Wrestling notebook: Smyrna and Caravel looking tough in dual meet tournaments

Smyrna’s Gabe Giampietro. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

SMYRNA — The DIAA dual meet state tournaments always can be unpredictable. But this year there are a couple of heavy favorites.

Smyrna High and Caravel Academy are the top seeds and front-runners for the Division I and Division II state titles respectively. So far, the tournament has gone all chalk.

The action resumes Saturday at Smyrna with the Division II semifinals at 2 p.m. The Division I semifinals are scheduled for 4 p.m. while the two finals will take place simultaneously at 6 p.m.

Smyrna is unbeaten against all Delaware opposition and has already beaten each team remaining in the Division I tournament in Sussex Central, Milford and Salesianum.

Still, anything can happen on the mat, which Smyrna knows. The Eagles welcome the pressure that comes with being the defending state champions.

“I love the pressure,” said sophomore Gabe Giampietro. “I love having a target on our back because that means no one is in front of us. Everyone is gunning for us.”

If Smyrna wins its semifinal matchup against fourth-seeded Sussex Central, it will be the ninth consecutive trip to the finals for the Eagles. Smyrna has won five state championships in that time span.

Milford, the two seed, will face No. 3 Salesianum in the other Division I semifinal matchup.

Caravel is favored on the Division II side. The Buccaneers have only lost twice to Delaware teams this year and both those losses are against Division I opponents (Smyrna and Milford).

Caravel has also defeated the Division II second seed, Woodbridge, twice this season.

Woodbridge will meet No. 3 Laurel in Saturday’s semifinal. Caravel is facing fourth-seeded Delaware Military Academy.

Strong end for Polytech

Polytech might have fallen short of the Division I state duals but the Panthers made sure to end their season on a high note.
Polytech won its final three matches, all last weekend.

The weekend was highlighted by a Friday night 37-36 victory over Woodbridge, which is the second seed in the Division II state tournament.

The Panthers trailed heading into the final match but senior Dylan Craighton bumped up to heavyweight on senior night and earned the pin with a minute left in the third period to win the bout for Polytech. It was Craighton’s first match back after an injury which required surgery.

Polytech went on to defeat Dover 52-18 and Wilmington Charter 52-21 in a tri-meet on Saturday to end the year with six dual meet victories.

Bonus points

• Lake Forest senior Kristopher Thompson won the 100th match of his career on Wednesday.

• Of the eight first round matchups across the two state tournaments, all were rematches from the regular season. The winning team from regular season won every tournament match as well.

• Three of the four semifinalists in Division I are from the Henlopen North. The last time the Division I championship match featured a team not from the Henlopen North was when St. Mark’s lost to Caesar Rodney in the finals in 2011.