Heading into the 2011-2012 wrestling season the Smyrna Middle School wrestling team had something big at stake, a winning streak that no other middle school program in the state had yet reached…100 straight wins.
The big day came on Dec. 12 against Milford Middle School when Smyrna beat their opponent 46-28. The victory was the team’s 100th consecutive win and the wrestling team never looked back. A couple months later, the SMS wrestling season is over and the streak of 109 consecutive wins will continue on until next year.
“I’m so excited. I did know we’d go undefeated after winning the 100th,” said head coach Steve Stewart. “As the season went on, the only team I worried about was Fifer [Middle School], they’re the one that scared me.”
Fifer, a school in Smyrna’s rival school district Caesar Rodney, was up 24-17 during the Feb. 2 match, which was something Stewart even predicted as Fifer is better in the first eight weight classes.
“We told them the first eight we’d lose and that it was their job to stay as close as they could on those first eight weight classes,” Stewart said. “We told them in the locker room beforehand and the practice before just to do their best and then play catch up.”
Once the match got to the middle and heavy weight classes, Smyrna caught up and raced right past Fifer, winning 50-30.
“Our middle and heavy weight kids did exactly what I thought they would do and won most of the rest of the match.”
The win against Fifer in the final match of the season made the streak of 109 wins even sweeter. The team went on to win the conference championship as well.
The undefeated season marks the 10th consecutive undefeated season for Smyrna Middle School wrestling, dating back to the 2001-2002 season. And it’s a feat that wasn’t lost on the wrestlers themselves.
“It feels really great. We thought we were going to lose it this year. But we toughed it out and ended up winning,” said captain Kalen Wilson.
Wilson was one of four wrestlers to go undefeated during the season as well. Joining him are Eli and Josh Hutchinson, and Jeff Campbell.
Ryan Seymour, an eighth grader, said the team feels accomplished: “We worked hard and trained hard. We owe a lot of credit to our coaches who came out each day to help us improve our game.”
Page 2 of 2 - For wrestlers moving up through the ranks, next year is a chance to continue winning in Smyrna. Noah Deneumoustier, a seventh grader, went 9-0 while wrestling in exhibition matches this year.
“It felt really good because I’ve never wrestled on a team like this before,” he said. “They gave me these matches and I hope to help kids next year succeed.”
Stewart said part of the team’s success this year was a result of the discipline and dedication of the wrestlers. When members of the team were injured, other wrestlers stepped up to help fill in the gaps.
“They were very well disciplined on the mat. They always came together for the big matches, which were Dover, Phillis Wheatley and CR,” Stewart.
As for next year, Stewart thinks there’s a good chance their winning ways will continue.
“Most of the them [wrestlers] are seventh graders, that’s what’s good about it,” he said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.