Cape’s all-time winningest wrestler won his second state title Feb. 23 in his home gym. A state finalist all four years in four different weight classes, Anthony’s high school record was 148-28 with 53 pins. He also owns the record for most wins in a single season with 44. He has committed to Oklahoma City University. He got hit hard with the flu the last three weeks of the season. He lost to rival Jevon Safford in state duals, then won the Henlopen Conference championship 17-11 over Amir Pierce of Smyrna, which is a lot of points for Caruso to give up. But in the state meet for individuals, he was back blitzing through the bracket, going 4-0 to a state title. “He was always a gamer rising to the moment,” said coach Chris Mattioni. “I am proud of how he has progressed and matured as a young man on and off the mat.”
In just his second year of wrestling, Mikey was thrust into the varsity starting lineup at 126 pounds, the toughest weight class in the state. Mikey answered the call every match, never injured or sick, absorbing the experience and becoming a state qualifier as a freshman. Mikey is like Arya Stark from Game of Thrones; he just keeps learning from others – you can defeat him, but not beat him. “He is going to be a hammer,” said longtime teacher/coach David Mushrush. Mikey will play lacrosse in the spring, coming off an excellent Atlantic and middle school career. He can play attack or midfield. “A great athlete to coach. He listens and learns and, best of all, he is tough,” said wrestling coach Chris Mattioni. Mikey had 39 takedowns this season, fifth most on the team. He was the only freshman to start every match and tournament.
Chris Handlin is a wrestler. He is a guy who can grapple. He is uncanny, really. Known around school as a cool customer, Chris had an emotional moment at the Henlopen Conference meet and was consoled and calmed down by his coaches. He also lost it for a few seconds after losing his match in the finals to JT Davis of Smyrna. Chris reached the finals by pinning Sam Arkuwoille of Dover. Chris’ career record was 137-46 with 95 pins. He’s second on the all-time win list behind Anthony Caruso. His 95-pin tally is the most in school history. “He has been a pinning machine since freshman year,” said coach Chris Mattioni. “His bonus points will be missed next season.” Chris posted a 38-8 record with 28 pins in his senior season. “Chris worked hard to get down to 182, which is where he wanted to be for states,” Mattioni said. “He often wrestled up for us at 195 whenever we needed him.” Second in the state is not too shabby.
A senior, team captain and three-sport athlete in football, wrestling and lacrosse, Billy is about the moment, not chasing personal glory. He had a whack tournament in the Henlopen Conference, placing seventh, and came into the state tournament seeded 10th. He beat No. 2 seed Nasir Dreuitt in the quarterfinals, then Henlopen Conference champion Masen Wilson in the semis. That win was Billy’s 100th, and the hometown crowd, all the way to Milford, went wild. Billy lost to Danny Stradler of Sallies 5-2 in the championship bout. Ten minutes later, Billy was sitting with his friends in the student section. Billy posted a career record of 100-41 with 51 pins. His senior year record was 36-12 with 20 pins. “Billy was team captain and a vocal leader on the mat,” coach Chris Mattioni said. “Billy is coming off surgery he had after his junior season, so it is great that he was able to return and have a tremendous amount of success. His attitude and leadership on the mat will be missed next season.”