Wrestling notebook: Teams eye next week’s dual meet tourney

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Phil Shultie

With most teams having one dual meet left in the regular season, the state dual meet tournament picture is becoming clearer.

Smyrna has the top seed in Division I likely locked up. The Eagles have their final Henlopen Conference Northern Division match Friday night against Cape Henlopen (7 p.m.) and have already clinched the conference championship.

Smyrna is also undefeated against Delaware opponents.

By virtue of its 32-31 victory on a tiebreaker Wednesday night over Caesar Rodney, Sussex Central (10-1) has assured itself of the two seed. That comes with an all-important first-round bye in the six team tournament, to be hosted by Smyrna on Tuesday.

Still, the Riders are the front-runner for the three seed, which means a rematch could happen. Sussex Central coach Phil Shultie said he expects to see CR again in the state duals.

“We’re going to hit again and who knows what’s going to happen next time,” Shultie said.

Caesar Rodney was 7-3 headed into Thursday night’s contest at Salesianum. Two of the Riders’ losses are to the two teams in front of them in Division I — Smyrna and Sussex Central. The other is to Milford, which should be the top seed in Division II.

CR coach Dan Rigby said he hopes the narrow loss to Central serves as a wakeup call to his wrestlers.

“Hopefully my guys will get motivated and come back hungry on Tuesday,” Rigby said. “Otherwise we’re in trouble.”

Cape Henlopen should also be in the tournament with a 9-2 overall record heading into Friday night’s’s dual at Smyrna. Wilmington Charter has earned the automatic bid as the champion from Blue Hen Conference Flight A.

That leaves one spot available, which will be between Polytech (7-4) and Salesianum (7-5 before Thursday), in all likelihood.

The Panthers took a big step with two Division I victories at a tri-meet Wednesday, downing Wilmington Charter and host A.I. du Pont.

Polytech needs to win Friday (7 p.m.) at Dover (5-4) if it has a chance of qualifying.

Bonus points

• Smyrna will recognize its 1996 state dual meet championship team, individual state champions and previous head coaches at 6 p.m Friday. The varsity will wrestle Cape Henlopen at 7 p.m.

There will be memorabilia, T-shirts for sale and a copy of the Smyrna record book. Barry Meeks, the second coach in Smyrna history who currently lives in Kentucky, will be in attendance.

• Polytech will host its annual NOVICE Wrestling Championships on Sunday. 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.

• Teams from the Henlopen North are 7-1 in dual meets this season against Blue Hen Flight A Conference opponents. There are two more out-of-conference matchups Friday night, with Sussex Cental vs. William Penn and Sussex Tech vs. Middletown.

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