Lewes – The have nots became the haves at the 67th Annual DIAA Individual State Wrestling Championships Saturday night at Cape Henlopen High School. Tower Hill ended the longest drought crowning their first two state champions since Bill Rankin won the 130 pound weight class for the Hillers in 1972.
Tower Hill junior Jack Duffy won a dramatic 6-5 decision to start off the final round at 144 pounds holding off a late takedown attempt at the buzzer by Caravel’s Jamar Wells.
“Last year I went in with no belief that I could win, just happy to make it to the finals as the seventh seed. This year I was like I didn’t want to get to the finals and go through the same exact thing I went through, sad, upset that I didn’t put my full effort into winning that match,” Duffy said.
Next up it was Lake Forest crowning their first champ since 2015 when Nurrideen Ahmad-Statts won the 150 pound weight class defeating Cape Henlopen’s Andrew Schaen 7-2. Ahmad-Statts became the 11th Spartan to win a state title.
Cape Henlopen’s Luke Bender missed last season with an injury, but came back this year and won the 157 pound weight class with a 14-4 major decision over Cam Cataldi of Caesar Rodney for his second state title. Two matches later teammate C.J. Fritchman captured the 175 pound weight class defeating Caravel’s Matt Duarte 5-2.
The ending title droughts theme continued at 165 pounds when Luke Spoor of St. Mark’s won a 6-1 decision over Anthony Lucian of Tower Hill. Spoor, a sophomore, followed in his father Stan Spoor’s footsteps as a state champion. Spoor became the 92nd St. Mark’s state champion.
Sanford’s lone entry in the tournament Justin Griffith made his fifth state final appearance and won his third state championship pinning Cape Henlopen Alex Taylor in 1:52 for the 190 pound title.
“I had a mindset change after Ironman, I went from having pressure on me to it’s just a match, have some fun, score some points so I went out there and tried to be aggressive,” Griffith said.
Salesianum crowned two champions in Max Agresti and Cam Davis Jr. Agresti finished a perfect 47-0 season defeating Tyler August 8-2 in the battle of defending state champions at 215 pounds. It was Agresti’s second state title. Davis won a thrilling 3-1 decision over Caesar Rodney’s Trevor Copes at 126 pounds in a match that kept the fans on the edge of their seats for the entire six minutes.
Tower Hill eighth grader Dominic Lucian joined Duffy atop the podium Saturday night. Lucian won the 106 pound weight class with an 8-2 decision over St. Mark’s Clif Bakhsh. Malachi Stratton was the lone champion for Sussex Central at 113 pounds defeating Tye Bellarin of Red Lion 9-3. It was the second state title for Stratton, a sophomore for the Golden Knights.
Delaware Military crowned a pair of champions in Cael DeNigris (285) and Daniel Williams (138). DeNigris went to sudden victory overtime to defeat Stephen Goodman of St. Elizabeth 3-1. It was the fourth meeting between the two wrestlers. Williams ended the final session of the tournament upsetting defending state champion Danny Sinclair of Wm. Penn in a crowd pleasing thriller 7-5 in sudden victory overtime.
The rest of the night’s champions belonged to Caravel Academy first with sophomore Eddie Radecki winning his third state title at 120 pounds pinning Caesar Rodney freshman in 1:43.
Luke Poore became Delaware’s 13th four time state champion at 132 pounds winning an 11-1 major decision over Nick Walker of Cape Henlopen.
With the victory Poore also became Delaware’s all-time win leader with 183 career victories surpassing Vinnie Raunato who was a two time state champion for Caravel ending his career in 2008.
“Records are made to be broken, I am so proud of Luke and the career he has had,” Ranauto said.
Ranauto was in attendance and presented Poore with a plaque at center mat after his win.
Poore joined his cousin Alex Poore in four time state champ club, Alex accomplished the feat last year.
Poore admitted that going into his finals match with all the rewards in front of him it did add some pressure.
“There was definitely some pressure, but pressure makes diamonds and I love that pressure that’s what keeps me going,” Poore said.
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