Wrestling in the third period is arguably the toughest aspect of the sport. Strength wanes, the breath gets shorter and only the best prevail. Indian River’s wrestling team is wrestling in the third period now, after logging three wins in four matches, improving its record to 10-3 overall and 7-2 in the conference.
The Indians have won their past three matches by a combined score of 166-49 (Sussex Tech, 54-19; Mt. Pleasant, 65-9; and Concord 47-21). That gives them a win by an average of 39 points per match. Top to bottom, all the wrestlers have earned their keep, but it’s been Dominique Morris (wrestling at 145 pounds) that’s separated them from the pack.
Morris transferred from Sussex Tech last year because his grandparents felt it would better serve him if he went to Indian River to help get his grades up. He failed three courses as an underclassman, and graduating ahead of his younger siblings was important to him.
Head Wrestling Coach Jeff Windish actually has Morris in two of his classes this year and has noted a marked improvement in his academics.
“Dominique is good student,” said Windish. “He has an A/B average in my classes and is doing well in most of his classes.”
Morris mentioned that he had problems understanding what was being taught to him at Sussex Tech, something Windish dismisses in his experience of the student-athlete.
“Dominique is a kid that if you teach him something one day, he’ll use it the next. He isn’t afraid to do what you ask of him. He wants to be better and is. He’s come into a new school, made new friends under a new staff — and when you throw in how well he’s doing this season (19-8), that’s quite an accomplishment,” said Windish.
Morris earned two wins in the tri-meet, including an overtime win against Concord. He smashed former teammate Kenny McCallum of Sussex Tech, 17-8, and placed first in the St. Michaels Invitational, along with his teammates.
Andy Bokinsky (171), P.J. Barch (119), Mike Magaha (103) joined him in the winner’s circle and several others placed as well. Danny Bokinsky (152) placed second, while Bo Wilkinson (130) and Mario Robles (215) snagged third-place finishes. Luke Saylor earned fourth place and like Morris, had a come-from-behind overtime victory against Concord.
“We don’t roll over,” said Windish. “We’re scrappy, and teams are definitely going to know they wrestled us. And that is important.”
Windish noted that the victories up north give the Indians grapplers a little credibility come tournament time.
“The tri-meet was important because it gave us some upstate matches, and it’s nice to know we can win those.”