Match of the Week
to CR 32-15
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Photo: Sussex Central's Corey Strohmeyer works on Caesar Rodney's Mike Scaffedi in the 130-pound match.
GEORGETOWN -- The Sussex Central High School wrestling team lost a major battle on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2000.
But coach Phil Shultie hopes the Golden Knights can still earn a bigger prize than the Henlopen Conference regular season dual meet title they likely lost with a 32-15 defeat at the hands of perennial powerhouse Caesar Rodney.
A year ago, the Knights dropped the regular season dual meet to CR only to gain revenge on the Riders in the state dual meet tournament semifinals.
Shultie recalled that briefly on Wednesday after the Knights had won only four bouts, including one by injury default, against the four-time defending conference champions.
"Hopefully we're going to hit them again," said Shultie after his Knights, ranked 5th in the state, dropped to 5-1.
Sussex Central was never in the match as it trailed 19-0 following the 130-pound bout. Jordan Lowe finally got the Knights on the board with an 11-7 decision over defending state champion James Russial at 135.
CR increased the lead to 29-3 before the Knights scored their next points on a default at 160 when the Riders' Brian Rigby suffered a leg injury in a dual with Sussex Central's Tyler Dickerson.
The Knights finished the match off with decisions by Jake Booth at 189 and heavyweight A.J. Rovillard to come closer to CR than any team has this season.
Booth decisioned CR's Tony Harris 5-4 with an escape and a takedown in the third period and Rovillard beat Rider heavyweight Jimmy Powell 12-5 with a series of takedowns.
The win raised Caesar Rodney, ranked 4th in the state, to 9-0 and gave the Riders the upper hand for an unprecedented fifth straight conference regular season championship. The Riders, under coach Dicky Howell, have now won 65 straight regular season dual meets.
Sussex Central 15
Sussex Central coach Phil Shultie
Sussex Central coach Phil Shultie on Caesar Rodney:
"CR is tough. They're a very tough team. They're a very well-coached and very disciplined team. I thought we wrestled a pretty good match but they've got some horses on their team. They're tough. Hopefully we're going to get them again."
Shultie on what it would take to develop a powerhouse program like CR's at Sussex Central:
"It can be done here. One of the biggest things we have to do is get more of a commitment from our wrestlers. You can't have a program like that with only two or three people who want to commit. You've got to have 15 to 20 guys. By commit, I'm talking about going to tournaments, to camps. They would continue to play their fall sports but they'd also continue to stay in touch with the sport (wrestling). We don't get that here and it shows when we wrestle teams like St. Mark's, Caesar Rodney and William Penn. They stay in touch with the mat year-round and we don't."
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