By Mike McClure

The Laurel varsity wrestling team clinched its second straight Henlopen South championship with a 55-21 road win over Delmar on Monday. The Bulldogs came into their final division meet with no losses while the Wildcats, who still had to face Indian River, had one loss before Monday’s dual meet.

“It feels good. I think we’ll be in a good spot (in the dual meet tournament). I think it will be a tough battle either way,” said Laurel head coach Zach Toadvine.

Laurel’s Landen Messick recorded a first period pin in his 138 pound match to help his team to a 55-21 win over Delmar. Photo by Mike McClure

“Right now everybody’s healthy,” Toadvine said, adding that his 106 pound wrestler is returning from vacation. “Everybody’s starting to peak.”

Delmar’s Logan Armistead opened the varsity meet with a win by forfeit in the 106 pound match. Laurel’s Ian Messick (113) won by major decision and the Bulldogs’ Wilvinsky Mouche (120) won by forfeit to put their team up, 10-6.

In the 126 pound match, Laurel’s Connor Smith led Delmar’s Jazmon Snead, 2-0, at the end of the first period before Snead tied it up in the second. Smith scored two points in the waning minutes of the third period for the 4-2 victory.

The Wildcats pulled within four (13-9) when Ryan Goehner (132) edged Kenyen Littleton, 7-4. 

Laurel answered with five straight pins, starting with Landen Messick’s pin with 48.4 seconds left in the first period of the 138 pound match. The Bulldogs’ Stanley Pete (144) won by fall with 1.8 seconds left in the second.

Laurel’s Xavier Limehouse (150) recorded a pin with 1:22 left in the second period. Aidan Bell (157) also had a second period pin and fellow Bulldog Blake Hudson (165) won by fall with 25.7 seconds remaining in the first period.

Delmar’s Kane Johnson (175) broke up the Laurel streak with a pin with just over a minute left in the first period. Bryce Johnson (190) added a first period pin to make the score 43-21.

Laurel ended the dual meet with two more pins as Brayden Hearn (215) won by fall with 1:31 left in the first and Joseph Baynard (285) had a pin with 41 seconds remaining in the first.

 “It’s always a battle. Their coach (Delmar co-head coach Matt Tyndall) used to be my coach (at Laurel),” said Toadvine.