Wrestling notebook: Senators snap 22-year drought vs. Riders with dual-meet tourney win

The streak almost ended last Friday night.

But after waiting more than 20 years to beat Caesar Rodney High in wrestling, Dover High needed to wait three more days.

When Dover upset fourth-seeded CR on Tuesday night in the first round of the DIAA Division I state dual meet tournament, it was the Senators’ first win over their crosstown rivals since Feb. 3, 1995.

Dover coach Aaron Harris knows the rivalry as well as anyone. In that 1995 matchup, Harris was a sophomore on the Caesar Rodney squad.

Now he’s at the forefront of Dover’s turnaround in his third year as head coach. He’s taken the Senators from a 5-8 record the year before he accepted the head coaching job to a 12-5 performance this year and an appearance in the state semifinals.

The victory over CR shows just how far Dover has come in these three years.

“It means we’ve started something great,” Harris said. “By no means are we satisfied. It’s great to do something that hasn’t happened in so long but we want to do it continuously. We don’t want a drought like that again.”

There are only five seniors on the Dover roster, all of whom will finish their careers with the Henlopen Conference tournament this weekend at Sussex Central, then the state individual tournament next weekend at Dover.

Two seniors, Anthony Fisher and Nick Lee, are defending conference champions. Harris said it’s the senior class’s work ethic which has helped lead the Senators to this impressive season.

“When they’re out there I can look at the younger guys who make up the majority of our team and be like, ‘Hey that’s what it should look like,’”  Harris said. “They do a great job. It’s going to hurt to lose them but I’m confident we have some studs behind them that are just going to fill in and we won’t miss a beat.”

Smyrna looks to rebound

Smyrna’s run of four consecutive Division I state championships came to a close on Tuesday when the Eagles were knocked off by Sussex Central in the finals.

So while the team state title is officially out of reach, Smyrna should still be well-represented in the individual tournaments.

There are four former individual state champions on the Smyrna roster — Greg Baum, Chase Archangelo, Larsen Wilson and Tony Wuest.

“We just got to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps,” said Smyrna coach Kurt Howell. “There’s still some wrestling to do. Unfortunately we didn’t win the state tournament but this is the only thing we can’t win anymore. We’ve got to regroup and maybe we can get a consolation prize.”

Bonus points

• With one win on Tuesday, Indian River’s Zeke Marcozzi tied the school record for most career victories with 127. He currently shares the record with Mike Magaha but will have a chance to beat it this weekend.

• First round matchups of the Henlopen Conference Championship Meet begin today at 5 p.m. tonight at Sussex Central. The semifinals will be Saturday at 11 a.m. and the finals are scheduled for Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for a single session, $10 for Saturday’s two sessions or $15 for a two-day ticket.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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