Christmas break for high school grapplers means rugged two-day tournaments and staying on weight, moving through brackets where everyone knows who the good guys are.
The Delcastle Invitational Jan. 4 and 5 hosting 18 teams slid to a Saturday and Sunday matchup because of a Friday snowstorm that went away quickly, but by Sunday morning the bridges of New Castle County were slipperier than a lightweight shooting a double-leg takedown.
Sussex Tech pulled off its second shocker of the early season after beating Sussex Central in a dual meet by wining the tournament 102 1/2 over Salesianum's 102 points. Cape Henlopen fininshed third, sending six wrestlers to the semifinals from 155 to 220 including J.J. Currie, Austin Smith, Justin Lopez, Andre Flowers, Aaron Mattioni and Nick Carroll, who dropped down to 220 to cover for Thomas Ott, who was away on vacation. Mattioni was an injury default prior to the semis while Currie, Smith, Lopez and Carroll all advanced but lost in the championship finals. Andre Flowers came back and got third place.
Elliot Young placed fifth while Justin Wright and Dante Jacquet placed sixth.
“Overall, we wrestled pretty well in the tournament," said coach Chris Mattioni. “Hopefully, we can correct minor mistakes and change the outcomes when it matters most in the state tournament. We had three wrestlers who weren’t able to compete on Sunday."
Sussex Tech brought only 12 wrestlers, and 10 placed in the top six with nine placing in the top four, propelling the Ravens to a team championship. Juwan Massey was crowned champion at 113 pounds with a pin in the finals.
Donnie Tingle, Tyler Jump, Dimarco Dorsey and Ryan Parker earned third place. Hunter Robles, Matt Wilson, Matt Tull and Anthony Crew placed fourth, and Dalton Scheureman was sixth.
Cape returns to the mats Wednesday, Jan. 8, wrestling at Sussex Central, one of the perennial Big Three of the Henlopen Conference with Caesar Rodney and Smyrna.
Sussex Tech will host Smyrna Jan. 8. The Eagles can be described like a candy bar: Powerhouse.