Cape wrestling captain Andre Currie rocked the Big House Feb. 29, winning the individual 170-pound state championship with an 11-8 decision over Anthony Bernieri of Caravel. The Cape student section at the end of the gym came loose like they have the last 10 years when Cape has crowned a state champion.
Currie, the team’s takedown leader, took coach Chris Mattioni to his back during a corner celebration.
“The last guy I caught was Anthony Caruso,” Mattioni said. “He’s a little lighter than Andre.”
Seven of 11 state qualifiers placed for Cape, including five underclassmen.
“A tremendous performance by our young team,” Mattioni said. “This has been a great season in terms of dedication and hard work of our wrestlers.”
Cape had three wrestlers on three mats going for third place at the same time. The atmosphere was electric, as Mikey Frederick beat Ky Jacobs of Tower Hill 7-6, Luke Bender beat Ta’Jon Knight of Indian River 3-0, and Finbar Rishko defeated Joseph Jones of Newark Charter 7-4.
Lucas Ruppert placed fifth at 285, while CJ Fritchman (126) and Carson Kammerer (138) placed sixth to get on the podium.
State champions included 106, Gabe Giampietro, Smyrna; 113, Luke Poore, Caravel; 120, Jack Thode, Milford; 126, Ethan Gray, Caravel; 132, Willem Carl, Middletown; 138, Alex Poore, Caravel; 145, Joey Natarcola, Smyrna; 152, Jackson Dean, Caesar Rodney; 160, Nick Hall, Caravel; 170, Andre Currie, Cape; 182, JT Davis, Smyrna; 195, Azeem Bell, A.I. duPont; 220, Hugo Harp, Smyrna; 285, Kevin Hudson, Caesar Rodney.
Ethan Gray of Caravel won the 126-pound title coming from the seventh seed in what was considered the toughest bracket in the tournament.
The victory by Caesar Rodney’s Kevin Hudson over Anthony Diaz of Milford at 285 was the second consecutive title for Hudson and the 100th individual state champion win for the Riders.
The entire gym came loose when Patrick Wisniewski of Caesar Rodney took down huge favorite Alex Poore of Caravel, going out of bounds with seven seconds left to go up 2-1. Poore was on the bottom, but got out under the buzzer to tie the match, then won it on an overtime takedown.
Mikey Frederick was awarded a takedown Feb. 28 just under the buzzer to win over Ky Jacobs of Tower Hill 5-3. But the Hillers challenged the call and the points were taken off. The match went to overtime, where Jacobs won on a takedown. Frederick came back in the wrestlebacks the following day, going 4-0 and beating Jacobs 7-6 in the third-place match.
Mason Ankrom (126) and Tarryl Sturgis (160) of Sussex Central also went 4-0 in wrestlebacks to claim third place.
There are no team scores kept in the DIAA Individual Championships.
The season completed the 25th at the helm for Mattioni, and with a young, talented team returning and his son in the pipeline, he isn’t going anywhere. That elusive team title is still a goal.