IR wrestling picks up 42-22 win over Blue Raiders in dual-meet opener

BRIDGEVILLE – As the No. 2 seed in last season’s Division II dual-meet state championship bracket, Indian River made a championship round appearance.

The IR squad fell just shy of a team title, losing 32-30 to Milford in the championship match at Smyrna High.

Heading into this season, IR wrestling is regrouping and working towards making a trip back to the state championship match in February.

Thursday night, IR hit the road and opened its dual-meet schedule with a 42-22 victory over Henlopen South opponent Woodbridge.

“I’m proud of the kids, they went out and did what they needed to do,” said IR head coach Jeff Windish. “There were some gutsy wins right there in the middle. We definitely left some points out on the board, so we have to go home and work on that. It’s early in the season, you expect to have some things you need to improve on. But I’m pleased, it’s a division win and Woodbridge is well-coached.”

Reshawn Turner won by 7-3 decision in the 160-pound match against Woodbridge Thursday night (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Senior Brock Wingate (220-pound weight class) and sophomores Chris Saylor (106-pound) and Will Rayne (120-pound) each earned pins in the 20-point team win.

Indian River trailed 13-9 through six matches, but consecutive wins from Zach Schultz (17-1 technical fall), Wingate, Ramond Turner (10-0 major decision) and Saylor put the match out of reach for the Indians.

In Thursday’s match, just one senior and four juniors wrestled for Indian River. The remainder of the weight classes were filled with freshmen and sophomores.

“Every year you’re going to lose some kids to graduation. We lost some state-placers last year, and that’s hard to replace,” coach Windish said. “But I’ve got some young kids – some freshmen and some underclassmen – who are really working hard and have stepped up and filled some of the voids.”

Wingate and Collin Donaway will provide veteran leadership as the squad’s lone two seniors on this year’s roster. Juniors Dylan Ely, Reshawn Turner, Zach Schultz and Connor Sewitzky make up the juniors in the starting lineup.

The sophomore group, including Ramond Turner, Will Rayne and Ta’Jon Knight, earned valuable state tournament experience at last year’s dual-meet wrestling championships.

Dylan Ely won by 2-1 decision in the 138-pound match to open the dual-meet up against Woodbridge Thursday night (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

“We came away with a 42-22 win this early in the season, I think they’re figuring it out,” coach Windish said of his group of underclassmen.

Complete match results vs. Woodbridge:

138: Dylan Ely wins by 2-1 decision
145: A. Jackson (W) wins by 15-1 major decision over Connor Sewitsky.
152: E. Ramos (W) wins by 6-1 decision over Will Keller.
160: Reshawn Turner wins by 7-3 decision.
170: Eric Winstead wins by 3-2 decision.
182: D. Attwood (W) wins by pin over Collin Donaway in third period.
195: Zach Schultz wins by 17-1 technical fall.
220: Brock Wingate wins by pin in third period.
285: Ramond Turner wins by 10-0 major decision.
106: Chris Saylor wins by pin in second period.
113: J. Webb (W) defeats Ian Shaubach by 9-7 decision.
120: Will Rayne wins by pin in second period.
126: Ta’Jon Knight wins by forfeit.
132: J.Cannon (W) wins by pin over Michael Taylor in third period.

A team dual-meet title is always the ultimate goal for every wrestling squad in the state, but coach Windish also wants to see his team compete in the southern division this year.

“We’re always looking to do well in the division,” he said. “There’s definitely some tough teams this year – Milford’s got a lot coming back, Laurel appears to be pretty solid from top to bottom. So, we’re looking to be competitive in the South and then it’s always a goal to make states and bring home a title. It’s always a goal, and we have to work to get to it.”

Next up for IR: Beast of the East tournament Saturday, Dec. 16.

IR’s dual-meet schedule will resume Tuesday, Jan. 9 at Wilmington Christian School.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.