Sussex County high school wrestling has begun with hot competition for spots in the state championships. Here’s a look at some of the teams and what to look forward to.
Cape Henlopen Vikings
The Vikings will lean heavily on a strong group of returning wrestlers to get back into the state tournament. They return nine state qualifiers from last year, including Finbar Rishko, Andre Currie, Jackson Handlin, Roy Jones, Chris Handlin, Eduardo Saez, Will Ott, Jonah Robertson and state finalist Anthony Caruso.
Cape opened their dual-meet schedule with a 45-26 victory over Lake Forest, led by wins from Caruso, Rishko, Saez, Ott, Carson Kammerer, Michael Frederick, Dwaun Johnson and Sam Jones.
After hosting Sussex Central this week, the Vikings are back on the mat next Wednesday, traveling north to take on Charter School of Wilmington at 6 p.m.
Indian River Indians
The Indians posted another impressive season as a team last year, going 16-5 and reaching the DIAA Division II dual meet semifinals.
IR returns seven state qualifiers from last season, including Ian Shaubach, Ta’Jon Knight, Dylan Ely, Reshawn Turner, Zachary Schultz, Ramond Turner and Henlopen Conference champion Will Rayne.
Indian River looks to compete once again in not only the Henlopen South, but in Division II overall with Delaware Military Academy, Woodbridge, Archmere Academy, Laurel and defending DII champion Milford.
The Indians opened their dual-meet schedule this month with a 47-27 win over Seaford. Shaubach, Ely, Turner, Schultz, Chris Saylor and Jacob Grab all came away with victories to lead IR to a 1-0 start.
The Indians are back in action Friday at Hodgson starting at 6 p.m.
Sussex Central Golden Knights
Last season, the Golden Knights went 7-3 as a team and advanced to the Division I dual-meet semifinals before falling to No. 1 seed Smyrna.
Central will move on without four state qualifiers: Drew Morris, Devin Pearsall, Tyler Bunting and state champion Rashad Stratton.
While they’ll be without several key grapplers, the Golden Knights return state qualifiers Michael Wright, Jaden Savage, Brandon Greenlee, Cole Jester and state champion Mason Ankrom.
The Golden Knights hopes to use this deep roster to compete in the Henlopen North with Smyrna, Dover and DI state champion Caesar Rodney.
Sussex Central opened their dual-meet schedule earlier this week against Cape Henlopen; they’re back in action next Friday at Middletown starting at 6 p.m.
Sussex Tech Ravens
The Ravens want to catch up with their rivals down the road, Sussex Central.
Despite last season’s 15-6 team mark, the Ravens failed to qualify for the dual-meet championships. To change that, Tech will turn to returning state qualifiers Mason Rolph, Roberto Santos, Trey Hatfield, Andrew Hawkins and Jamie Schirmer.
The Ravens won’t open their dual-meet schedule until Thursday, Dec. 20, when they host Lake Forest.