The 20th Annual Bob Rowe Memorial Classic promised to be a competitive wrestling tournament for Delmarva’s high school teams, and it more than delivered.
The squads from Wicomico, James M. Bennett, Mardela, Parkside, and Laurel all gave great showings in the first day of the tournament.
All five of these teams has at least one wrestler representing them in the semifinals, even Laurel who only had six wrestlers compete, but it is Wi-Hi who has the most in the semis with four.
“We wrestled really well, and really hard,” said Wi-Hi’s head coach Nate Stone. “This tournament is a really good measuring stick. It’s good for us to get some tough competition so we know where we are in the middle of the season.”
JMB had two wrestlers successfully make it to the semifinals, and head coach John Dolch is not looking for second place.
“We’re looking to win,” Dolch said. “The opportunity for our wrestlers for finish in first place is within our reach, we just have to grab it.”
One of the wrestlers who made it to the semis for Bennett is the heavyweight Loma Thomas. Thomas had a hard matchup with Parkside’s Jose Vazquez in the 285 lbs. weight class, but he managed to win by decision in overtime.
“Loma has shown great improvement, as his spot in the semis shows,” Dolch said. “Our entire team is doing well. Whether they are in the winners’ or losers’ bracket I think all of our wrestlers are still in the tournament.”
The tournament itself can be described in one word — competitive. A few matches have been one-sided, but for the most part each match had a point where either wrestler could have won.
Wicomico High’s Daquane Bane (135lb) attempts to break a grapple during the Bob Rowe Memorial Classic on Friday evening at James M. Bennett High in Salisbury.
“We lost some close matches, we lost some matches to some guys who were just better,” Stone said. “There are some real good wrestlers here.”
The semifinals and finals on Saturday morning are looking to be really exciting and competitive as each team has a chance to take home a gold medal. Even the matches for third and fourth place are shaping up to be some intense matches that no wrestling fan would want to miss.