By Chris Chaney
The Milford Eagles’ wrestling team is only about a third of the way through its schedule, but already the young grapplers are showing the promise that will take the program in the right directions for years to come.
Without a senior on the roster, what the Eagles lack in experience, they make up for in effort. Head coach Pete Babinec has a squad full of guys that are wiling to put in the work necessary to become a power in the newly-started Eastern Cincinnati Conference.
The Eagles kicked off the 2012-13 season with the Harrison Tournament on December 1 before wrestling in their first Super-Tri match of the season at Sycamore.
Since then, Milford has only wrestled two other times in competition, the first coming at the SWOWCA Coaches’ Classic Tournament at Harrison and recently at the Kenston Invitational over the Holiday break.
Given the small sample size and rotating lineups, the Eagles are still looking to find an identity for the team heading into 2013.
The grapplers will have a good opportunity to do that as they kick off the New Year with a match at Lebanon on Jan. 3 where the Eagles will face off with the host school as well as Princeton.
Despite having a pretty fluid lineup, the Eagles have had some standouts so far this season.
At 160 lbs. the Eagles have been very formidable with the tandem of Cody Reel and Dominick Serge going a combined 8-3 throughout the season, the best mark of any weight class for the Eagles.
In the lightest weightclass, the 103-pounders, Milford’s Trevor Worley has notched a 3-6 record to start the season. Randy Bronough at 113 lbs. is pretty close to even at 4-5, while Brandon Gay has had some trouble in the 120 lbs. class as he has only won 1 of his eight matches.
Gage House is 3-4 at 126 lbs. for the Eagles and Mark Wilfong is an even 1-1 at 132 lbs. In the 138 class, Shayne McDonough is sporting a similar 1-1 record with one pin.
At 152, Robert Hall is still looking for his first win of the season, while returner Jack Noll is 3-8 to start the year with two pins at 170 lbs. Similar to Hall, Dominick Hathaway is still searching for his first win of the year at 182 lbs.
Dale Coates is 1-6 at the 195 level and David Sheldon is 3-7 at 220.
Wrestling in the heavyweight division for the Eagles — 285 lbs. — Joey DeSalvo is 2-7.
Everyone on the team has wrestled less than 10 times competitively, so it’s tough to gage how the Eagles will bounce back in 2013, but there is no doubt about the amount of effort that will be put out.
After the tri-match with Lebanon and Princeton, the Eagles will face Anderson the following week and then Wilmington, Western Brown and McNicholas on Jan. 17 in another tri-match.
From there on in, Milford will be competing in tournaments on a weekly basis leading up to the Eastern Cincinnati Conference Tournament on Feb. 2 and then the Sectional Tournament will come two weeks later.