DOVER – With his team holding a one-point lead heading into the final match of Wednesday’s dual meet with Sussex Tech, Dover’s Tyler Rosello realized the that if he beat Nushon Hood at 285 pounds it would clinch victory for his team.
Rosello jumped out to an early lead and kept Hood at bay for the rest of the match to earn a hard-fought one-point decision, lifting the Senators to a 38-34 victory over the Ravens in Henlopen North wrestling action.
“Honestly, when I saw the score and realized it was my turn, I just couldn’t let my team down because I knew it was on my back,” Rosello said. “Even though it was my first year wrestling and my first home match, I went out there and knew that I couldn’t lose. I had to lift my team up and had to get the win for the team and the people watching here tonight.”
Rosello scored the first points in the bout with a takedown for a 2-0 lead, but Hood escaped late in the first round to make it 2-1. Rosello and Hood exchanged reverses in the early stages of round two to make it 4-3, and Rosello escaped later in the second to make it 5-3.
Hood was granted a free escape to start third round to cut his deficit to 5-4, but the match remained in neutral position over the final two minutes as Rosello did not let Hood gain leverage to hold on to the win and give Dover the victory in the meet.
“I’m the athletic director, so I watch all the sports. I watch Tyler in football. He’s never wrestled before. I said to him ‘I need a big, strong man,’” Dover head coach Aaron Harris said. “I talked to him coming out, and knowing that he’s a big, strong man that can bench 350 pounds, he can beat 75 percent of people based on that. We’re teaching him to be in good position, and he pulled it through for us.”
Dover won seven out of the first eight matches in the night to build a 35-6 lead, but Sussex Tech mounted a rally by winning the next five matches to score 28 points and cut its deficit to 35-34 heading into the final match.
“The matched played out like we expected it to. They were tough down low, and we thought we would do very well up high. It was going to be a barnburner,” Sussex Tech head coach LJ Thomas said. “I was pleased with the way the kids wrestled. Dover is a tough team.”