Sussex County Delaware
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Match of the Week
The Sussex County Wrestling Match of the Week
Match of the Week ...

Central Pushes
St. Mark's to Limit

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  • Photo: Sussex Central's Casey Strohmeyer (top) decisioned St. Mark's Kyle Skinner at 140.

    Sussex Central's Casey Strohmeyer

    Match of the Week Story ...

    Photos: Sussex Central's Joshua Lowe (top), A.J. Rovillard (middle) and Wyatt Hall (bottom) all won their matches.

    GEORGETOWN -- You can always count on one thing at the Delaware High School Division I state dual meet wrestling tournament.

    Sussex Central's Josh LoweNo matter how formidable its semifinal opponent, Sussex Central will not back down.

    Such was the case again on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2002, as the Golden Knights took top-seeded St. Mark's to the final match before succumbing, 33-21, in the semifinals.

    St. Mark's later beat No. 2 Caesar Rodney 36-24 in the championship dual meet, while Hodgson defeated Smyrna 42-18 for the Division II title.

    The Knights have made a habit of throwing a scare into favored opponents in the dual meet semifinals. Last year, Central lost to eventual state champion Caesar Rodney 29-27 in the semis. In 1999, the Knights upset CR in the semifinals.

    Once again, Central entered the dual meet with St. Mark's Wednesday night as a huge underdog. In fact, Knight head coach Phil Shultie made no bones about not wanting to face the Spartans.

    Sussex Central's A.J. RovillardBut by night's end, SC had given St. Mark's, a team with four wrestlers with more than 100 career wins, a challenge it hadn't seen all season from in-state opponents as they scored more points against St. Mark's than any other Delaware team this year.

    "I was very impressed by the way we wrestled," said Shultie. "We did better than what I thought we could do."

    St. Mark's, coached by legendary Sussex Central alumnus Steve Bastianelli, entered the meet with four 100-win wrestlers in 119-pounder Bobby Shaw, 130-pounder Pat Atkinson, 145-pounder Joe Ferrara, and 160-pounder Andrew Donofrio.

    But it was Central that took a 12-0 lead on a decision by heavyweight A.J. Rovillard in the meet's first match, a pin by freshman Derek Waughen at 103, and a decision by Josh Lowe at 112.

    Waughen built a 7-0 lead on St. Mark's Bryan Calvetti before pinning him in the second period in 3:56. Lowe held onto a 6-5 lead over the Spartans' Mike Moyer after the second period to win his match.

    St. Mark's then began its comeback with a pin by Shaw at 119. A controversial 7-5 decision by the Spartans' Eddie Quinn over Richard Dondarski at 125 brought St. Mark's within 12-9, and Atkinson decisioned Central's Orion Cameron 13-6 at 130 to tie the score 12-12.

    Sussex Central's Wyatt HallIn the Dondarski match, Dondarski appeared to have scored a tying takedown late in the match but was ruled out of bounds as he was taking Quinn down.

    St. Mark's took its first lead on a decision by Chris Collins over Jason Dickerson at 135, but Central came right back with an 8-6 decision by Casey Strohmeyer over Kyle Skinner at 140.

    The meet remained tied after the next two matches at 18-18 as Ferrara posted a 2-0 decision over Central's Jordan Lowe at 145 and Central's Wyatt Hall registered a 4-3 win over St. Mark's Ed Sheridan at 152.

    The Spartans then got a big lift from Donofrio, who pinned Central's Kevin VanVorst at 160 for a 24-18 advantage.

    Central again closed the gap, this time to 24-21, on a decision by Raheim Brunskill at 171, but the Spartans won the last two matches on a decision at 189 by Travis McKay and a pin by Brian Willis at 215 to seal the victory.

    Shultie had bumped his wrestlers up from the 160 to 215 weight classes to give his upper weights better matchups. He inserted the seldom-used VanVorst at 160 to go against the Spartans' vaunted Donofrio.

    Central finished its dual meet season at 12-2 with its only losses coming against the two state finalists.

    Scoring Summary ...

    Hwt. -- A.J. Rovillard (SC) dec. Chris DiNuzzo, 4-0

    103 -- Derek Waughen (SC) pinned Bryan Calvetti, 3:56

    112 -- Joshua Lowe (SC) dec. Mike Moyer, 6-5

    119 -- Bobby Shaw (SM) pinned Jeremy Milam, 1:34

    125 -- Eddie Quinn (SM) dec. Richard Dondarski, 7-5

    130 -- Pat Atkinson (SM) dec. Orion Cameron, 13-6

    135 -- Chris Collins (SM) dec. Jason Dickerson, 8-5

    140 -- Casey Strohmeyer (SC) dec. Kyle Skinner, 8-6

    145 -- Joe Ferrara (SM) dec. Jordan Lowe, 2-0

    152 -- Wyatt Hall (SC) dec. Ed Sheridan, 4-3

    160 -- Andrew Donofrio (SM) pinned Kevin VanVorst, 3:20

    171 -- Raheim Brunskill (SC) dec. Matt Axe, 4-3

    189 -- Travis McKay (SM) dec. Brett Cordrey, 5-3

    215 -- Brian Willis (SM) pinned Lewis Day, 1:47

    Match of the Week Quotes...

    Sussex Central head coach Phil Shultie on the loss:

    "I was very impressed by the way we wrestled. They all, all 14 guys, gave their best shot. We did better than what I thought we would do. That match was close at 125 (Richard Dondarski's 7-5 loss to St. Mark's Eddie Griffin). I thought he had a takedown. I'm just glad it didn't come down to them winning by a point or two so that didn't have a bearing. I'm very pleased with the way we wrestled. I thought we looked tough. No complaints. I think it helped us a lot because we did hang with St. Mark's, we did turn St. Mark's, we took six matches from St. Mark's. I was very impressed."

    Shultie on his team's aggressiveness against St. Mark's:

    "I thought we looked very good on our feet. We took a lot of shots and they took very little. They're real good on their feet. I thought we looked good from the bottom, I thought we looked good from the top, I thought overall we wrestled a very sound match from top to bottom. I'm happy but I'd be a whole lot happier if I was over there (preparing for the finals) right now. It's like CR. We had a good match against CR but got beat. What can you say? We wrestled tough. Tonight we wrestled tough, we kept it close. I mean, we bumped everybody up from 160 up and we were giving up weight. The kids didn't complain. They went out there and still we're in the match. So I was pleased."

    Match of the Week Notes...

    • In the other semifinals, Caesar Rodney beat No. 3 William Penn, 41-32, in Division I, while In Division II, Smyrna beat Middletown 38-31 and Hodgson downed Lake Forest 49-15.

    • The championships were the sixth straight for Hodgson and the fifth overall for St. Mark's. St. Mark's last won the crown in 1999. It now holds the record for the most Division I titles, breaking a tie with William Penn, which has won four championships in the tournament's 10-year history. The last Division II team to win a state title other than Hodgson was Smyrna in 1996. Smyrna has won three titles overall in Division II.

    • Sussex Central head coach Phil Shultie said the Knights would not enter the same lineup it used against St. Mark's in this weekend's Henlopen Conference tournament at Milford High School. Shultie said VanVorst will not compete in the tournament and that Raheim Brunskill will move down to 160, Brett Cordrey will drop to 171, Lewis Day will go to 189, and Weldon Bagwell will wrestle at 215.

    • The most points a Delaware team had scored against St. Mark's before Central's 21-point effort Wednesday night had been 15 by William Penn and Newark. St. Mark's was only 6-5 entering the dual meet tournament but had been seeded No. 1 because the Spartans' losses had all been to out-of-state powerhouses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Louisiana.

    • The only teams to have ever won a Division I state dual meet championship are St. Mark's, Caesar Rodney and William Penn.

    • Sussex Central senior Elizabeth Cunningham sang the national anthem before the semifinals began.

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