While Cape Henlopen proved to be a tough opponent, defeating the Indians 52-18 last Friday on Senior Night, Jack Frost appears to be Indian River’s bitter ally.
The wintry weather has forced school cancellations this week, postponing an important match from Jan. 25 to Jan. 26 against the Sussex Tech Ravens, while wrestling Sussex Central as scheduled on Friday, Jan. 28.
“It’s great anytime you get extra practice time to prepare for an opponent,” said head coach Jeff Windish.
The extra practice has produced a frenzy of excitement as the Indians push farther into the Henlopen North. “Sussex Central is a tough ranked team, but they’re our biggest rival and the kids are really excited about facing them,” said Windish.
The Indian River wrestling squad has struggled versus the bigger schools of the Northern conference teams thus far this season, as the Indians look for their first victory after a rough 0-5 start.
“I need all my guys to wrestle to the best of their capabilities in order to beat Central,” said Windish.
The match against Central will highlight two ranked opponents, Andy Bokinsky of Indian River and Chris Cordry of Central in a rematch of the Delmarva Classic.
The Indians as a whole look to rebound in the final stretch after a frustrating loss to Cape Henlopen.
“The lower weight class matches were pivotal for us,” said Windish. “Some matches got away from us and Cape was able to score bonus points for the win.”
The Indians launched to a 9-0 advantage, setting the stage for a victory after a Mario Robles’ (275) pin and Mark Magaha’s (103) win by decision. The resilient Cape Henlopen squad countered to win the next eight matches, five of which were won by pin.
The decisive moment came with the match even at nine apiece, Senior Mark Giblin (125), battled for the full six minutes and nearly pinned his opponent as time expired in a losing effort.
Despite an early 0-5 deficit and a second period injury, Giblin continued fighting, narrowing the score to a tight 6-5 mark. Giblin credited his opponent for the victory. “He caught my leg in a navy ride early in the match,” Giblin said. “He’s a good wrestler.”
“He (Giblin) wrestled hard and that’s all a coach can ask for,” exclaimed Windish.
The most anticipated match of the evening pitted Andy Bokinsky (160) versus Kyle King — ranked third and fourth, respectively, in the state. The match started slowly, each wrestler jockeying for the best position, neither over anxious.
“I like to start slow and turn it on at the end,” said Bokinsky.
Bokinsky won the match, 8-4 by decision, elevating his record to 16-1 and 2-0 versus King.
The Indians finished the night on a strong note with senior captain D.J. Singleterry continuing his unbeaten record with a convincing victory in the first period. Singleterry’s dominating performance improved his record to a staggering 21-0. Singleterry put the screws to his opponent, pinning him, seemingly at will.