Wrestling notebook: Longtime Knights coach Phil Shultie stepping down

One of the state’s longest tenured coaches is retiring.

Sussex Central High announced this week this will be Phil Shultie’s last season as head coach. His top assistant Chip Illian will also be stepping down with him.

Shultie will be honored with a ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 8, between the 4 p.m. match with Indian River and the 6:30 p.m. match with Dover.

Shultie has amassed more than 400 career victories since he took over as head coach in 1976. He replaced the legendary Herm Bastianelli, who coached Shultie in high school with the Golden Knights.

“Herm started it and I think we’ve kept the tradition alive,” Shultie was quoted in the State News after he won No. 400. “I hope whoever comes after me will continue to keep it going.”

Phil Shultie has amassed more than 400 career victories since he took over as Sussex Central head coach in 1976. (Delaware State News file photo)

Shultie won the Division I state championship with the Golden Knights in 2008. He helped lead them to a runner-up finish a year ago, the fourth second-place finish all-time (1995, 1999, 2010).

This season Sussex Central is 4-1.

Weekend roundup

Two Kent County teams had solid performances in invitationals this past weekend.

Smyrna took home the team title at the Lancer Invitational in Pennslyvania while Dover was second at the Canal Classic hosted by Middletown High. Sussex Central won the team title at the Canal Classic.

Smyrna netted 282.5 points, thanks to placing 10 wrestlers in the finals, far ahead of second-place Archbishop Ryan (188).

The Eagles were led by bracket-winners Nick Natarcola at 120 pounds, J.T. Davis at 138, Chase Archangelo at 145, Nate Bryant at 152, Larsen Wilson at 170, Hunter Moyer at 182 and Elijah Taylor at heavyweight.

At the Canal Classic, Dover was paced by individual winners Anthony Fisher (138) and Nick Lee (145). The Senators recorded 172.5 points, behind only Sussex Central who had 286 points and six champions.

The Golden Knights were led by champions Javon Saffold (106), Rashad Stratton (126), Blake Chambers (170), Lucas Hudson (182), Michael Wright (195) and Johnny Morris (220).

Polytech also had one individual winner — Avery Mayan at 160 pounds.

Bonus points

• Smyrna and Milford, the defending state champions in Division I and Division II respectively, will square off tonight at Milford (6:30 p.m.). Smyrna narrowly defeated the Buccaneers a year ago, 32-30.

• Dover, Polytech and Laurel will all wrestle each other in dual meets at Polytech on Saturday with the action beginning at 10 a.m.

• Polytech High will host its annual Novice Wrestling Championships on Feb. 12. This is a tournament for novice wrestlers trying to gain confidence in the sport and is open to wrestlers ages 4-13. Walk-ins are welcome and applications can be requested by contacting Eric Buckson at eric.buckson @polytech.k12.de.us.

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