Wrestling notebook: Smyrna even stronger as wrestlers from football team get into shape

If the Smyrna High wrestling team didn’t appear to be running on all cylinders at the beginning of the season, there was a good reason for that.

The Eagles had some wrestlers on the football team which won the Division I state championship for the second year in a row. It took them a little while to work their way into wrestling shape.

But Wednesday night showed the Eagles are back at the level Delaware is used to seeing. Smyrna defeated Cape Henlopen 47-12 in a matchup which could decide the Henlopen Conference championship.

Hunter Moyer, a defensive end on the football team and Smyrna’s 182-pound wrestler, said this week he’s seen a noticeable improvement out of Smyrna, starting at last weekend’s Virginia Dual Meet Tournament.

“We’ve been struggling,”  Moyer said. “It’s been a real slow start because of some holes due to football and we were struggling making weight. We came together at the Virginia Duals and it carried over into Cape. We had two really hard days of practice and turned it up a notch.”

Hunter Moyer, a defensive end on the football team and Smyrna’s 182-pound wrestler, said this week he’s seen a noticeable improvement out of Smyrna, starting at last weekend’s Virginia Dual Meet Tournament. (Delaware State News file photo)

Moyer, Larsen Wilson and Elijah Taylor were three wrestlers in the starting lineup against Cape that competed for the football team. Moyer and Wilson both won their matches while Taylor only lost 1-0 in the first match of the night — a result Smyrna coach Kurt Howell credited with giving Smyrna a bit of a spark.

“He’s been taking some rough outings and gotten pinned a few times so for him to stay on his feet for six minutes was a moral victory for us,” Howell said.

Smyrna had some extra incentive for Wednesday after hearing some chatter about its four-year stranglehold on the state dual meet championship possibly weakening.

“We were motivated by everyone saying they were going to come and take us down,” Moyer said. “There’s a target on our back. We just focus on what we need to do and keep working.”

Moyer said he still doesn’t think he is 100 percent back into wrestling shape. Saying the most important thing while switching sport seasons is to up his endurance.

“The biggest thing is endurance to get back into wrestling shape,” Moyer said. “Technique-wise I think I picked up where I left off last year. But endurance is the hardest. Wrestling is just a totally different sport. You got to be able to go hard for six minutes straight instead of seven seconds at a time. You don’t get any breathers in wrestling.”

Bonus points

• Caesar Rodney hosts Salesianum on Saturday for a dual meet at noon. The Riders have won the last four regular season matches against the Sals.

• Cape Henlopen’s Zeke Bean earned the 100th victory of his career last week. Bean is a senior but is in his first year at Cape after moving from South Carolina.

• 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 age 4-13. Walk ins are welcome and applications can be requested by contacting Eric Buckson at eric.buckson@polytech.k12.de.us.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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