(Feb. 15, 2019) In the past 50 years, Stephen Decatur sports teams have won five state championships. The wrestling team holds two of those titles.
The first wrestling championship was earned in 2008 and the most recent came last Saturday, when the Seahawks captured the Maryland 3A dual meet crown at North Point High School in Waldorf.
“I’m super pleased,” Decatur Coach Todd Martinek said. “I told the kids at the beginning of the year that was our goal. We wanted to win states and we did it.”
Second-seeded Decatur battled No. 3 Bel Air in the semifinal round. The two teams had met in early January during the Iron Horse Duals, where Decatur won 44-25.
“I felt pretty confident in the Bel Air match and I think the kids did also because they knew them,” Martinek said. “I think the familiarity with Bel Air helped us. I know as a coach, I felt comfortable with that match … We went up early. We won the first five matches and we had it clenched at 152.”
Since Decatur had secured the victory after 12 matches, Martinek decided to forfeit the final two bouts to rest his wrestlers for the championship round.
Decatur had about thee hours between the semifinals and final round so the team left the gym, got something to eat and just relaxed to clear their minds, Martinek said.
Top-seeded Linganore edged out No. 4 Huntingtown 38-29 in the other semifinal competition.
“I told them to take it personal. ‘You’ve worked really hard and this team is trying to take something that you have earned. So take it personal, wrestle as hard as you can, don’t give up any points just do your job, don’t focus on the team just do you job,’ and we totally did that,” Martinek said. “I was pretty confident we could beat Linganore and a lot of it was going to come down to the coin toss about who could set up matchups at certain weight classes.”
Unfortunately, Decatur lost the toss and Linganore was able to determine some key matchups to benefit them.
“There was only two [matches] I was worried about. They won those two and took out two of our best kids, but the other kids, win or lose, did a great job getting bonus points,” Martinek said. “Every point mattered. We both won seven matches, but we got more team points than they did with our two pins.”
Linganore led 27-23 with one match remaining. Decatur sophomore Micah Bourne need to win his 182-pound match by a technical fall (five points) or a pin (six points) to secure the victory for his team.
“I was nervous, but I knew my whole family was there and I wanted to make them proud and my team [proud]. I’ve been busting my butt all season to prove that to them,” Bourne said.
Bourne, who led 7-1 at the end of the first period, felt he dominated the entire match. As he added points to the scoreboard Bourne became more confident.
“I knew I had to tech him, but once I took him down the first time I knew I was going to pin him,” Bourne said. “I was just waiting for the right move, so I took him down a couple times, let him up, then I waited until he made his mistake then I capitalized on it.”
Bourne said when he put Linganore’s Hope Rene Baguio LI on his back with about a minute left on the clock in the second period, he knew he was going to pin him.
“It was awesome,” Bourne said. “It was very exciting.”
Bourne’s victory put Decatur ahead 29-27, but the team was docked one point for unsportsmanlike conduct because of a fan’s early celebration on the mat.
The undefeated Decatur squad will now compete in the Bayside Conference championship meet, today and Saturday, in Cambridge. The Berlin squad blew through conference competition this season and Martinek is confident the Seahawks can bring home the title.
“My goal would be eight in the finals out of 14 and send 12 kids to regionals,” Martinek said. “I’m excited to see how the kids do. We peaked last week. We just have to stay peaked for the next three weeks.”
North Caroline won the 2018 Bayside competition, scoring 208 points. Decatur was close behind, finishing with 206 points.
Several Decatur wrestlers are seeded first in their weight class divisions for Baysides: juniors Shamar Baines (106) and Jagger Clapsadle (113), a team captain, sophomore Nico D’Amico (120) and senior Dakota Souder (285).