As the final week of the wrestling season kicks off, the Dover Senators are among a handful of Division I schools fighting for the six available spots in the upcoming DIAA Dual Meet Wrestling Championships.
Entering the week, the Senators hold a 12-3 record, coming off an impressive one-point victory over defending Division II State Champion Milford, their fourth straight meet win.
Dover has just two meets remaining, taking on both Sussex Central and Caesar Rodney, two teams fighting for dual meet championships spots.
The Golden Knights have had an impressive season, sitting at 6-1 as a team entering the week. However, to wrap up a spot in the dual championships, they’ll have to navigate through three tough matchups down the stretch, against the Senators, Indian River and defending Division I State Champion Smyrna.
Meanwhile, the Riders are 6-4 as a team needing a big win over Dover in their season finale to have an outside chance at earning a spot.
Even before finishing out their season this week, the Senators have put themselves in a great position heading into the postseason meets.
“The team as a whole is performing on task,” said Dover Head Coach Aaron Harris. “Certain individuals have stepped up and surpassed expectations.”
While the Senators’ record is impressive, they’ve performed well in tournaments this season against some of the state’s highest competition. Dover won the Polytech Invitational which featured aforementioned Milford and dual championship bubble teams Middletown and William Penn. They also placed second at the Canal Classic Tournament, finishing just behind Sussex Central and ahead of William Penn.
Individually, the Senators have several standouts who currently sit among the top ranked grapplers in their respective weight classes.
Tykwan Joyner has performed at a high level in the grounded 120 weight class which features Caesar Rodney’s Cameron Hayes, Smyrna’s Nick Natarcola and Anthony Caruso of Cape Henlopen. Joyner won a 4-3 decision over Natarcola during the Senators matchup with the Eagles earlier this season.
Nic Lee is one of the top contenders at 145, alongside Smyrna’s Chase Archangelo and Zeke Bean of Cape Henlopen. Lee fell to Archangelo by decision earlier this season and earned a injury decision victory over Bean in late January.
Finally, Anthony Fisher is one of the favorites statewide at 138, competing with William Penn’s Ryan Juarez-Robertson and Dante Immediato of Middletown.
After the Senators’ season finale this Friday against CR, they’ll learn whether or not they’re included in the dual state championships which will be held next Tuesday. Then, they’ll participate in the Henlopen Conference Championships that weekend before hosting the Individual State Championships the following weekend.
It’s stretch time for Dover as they know they’ll have to be at their best over the next few weeks if they hope to come away with some playoff hardware.
“Down the stretch, we’re looking to make a strong push in the playoffs as a team,” Harris said. “We’re also looking to make a statement at the Henlopen and State Championships, especially with Dover hosting the States. Our young team needs to mature pretty quickly if we’re going to accomplish our goals.”
The DIAA Dual Team Championships will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Smyrna High School starting at 3:30 p.m.
After the dual team championships, Sussex Central High School will host the Henlopen Conference Championships starting on Friday, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m.
The DIAA Individual Wrestling Championships will be held over two days, Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25 at Dover High School.