Riders record 8 pins to win wrestling opener 48-27 over host St. Georges

MIDDLETOWN — Some stars are back, but some holes still need filling for the Caesar Rodney High wrestling team.

The Riders graduated a handful of seniors from last year’s state runner-up squad.

They got their first glimpse at who will step into those spots on Friday night.

Caesar Rodney used eight pins to down St. Georges 48-27 in a road nonconference dual meet in the Riders’ first matchup of the season. Every match the Riders won came via a pin.

“It’s just figuring out who the next guy up is,” said Caesar Rodney coach Dan Rigby. “That’s kind of the mantra of CR. Who’s the next guy? Some of these guys have been on JV for a year or two years and now it’s their time to shine. They got to make the most of it because there’s someone waiting behind them too.”

Caesar Rodney has reached the Division I state dual meet finals each of the last two years, facing Smyrna High both times. The Riders won the state title in 2018 but fell by three points last February.

Rigby said he was pleased the Riders were able to open this season against a team like St. Georges, typically a contender for the Blue Hen Conference Flight A championship.

“St. Georges is a really tough team,” Rigby said. “They’re well-coached and a state tournament team the last couple of years. We knew it would be a tough battle for us. We lost a lot of seniors, which is tough, but we wanted to see what our young guys can do. Some of them showed up and some have some work to do. But we know where we stand right now so that’s a positive.”

Five of Caesar Rodney’s pins Friday night came from underclassmen.

Freshman Cameron Cataldi started the matchup with a pin at 106 pounds. Two sophomores would get in on the pinning parade with Dawson Mitchell at 126 pounds and Shamar Nelson at 195 pounds.

Junior Dane Wilson recorded a pin in his 160-pound bout. That capped a run of four straight falls.

The run started thanks to some of Caesar Rodney’s key returners.

Caleb Adamowicz (138), Pat Wisniewski (145) and Jackson Dean (152) each earned pins. All three are seniors who wrestled in the state final last season, while Dean is a two-time state champion and Wisniewski is a multi-year starter.

Adamowicz was in and out of the lineup last year depending on how the Riders moved their star wrestlers around. Rigby said he will be relied on a lot this season.

“He did a really nice job,” Rigby said. “He’s a guy who has gone through the ringer with everything. He’s always been behind Patrick Wisniewski and Jackson Dean. He’s a senior now and has his time to shine. He’s a stud so I was glad to see him come out the way he did tonight.”

Caesar Rodney also returns former state champion Kevin Hudson at heavyweight.

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