With the 2017-18 school year behind us, there’s no better time to take a look at some of the season’s standout athletic accomplishments.
One of Milford’s most successful athletic programs in the past few years, the wrestling team’s statewide dominance was on display again.
Back in the winter, Milford won their fifth team wrestling title in a row, defeating No. 1 seed Laurel in the finals of the 2018 DIAA Dual Team Wrestling state championships.
“I do have to say that winning never gets old,” said head coach Don Parsley. “Our season had a series of ups and downs, losing a couple close matches to division opponents, [and] some individual struggles throughout the year as well. We overcame it all, redeeming our early season losses. Our team has overcome and reached the pinnacle of the sport.”
After finishing the regular season 11-5, Milford entered the dual-team tournament as the No. 3 seed, needing wins against three teams to keep their title.
After breezing by Woodbridge, 51-23, the Bucs moved onto the semifinals against Indian River, a rematch of 2017’s DII Finals and a very stiff test. Milford wrestlers were the beneficiary of pinfall wins, seven to be exact, in a 40-29 semifinal win.
In the finals, Milford faced Henlopen South Division champion and No. 1 seed Laurel.
Laurel took control early after wins by Rae’Mier and Rae’Sheed DeShields before the Bucs rallied off three straight wins from underclassmen Eric Bennett, Anthony Diaz and Corey Messick.
Down the stretch Laurel got big victories from Perkens Augustin, Isaiah Jenkins and Woo Fosque, but Milford closed out the round with a Welinton Rosario pinfall win and a major decision win from Khiry Hovington to help the Buccaneers keep their championship for the fifth straight season.
On top of the DII title, the 11 Buccaneers wrestlers qualified for the Henlopen Conference tournament: Corey Messick, Trent Grant, Robbie Rosser, Randy Mercado Diaz, Dom Feightner, Jordan Passwaters, Oscar Rosario, Khiry Hovington, Jeremiah Farrington, Eric Bennett and Anthony Diaz.
Moving onto the individual state championships, Robbie Rosser won the state title at 120, while being named an All-American at the end of the season.
“It was great to see 14-plus individuals come together as one, that in itself was the highlight of our season,” Parsley said. “I’m so proud of our team and what we’ve achieved.”
The Buccaneers parted with just five seniors from last year’s club and while that includes Hovington, Rosario and Rosser, the overwhelming majority of the team that took another DII state title, including eight conference qualifiers, will be back on the mats come next winter.