Host Bucs grab team title at Milford Invitational

Gabe Giampietro of Smyrna keeps control of Milford’s Corey Messic in the 106-pound championship match at Milford. Giampietro won by decision 6-4. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

MILFORD — Jacob Bryant won the rock, paper, scissors battle, but Anthony Diaz won the battle on the mat.

It was a fitting way to end the annual Milford Invitational wrestling tournament Saturday night, as Milford High wrestling teammates Bryant and Diaz faced each other in the first-place match of the 285-pound weight class.

“We knew we were going to face each other at the end,” said Diaz. “We tried to take it serious, but it was fun. I love winning at home, it’s the best thing to do.”

After lining up across from one another prior to the start of the match, the two teammates played a friendly game of rock, paper, scissors prior to getting down to business.

Anthony Caruso of Cape Henlopen won by default over Laurel’s Woo Fosque in their 132-pound match.

“I think he won the rock, paper, scissors,” Diaz said, with a laugh. “He won that battle.”

“Obviously, it’s great, that means we have two of the top heavyweights in the state. It’s exciting to see my two guys there. It was kind of comical – the rock, paper, scissors to start things off – obviously they’re friends with one another,” said Milford coach Don Parsley.

“It was a typical Diaz match,” Parsley continued. “Staying in good position, looking for an opportunity and capitalizing on his opponent’s mistake. It was nice, we didn’t get shut out, we were guaranteed a champion tonight.”

A 10-4 decision for Diaz earned him the individual title at 285 and put the finishing touches on the Bucs’ first-place team finish, with 271 points. Smyrna High grabbed second place with 249.5 team points.

Mason Ankrom of Sussex Central scored a 6-0 decision over Milford’s Trent Grant in the 120-pound match.

Though he typically wrestles in the 220-pound class, Diaz has wrestled at 285 so far this season until he’s able to get back down to the 220 class.

Milford’s tournament win comes just one week after taking first place at the Polytech Invitational Dec. 1.

While Diaz was Milford’s lone first-place finisher, the Bucs had six second-place finishes to go along with it.

Bryant, sophomore Corey Messick (106-pound class), freshman Jack Thode (113), sophomore Trenton Grant (120), freshman Tim O’Hara (126) and junior Gaij Copes (170) placed second in their respective weight classes.

“The younger guys are hungry and ready to compete against anybody. They don’t care who it is,” said Diaz. “We’re trying to work off the rust and just get better and better every single day.”

Smyrna’s Bryce Mullen won by injury default against Wyatt McMullen of St. George’s in the 145–pound match Saturday.

Second-place Smyrna had four individual champions, including the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler winner Jack Davis.

“Any time you can beat Smyrna, that’s a pretty good day,” said Parsley. “They’re certainly a quality team.”

Freshman Gabe Giampietro narrowly defeated Milford’s Messick, earning a 6-4 decision, to snag the 106-pound title.

Senior Nick Natarcola pinned Laurel’s Isaiah Jenkins in the first period to grab the title in the 138-pound class. He finished the two-day tournament with a 5-0 record with five pins.

Freshman Bryce Mullen, leading 2-0 in the first period, defeated Wyatt McMullen of St. George’s by injury default to take home the 145-pound title.

Davis, a junior, pinned Hodgson Vo-Tech’s Daiquan Chambers in the first period of the 182-pound match to earn Smyrna’s fourth individual title. He finished the weekend with a 6-0 record with six first period pins.

Sussex Central High had one champion, with sophomore Mason Ankrom defeating Milford’s Trenton Grant by 6-0 decision in the 120-pound match.

Cape Henlopen High earned a pair of first-place finishes as Anthony Caruso (132) defeated Laurel High’s Woo Fosque by 7-0 decision and Chris Handlin (195) defeated William Penn’s Nasir Dreuitt by 8-2 decision.

Cassidy Chas of Middletown (113), Sebastian Sye of St. George’s (126), Doug Markland (152) and Liam O’Connor (160) of Delcastle, Brian Schneider (170) of Middletown and Servante Seda (220) of Hodgson Vo-Tech round out the 14 weight class champions.

“Smyrna didn’t have all their starters, Sussex Central just came off a football championship, so it’s not truly what we’re going to see throughout the season but it’s still nice to come out here and have the success that we did this weekend,” Parsley said.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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