Bucs shock Riders with 33-30 wrestling win

Milford’s Anthony Diaz battles Carson Timmons of CR for control in the 220-pound bout. Diaz won with a fall in the second period. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

CAMDEN — When Milford High’s Averi Copes took to the mat in the 132-pound match, he knew all he needed to do was survive without getting pinned and his Bucs get the dual-meet win.

That’s exactly what the freshman Copes did as the Bucs shocked Caesar Rodney High with a 33-30 victory in come-from-behind fashion Wednesday night.

“When we survived with just a decision at 126, I knew that if we went the distance at 132 that the match was ours and we were going to win,” said Milford coach Don Parsley.

With the Bucs ahead 33-27 heading into the night’s final match, Copes lost a 13-8 decision to CR’s Patrick Wisniewski to complete the three-point dual-meet victory over the Division I Riders.

Bevensky Augustin of Milford defeated CR’s Ryan Rigby in the 182-pound match with a fall in the first period.

“We told him before the match to go out there and wrestle for six minutes, because you have a really tough opponent,” said senior Eric Bennett. “He just wrestled his match, did what he had to do, and we got the W.”

He narrowly avoided getting pinned a couple of times, and even suffered an injury after falling hard on the gym floor with :55 remaining in the third period, but Copes made sure to battle it out for his team.

“I was doing it for my team,” Copes said. “I knew if I got pinned, we’d end up losing, so I was just trying to stay off my back.”
The Bucs (2-0) used four pins, a technical fall and a major decision to erase the 21-point deficit.

“It’s our second match of the year, Caesar Rodney is a really good team, there’s a lot of wrestling to go ahead of us,” Parsley said. “Hopefully this will be a catalyst for my guys to continue to work hard and improve.”

Farael Mejia of Milford trying to escape grasp of CR’s Riley Tracey, who won the 170-pound match by decision.

Caesar Rodney (3-1) built that early lead through the meet’s first five matches using a six-point forfeit, three decisions and a pin.

Benedict Anderson earned a forfeit in the 138-pound match, while Caleb Adamowicz (145), Gabriel Degraffinreed (160) and Riley Tracey (170) each earned decisions.

Jackson Dean recorded CR’s lone pin of the night just 47 seconds into the 152-pound match.

“Weather the storm,” Parsley said. “We lost that match at 170, and it was 21-0, and I thought this is great. I said, ‘it’s our turn, let’s go get it done.’”

Bevensky Augustin (182), Bennett (195) and Anthony Diaz (220) earned consecutive pins to bring the score to within 21-18 through eight matches.

Caesar Rodney’s Gabe Degraffinreed won the 160-pound match with a 10-6 decision against Gaij Copes of Milford.

“Bevensky, honestly, he was in danger, he found his way off his back and got the headlock and he got the pin,” Parsley said. “We turn around and get Bennett with the stick and Diaz with the stick, that got us to 18 and made it a match.”

From there, Caesar Rodney’s Kevin Hudson earned a 7-0 decision over Jacob Bryant to pull back ahead six points.

A 9-0 major decision win for sophomore Corey Messick (106), a 16-1 technical fall for freshman Jack Thode (113) and a second period pin for sophomore Trent Grant (120) put the Bucs in great position, ahead 33-24, with two matches to go.

Freshman Tim O’Hara lost a 9-2 decision to Caesar Rodney’s Mike Primo in the 126-pound match, pulling the Riders back to within six points heading into Copes’ battle at 132.

“Averi fought his butt off. In a losing effort, how can you be excited, but he did everything you could do and honestly, he was everything but pinned,” said Parsley.

Three of Milford’s six individual wins Wednesday night were by freshmen and sophomores, with a pair of freshmen – O’Hara and Copes – wrestling the final two matches of the night.

“My young guys are tough. They just are. My upperclassmen are good, they’re solid, but my freshmen ignite the fire,” Parsley said. “They go out there and those underclassmen do a nice job. I’m really excited about what they’re going to do for us this year and in the future.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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