(Feb. 22, 2019) The Stephen Decatur wrestling team captured the Bayside Conference championship for 10 consecutive seasons (2002-2011), then again in 2017.
The Seahawks dominated their Bayside competition during the regular season this year and took home the conference title at last weekend’s tournament in Cambridge.
“We won all of the matches we should have won, and we pulled out a lot of the close matches,” Decatur Coach Todd Martinek said. “It was great. Twelve kids placed in the top four to qualify for regionals. Of the 12, four are seniors, so the future is bright.”
Decatur scored 283.5 points to earn first place. Parkside was runner-up with 209.5 points and Queen Anne’s came in third with 196 points.
“Putting seven in the finals pushed us ahead of everyone,” Martinek said.
A Decatur wrestler placed top-four in 12 of the 14 weigh classes to advance to the 3A/4A East Regional tournament, held this weekend at Severna Park High School.
“I’m excited for them,” Martinek said. “Some of the kids I was worried about them making it to regionals, but they pulled it out.”
Six Seahawks – a program record – won their divisions and individual Bayside championship awards.
Junior Shamar Baines (26-8) was victorious in the 106-pound weight class.
He received a first-round bye, then earned two technical-fall victories (21-5, 15-0). He pinned his opponent in the finals.
“I think I did pretty good. I was happy with how I wrestled,” Baines said. “I want to place [at regionals] and go to state. I just have to wrestle smart and hard.”
Junior captain Jagger Clapsadle (38-2) finished in first place in the 113-pound division.
He received byes in the first and second rounds. He pinned his semifinal and finals opponent both in the first period.
“I think I did pretty great,” Clapsadle said. “I got great partners, great coaches, and just overall my work ethic [led to success in the tournament]. I pinned and teched everyone in the Bayside this year.”
Clapsadle has some big goals for the upcoming tournaments.
“I’m going to win regionals and then after that I’m going to win states,” he said. “I just need to wrestle my match and trust everything I’ve been doing all year.”
Sophomore Nico D’Amico (36-4) won the 120-pound weight class.
He received a first-round bye. He pinned his second-round opponent, then outscored his semifinal-round competition, 12-3.
He logged a 10-3 victory in the finals.
“I wrestled a little sloppy, but I got the job done. I’ve just got to clean it up a little bit for regionals and states,” D’Amico said.
His goal is to win a regional title and advance to states.
“I got a couple tough kids in my bracket, but it’s definitely looking good for me,” he said. “I’m feeling confident.”
Freshman James Parana (8-2) placed first in the 160-pound division.
He pinned his first three opponents. Parana edged out his finals opponent, 8-6.
“It was a great feeling when I won,” he said. “I’m just really hoping to do well at regionals and states.”
Winning a Bayside title is a big accomplishment for Parana, who broke his left leg at the beginning of the wrestling season. He only returned to the mat about three weeks ago.
“I’m excited to be back. Wresting is my passion. I just love wrestling,” Parana said. “I’m not pushing it past anything I’m not comfortable with, but I’m pushing it hard enough to get to the next level.”
Parana hopes to place top-four at regionals to qualify for states.
“I’ve got some tough kids. I’m just going to do my best,” he said.
Sophomore Micah Bourne said he wrestled smart, which helped him earn the Bayside title in the 170-pound weight class.
“It was fun the whole time and I knew some of the kids I was wrestling, so it was a good experience,” he said. “I learned from some of the mistakes I made but, overall, I think I did very well.”
Bourne (32-7) received a first-round bye. He scored a technical-fall victory (18-3) in the quarterfinals and an 11-5 decision in the semifinals. He won 10-9 in the finals.
Bourne is looking forward to regionals.
“My regional [weight class] is pretty hard, so my goal is to get top-four and qualify for states,” he said. “I just need to wrestle hard [and] not giving up.”
Senior Dakota Souder came in first place in the 285-pound division.
Souder received a first-round bye, then pinned his next three opponents.
“The first day was good. The second day was a little shaky, but other than that, I did pretty good,” Souder said. “The second day I wasn’t feeling well. I was under the weather a little bit.”
Souder (37-4) would like to bring home a regional title and compete in the state meet.
“I just need to keep working the moves I’m comfortable with and not overthink too many things. Just focus on myself,” Souder said.
Senior captain Lukas Layton (32-10) finished in second place in the 182-pound weight class.
Freshman Noah Reho (126) and junior Kyle Elliott (132) took third in their divisions. Their current records are 38-5 and 33-9, respectively.
Seniors Jhymir Blake (152) and Daletez Smith (220), and junior captain DJ Taylor (195) placed fourth in their weight classes. They are going into the regional meet with 19-17, 18-15 and 20-11 records, respectively.
Martinek said on Monday his wrestlers would be working to improve their weaknesses this week before the regional meet.
“We’re healthy again and we’re peaking at the right time. Everything is clicking right now,” Martinek said. “The goal is to take as many kids as we can to states. I don’t see why we can’t take nine to states.”
To be successful, Martinek said the Seahawks need to maintain their weight wisely and just wrestle hard.
The top-four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the state meet, held March 1-2 at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.