SMYRNA — Fresh off another unbeaten season against Delaware competition, the Smyrna High wrestling team has the inside track to the top seed in the Division I state dual meet tournament.
Smyrna’s closest match was a 39-12 victory over Polytech last Saturday. It was the only time the Eagles scored less than 50 points against a Delaware team this season.
And the Eagles have a sneaking suspicion they’ll run into Polytech again, Tuesday night at the DIAA state duals, at Smyrna. The six-team pairings for both the Division I and II tournaments will be announced on Sunday.
“We’re two of the great teams in Delaware,” sophomore 113-pounder Chase Archangelo said after Saturday’s dual. “We’re just going to keep working hard and hopefully we’ll come out No. 1. I won’t doubt it if we see them again, they’re the other powerhouse in Delaware. But hopefully we can put another banner up in this arena.”
Smyrna, the winners of the last two Division I titles, hasn’t lost a match against Delaware opposition since the 2012 state final against Caesar Rodney.
After defeating William Penn on senior night on Thursday, the Eagles’ instate winning streak is at 33 matches.
Smyrna finished the regular season at 11-1 overall. The lone loss came on Jan. 3 to New Jersey’s Blair Academy, which is regarded as one of the best teams on the East Coast.
The highlight of the year was a 33-30 victory over nationally-ranked McDonogh (Md.) on Jan. 16.
Polytech coach Eric Buckson credits the Smyrna Little Wrestlers, the youth organization, and the strong coaching staff led by Kurt Howell for the Eagles’ recent success.
“It’s an organization vs. a high school team and that’s what we’re competing against,” Buckson said on Saturday. “It’s an organization that starts them young and hangs on to them all the way through high school. Then they have a great coaching staff. When you hand over what I call ready-made wrestlers to a great coaching staff, that’s a recipe for success and that’s what they’re doing here in Smyrna.
“They’re handing over very good wrestlers to a very good staff and they’re having a lot of success because of it. I give them credit for it. But we’re not going to go away. I don’t have a feeder program, I take what I can get and we’re going to do the best we can with it.”
Tourney pairings on Sunday
The DIAA will announc the dual meet tournament pairings on Sunday afternoon. The field will be posted at http://delaware.newszap.com/centraldelaware/sports/.
Smyrna has clinched its spot in the Division I duals by winning the Henlopen Conference Northern Division championship. Middletown is the other team guaranteed a spot in the six-team field by virtue of winning the Blue Hen Conference Flight A title.
Defending champion Milford won the Henlopen South championship to earn the automatic bid in Division II. Hodgson is the representative from the Blue Hen Flight B.
The two matches featured Seaford’s Sha’Mar Deputy winning by pin at 160 pounds and Josh Trammell with a pin at 182. Seaford won the dual meet 30-18.
Staff writer Tim Mastro can be reached at email@example.com or 741-8224.
Follow @TimMastroDSN on Twitter.