The No. 3 Caesar Rodney High School wrestling team tore through three matches at the Division I DIAA Dual Wrestling Championships Feb. 15 to grab its first title since 2007.
In recent years, teams like St. Mark's and Sussex Central high schools have given the Caesar Rodney High School wrestling program fits.
So it was only fitting at the 2011 Division I DIAA Dual Wrestling Championships that the No. 1 Spartans and No. 2 Golden Knights stood in the No. 3 Riders' way of its first title since 2007.
The young Riders were up to the challenge, taking down Central, 35-30, in the semifinals and then St. Mark's, 36-24, to take the title back to Camden at the dual tournament Feb. 15 at Smyrna High School.
Without a first round bye due to its No. 3 seed, CR first had to beat No. 6 William Penn High School, 41-22, before it moved on to face its two main challenges.
The Riders never trailed a match in the tournament and due to some dominant performances early in its first two matches they were able to forefit five bouts to rest some wrestlers for the titlt with St. Mark's.
In the finals, CR jumped out to a 12-0 lead on a pair of decisions and a pin by 119-pounder Kaleb LeMaire, before the Spartans got on the board with a decision of their own.
From there, Rider dominance set in as they took four of the five next bouts. St. Mark's made a strong effort to comeback with back-to-back pins at 171 and 189 pounds.
But a decision win by senior 215-pounder Jason Carver, 3-0, and a close 1-0 by 285-pounder Rodmy Leo, a senior sealed the win and, set sophomore Zach Howell, 103 pounds, up to pin his opponent in the final bout and put the cherry on top of the victory for his team.
In the Division II tournament, No. 3 Caravel Academy took down No. 1 Indian River High School, 44-34, in the finals.