Dover grabs spotlight with upsets on first day of state wrestling tourney

Dover’s Amir Pierce defeated Caesar Rodney’s Mike Primo in the 120-pound class. (Special to the Delaware State News/Chuck Snyder)

LEWES — The No. 7 was indeed lucky for Dover High on Friday.

The Senators provided a bulk of the upsets on the first day of the DIAA individual wrestling state tournament hosted by Cape Henlopen High. Three Dover wrestlers who were seeded seventh reached the semifinals.

The semifinals begin today at 11 a.m. The finals are scheduled for 7 p.m.

Caesar Rodney’s Kevin Bowne (blue) defeated William Penn’s Brandon Pike in the 113-pound class. (Special to the Delaware State News/Chuck Snyder)

Amir Pierce (120 pounds), Azim Opare (195) and Hugo Harp (220) all upset the No. 2 seed in their respective weight classes to reach the semifinals as the seven seed. Dover’s Sam Arkuouille Jr., who was seeded sixth at 182 pounds, knocked off the third seed in his bracket to also make the semifinals.

Dover placed the second most wrestlers into the semifinals with six. Anthony Glass (106) and Divine Watkins (160) are also both still alive.

Smyrna provided more semifinalists than any other team with seven. Two-time state champion Tony Wuest (195) has the shortest day of anyone as he recorded a pair of first-round pins in a combined 52 seconds.

All of the top seeds advanced. The lowest seed remaining is No. 15 Alexander Schneese (220) of A.I. du Pont.

Dover coach Aaron Harris

A total of 36 wrestlers from the Henlopen Conference reached the semifinals. All of the 14 weight classes except the 152-pound bracket has at least one Henlopen Conference wrestler still in the tournament.

The 182-pound and 195-pound brackets have all Henlopen Conference wrestlers in the semifinals.

Smyrna’s four top seeds, Joey Natarcola (106), Nick Natarcola (132), Josh Dailey (182) and Wuest (195), all moved on. Jaxson Al-Chokhachy (113), Greg Baum (145) and J.T. Davis will also represent the Eagles in the semifinals.

Division I dual meet champions Caesar Rodney has four wrestlers remaining including a pair of former state champions in Cam Hayes at 126 and Jackson Dean at 138. Kevin Bowne (113) and Kevin Hudson (285) also advanced Friday.

Milford, the Division II dual meet winners, has three wrestlers in the semifinals. Robbie Rosser (120) and Anthony Diaz (220) were both seeded first and won their two matches. Eric Bennett joined them in the semifinals in the 195-pound bracket.

Indian River’s Will Rayne (top) defeated Milford’s Trenton Grant in the 113-pound match.

Polytech also placed three in the semifinals. Top-seeded Avery Mayan (160) advanced along with Kennel Decembre (138) and Evan Harris (170) for the Panthers.

Sussex Central (Mason Ankrom at 106, Rashad Stratton at 132, Mike Wright at 182) and Laurel (Woo Fosque at 126, Gabriel Degraffinreed at 132, Rae’Mier DeShields at 182) each have three wrestlers still alive.

The hosts, Cape Henlopen, has a pair of wrestlers in the semifinals — Anthony Caruso (126) and Chris Handlin (170). Sussex Tech (Andrew Hawkins at 220 and Jamie Schirmer at 285) and Indian River (Will Rayne at 113 and Ta’jon Knight at 120) also have two wrestlers remaining.

Kristopher Thompson, a 195-pounder from Lake Forest, rounds out the Henlopen Conference semifinalists.

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