Over the weekend, Cape Henlopen high school hosted the DIAA State Open Wrestling Championships. And like any year, the mat featured its fair share of big moments.
One big moment Saturday came from St. Georges Tech’s Michael Albanese who gave the Hawks their first state title winner under head coach Nate Pelligrini. Albanese defeated Salesianum’s Lou Fedele to take the crown at 160.
Along with Albanese, several other Hawks also had some standout performances Saturday. Rocco Hladney finished second at 182 after a close matchup with Salesianum’s Daulton Gregory, while Austin Walker placed fourth at 126, and Jake Chilson took fifth place at 120 to round out St. Georges Tech’s top finishers.
Josh Smith of Appoquinimink high school became the first Jaguar to appear in the finals, finishing second after a tough battle with Woodbridge’s Willie Davis in the 152 finals. Also pacing the Jags effort Saturday was Jake Smith took sixth place at 145.
Middletown’s Erich Schneider placed fourth at 182 and Thomas Lopez took sixth at 170 for the Cavaliers.
For the second season in a row, the Henlopen Conference dominated the DIAA State Open Wrestling Championship winning 10 of the 14 events. The success of the conference was due in most part to Smyrna and Caesar Rodney who came out of Saturday’s championships with three title wins.
One of the three Smyrna winners was Brent Fleetwood, who defeated Sanford’s Luke McDonough at 120 winning his fourth straight individual state title, making him just the tenth wrestler ever in the state of Delaware to accomplish that feat. Fleetwood was also named Outstanding Wrestler of the 2014 DIAA State Wrestling Tournament.
“It’s a very good feeling,” said Fleetwood after claiming his fourth straight individual state title. “I guess I got a little choked up, but I’m glad to go out on top. Wrestling is a very intense sport, so you always feel the pressure. When you get to that level where you’re in the finals, you’re going to feel the pressure. But you don’t think about the pressure, just the match.”
Along with Fleetwood, Jared Carney defeated Dover’s Jordan Olfus for the 132 title and Othniel Edmund took down Polytech’s Andy Schmeusser in the 126 final to round our Smyrna’s title winners.
Caesar Rodney’s Nick Klink (106) won his first ever state title for the Riders, while Tony Scarfo (145) and Zack Parker (285) all took home individual titles for the second time.
Cape Henlopen’s Thomas Ott won the state title at 220 for the second straight time, joined by teammate Aaron Mattioni who won his first title at 195.
Other winners on Saturday included Brandon Wolfe who won the first state wrestling title for Delcastle since David Rhodes did it back in 1979. And Travis Testa of Conrad made some history becoming the first place-winner from the school since 1978.