(Jan. 10, 2020) The Stephen Decatur wrestling team started off the new year with a bang, winning the annual Iron Horse Duals, hosted by C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, Maryland, Jan. 3-4.
Prior to the tournament, Decatur Coach Todd Martinek said the team had participated in event for about seven years, but never won it. The goal this year was to finish in first place, and that’s just what the Seahawks did.
“I was ecstatic with the weekend. To come out winning the tournament, and coming out healthy, you can’t ask for more than that,” he said. “And we were impressive. We really didn’t have a close dual meet.”
The 15 teams were divided into two groups. Decatur was in Group B. The Seahawks earned victories against all their opponents.
Decatur topped Bishop Ireton (75-6), Howard (66-9), Boys’ Latin School (70-3), Cape Henlopen (49-19), Bel Air (67-9), Leonardown (42-21) and John Carroll (64-10).
The Berlin squad then battled the first-place team in Group A - South Carroll. Decatur came out on top, 57-23, to win the tournament.
“People kept telling me we were dominant. I felt like we wrestled well,” Martinek said. “Looking back on it, I guess we were dominant. We had a lot of pins and we didn’t get pinned very much. We had a solid lineup, which is good, and that’s what you’ve got to have to win a state championship.”
Sophomore Alex Koulikov went 8-0 during the tournament, pinning each of his opponents. Junior Micah Bourne also won eight matches. He pinned five of his opponents.
Junior James Parana finished with a 7-0 record. Six of his wins were by pin.
Senior captain Jagger Clapsadle and junior captain Nico D’Amico both went 7-0.
“We just try to get the best competition to keep them a little bit humble and hungry and working hard,” Martinek said.
Decatur was back to Bayside Conference competition this week, hosting the Wicomico Indians on Wednesday in Berlin.
After 22 junior varsity matches, the varsity squad stepped on the mat. Decatur shutout Wicomico, 82-0.
Senior Austin Miller started things off with a pin in the 106-pound weight class.
Wicomico then forfeited the next eight matches.
Parana earned a pin at 170 pounds. Senior DJ Taylor (182) and junior Johnny Hofman (195) then pinned their opponents.
Wicomico forfeited the 220-pound match.
Senior Jonathan Church finished the meet with an 11-2 major-decision victory at 285 pounds.
“I think overall, the kids wrestled well,” Martinek said. “I was really happy with the JV kids. It was nice to get some matches for the program … I was really happy with John Church at the end. He had to bump up to heavyweight and ended up giving up 60 pounds – he was 210 and the other kid was 270. He’s been wrestling well.”
Decatur will compete in a tri-meet with the Colonel Richardson Colonels and St. Michaels Saints today, Friday, in Federalsburg, Maryland, at 5 p.m.
On Monday, the Seahawks will take a trip to Camden, Delaware, to face the Caesar Rodney Riders at 6 p.m.
“Right now we have a solid lineup. We’re wrestling well, we’re healthy, we’re making weight, so if that can continue, we’ll be in good shape,” Martinek said. “I like where we’re at. We just got to keep working hard and get better every day.”