(March 1, 2019) Eight Stephen Decatur wrestlers will compete in the 3A/4A state championship meet, today and Saturday, at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.
They advanced to the state championship after placing top-four during the 3A/4A East Regional tournament, held last weekend at Severna Park High School.
“It was a good weekend,” Decatur Coach Todd Martinek said. “I’m certainly happy with how we wrestled. Regionals is like a stepping stone, and hopefully [their performance] carries over to this week.”
Two Decatur wrestlers captured regional titles in their weight classes.
Freshman Noah Reho (41-5) took first place in the 126-pound division.
“It was pretty exciting,” he said. “I felt really good.”
Reho received a first-round bye. He won by technical fall (17-0) in the quarterfinals, then outscored his semifinals opponent, 6-0.
“I was extremely happy with the first two matches. I wrestled pretty good,” he said. “I beat [Drew Pruett of Atholton] in the semifinals, who was state runner-up last year.”
After trailing 2-0, Reho topped his finals opponent, 4-3.
“It was a lot closer than I wanted it to be,” Reho said. “In the end, I got into my comfort zone and ended it, squeezing out a win.”
Reho hopes to get into the finals at states. He would love to win the tournament.
“It’s a big accomplishment” to qualify for the state meet, especially as a freshman, he said.
“It’s just a good feeling,” he added.
To be successful, Reho said he has to go into each match with confidence.
“I have the skills, it just matters if I have confidence,” he said. “Wrestling is a mental sport.”
Senior captain Lukas Layton (35-10) won the 182-pound weight class.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I think I wrested pretty good.”
Layton received a first-round bye. He pulled out a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals, and then scored a 6-0 win in the semifinals.
Layton earned a 13-5 major decision in the finals.
“The first night was a little rough, because my match was later [in the night] and I only had one match. I was waiting around getting cold,” he said. “I got through that match and the next day I just wrestled tough and smart.”
Layton is looking forward to the state tournament.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “I just want to do the best I can.”
Layton is shooting to place in the top four.
“I need to just be tough and smart,” he said.
Junior Shamar Baines (28-9) came in second place in the 106-pound weight class.
He received a first-round bye. Baines earned a 6-5 decision in the quarterfinals over Atholton’s Peter Frazier.
“That was kind of an important win because I lost to him at regional duals, 10-12,”
He pinned his semifinals opponent, but lost 9-6 in the finals.
“I think I wrested good, but I didn’t wrestle too well in the finals,” he said. “My goal was to make it to states and I did.”
He hopes to place top-six and earn a spot on the podium. He admitted he is a bit nervous, but excited to compete.
“I just got to practice hard get better on top. That’s my weakness,” he said.
Junior captain Jagger Clapsadle (40-3) took second place in the 113-pound division.
Clapsadle had a bye in the first round, and then earned a 16-0 technical-fall victory in the quarterfinals.
He shut out his semifinals opponent, 10-0. Clapsadle lost 10-8 in the finals.
“I didn’t compete to the level that I’m usually at. I lost to David Panda who I beat earlier in the year, so it’s just a matter of just correcting the mistakes and working from there,” he said. “I think I just had an off day and things just didn’t go my way that time.”
Clapsadle said his goal is to wrestle well and win a state title.
“Wrestling to the best of my ability is all I need to do to win,” he said.
Sophomore captain Nico D’Amico (39-5) finished in third place in the 120-pound weight class.
After a bye in the first round, D’Amico scored a 12-2 major decision in the quarterfinals.
He lost 4-3 in the semifinals, but battled back and logged a 9-0 victory in the consolation round.
He won the third/fourth-place match, 7-0.
“I didn’t wrestle too good. I’m not really happy about my performance, but it’s a good thing I did it this week rather than next week,” he said. “I was very hesitant when I wrestled and I didn’t really pull the trigger as much, but I’ll have the fire this weekend.”
He is excited for states, but a bit nervous, he said.
“My goal is to win it,” D’Amico said. “[It will take] smart wrestling, hard wrestling, and just having fun with it.”
Sophomore Micah Bourne (35-8) finished third in the 170-pound division.
“I think I wrestled good. I had a lot of hard kids in my bracket,” he said. “I think I wrestled smarter, slower. I didn’t have trouble until the No. 2 kid, [Sean Billups], who won the tournament.”
He received a first-round bye, then pinned his quarterfinal opponent. Bourne was pinned in the semifinals, but fought back and topped his consolation-round opponent, 10-8.
“I tried the best I could do. I put myself in a bad situation in the second period,” his said of the semifinals match. “I learned some stuff from that match.”
He earned a 10-5 victory in the third/fourth-place match.
Bourne’s goal is to place in the top four at states.
“[It will take] hard wrestling, smart wrestling, for sure, and pacing myself and doing what I need to do,” he said. “I’m a little nervous, but more excited though. I’m happy with how I did all year, even if I don’t place at all.”
Junior Kyle Elliott (34-11) placed fourth in the 132-pound weight class.
He received a bye in the first round, then won 5-2 in the quarterfinals.
He lost 7-2 in the semifinals, but came back with a 13-0 major decision in the consolation round.
He lost 6-0 in the third/fourth-place match.
“I made some mistakes [and] I should have practiced some things a little bit more, but overall I think I did well,” he said. “I could have won a few matches if I noticed the rhythm of their wrestling and I just paid attention a little bit more.”
He would like to place top-six at states.
“It’s looking tough, but I’m pretty excited,” he said. “I just need to work very hard and just give it my all.”
Freshman James Parana (11-4) took fourth in the 160-pound division.
Parana pinned his first-round opponent. He lost 5-3 in the quarterfinals, then won 9-7 in sudden victory in consolation round one. He topped his consolation semifinal-round opponent, 8-2.
Parana lost, 6-3, in the third/fourth-place match.
“I thought I wrested hard, but I was a little disappointed at where I placed,” he said. “I thought I could have done better. I think it’s a little of being out for most of the season [with a broken leg] and not begin were I could have been.”
Parana is looking forward to the tournament. He plans to take one match at a time. He would like to finish in the top four.
“I’m going to work hard this week and just do my best at states,” Parana said before Monday’s practice. “Keep flowing, getting the moves down and practicing what I’m good at is what I need to do. I’ve just got to stay focused and keep my head in the game.”
Junior captain DJ Taylor (23-13) placed fifth in the 195-pound division. He will make the trip to states as an alternate in his weight class.
Martinek thinks his wrestlers could be successful this weekend.
“They’re all really good or they wouldn’t be this far, so really, they could all place,” Martinek said. “It’s really going to be up to them. It’s all about them and what they can do.”