Smyrna – The 2024 Smyrna Eagles versus the Caesar Rodney Riders wrestling rivalry had everything fans could expect when the two Delaware traditional wrestling powers took to the mat on Monday night. An intense crowd, strategy, tightly contested bouts, big pins and some upsets.
In the end the Riders won nine bouts including six pins to win the match 46-28 helping them to stay in the hunt for the Henlopen North title.
“This is always an intense match that both schools look forward to each year. They moved some guys around and took advantage of those matchups, but I felt we stayed composed and got the bonus points in some key matches,” Caesar Rodney head coach Trey Mitchell said.
Caesar Rodney jumped out to a quick lead winning the first four matches. The Riders’ Ben Donato won a 12-3 major decision over Michael Pierson at 106 pounds followed by a pin by Ashton Graham over Olivia Natarcola in 3:20 at 113 pounds.
Cole Moffett continued the Riders run winning a 6-1 decision over Ian Alfree at 120 pounds. Trevor Copes would cap off the early string of wins for the Riders with a pin over Donald Smith in 3:49 at 126 pounds to give Caesar Rodney a 19-0 lead.
The Eagles responded with a pair of bonus point victories as Victor Hernandez-Bryant trailing 10-2 recorded a pin over Alex Batton at 132 pounds then Warren Coates won a 15-6 major decision over Braedon Bole 15-6 at 138 pounds cutting the Caesar Rodney lead to 19-10.
“After the pin at 132 Braedon Bole did a good job going out and shaving points in a match he wasn’t favored,” Mitchell said.
Caesar Rodney responded with a pair of pins, Jamisen Dean pinned Cory Pierce in 4:20 at 144 pounds followed by a pin by Craig Dixon in 3:16 at 150 pounds over Ricaldo Camacho extending the Riders lead to 31-10.
Brandon West got the Eagles back on the board with a pin over Kenneth King in 46 seconds at 157 pounds.
The Riders picked up two more wins with Logan Heffington at 165 pounds pinning Jose Washington in 2:47 setting the stage for Owen Dixon to put the match out of reach with a 5-3 decision over Jesse Dixon at 175 pounds.
“At the beginning of the year we fill out our personal goals and number one for me was to beat Smyrna,” Heffington said.
Smyrna sandwiched a Riders pin with a pair of wins to end the night. Teagan Gratowski won by injury default over Owyn Meister at 190 pounds. Walter Toomer added another six points for Caesar Rodney pinning Mason Schulenburg in 3:05 at 215 pounds before Chi Chi Eule ended the night with a pin for the Eagles in 51 seconds over Caleb Kellum at 285 pounds.
With the loss Smyrna falls to 8-4 overall and 3-1 in the Henlopen North. The Eagles will host Sussex Central on Wednesday night with the match starting at 6:30.
Caesar Rodney improves to 8-1 overall 5-0 in the Henlopen North. The Riders will travel to Cape Henlopen on Wednesday night starting at 6:30
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