Two titles for Dover at Henlopen Conference wrestling

DOVER — Anthony Fisher bolted off the mat and into the waiting arms of coach Aaron Harris.

In mere seconds he was enveloped by Dover High teammates and friends who ran out of the stands for a hug.

Fisher continued down toward one of the doors of the gym, shaking hands and slapping high-fives with a growing crowd on his way. But Fisher kept heading to the hallway, he was looking for someone.

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He finally found his teammate, Tykwan Joyner who was crouched down on the white wall near the entranceway. Fisher knelt down and gave Joyner, who had just lost in his championship match two bouts early, a hug.

“He was in tears and I told him, ‘This is all for you;” Fisher said. “This feels amazing. I went out there and the whole time I was thinking I was doing this for Tykwan.”

Fisher’s upset for the 132-pound title at the Henlopen Conference wrestling championship on Saturday was the start of a banner day for Dover.

Nick Lee was next on the mat at 138 pounds. Like Fisher, he was going against a top seed.

Fisher’s task was a little tougher though. He had to knock off a defending state champion, Smyrna’s Chase Archangelo.

Watching Fisher do that gave Lee even more confidence and he earned a 2-1 decision. That gave Dover multiple individual conference champions for the first time since the Senators had five in 1994.

“It’s crazy,” Lee said. “My workout room is right over there where I put all the hard work in. Then my best friend wins over the No. 1 kid in that state, that fired me up even more.”

“When you think of Dover wrestling you don’t usually think of conference champions,” Lee added. “We’re trying to help put it back on the map. Seeing Fisher after, hugging each other with tears coming out of our lives, that’s the greatest moment of my life right there.”

Smyrna took home the team title and had the second-most individual champions with three. Sussex Central had four winners — Rashad Stratton (126), Justin Bennett (145), Brandon Bautista (152) and Lucas Hudson (170).

Aside from Dover’s two wins, the loudest the gym got was in the final match of the night between Smryna’s Tony Wuest and Caesar Rodney’s Mike Clavier.

Clavier earned the first two points of the contest with a takedown in the first 30 seconds. Wuest worked for an escape, then when Clavier rushed at him, was able to execute a toss to bring Clavier to his back and record a pin in 55 seconds.

“It was very stressful,” Wuest said. “But I like when people watch me be that last match though because everybody watches that last match. Most people panic when they’re down but I just tried to stick to the gameplan. I felt his pressure and I knew I couldn’t let that chance go.”

Wuest avenged a loss to Clavier via a decision during a dual meet in the regular season.

That was a theme on Saturday, Fisher had fell to Archangelo twice earlier this year. The first time he faced him, Harris had left a note in his warmup pocket.

The note said, “If you believe in yourself as much as I do, you’ll win.”

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Before his final match, Harris called Fisher over on the mat as they both took a knee for some words of encouragement.

“I said that again,” Harris said. “This is an excellent day for those two.”

Fisher looked to have a 2-1 decision but was called for stalling in the final seconds. It sent the match to overtime and Fisher was able to earn a takedown for the decisive two points much to the delight of the home crowd.

“I couldn’t breathe because I was cheering for him so much,” Lee said. “It pushed me to the next level.”

“I had nothing to lose,” Fisher said. “He had beaten me twice, Chase is a great wrestler but I kept fighting and I never quit.”

 

Greg Baum won his first career conference title at 120 pounds and Kalen Wilson earned his second championship to join Wuest as Smyrna’s winners. Wuest was also named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.

Cam Hayes (113) was the lone winner from Caesar Rodney. Milford had two champions Kenny VanVorst (182) and Dom Hovington (220).

Cape Henlopen’s Anthony Caruso won the 106 title as a freshman while Woodbridge’s Dom Pierce needed overtime to earn the heavyweight title.

Follow @TimMastroDSN on Twitter.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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