Seven is one of the luckiest numbers in history — except for say, 11. But with no particular luck involved whatsoever, the Indian River High School wrestling team notched its seventh win in a decisive 48-23 victory over conference contender Cape Henlopen on Jan. 20. Two nights prior, Indian River snatched victory from the depths of long bus rides in a 34-28 come-from-behind win over Polytech — again, not by luck but by hard-nosed team wrestling.
Polytech held a six-point lead going into the final two matches and an Indian River win would require controlled wrestling, but was with within reach. With Bryan Lynch behind him, Mario Robles (wrestling at 215 pounds) knew he only had to score to give his team a chance. Anything else was butter on the bread. He managed and maintained a lead throughout his match and in the final minute of the third period flipped his opponent for the pin, tie and chance at an outright victory.
“Mario is a very controlled wrestler. He likes to go out and get control of them and then open them up,” said Head Coach Jeff Windish. “That pin gave us the momentum for the match.”
“The strategy was to go out and get the pin because that was what was needed. But scoring points and having Bryan Lynch behind me made me confident that we would win,” said Robles.
Lynch wasted very little time securing the final and game-winning score and pinned Broaden Mears with 32 seconds left in the first period for his third victory and second straight by pin over the Polytech heavyweight this season.
It was like Windish wrote the story himself. He knew it would be a close match but at no point did he think his guys wouldn’t win.
“They have a tough team from top to bottom, but I knew we would get the wins where we needed them,” said Windish.
Danny Bokinsky (160) lost a controversial match 3-2 against Vincent Siracuse at the buzzer when the referee didn’t award him the two points for a takedown and the win. Only a freshman, Bokinsky wrestled a hard match — one in which he should’ve been awarded the win but instead lost. He bounced back — much like his team did after the losses to Caravel and Smyrna — and won a “pivotal match,” according to Windish, by way of takedown in the Cape Henlopen match.
Tied 4-4, Bokinsky took his opponent to the mat for the final score and held on for a 6-4 decision.
“Danny battled through adversity,” said Windish. “We didn’t get the call in the Polytech match but he took the referee out of the match and won the decision with the takedown in the third period.”
Bokinsky’s record now stands at 8-8 and each win is a step in the right direction, according to Windish.
“Right now the kids are riding high, which is especially good timing with the Cape match, because they’re so good year in and year out,” he said, “Every conference win builds confidence and momentum.”