Clavier helps bring pride back to CR

 

LEWES — Mike Clavier took the disappointment the Caesar Rodney High wrestling program felt last year and placed it on his shoulders.

At the 2015 state individual championships, the Riders came up empty handed for the first time since 1995.

Clavier was determined to make that a one-time thing.

The Caesar Rodney senior won his title match with a first period pinfall on Saturday night on the second day of the DIAA individual wrestling championships at Cape Henlopen High. Clavier’s win was one of 10 for the Henlopen Conference.

“I felt bad last year when we didn’t win one because I felt like that was my responsibility as one of the older guys,” Clavier said. “I really wanted to win one this year for sure to get our names back up on the wall in there. I’m so happy this is what I’ve worked for my whole career. This is always where I wanted to be.”

Clavier pinned his way through the tournament as the two seed. He was joined as a CR champion by teammate sophomore Cam Hayes who won the 113-pound title with another pin. Hayes, the reigning 106-pound champion which he won at Milford before transferring to CR, recorded three pins in the tournament and one tech-fall.

Clavier did have a slight regret though. His much-anticipated rematch with Smyrna’s Tony Wuest did not happen.

Wuest, seeded first at 195 and the defending 182-pound champion, had to withdraw in the semifinals and did not make it to face Clavier. The pair had quite the battles this season, with Clavier beating Wuest in a dual meet during the regular season before Wuest pinned Clavier in the Henlopen Conference championship last Saturday.

“I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get to wrestle Tony,” Clavier said. “I was looking forward to that since we go back and forth.”

Smyrna had the most individual winners with three — sophomore Greg Baum (120), junior Chase Archangelo (132) and sophomore Larsen Wilson (170). Archangelo joined Hayes as the only two wrestlers to repeat from last year; Archangelo won the 113-pound bracket a year ago.

Archangelo, like Clavier, also avenged a runner-up finish at conferences. He defeated Dover’s Anthony Fisher, the Henlopen champion, in a rematch during the semifinals on Saturday and followed that up with a decision in the title match.

“It shows you how many people are working hard,” said Archangelo of his defeat last weekend. “It shows that to stay hungry you’ve got to keep training. Last week’s loss kind of made me wake up. I knew no one is going to hand it to you. I had to redeem myself and show that I’m the best one in the state.”

Wilson’s victory was perhaps the biggest stunner as he entered the tournament as the eighth seed but pulled off upset after upset all the way through.

His match went to overtime and just when it looked like he was in a dangerous position, he reversed and was able to get the decisive takedown.

“Going through practice coach (Kurt) Howell was always telling me I was going to win it so I had to believe in him and practice hard,” Wilson said. “All my losses were all close losses (early in the season). There wasn’t anyone that I knew I had no chance of beating. All I had to do was believe in myself.”

Wilson is the third member of his siblings to win a state title. His older brother Jarren Wilson won the 170-pound championship for Smyrna in 2013 while Kalen Wilson won last year.

“It feels great to join them,” Larsen said. “They both won their junior years, and I won my sophomore year. So I have some time to win more.”

Baum finished sixth as a freshman in the 106-pound weight class. He won this year’s championship at 120 with a 5-1 decision in the finals.

“All I wanted was to win this title,” Baum said. “I practiced all summer, I stayed after practice, I woke up early before school to run and I did everything I could do to be on top of the podium this year. It’s the best feeling ever. That’s the only thing I wanted, and I got it.”

The host team Cape Henlopen was able to thrill its home crowd with a pair of champions. Freshman Anthony Caruso earned a 3-2 decision at 106 while junior Cory Lawson prevailed in an overtime contest at 160.

Lawson matched up against Kalen Wilson who he had lost to three times in the last three weeks. This time, he was able to get a takedown in overtime for a 4-2 decision as the capacity crowd was making a tremendous amount of noise for Lawson, who dedicated the victory to his father who had passed away.

“Before the match I heard them but during the match it was silent, just me and myself wrestling,” Lawson said. “After the match, I put my hands up and got to my dad. This was all for him. It’s a dream come true.”

It capped an end to a busy week for Lawson who celebrated a birthday on Thursday. His older brother even made the trip home from VMI to support him which he credited for his victory.

“That was the biggest boost from him, my mom and everyone with the constant support,” Lawson said. “I think that’s what did it. I had close matches with Kalen all year and I finally got it done.

“He made me twice as good as a wrestler. I respect him to the full maximum. He’s a great competitor and a good guy. It’s a shame I had to wrestle him in the finals, I would have love to see him get another state championship but full respect to him.”

In yet another overtime match, Woodbridge’s Dom Pierce won the heavyweight state championship. He managed an escape in the final period to defeat defending state champion Brandon Dooley of William Penn.

After his bout, Pierce pulled his coach Jenna Day out to the center of the mat and encouraged the crowd to give her a standing ovation.

“My coach kept telling me keep wrestling like I had all year,” Pierce said. “She’s the number one coach, I don’t care what anyone else says. She taught me everything I need to know, got me in the practice room and we worked hard.”

Sussex Central had a pair of champions with Justin Bennett (145) and Brandon Bautista (152) to round out the Henlopen’s 10 titles. Winners from upstate schools included Dante Immediato of Middletown (126), Andrew Brooks of Sanford (138), Joseph Miller of Salesianum (182) and Nazr Roberson of Newark (220).

Local wrestling
DIAA State championships
at Cape Henlopen High
Championship round
106 – Anthony Caruso, Cape, dec. Robbie Rosser, Mil, 3-2; 113 – Cameron Hayes, CR, pinned Shane Cawman, DMA, 3:23; 120 – Greg Baum, Smy, dec. Nick Novarnik, SG, 5-1; 126 – Dante Immediato, Mid, dec. Kyle McDonough, San, 4-3; 132 – Chase Archangelo, Smy, dec. Niko Chilson, San, 5-2; 138 – Andrew Brooks, San, dec. Nick Lee, Dov, 4-0; 145 – Justin Bennett, SC, dec. Bart Dalious, Mil, 2-1 (TB-1); 152 – Brandon Bautista, SC, dec. Thomas Gallucci, CR, 11-4; 160 – Cory Lawson, Cape, dec. Kalen Wilson, Smy, 4-2 (SV-1); 170 –Larsen Wilson, Smy, dec. Logan Montgomery, Sal, 3-1 (SV-1); 182 – Joe Miller, Sal, pinned Kenny VanVorst, Mil, 2:44; 195 – Michael Clavier, CR, pinned Andrew Genett, CSW, 1:10; 220 – Nazr Roberson, New, dec. Keith Medley, Car, 6-3; 285 –Dominique Pierce, Wood, dec. Brandon Dooley, WP, 3-2 (UTB).
Third place matches
106 – Estrada, Mid, dec. Primo, CR, 5-2; 113 – Begatto, Smy, maj. dec. Dominelli, Hod, 11-2; 120 – Bramble, Sal, dec. Harris, Hod, 3-2; 126 – Stratton, SC, dec. Muaka, CSW, 5-3; 132 – Fisher, Dov, dec. Barnhart, Car, 9-2; 138 – Diego, Cape, dec. Bryant, Smy, 3-2; 145 – Griffith, San, dec. Hurd, SG, 5-2; 152 – Lamey, San, dec. Hamilton, CSW, 4-3; 160 – Marcozzi, IR, dec. Froelich, Sal, 5-2; 170 – Mayan, Poly, dec. Mitchell, Mid, 4-1; 182 – Clayton, SG, dec. Kammerer, Cape, 5-2; 195 – Morris, SC, dec. Spady, ST, 3-1 (SV-1); 220 – Torres, Cape, dec. Hovington, Mil, 2-1 (SV-1); 285- Cruz, SC, pinned R. Montgomery, Sal, 1:33.
Fifth place matches
106 – Price, Poly, pinned Spence, Sal, :47; 113 – Hahn, Poly, dec. Rispoli, WP, 3-0; 120 – Joyner, Dov, dec. Jackson, Poly, 8-1; 126 – Creasey, Mil, dec. Norquest, Cape, 3-1; 132 – Juarez-Robertson, WP, dec. Morris, SC, 2-0; 138 – Mounts, CR, maj. dec. Haber, WP, 12-0; 145 – Nicolas, Hod, dec. Thomas, Delm, 3-2 (TB-1); 152 – Kerr, Smy, maj. dec. Lum, MP, 12-2; 160 – Chambers, SC, dec. Lamey, CSW, 6-0; 170 – Hudson, SC, won by forfeit over Sudler, CR; 182 – Bergh, ST, dec. Moyer, Smy, 9-2; 195 – Scrivens, How, won by forfeit over Wuest, Smy; 220 – Mitchell, Smy, dec. Land, Poly, 4-3; 285 – Galazeski, Conc, won by forfeit over Wynes, Mil.

 

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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