson (120) earned major decisions for the Riders. The best match of the day came at 132, as CR’s Cody Stevenson and the Spartans’ Jeffrey Engelmann traded escapes, takedowns and reversals before the Riders wrestler won an 11-10 decision.
Engelmann’s takedown tied it at 10 with 41 seconds remaining. But Stevenson regained the lead with an escape with 25 seconds left, and he held on the rest of the way.
“I scared myself there. I didn’t know what was going on, so I just did what I could,” Stevenson said. “I knew I was up by maybe one point at least, and when he got that takedown, that’s when I thought he took the lead. I was just fighting for a point.”
Randy Mitchell (160) and Keith Medley (220) scored pins for St. Mark’s (4-8). The Spartans’ Thomas Otlowski grinded out a 6-3 decision in the day’s final match at 145.
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CAESAR RODNEY 41, ST. MARK’S 27
152 – Mounts, CR, pinned Mey, 5:08; 160 – Mitchell, SM, pinned Mogle, 3:51; 170 – Sudler, CR, maj. dec. Dominelli, 19-5; 182 – Walker, CR, maj. dec. Psenicska, 15-3; 195 – Clavier, CR, maj. dec. Normand, 14-2; 220 – Medley, SM, pinned Prophet, 1:00; 285 – McNally, CR, maj. dec. Megahed, 10-2; 106 – Sinopoli, SM, won by forfeit; 113 – Donovan, CR, pinned Gilbert, 1:40; 120 – B. Stevenson, CR, maj. dec. Houtz, 11-3; 126 – Justin Engelmann, SM, won by forfeit; 132 – C. Stevenson, CR, dec. Jeffrey Engelmann, 11-10; 138 – Greenly, CR, pinned Matt, 3:59; 145 – Otlowski, SM, dec. Gallucci, 6-3.