Golden Knights go ‘lights out,’ decking Cape 51-15

Shane Miller earns first win as Sussex Central head wrestling coach
December 15, 2017

Sussex Central wrestling opened the dual meet season at home Dec. 13 versus Cape Henlopen under the direction of new head coach Shane Miller. It was the first match in two generations for the Golden Knights in which coaches Phil Shultie and Chip Illian weren’t at the helm, but the duo were very much in the house.

The Golden Knights were back on the mat after winning last year’s dual meet state championship with an upset of Smyrna in the finals after a close victory over Cape in the semifinals. There was nothing close in the Wednesday night showdown, as Central dominated 51-15  on the strength of six pins and two technical falls.

The match started at 285 pounds. Cape’s Jonah Robertson shot low on Tyler Karr but got caught and pinned 58 seconds into the match.

The match rolled around to the light weights, where Central’s Cole Jester (106), Mason Ankrom (113) and Dany Ramirez (120) all recorded first period falls to put the Golden Knights up 24-0 in just over three minutes of mat time.

“We’re aggressive,” coach Miller said. “We come out hard and we work everyday to get better.”

Cape’s Anthony Caruso quickly dispatched Jevon Saffold at 126 with a pin in 24 seconds, but while Caruso was walking back to the center of the mat, Saffold came after him from behind and punched Caruso in the back of the head.

The alleged provocation by Caruso and subsequent retaliation by Saffold was ignited by Caruso allegedly pushing Safford back into the mat after the fall.

“Jevon is a good kid; that was wrong and it cost the team points and will cost him disciplinary action,” Miller said.

There is video of the temporary insanity for the athletic directors to sort out, but following all that emotion Cape’s Finbar Rishko had to go out on the mat and face defending state champion Rashad Stratton at 132.

After the first five matches had all been decided by first period pins, Rishko got tech falled 15-0 at 3:12 into the second period.

“Finbar wrestled tough,” said Cape coach Chris Mattioni. “Stratton is a great wrestler and also a great kid. He is Andre Currie’s first cousin.”

Cousin Currie came on at 138, where he pinned Central’s Brandon Greenlee. Cape’s next and final win was Billy Ott at 220, a 5-1 decision over Mario Santio.

Central’s Michael Wright (182) scored a major decision over Chris Handlin 14-3, as Handlin kept getting caught in the cradle.

Central is scheduled to wrestle Middletown at the Bob Carpenter Center Friday, Dec. 15, followed by the weeknd Beast of the East tournament. Cape’s best grapplers will also compete in “The Beast,” which is arguably the best high school tournament in the country.

The Vikings will host Charter Wednesday, Dec. 20, with Beacon versus Mariner serving as the undercard.