GLEN MILLS — When Oxford has come up in discussion around District 1 the past few years, it’s often been full of complaints over the travel needed when the Hornets have hosted the regional tournament.
After the first weekend of wrestling, a couple Oxford wrestlers opened some eyes and got its name in a more positive light. David Cox (170 pounds) and Brandon Sheffield (126) came off strong showings to open the season and helped the Hornets to a 69-12 non-league victory over Glen Mills, Thursday.
Cox had one of six pins for Oxford (1-0), following up on his title at the Solanco Mule Classic last Saturday. The junior has yet to see postseason action due to season-ending injuries the past two seasons, but his 6-0 record matches his win total from a year ago.
“It’s been good to get back into shape and get smooth with the moves again,” Cox said.
Dom Sassi (195), Alex Chavez (138), Jake Trabue (145), Will Johnson (152) and Tim Davis (160) earned falls for the Hornets, while Sam Blevins (182) pulled off a hard-fought 11-9 decision.
The Bulls forfeited five weights, negating the chance for Sheffield to put his skills on display, but the freshman already got his name out there last week with a third-place finish. His only loss came against Lancaster Catholic’s Joe Lobeck, a state runner-up in Class AA, in a tight 4-2 decision.
“I didn’t know who he was at first,” Sheffield said of Lobeck. “It was a good match, but I wish I was on the other side of it. I expected it to be a good match, but I didn’t want to lose.”
What made Cox and Sheffield’s runs even more impressive was the fact they started in the pigtail round. Cox knocked off a regional qualifier to reach the finals, where he beat a returning Class AA state qualifier, Dalton Group of Susquenita, 6-4.
Cox has his sights set high, saying his goal is “to finish top four in the state” this season, and his coach believes he’ll have the chance to accomplish his goal if he can stay healthy.
“I think if he gets through fully healthy he’ll be on to Hershey,” Oxford coach Scott Gold said. “Our guys did well last weekend. They got no respect, starting in the pigtails, but I don’t think they’ll be put there next year.”
Sheffield was somewhat of an unknown quantity, state-wide, and was left off the list of top incoming freshman, which is put out by papowerwrestling.com in the preseason.
“I looked at the list and was kinda surprised,” Sheffield said, “but I was kinda happy I wasn’t on it, too.”
Sheffield will have to navigate the deep waters as a lightweight, but Gold is confident he can hang.
“We knew what he was,” Gold said. “He’s been around the block. We’ll see how he can mature. He’s not going to dominate the juniors and seniors, but he’s fun to watch.”
Oxford has more depth in its lineup than in recent past, which should make the Hornets more competitive in their dual season. Trabue came back to the team after not wrestling his junior season, and Harry Marr (120) and Mike Galbraith (132) were one spot away from reaching regionals a year ago.
“Everyone has better practice partners and everyone is working well as a team this year,” Cox said.
Oxford 69, Glen Mills 12
182- Blevins (OX) dec. Tate, 11-9 (3-0)
195- Sassi (OX) pinned Sosa, 1:14 (9-0)
220- Hill (GM) pinned Z. Davis, 2:28 (9-6)
285- Sanders (GM) won by forfeit (9-12)
106- Evans (OX) won by forfeit (15-12)
113- Horseman (OX) won by forfeit (21-12)
120- Marr (OX) won by forfeit (27-12)
126- Sheffield (OX) won by forfeit (33-12)
132- Galbraith (OX) won by forfeit (39-12)
138- Chavez (OX) pinned Roman, 2:25 (45-12)
145- Trabue (OX) pinned Franklin, 1:51 (51-12)
152- Johnson (OX) pinned Dvorak, 5:24 (57-12)
160- T. Davis (OX) pinned Russell, 2:53 (63-12)
170- Cox (OX) pinned Dantzler, 2:42 (69-12)
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