Smyrna High School's Brent Fleetwood is officially a "Beast" after capturing the 113 lb. wrestling title Sunday afternoon at the prestigious Beast of the East Wrestling Tournament held at the University of Delaware's Bob Carpenter Center this weekend. The 20th annual tournament packed the Bob on Saturday and Sunday with more than 750 wrestlers from 103 high schools in 13 states. Fleetwood, the top seed in his weight class, defeated the second seed, Aaron Assad of Brecksville by an 8-1 count. In the semifinal round, he narrowly defeated Charles Tucker from Blair Academy 3-1 to get a chance at winning the title.
After the victory, Fleetwood said he was at a loss for words. "I was nervous going out and it's just an awesome feeling. My coach is really big on just going out and opening it up and just acting like it was any other match. I was just trying to pretend it wasn't the Beast of the East finals and I just wrestled and did whatever I could," said Fleetwood.
On Saturday, Fleetwood won his first match with a 17-0 technical fall over Cumberland Valley's (Pa.) Sam Horning. Then, he earned a 5-1 decision over Nick Farro of Delbarton (N.J.) in the second round, and advanced to Sunday's quarterfinal matches by edging J.D. Gregory of Hanover (Va.), with 4-2 decision.
"Brent wrestled a nice match and didn't make any mistakes and just wrestled aggressively. I think he had to come back from a couple of tough matches during the day and Saturday night. It was a great match for him," said Smyrna coach Kurt Howell, a former standout wrestler at Newark High School.
Two other Delaware wrestlers, Caesar Rodney's Micah Hight and Thomas Ott of Cape Henlopen won several matches and accumulated scoring points for their teams.
This year's team Beast is Blair Academy with 305 points. Smyrna was 26th with 61.5 points. A total of 14 local schools participated, including Appoquinimink (10)2, Caesar Rodney (35), Cape Henlopen (76), Caravel (T-95), Delaware Military Academy(86), Middletown (83), Milford (84), Salesianum (68), St. Mark's (72), Sussex Central (61), Sussex Tech (T-91), A.I. DuPont (T-95) and Woodbridge (T-91). St. Mark's has the distinction of participating in all 20 events, and hosted several tournaments in the early days.
Tournament Director Bobby Shaw announced his retirement after ten years at the helm of Beast of the East. Shaw, a former wrestler at Salesianum High School, is only the second person lead the tournament. He'll be replaced by Steve Lex, who's been involved with the organization for several years.
Fleetwood's Tournament Summary:
113 - Brent Fleetwood's place is 1st and has scored 27.50 team points:
Champ. Round 1 – B. Fleetwood (Smyrna) won by tech fall over Sam Horning (Cumberland Valley) (TF 170) Champ. Round 2 - Brent Fleetwood (Smyrna) won by decision over Nick Farro (Delbarton), (Dec 5-1)
Champ. Round 3 - Brent Fleetwood (Smyrna) won by decision over JD Gregory (Hanover), (Dec 4-2)
Quarterfinal - Fleetwood (Smyrna) won by dec. over Ryan Friedman (St Pauls School for Boys), (Dec 5-0)
Semifinal - Brent Fleetwood (Smyrna) won by dec. over Charles Tucker (Blair Academy), (Dec 3-1)
1st Place Match - Brent Fleetwood (Smyrna) won by dec. over Aaron Assad (Brecksville, OH), (Dec 8-1)