The Smyrna High School wrestling program will host its annual alumni recognition ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 11 before the Eagles take on Sussex Tech in a Henlopen Conference battle in Smyrna at 6:30 p.m.
This year, Smyrna will honor wrestlers who reached the 100 victory mark, along with former head coach and state champion Buddy Lloyd who was recently inducted into the Delaware Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame. Also, all former wrestlers, coaches, student managers and cheerleaders are invited to attend and be recognized. For more information, call Clay Lloyd at (302) 222-5685.
Before Wednesday night’s contest against the Ravens, the Eagles will give special recognition to the 13 wrestlers who earned 100 victories in their high school varsity careers.
The group is led by Brent Fleetwood, currently a junior at Central Michigan. While at Smyrna, Fleetwood won state titles in all four years of his high school career, becoming just the 10th wrestler in Delaware history to do so and the first from Smyrna High.
The list also features a number of former state champions, including three-time state champion Harry Blendt (1995-1998), two-time state champs Tyler Carney (2011-2014), John Archangelo (2009-2012) and Zach Boyles (2010-2013), along with Michael Crain, a state champion in 2004 and 2016 graduate Kalen Wilson who won a state title in 2015.
Others to reach the 100 win mark include Cody Carbine (2007-2010), Kenny Boyles (2007-2010), David Hershberger (2008-2011), Brian Fletcher (2002-2005), Donnie Messick (2006-2009) and Frankie Johnson (1994-1997).
Lloyd, who was inducted into the DWA Hall of Fame in October, will also be honored alongside the program’s 100 victory wrestlers. Lloyd has been an integral part of Smyrna wrestling history, making an impact both on the mat and on the sidelines.
In 1970, he was a state champion wrestler at Smyrna before taking over as coach of the Smyrna High team for five seasons from 1978 to 1983. During his tenure as head coach, Lloyd was named Delaware Coach of the Year in 1982.
Lloyd also founded the Smyrna Little Wrestlers program back in 1972, which has acted as a feeder program for both the middle school and high school programs. Along with his many duties at Smyrna, Lloyd has also served as a chairman of the DIAA State Wrestling Committee.
Undefeated Eagles to take on young Sussex Tech squad
After Wednesday night’s alumni festivities, Smyrna and Sussex Tech will tangle on the mat.
Smyrna enters the contest undefeated in dual-meet action, sitting at 3-0 after earning victories over St. Georges Tech (46-21), Laurel (61-14) and Dover (41-19).
In their most recent effort against the Senators, Smyrna took eight of the 14 weight classes. Gregory Baum (132), Chase Archangelo (145), Nate Bryant (152), Dakota Kerr (160), Larsen Wilson (170), Hunter Moyer (182), Anthony Wuest (195) and Gavin Sembly (113) all earned victories for the Eagles.
After a 5-8 mark as a team last season, Sussex Tech comes into tonight’s meet at 3-1 on the season behind an impressive group of young wrestlers.
Behind seniors Jacob Hamer and Robert Van Pelt, along with juniors Darvin Perez, Hunter Hineline, sophomores Carl Schirmer and freshman Mason Rolp and Tarryl Sturgis, the Ravens have earned wins over Laurel (54-28), Delcastle (54-19) and Lake Forest (51-19).
“We are young in age but all have wrestling experience and success,” said Sussex Tech Head Coach Scott Layfield. “We have to get the young guys mat time, if the wrestlers in the room improve daily, we’ll be a much better team as the season goes on.”
After tonight’s matchup with the Ravens, Smyrna will be back action over the weekend in the Virginia Duals at Hampton Coliseum on Friday and Saturday.
They return to their dual-meet schedule next Wednesday on the road against Cape Henlopen before taking part in their final regular season tournament next weekend in the Lancer Invitational at Central High School in Pennsylvania.
Last Saturday, the Eagles were scheduled to battle Maryland power McDonogh School, but the matchup was postponed due to snow. No makeup date has been announced yet.