Smyrna wrestlers pin North loss on Riders

Since falling in the 2012 state championship match to Caesar Rodney, the Eagles have owned wrestling in Delaware.

And they’ve gotten the upper hand on their biggest rival, just down the road.

Smyrna used six pins and a pair of technical falls for a 52-15 win at Caesar Rodney in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division contest on Wednesday night.

Smyrna’s margin of victory was its largest against the Riders in recent memory.

The Eagles (2-0 North, 5-1 overall) have now won five-straight against CR, including the last two state-title bouts. Smyrna coach Kurt Howell said that’s the Eagles’ longest winning streak against CR that he can remember.

“We’ve spent about 10 years trying to get there,” Howell said. “Two years ago was nice and last year was sweet. It’s nice to come in here and get a win like this. Hopefully we can keep right on rolling and roll right through to states.”

Smyrna went ahead 17-12 after the first six matches before the Eagles turned it on in the latter stages of the dual, winning six in a row and seven of the final eight matches.

That stretch included consecutive pins by Cole Sebastianelli (120 pounds), Nate Bryant (126) and Dakota Kerr (132). The run was started by Chase Archangelo’s tech-fall at 113 pounds and was finished by Larsen Wilson’s 7-4 decision at 145.

Smyrna’s instate winning streak is now at 27 straight matches.

“I guess we’re the best team in the state right now because no one has come close to us yet,” said Ronnie Wuest, one of two seniors on Smyrna’s roster. “Our closest match has been McDonogh (of Maryland) and they’re not even in our conference.”

“We have a really balanced team,” Howell said. “If you have a weak spot on your team, we’re going to find it. It’s happened in all of our dual meets. We’re not the greatest tournament team, but in dual meets we can put together some good ones.”

Smyrna had five freshmen competing on Wednesday and four of them were able to earn victories.

None were more exciting than Kerr’s performance. He brought the Smyrna cheering section to its feet with a quick takedown, using an ankle pick maneuver within in the first two seconds of his match.

He then picked up a first-round pin with a reverse somersault, holding on to his opponent the entire way to be in perfect position to make sure the shoulders were down as he came to the top.

“He had momentum coming into me, so as soon as I had that I knew I was going to get it,” Kerr said. “That was it. I had control of his head and his arm so he was kind of stuck with momentum coming forward.”

Hunter Moyer, another freshman, was victorious at 138 pounds with a 5-2 decision. Not only was it Moyer’s first varsity match, but it was also his birthday on Wednesday.

“They’re two opposite wrestlers,” Howell said. “Hunter is very conservative while Kerr likes to swing for the fences. He’s a Babe Ruth. We had a few young guys have some real nice matches.”

Freshman Larsen Wilson won via decision, 7-4, at 145 and freshman Tony Wuest had a pin in the first round of his match at 195.

Ronnie Wuest started things with a tech-fall at 170 and the night was finished with Eli Hutchinson (160) getting a pin.

Caesar Rodney (1-3 North, 4-9 overall) was led by Mason Harrington’s pin at 106. The Riders got decisions from Mike Clavier (182), Troy McNally (285) and Chase Mounts (152).

“I would have liked to give up a few less pins but the guys fought hard and that’s all you can ask for,” said CR interim coach Chris Harris. “They’ve been working hard in the room and getting better. It’s just Smyrna is a great team.”

Staff writer Tim Mastro can be reached at tmastro@newszap.com or 741-8224. Follow @TimMastroDSNon Twitter.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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