Smyrna, CR shine at Henlopen wrestling

Smyrna’s Tony Wuest keeps control over Eric Bennett of Milford to win the 195-pound championship with a fall in the first period.. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

MILFORD — With time running out, Kevin Hudson went for it all in overtime.

Hudson, of Caesar Rodney High, was one of two freshmen to take home a title at the Henlopen Conference individual wrestling championships on Saturday night, hosted by Milford High.

Smyrna High had the most individual champions with six out of the 14. Caesar Rodney recorded three titles.

Hudson was the first one of the night for the Riders in the heavyweight matchup. He went into overtime tied at 1-1 before falling behind 2-1 but rallied to take a 4-2 decision.

Kevin Hudson of Caesar Rodney won by decision 4-2 in overtime in heavyweight match with. Sussex Tech’s Jamie Schirmer. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

“It’s the greatest feeling,” Hudson said. “I’ve never felt like that. I came in as a freshman and the coaches were talking to me, telling me I could do it. I put the work in the practice room and put my mind to it and just kept going.”

Hudson let up an escape point in the second overtime period, but heard assistant coach Steve Bilbrough yelling before the 30-second period ended.

Anthony Diaz of Milford leaps into the air to celebrate his overtime 3-2 decision over Cape’s William Ott in the 220-pound bout.. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

“He said go for the double leg and I went,” Hudson said. “It was open. I don’t practice it at all, I barely did it all season. I just went for it.”

Cam Hayes (126 pounds) and Jackson Dean (138) also won a championship for Caesar Rodney. Both won for the second year in a row while Hayes earned a decision and Dean recorded a pin.

Smyrna not crowned six winners, but two of them are brothers.

Freshman Joey Natarcola won via pin at 106 pounds while junior Nick Natarcola earned a late takedown in the third period for the 132-pound title.

Nick Natarcola’s matchup was the only one of the night to feature two former state champions. Sussex Central’s Rashad Stratton led by a point until Natarcola was able to get control to move ahead while staying inbounds with six seconds left in the match.

That gave Natarcola a 5-3 victory.

“I knew he was going to give it his all but I had a really good week of practice,” Nick Natarcola said. “I did what my coaches had me doing, stuck with it and came up big.”

Nick Natarcola of the Eagles scored a takedown in the final seconds of the 132-pound bout to decision Sussex Central’s Rashad Stratton 5-3. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

Joey Natarcola credited the Smyrna Little Wrestlers organization for preparing him for his high school career. He was part of Little Wrestlers for 12 years, which helped turn him into a conference champion as a freshman.

“It’s expected,” he said.

Joey Natarcola went before Nick Natarcola. So the older brother joked he needed match him otherwise Joey Natarcola would hold the bragging rights in the family.

“If he had one and I didn’t, I would hear about it for the next year,” laughed Nick Natarcola. “I’m so proud of him and I know he’s going to do big things. It’s awesome, words can’t event describe it.”

Greg Baum (145) and Tony Wuest (195) each won their championships with a pin for Smyrna. The two other winners for Smyrna were Dakota Kerr, who earned a major-decision at 170, and Josh Dailey, who won the 182-pound match via decision.

Milford’s 152-pounder Khiry Hovington trying to escape hold of Drew Morris of Sussex Central. Morris won by decision 5-3.. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

Wuest pinned his way through the tournament to now give him 104 pins in his career.

“It’s nice to finish off on top,” Wuest said. “It’s good to keep continuing what I’ve been doing all year. There’s some things I’d like to tune up (before states). We’ll see how next week unfolds.”

Milford posted a pair of winners as Robbie Rosser had a decision victory at 120 pounds while Anthony Diaz (220) needed overtime to win 3-2 after an ultimate tiebreaker.

Avery Mayan of Polytech overcame two consecutive years of falling in the semifinals by one point to pick up his first conference championship. Mayan did it with a pin in the 160-pound championship match.

“It’s pretty relieving to be honest,” Mayan said. “Losing by one point each time the last two years has been horrible. But now, with a pin in finals, it’s pretty sweet.”

Will Rayne of Indian River and Drew Morris of Sussex Central rounded out the individual champions.

Rayne won his 113-pound bout with an 8-4 decision while Morris won an overtime matchup with a takedown in the first overtime period.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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