Parsley rejoins Milford wrestling team primed for a title run

MILFORD – How do you replace a head coach who has led his team to consecutive state titles?

The Milford wrestling team’s answer is with one who also has led past Buccaneers grappling squads to a pair of championships.

Alex Creasey is one of multiple Milford wrestlers that return after placing in states. (The Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Alex Creasey is one of multiple Milford wrestlers that return after placing in states. (The Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Longtime Bucs wrestling head coach Don Parsley, who coached Milford for 25 years until stepping down after the 2009-‘10 season, is back to lead this season’s team following Dan Rigby’s departure to take over at Caesar Rodney.

“I’ve been staying busy, did some work with Sussex Tech and taught driver’s education, and I enjoyed it,” Parsley said of how he spent the last half decade away from the sidelines. “But I like to impact people in different ways and when Dan went to CR it allowed me to make the move.”

During his tenure coaching wrestling at Milford, Bucs teams won more than 200 dual-meets and captured team championships in 2004 and 2009. The team he inherited from Rigby, Parsley said, could be one of his best ever.

“Though my 25 years of coaching, this is one of the most talented teams I have had a chance to work with,” Parsley said. “I’m excited about the opportunity.”

His excitement is certainly understandable.

Graduating from last year’s state championship team were solid starters Jarek Lugo, Matt Groce and Ben Mitzel – and the Bucs will be without wunderkind sophomore Cam Hayes, who followed Rigby to CR – but several talented grapplers return for another run.

Included in that group are individual state finalists Bart Dalious and Kenny VanVorst, as well as several other tournament qualifiers.

“Alex Creasey has been a strong wrestler his first two years, Chase Taylor had a good season last year,” Parsley said. “Robbie Rosser will get to wrestle at 106.”

Rosser, who last season was giving away close to 10 pounds even on the rare occasions he was able to wrestle 106, oftentimes bumped to 113 and even then won far more often than he lost.

“He’s growing up and will probably have to cut a few pounds to be at 106,” Parsley said of Rosser. “He’ll do his thing and people saw what he is capable of. I don’t think he’s a secret.”

All of that figures to add up to Milford again being a frontrunner in the state dual-meet championship race if the Buccaneers can avoid complacency and the injury bug.

Making sure Milford stays focused is one of his main concerns, Parsley said, adding that a strong dual-meet schedule that includes matches with two-time defending Division I state champion Smyrna, Cape Henlopen, Dover and Rigby’s Riders will force them to stay sharp.

“We work on them daily, keeping that mental edge is important,” he said. “And we have a host of teams that will challenge us this year and set us up for Division II.”

Milford begins its season this weekend in the Polytech Invitational. The following weekend it will host its own Milford Invitational tournament.

From the Milford Chronicle Sports Desk

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