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DOVER -- Sussex County wrestlers brought home a number of Top 3 finishes from the 44th annual Delaware Secondary School Athletic Association state tournament at Delaware State University this weekend.
Although the county produced no state champions this year, it did yield four finalists in Sussex Central's Corey Strohmeyer (130), Laurel's Adam Ralph (135), Delmar's Nathan Shearer (152), and Sussex Tech's Jimmy Hudson (189).
Following are details on each of the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers fared during the weekend.Championship Matches
Corey Strohmeyer, Sussex Central:
Strohmeyer suffered a pin in 3:52 in the 130 finals at the hands of Hodgson's Mike Welch, who raised his record to 43-2. The runnerup finish, however, put an exclamation point on an up and down season for the junior Golden Knight. Strohmeyer finished the season 31-7 including the 130-pound Henlopen Conference championship. In the state tournament, he pinned Middletown's Jake Spence in 2:47 in the preliminary round, decisioned Glasgow's Pete Lazzapina 11-8 in the quarterfinals, and decisioned Laurel's Eric Johnson 4-1 in the semifinals.
Adam Ralph, Laurel
Ralph, the 103-pound Henlopen champion as a freshman, missed the conference and state tournament last year as a sophomore when he failed to make weight. As a junior, though, the Bulldog made the most of his trip to states, reaching the championship finals before losing to William Penn's Joe Ferrara 17-5 to finish second. Ralph went 22-6 this season including the 135 title at last weekend's conference tourney. In the state meet, he decisioned Glasgow's Justin Parag 4-2 in the preliminaries, Brandywine's Jason Scott 6-1 in the quarterfinals, and Sussex Central's Jordan Lowe 4-3 in the semifinals.
Nathan Shearer, Delmar
Shearer, the transfer from nationally ranked Connellsville (Pa.) High School, just missed Delmar's first state wrestling championship since Randy Brown in 1987 when Hodgson senior Ryan Smith scored a reversal and two-point near fall in the third period. Shearer was hurt on the exchange and never recovered in the match's final minute. Shearer was unbeaten entering the finals and finished the season at 33-1. Smith finished 43-2 and was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler. Shearer reached the finals with a technical fall in 3:57 over St. Mark's Shawn Willis in the semifinals. He pinned Newark's John Brayman in 44 seconds in the preliminaries and decisioned Glasgow's Rob Mingoia 10-3 in the quarterfinals. This may have been Shearer's last state tournament appearance, too. Although just a junior, he will be 19 next year and will need special permission from DSSAA to participate in 2000-2001. Shearer said after the finals that he wants to come back to Delmar for his senior year and wrestle.
Jimmy Hudson, Sussex Tech
Hudson lost to Newark's Bram Walker 4-1 in the 189 finals to finish the season at 27-4. Hudson was unable to take Walker down and could only score a third period escape despite several nearly successful attempts to put Walker in a cradle. Walker, the Blue Hen Conference champion, finished at 33-2. Hudson reached the finals with a 17-4 major decision over Joseph McLeish of Howard. He pinned Middletown's Mark Hitchens in 1:51 in the preliminaries and major decisioned William Penn's Willie Singleton in the quarterfinals, 15-3.
112 -- Indian River's Quinn Revel, a sophomore in his first state tournament, placed fourth after losing to Salesianum's Mike Guessford, 10-0, in his third-place match. Revel reached the semifinals before losing to St. Mark's Ryan Ball 11-3 in the semifinals. Revel pinned Concord's Justin Martin in 3:30 in the quarterfinals and major decisioned Mt. Pleasant's Adam Edinburgh 11-3 in the preliminaries. In the consolations, he pinned Newark's Mike Marra in 3:46 to reach the third-place match.
119 -- Seaford's Matt Rose lost to Smyrna's Mike Biddle 6-3 in the third-place match to place fourth. Rose decisioned A.I. DuPont's Justin Cannon 3-2 in the preliminaries before losing to St. Mark's Pat Atkinson by major decision, 13-5, in the quarterfinals to fall into the consolation bracket. In the consolations, Rose decisioned Mt. Pleasant's Rob Derke 11-5, Sussex Central's Steve Swain 1-0, and Salesianum's Chris Lazartic 5-2 to reach the third-place match.
125 -- In a battle of two Sussex County wrestlers, Cameron Fitzgerald of Seaford major decisioned Milford's Richard Fischer 11-2 to claim third place. Fitzgerald lost to St. Mark's Matt McConnell by major decision, 11-3, to fall into the consolation bracket. He pinned Mt. Pleasant's Andy Rawley in 42 seconds in the preliminaries and Brandywine's Martin Rivera in 3:28 to reach the semis. Once in the consolations, he major decisioned Lake Forest's Josh Stallings, 10-2, to reach the third place match against Fischer. Fischer, meanwhile, lost to William Penn's Shawn Taylor 8-2 in the preliminaries before working his way through the consolations to the third place match. In the consolations, Fischer major decisioned Friends' Cary Mellor 12-1, Brandywine's Rivera 15-7, and William Penn's Shawn Taylor to reach the match against Fitzgerald.
145 -- Sussex Central's Teddy Thompson, the defending state champion at 145, battled back from a disappointing loss to Hodgson's Mark Rispoli in the quarterfinals to win third place. Rispoli pinned Thompson in 3:30, but Thompson recovered from the shock of that result to decision Newark's Jeff Hudson 3-1 and pin Milford's Brendan Abel in 51 seconds to reach the third place match. In that match against Howard's Cory Campbell, Thompson scored a late takedown to tie the match 6-6 in regulation and got another takedown early in overtime for an 8-6 victory and third place.
160 -- Delmar's Luke Blanchfield captured third place with an 8-3 victory over Hodgson's John Kerr. Blanchfield was pinned in 29 seconds in the semifinals by William Penn's Ray Callaway to fall into the consolations. Once there, he decisioned Howard's Luis Maleno 9-3 to reach the third place match. Blanchfield scored a technical fall over Glasgow's Jerry Hackett in the preliminaries in 4:14 and major decisioned Mt. Pleasant's Nick Papademetrio in the quarterfinals.
189 -- Jake Booth gave Sussex Central its second third place finish with a 6-5 decision over William Penn's Willie Singleton in the third place match. Booth lost to St. Mark's Geoff Ashton 5-4 in the quarterfinals after beating Hodgson's Ed Udinski by major decision, 13-2, in the preliminaries. In the consolations, Booth decisioned Cape Henlopen's Kyle Inman 8-6 and Caesar Rodney's Tony Harris 5-4 to reach the third place bout.
Hwt. -- Sussex Tech's Brandon Morrow finished fourth in the 275 class with a 6-0 loss to Salesianum's Joe Manley in the third place match. Morrow reached the semifinals with a pin of A.I. DuPont's Will Bradley in 2:47 in the preliminaries and a pin of William Penn's Luke Fresconi in 1:42 in the quarterfinals. Morrow then lost to Concord's Derrell Lorthridge 9-1 in the semifinals to fall into the consolations, where he pinned Laurel's Phillip Hastings in 2:45 to reach the third place match.
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