Smyrna wrestlers crush Sussex Central 52-22

Smyrna’s Andrew DeBenedictis-Bayne battles Tyler Karr of Sussex Central towards a pin in the 1st period at heavyweight. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

SMYRNA — Andrew DeBenedictis-Bayne received a rare chance to be the first wrestler on the mat Wednesday evening.

The Smyrna High senior heavyweight used it to ignite his team.

DeBenedictis-Bayne started a streak of three consecutive pins to begin Smyrna’s dual meet, leading to a 52-22 victory over Sussex Central High in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division matchup. The Eagles opened the Henlopen North portion of its schedule at 1-0 and moved to 4-0 overall.

DeBenedictis-Bayne is used to being the last match at the 285-pound weight class. But after the pre-match coin toss, found out the 285-pounders would be first on the mat Wednesday.

“As soon as I heard I was first match I got so pumped,” DeBenedictis-Bayne said. “It’s something I’ve never had before.”

Gabe Giampietro of the Eagles seconds away from pinning Sussex Central’s Dylan King in the 2nd period in the 113-pound match.

He earned a third-period pin to give Smyrna the first six points of the bout.

When the match flipped over to the lightweights, Garrett Hudson (106 pounds) and Gabe Giampietro (113) also earned pins for the Eagles. Smyrna ended up winning seven of the first eight matches to get out to a 37-4 advantage.

“Guys feed off of stuff like that,” said Smyrna coach Aaron Harris of how the night started. “Andrew gets the pin, 106 goes out hype and he gets the pin and it keeps rolling up the lineup. It was definitely big to start off 18-0.”

Even more impressive for DeBenedictis-Bayne was the fact he trailed 2-0 going into the third period the opening match against Sussex Central’s Tyler Karr.

DeBenedictis-Bayne began the third period in the top position and was able to grab hold of an arm. He slowly was able to rotate into pinning position and the pin was recorded with 47 seconds left in the match.

“Being down, I had only two minutes to work,” DeBenedictis-Bayne said. “That’s where I have to go harder than I did in the first and second period.”

Amir Pierce (132), Joey Natarcola (145), J.T. Davis (182) and Hugo Harp (220) also added pins for the Eagles. Davis had the quickest pin, needing just 37 seconds to pick up the six points.

Garrett Hudson of Smyrna trying to put Sussex Central’s Kenneth Taylor on his back in the 106-pound match. Hudson won with a fall in the 1st period.

Pierce also earned a first-period pin, in only 46 seconds.

“I like to get off the mat as quick as possible,” Pierce said with a chuckle.

It was the first defeat of the year for Sussex Central, which dropped to 4-1 overall (2-1 Henlopen North).

The Golden Knights were paced by Jevon Saffold (152) and Terrance Frisby (195), who contributed pins. Mason Ankrom had a major-decision at 126 and Tarryl Sturgis won via forfeit at 160 to round out the scoring for Sussex Central.

Isaiah Jenkins (138) added a major-decision for Smyrna while Jamar Wells (120) and Gavin Sembly (170) each won their matches by decision. Smyrna earned bonus points in eight of its 10 victories.

“Not to take away anything from Sussex Central but we know what we do and we focus on what we do well,” Harris said. “What we do well is train in the other part of the building. When we come in here, this is the easy part. Sussex Central is a tough team, a tough program and so is the rest of the Henlopen Conference, but we work hard.”