The Smyrna gym was screaming with sweat Feb. 11 as 12 wrestling teams from Division I and II rolled onto “four mats down” to compete for the Delaware Dual Meet Championships.
Smyrna captured the DI title in its own house, while Milford was crowned state champion of Division II.
Cape had made the tournament for the first time in school history and was seeded second and picked up Caesar Rodney, an opening-round victor over Polytech and a major obstacle to the finals. Cape had beaten Caesar Rodney 32-29 Dec. 18 in a match where everything went right for the Vikings.
On Feb. 11 the Riders captured three big wins in the upper weights at 182, 220 and heavyweight to beat Cape 27-25 to advance to the finals, where they lost to Smyrna.
There is no rest for the weary and wiry as grapplers will weigh in again Friday, Feb. 14, for the Henlopen Conference Championship.
The Cape meet versus Caesar Rodney began at 126, and after seven matches with wins by Elliot Young 138, Austin Smith 160 and Justin Lopez 170, the Vikings led 16-12.
Andre Flowers appeared to have earned a victory over Michael Clavier at 182 on a takedown in the final seconds but after much discussion at the scorer's table the takedown was declared “nice but too late.”
Aaron Mattioni at 195 won a decision over Craig Logan 5-3 but then the wheels came off the wagon as Nick Carroll dropped down to 220 and lost to Troy McNally 6-2 in overtime; then Thomas Ott lost 7-2 to Zach Parker in the heavyweight match.
The Riders were ahead 27-19 and elected to forfeit the final 120-pound weight class with victory already in hand, winning the match 27-25.
“You can talk about what could have happened to turn the match around, but CR went out and beat us where we are strong to earn the right to face Smyrna," Cape coach Chris Mattioni said. “It was a great atmosphere, and I'm proud our team was a part of it.”
Results of the Cape-CR match follow: 126 - Brandon Scott, CR, pinned Dante Jacquet; 132 - Tommy Gallucci, CR, dec. Vinnie Diego 5-3; 138 - Elliott Young, CH, maj. dec. Danny Ortiz 12-2; 145 - Tony Scarfo, CR, dec. Nick Diego 8-1; 152 - J.J. Currie, CH, dec. Seth Mogle 14-7; 160 - Austin Smith, CH, dec. Seth Brosius 9-8; 170 - Justin Lopez, CH, pinned Kendall Wicks 2:36; 182 - Michael Clavier, CR, dec. Andre Flowers 3-2; 195 - Aaron Mattioni, CH, dec. Craig Logan 5-3; 220 - Troy McNally, CR, dec. Nick Carroll 6-2 ot; 285 - Zach Parker, CR, dec. Thomas Ott 7-2; 106 - Nick Klink, CR, dec. Max Norquest 6-3; 113 - Mason Harrignton, CR, dec. Emerson Fajardo 5-4;120 - Eriq Gloria, CH, forfeit.