The Smyrna Eagles led the way for most of the wrestling season, but in the state final, Caesar Rodney regained their perch, earning the team’s second straight wrestling state title.
Coach Dickie Howell’s squad defeated Smyrna 32-24 in the final. The victory proved especially gratifying for Howell as his brother, Kurt Howell, coaches the Smyrna wrestling team.
Howell led the Caesar Rodney Riders to a 10-4 record on the year with a team largely comprised of seniors.
However, one of the Riders’ most consistent wrestlers is rising junior Micah Hight, already a two-time state champion at the 120-pound weight class.
Hight said the team simply has one goal every season: win state.
As far as individual goals, Hight has the chance to become Caesar Rodney’s first-ever four-time state champion.
“I just try to take it year by year,” Hight said when asked about the prestigious record. “But it’s there in the back of my mind.”
Not only does Hight anticipate more competition next season, he also expects to assume more of a leadership role on the squad.
The Riders graduated seven seniors from this year’s team, including state champions Kaleb Lamaire and Stephen Jackson. The senior exodus will force Howell and his team to rebuild with new wrestlers rather quickly.
“Next year’s gonna involve some rebuilding,” Howell said. “We have a nice freshmen group and JV group so they’ll need to step up for us.”
And according to Howell, who just finished his 21st season as the Riders wrestling coach, if Caesar Rodney hopes to win a third consecutive state championship, they’ll likely have to take down Smyrna again.
“As long as we work hard, hopefully everything falls into place,” Hight said.