Hard work pays off for Milford’s Grant

MILFORD — Trenton Grant wanted to make wrestling a priority this season.

And the results on the mat have followed.

The Milford High junior celebrated the first Henlopen Conference championship of his career last weekend. Grant also is seed first in the 126-pound weight class at the DIAA individual state wrestling tournament which will be held this Friday and Saturday at Cape Henlopen High.

Grant credits a new attitude in the wrestling room for his success this year.

“I used to come to practice and hate being at practice,” Grant said. “This year, I’m happy to be there and I’m ready to work and get better. Obviously it resulted in this (conference championship) win right here and hopefully it can result in a state championship.”

Grant qualified for the individual state tournament each of first two years at Milford.

He was seeded eighth at 113 in 2018 and seventh at 120 a year ago. Both times he won his first round match but fell in the second round to go into the consolation brackets.

Grant has already won 41 matches this year on his way to earning the No. 1 seed. He said realizing high school wrestling won’t last forever helped him refocus for the season.

“It’s my junior year, this is the time to go,” Grant said. “I’ve got to take this seriously. My sophomore year, my freshman year I was thinking, ‘I got time, I can get better.’ I realized that if I kept thinking like that, I’m not going to get better. I had to change things within myself and that’s what I did.”

Grant knew he was going to have to earn his conference title.

He faced Sussex Central’s Mason Ankrom, a former state champion, in the finals. The two have wrestled numerous times over the last few seasons.

They met in the Milford-Sussex Central dual meet earlier this year and Grant was trailing before he recorded a pin. Grant said he wanted to make sure he did not fall behind in the rematch last Saturday.

“That win felt nice and all but he was beating me,” Grant said. “So I didn’t want it to be like that again because then people could go around and say, ‘Oh, he just caught him.’ The whole match my goal was to not let him score on me this time.”

Grant said the fact he can win against a wrestler like Ankrom shows how far he has come in a year. He was winless against Ankrom until this season.

“He beat me every time last year,” Grant said. “Now I didn’t catch him or anything, I beat him. Nothing feels better than that.”