Milford pins Bulldogs 68-6 in state title rematch

Milford sophomore Trent Grant pinned Laurel’s Kyler Weaver with 14 seconds remaining in the second period of the 120-pound match Wednesday night. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

MILFORD — Before Wednesday night’s Henlopen South dual-meet between Laurel High and Milford High even truly got underway, the Buccaneers had already built up an 18-point lead.

A trio of Laurel forfeits in the 195, 220 and 285-pound matches to begin the meet led to the early 18-0 lead, and Milford used that momentum to cruise to a 68-6 victory.

“I’m a little disappointed, I thought Laurel was going to come in with more bodies,” explained Milford coach Don Parsley. “Certainly the Christmas holiday is tough — they haven’t competed since before the Christmas break — and it doesn’t matter what team you’re on, good, bad or indifferent, it’s tough to get kids to practice and do what they need to do [over break].”

In total, Milford earned four wins by forfeit and recorded six pins, a technical fall and a decision to remain unbeaten at 4-0 on the season and 3-0 in Henlopen South competition.

It took just 1:32 for Milford sophomore Corey Messick to pin Laurel’s Cody Drummond in the 106-pound match.

“It’s unfortunate we didn’t get a full house, but at the end of the day we went out there and did our thing,” Parsley continued. “My goal is for our kids to go out there and wrestle hard and that’s what they did tonight.”

Sophomore Corey Messick (106-pound class), freshman Jack Thode (113), sophomore Trent Grant (120), freshman Tim O’Hara (126), sophomore Rafael Mejia (170) and junior Bevensky Augustin (182) recorded the pins for the Bucs.

“The forfeits didn’t change our strategy at all. We just went out there and put in the work we’ve been practicing all week,” Grant said. “A lot of our practice is just finishing and making sure we get into a position to finish and we did that perfectly tonight. That’s all we needed.”

The win, a rematch of last year’s Division II dual-meet state championship match in which the Bucs won 38-28, avenged Milford’s 38-37 regular season loss to the same Bulldogs last January.

Milford freshman Dalton Deevey earned a 17-2 technical fall over Laurel’s Jett Furbush in the 152-pound match.

That match was in the back of the minds of at least a few of Milford’s wrestlers Wednesday night.

“I think we all thought about it when we came out here and wrestled,” Grant said of last year’s loss. “This is the rematch we wanted, we wanted to do the same thing they did against us last year and that’s what we did. We came out and just wrestled.”

“It was on my mind a little bit, but I try not to think about that too much,” said Messick, who pinned Laurel’s Cody Drummond in just 1:32. “We just went out there and took care of business.”

Milford junior Jordan Passwaters (145) earned a 6-3 decision over Laurel’s Chase Phippin and freshman Dalton Deevey (152) earned a 17-2 technical fall over Laurel’s Jett Furbush.

Woo Fosque (132) and Isaiah Jenkins (138) earned Laurel’s only two individual wins with a pair of decisions.

Fosque defeated freshman Averi Copes by 10-4 decision and Jenkins defeated junior Dominic Feightner by 7-1 decision.

Milford freshman Jack Thode pinned Laurel’s Josh Hudson just 16 seconds into the second period of the 113-pound match on Wednesday.

Senior Eric Bennett (195), junior Anthony Diaz (220), senior Jacob Bryant (285) and junior Gaij Copes (160) were credited with the wins by forfeit for Milford.

With six dual-meets left on the schedule – three against Henlopen North schools and three against Henlopen South schools – there’s still a lot of wrestling left this season. But so far, Parsley has liked the progress he’s seen from his younger wrestlers.

Particularly the underclassmen at the top of the lineup.

“They’re a talented group,” Parsley said. “I really like the way they work, I like the way they train, and I like the way they compete, so I’m really happy with that,” he said.

Even with a 62-point conference win, Parsley noticed a few things he’d like to work on heading into another crucial Henlopen South dual-meet against unbeaten Indian River High (5-0) next Wednesday night.

“From the technical side, we hit a lot of near cradles today and we probably could’ve finished them a little bit better,” he said. “So, I can tell you we’re going to go back into the room and talk about the little things.”

“There’s always ways to improve,” said Messick. “We have a lot of work to do still, this is just the beginning. This is definitely a stepping stone to the state duals.”

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