Indians host teams from five states at Battle at the Beach
Indian River High School played host to teams from five different states this past weekend at the now-annual Battle at the Beach wrestling tournament.
“It’s good for Delaware to have these kids coming in from different states and good schools,” explained Indian River head wrestling coach Jeff Windish. “It’s definitely good for my program. They get to see different wrestlers than they’re going to see throughout the year.”
After starting the season 1-0 with a 48-33 conference win at Delmar High School on Dec. 18, the Indians wrestled well as they played host to teams from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
“I think we wrestled well in spots,” said Windish as the tournament began to wind down. “I think there’s definitely some area for improvement in a couple different weight classes, but I’m proud of the way our kids wrestled. They battled. They grinded it out.”
Senior Jake Troublefield — one of the team’s best wrestlers this year, according to Windish —made it to the semi-finals and wrestled the Beast of the East champion from last week.
“He went the distance with him. That’s an accomplishment in itself,” explained Windish.
Standout freshman 132-pounder Chris Esque also made it to the semi-finals in the tournament.
“He lost a tight match,” Windish said. “There’s a lot of bright spots in his future. He’s wrestling with the best kids in the state, keeping matches close and upsetting some kids along the way.”
While the tournament ultimately proved to be a success for both the wrestlers and the school, it takes a great deal of effort for those involved to execute it.
“It’s a rough weekend,” Windish explained of what it takes to put on the tournament. “It’s a lot of time and effort on the part of my wrestlers, my boosters and my coaching staff, but I think it’s definitely worthwhile.”
Up next, the Indians will face Wilmington Friends School on Tuesday, Jan. 7, and Laurel High School on Wednesday, Jan. 8, as they look to improve to 3-0 on the season. The matches will both be held at Indian River High School and begin at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
Asked what the rest of the season will hold for the Indians’ wrestling squad, Windish expressed high hopes, as always.
“Every year, we set our goals the same: we want to win a state title,” he said. “We’re there pretty much every year, wrestling for a state title. We’ve fallen short a couple years, but our expectation this year is no different than any year in the past. That’s our mentality coming into the season.”