Bucs grab fifth South wrestling title in last six years

It took all of 33 seconds for Milford’s Bevensky Augustin to earn a win by pin in the 182-pound bout Wednesday night. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

MILFORD — After a one-year absence, the Milford High wrestling program finds itself back at the top of its division.

The host Bucs collected six pins to earn a 49-19 dual meet win over Woodbridge High Wednesday night to grab their fifth Henlopen Conference Southern Division title in the last six years.

Milford (12-1, 6-0 Henlopen South), the five-time defending Division II dual meet state champion, also nabbed the top seed in this weekend’s D-II dual meet state tournament.

“Nobody likes to lose, and everybody loves to win,” said Milford coach Don Parsley. “We were able to come back this year and run the table to be undefeated in the South and win the division championship, so that’s great.

“Now we’re off to the duals this weekend and we’ll see what happens.”

The one-seeded Bucs will face eighth-seeded Mt. Pleasant in the quarterfinal round at 6 p.m. Friday at A.I. du Pont High.

A win would put Milford in the semifinal round at Smyrna High Saturday afternoon. The semifinals will begin at 2 p.m.

Woodbridge sophomore Jonathan Webb can’t escape the grip of Milford sophomore Trent Grant in the 120-pound bout. Grant earned a second period pin.

“It’s definitely a stepping stone for this weekend,” said sophomore Corey Messick. “It feels great to win the South, especially after last year. It was kind of bumming not to win it last year, but this is just another stepping stone for state duals.”

Freshmen Jack Thode (113-pound weight class) and Tim O’Hara (126), sophomores Messick (106) and Trent Grant (120), junior Bevensky Augustin (182) and senior Eric Bennett (195) collected pins for the Bucs.

“It feels great,” said Augustin. “We knew what we needed going into the match and we got it.”

“It’s a total team effort, you can’t really single out any one person, any one weight class, you can’t single out any one class,” Parsley said. “The reality is they’re out there fighting for each other and that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

Messick set the tone in the night’s first bout, quickly building a 7-0 lead over his opponent before taking care of business and earning a third period pin with just 47 seconds remaining in the bout.

Woodbridge’s Kyle Davis tries to escape the grasp of Milford’s Corey Messick in the 106-pound bout Wednesday night. Messick earned a third period pin.

“I wanted to set the tone for the team, and make a statement for this match, because we’ll probably see Woodbridge again this weekend,” he said.

Thode, Grant and O’Hara quickly made it four consecutive pins for Milford to begin the match with a 24-0 advantage.

“They’re getting better all the time,” Parsley said of his underclassmen. “We’ve got the senior leadership and the upperclassmen are really pulling through for us, and then we’ve got the underclassmen who are really helping us out.”

Thode (113) earned his pin with just 16 seconds remaining in the first period, while Grant (120) and O’Hara (126) collected their respective pins in the second period.

Freshman Averi Copes (132) extended Milford’s lead by grabbing a 7-3 decision in his bout, putting the Bucs ahead 27-0.

Senior Jerome Cannon (138) put the Blue Raiders on the board in the night’s sixth bout, earning an 11-3 major decision to make it a 27-4 team score.

Senior A’Shon Jackson (145) collected one of Woodbridge’s two pins of the night in his bout to pull the Blue Raiders to within 27-10 halfway through the dual meet.

Woodbridge’s A’Shon Jackson earned one of the team’s two pins in the 145-pound bout.

Freshman Dalton Deevey (152) and junior Gaij Copes (160) earned consecutive individual wins to extend the Milford lead to 34-10.
Deevey, tied with Woodbridge senior Enrique Ramos 2-2 through two periods, recorded a two-point takedown with 1:44 remaining in the third period to earn the 4-2 decision.

Copes dominated much of his bout, pulling away with a 13-4 major decision over his Blue Raider opponent.

After Woodbridge junior TaeShaun Ford-Jackson (170) narrowly avoided a pin as time expired, earning a 6-5 decision for the Blue Raiders, Milford recorded consecutive pins from Augustin and Bennett to all but clinch the division title.

Augustin (182) took just 33 seconds and Bennett (195) used up 1:02 of his bout before the pair recorded the team’s fifth and sixth pins of the night.

“I was looking for the pin from the start,” said Augustin.

“I’ve wrestled the kid before, so I knew I just needed to go out there and get the job done for the team,” Bennett said.

A 5-1 decision from Milford’s Anthony Diaz (220) and a pin from Woodbridge’s Josh Benedict (285) rounded out the regular season finale.

“Certainly, winning the south is awesome,” Parsley said. “The weekend is in front of us, we’d like to win that sixth consecutive championship.”

“We’re going to take care of business Friday night and then be ready to rock Saturday afternoon,” said Messick.

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