Blue Raiders fall to Caravel 57-7 in Division II wrestling finals

Michael Hutchison of Woodbridge gets back points on Caravel’s Kyshwn Drungo and won the heavyweight bout by decision 9-2.. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

SMYRNA — Woodbridge High’s wrestling team would have liked a better ending.

But the Blue Raiders couldn’t complain about the journey.

Woodbridge made the DIAA Division II wrestling state finals for the first time only to fall to top-seeded Caravel, 57-7, in the championship match at Smyrna on Saturday evening.

The Buccaneers had been the favorite to capture the small-school state title after six-time defending champion Milford moved up to Division I this season.

Caravel (12-3) won its three state tourney matches by a combined 180-26. And the Bucs were confident enough to have state champion t-shirts made up that their wrestlers pulled on minutes after the match ended.

The state title was Caravel’s second but first since 2011. The Bucs lost in the finals a year ago.

But this was new territory for Woodbridge (13-6), which beat Laurel, 48-18, in the semifinals earlier in the day.

“This is a school that 12 years ago didn’t have a wrestling program,” said Raiders’ coach Shane Marvel. “They canceled it. But they brought it back. We made the state tournament, last year we made the semis and this year we made the finals so who know what’s next?

“They (Caravel) really don’t have any holes,” he said. “They’re tough top to bottom. I know Smyrna just won the Division I (title) but I think they could give Smyrna everything they could handle. It’s a good program.”

The Raiders did hold a 3-0 lead in the finals after Cole Gibbs (160 pounds) won a 7-2 decision to start the match. Woodbridge,
though, won just two more individual matches the rest of the way.

Hunter Young (195) registered a 16-8 major decision and Michael Hutchison (285) won a 9-2 decision before Caravel won the final eight bouts. The Raiders had three points deducted for a flagrant misconduct penalty.

Nicholas Hall (170) gave the Bucs the lead for good with a pin in 2:53. The sophomore is from Camden, wrestling for Caesar Rodney’s Fifer Middle School as a youngster.

“It was always our goal to win the state title,” said Hall. “It’s crazy. We just had to come out at a different level and show them who we are.

“I knew I had to get things started, even going up a weight class. If I wrestled how I always wrestle, I knew I’d come out on top. It was very exciting when I got the pin.”

Against Laurel, Taeshuan Ford-Jackson (195), Phoenix Dean (220), Hutchison (285) and Duane Cooke, Jr. (106) put together a run of four straight pins that left Woodbridge in control. Gavin Manning (132) and Brandon Williams (138) also won by fall for the Raiders.

Cody Drummond had a pin for the Bulldogs, who were trying to make the state finals for the third time.

“It was good to get in the finals,” said Marvel. “I’m a little disappointed we didn’t show up once we got there. But it’s another big step in the right direction for our program for sure.”