Smyrna continues winning streak over CR

 

Greg Baum of Smyrna goes low to try and lift Greg Baum of Caesar Rodney in the 152-pound match Saturday night. Baum won by decision 5-3. (Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

SMYRNA — In classic Smyrna-Caesar Rodney fashion, Saturday night’s dual meet came down to the wire.

But the Eagles won enough matches down the stretch to keep up their recent winning streak over the Riders.

Smyrna edged Caesar Rodney 33-25 for a Henlopen Conference Northern Division victory. The Eagles have not lost to CR since 2012.

While eight different wrestlers won a match for Smyrna, coach Kurt Howell had to single out one for a clutch performance.

Jaxson Al-Chokhachy, Smyrna’s 113-pounder, wrestled the last three minutes of his match with an injured knee. Al-Chokhachy had to be carried off the mat after earning a 7-5 decision.

“It was a match we needed to win,” he said. “I knew I had to stay out there. I knew I could gut it out. It hurt a lot but I’ve wrestled that kid before so I knew what I needed to do to keep him rolling around and keep him off that leg.”

Howell said Al-Chokhachy asked to finish the match before Howell could see if he was O.K.

“Jaxson was the key,” Howell said. “If you don’t have that match, you don’t have this win. He wrestled for three minutes on one leg. That’s unbelievable. That’s the kind of character you want out of these kids.”

The dual meet was still up for grabs headed into the last match before Nick Natarcola sealed it for the Eagles with a takedown in overtime to win via decision.

Smyrna’s Joshua Dailey scores back points against CR’s Paul Hicks and won by a decision for the Eagles. (Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Smyrna led 27-4 until the Riders won five of six matches to pull within a possible pin of taking the lead.

CR was paced by heavyweight Kevin Hudson and Cam Hayes (126) who recorded pins. Jackson Dean (138) and Mike Primo (120) picked up major decisions while Brenden Holder (220) and Pat Wisniewski (106) had decisions.

Jack Davis (160) and Tony Wuest (195) provided the pins for Smyrna. The Eagles also got six points for a forfeit at 145 and a major decision from Josh Bailey (182) while Greg Baum (152) and Dakota Kerr (170) won via decisions.

It was the season finale for Smyrna who wrapped up the year at 11-4 overall. The Eagles will host the state dual meet tournament next Saturday.

“We didn’t have our best night but we pulled it together in the end and got the win,” Howell said. “To me that’s not the most important thing, we have to go back to the drawing board and focus on what we’re doing right. We’ve got to have some long hard talks this week and work on some things.”

 

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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