Grapplers continue climb

Indian River’s wrestling program continues its ascent into Delaware’s elite after posting 15th out of 27 teams in the A.I. Dupont Tiger Classic tournament Dec. 28-29.
Coastal Point • RUSLANA LAMBERT: Dominique Morris (145 lbs.) tries for a pin in a Jan. 4 matchup against Milford.Coastal Point • RUSLANA LAMBERT:
Dominique Morris (145 lbs.) tries for a pin in a Jan. 4 matchup against Milford.

Four Indian River wrestlers placed in the top eight and two of them placed in the top three. Andy Bokinsky earned first place at 171 pounds for the third time in as many tournaments this season. Mike Magaha (103) placed third, Perry Townsend (189) fourth and Dominque Morris (145) eighth.

The Tiger Classic is considered to be one of the premier wrestling tournaments in the region and competition is fierce. Head Coach Jeff Windish hoped to stay “in the middle of the pack,” which they did, but they also got a good look at some of their competition within the Henlopen Conference.

Sussex Central nailed down second place and had nine wrestlers place. Smyrna placed six wrestlers, to rank fourth overall. Polytech earned the fifth slot, placing five wrestlers.

Magaha made sure he took full advantage of this final tournament to do some scouting before heading into regular-season conference matches, and it paid off. Magaha admitted that his weak point is wrestling from the bottom, but careful scrutiny of an upcoming opponent gave him an edge in the losers’ bracket.

Magaha noted that Polytech’s Josh Hall was one of his toughest opponents but had noticed that if he blocked his leg when on bottom then he could get out from under — and that’s just what he did to earn a third-period pin.

Magaha mentioned that he doesn’t concern himself with his individual performance when wrestling in tournaments, and that might be the trick.

“I thought that I would’ve been knocked out because there are so many tough kids. But I think I did better because even if I lost, I knew that it was to someone good,” explained Magaha.

Magaha, Bokinsky and Perry Townsend have all placed in each of the three tournaments this season, and it appears success does indeed breed more success.

“Now I’m looking to challenge Caesar Rodney’s Chris Keetch (the top 103-pounder) and to be the ranked first in the state,” said Magaha.

Indian River was set to host Milford and Laurel on Jan. 4 and travel to Delmar on Jan. 6 for a 6:30 match. The Indians will wrestle Smyrna and Caravel at Smyrna on Jan. 11 in a 6:30 match.