The 2015 Bob Rowe Memorial wrestling tournament ended with Sussex Tech walking away with the team victory, but all the teams in the final and semifinal rounds provided some incredible matches.
Even though his team finished ninth overall, James M. Bennett head coach John Dolch did have something to be happy about because freshman Loma Thomas won the championship in the 285-pound weight class.
“It’s a wonderful tournament,” said Dolch. “It went very smooth. There were a lot of great teams and a lot of great wrestlers.”
Thomas won the finals due to forfeit because his opponent, Seaford’s Noel Cruz, could not compete due to an injury.
“I was really looking forward to going against him. I was disappointed that I could not wrestle him,” Thomas said. “It was more challenging than I thought it was going to be, but in the end I just got the W.”
Thomas’ championship match would have been the final bout of the tournament, but that match’s absence did not detract from the great performances that would have come before it.
“He’s a very mature young man, so it’s probably bittersweet to him,” Dolch said. “However, it’s still a win, it’s still a championship, and at his age he’ll get more experience and learn more in the future, but we’ll still take it.”
The excitement really started to pick up in the second match of the final round.
Sussex Tech’s Donnie Tingle was facing T.C. Williams’ Majik Nethery in the 113-pound finals. The match did not even last a single minute because Nethery took Tingle down with a slam that would make any WWE superstar jealous.
Unfortunately for Nethery, the slam was on the back of Tingle’s head, which is illegal, and it prevented him from continuing the match, therefore disqualifying Nethery.
Another standout match was the final in the 132-pound weight class. Jason Fox represented Parkside as he took on Sussex Central’s Christian Green. Another first minute slam put this match’s future in jeopardy because it seemed like Green couldn’t continue for a while.
Lake Forest’s Dean Fleming (138lb) is wrapped up by Sussex Tech’s Hunter Rhodes during the Bob Rowe Memorial Classic on Saturday at James M. Bennett High in Salisbury.
Green, however, did return to the match, but was slammed once again when he and Fox pushed each other outside of the ring.
This time, though, half of Green’s torso accidentally hit the hardwood floor, but he returned to the match again. Parkside took home a gold after a very competitive match.
Dolch said the event proved to be an essential developmental tool for all the grapplers involved as they venture on the road to their various state tournaments.
“For a lot of them this was a learning experience,” he said. “They gained a lot of knowledge this weekend of what wrestling is all about.”
Final Bob Rowe Classic Results:
1 228.00 Sussex Tech
2 225.50 Polytech
3 203.50 Sussex Central
4 151.00 Woodbridge
5 135.00 Easton
6 123.50 Lake Forrest
7 103.00 Parkside
8 97.00 Wicomico
9 88.50 J.M. Bennett
10 85.00 T.C. Williams
11 53.00 Mardela
12 47.00 Seaford
13 12.00 Laurel