Smyrna celebrates the 2019 DIAA Division 1 Wrestling Championship

Smyrna celebrates the 2019 DIAA Division 1 Wrestling Championship

Smyrna's quest to end two years of championship match heartbreak didn't without a scary moment, but it did lead to a 35-33 victory over Caesar Rodney for their 5th state title.

Smyrna's Masen Wilson had given the Eagles a 20-18 lead with a 2nd period pin at 220, when CR's Kevin Hudson and Smyrna's Andrew DeBenedictis-Bayne locked in a tight heavyweight dual.

Hudson was up 5-1 in the final second seconds when he attempted a straight on takedown of his rival, whose head bounced off the mat, sending medical personnel streaming onto the mat to check on the injured grappler.

After about a 15-minute delay, DeBenedictis-Bayne was taken out on a stretcher, but did wave to the Smyrna crowd on his way out.

The injury default turned a 3-point CR win into a 6-point outcome, giving them a 24-20 lead as the weights went light for the final 6 bouts.

Freshman Gabe Giampietro was next on the mat for Smyrna, and just 7 seconds into the second period scored a fall to put the Eagles back on top, and put some energy back on the side in red.

Caesar Rodney's Marlon Smith answered with a decision triumph at 113 to send the Riders back ahead by a point, before the last major swing match hit.

Joey Natarcola of Smyrna scored a first-period pin of Colton Bowie at 120, putting the Eagles ahead for good.

Leading by 5 points, Smyrna's Jaxson Al-Chokhachy survived a last-second takedown attempt by Michael Primo to win 3-2, putting the Eagles in the driver's seat.

CR's Patrick Wisniewski won at 132, but Amir Pierce was able to keep it to a routine decision, meaning Smyrna's lead was 35-30 going into the 138 battle.

Nick Natarcola had to face CR's Jackson Dean with the knowledge that anything but a pin would mean a state title, and despite a 5-1 loss, it was time to celebrate for Smyrna.

The victory avenged last year's 1-point loss to CR in the final dual meet of the year. Smyrna had lost by 1 point in each of the past two years' finals, after winning four straight titles.

Earlier in the bout, Caesar Rodney's Jacob Garrett (195), Riley Tracy (160) and Gabe Degraffinreed (152) earned pin victories, while Smyrna's Gavin Sembly (170) scored one for the Eagles.

WDEL/Delaware SportsZone Sports Director. National Sports Media Association's Delaware Sportscaster of the Year (2013).