(March 6, 2020) Seven Stephen Decatur wrestlers won their weight class divisions during the 2A/1A East Regional tournament, last Saturday at North Caroline High School in Ridgely, and 11 Seahawks qualified for this weekend’s state championship.
Both are school records. The previous state qualifier record was 10, and four regional champs in one tournament, Coach Todd Martinek said.
“We’re wrestling well right now. I’m excited for them to go to states and earn what they’ve deserved all year and they’ve worked hard for,” he said. “I’m happy with our team’s performance. Everybody’s worked hard – the kids, the coaches. I’m just happy we have that many going to states. Hopefully, we can keep going and breaking some records and get some more state champions’ names on the wall.”
Senior Shamar Baines won the regional title in the 113-pound weight class.
Baines received a first-round bye, then pinned two opponents. He won his finals match, 7-4.
“I had my mindset right and I feel like I wrested really well,” he said.
Baines (31-6) is excited for the state tournament. This will be his second time competing.
“My goal is to get on the podium and place, but hopefully I can win it,” he said. “I’m just going to have to wrestle smart and go hard.”
Senior captain Jagger Clapsadle took home the regional title in the 120-pound weight class.
“I think I wrestled well. I knew I could win the tournament and that’s what I did,” he said.
Clapsadle received a first-round bye. He pinned all three of his opponents.
This is his fourth time advancing to the state championship meet. Clapsadle’s (38-3) goal is to win the title.
“I know I have the ability to do it. As long as I perform to my ability I can get it done,” he said. “I need to just keep a clear mind and not worry about my opponents or look ahead to the next opponent. It’s just about taking it one match at a time and getting the job done one by one.”
Junior captain Nico D’Amico captured the 132-pound division regional title.
“I felt pretty good. I’m getting to my offense a lot more and I’ve been executing what I’ve been practicing in the room, so I’m feeling good,” he said.
D’Amico got a first-round bye. He pinned his first opponent then outscored his second, 16-0, to earn a tech fall. D’Amico scored a 16-6 major decision in the finals.
This will be D’Amico’s (38-1) third state appearance. His goal is to win his division.
“I just need to keep my head right, know that I’m the best guy in that bracket and just stay on my offense and execute my game plan,” he said. “It’s my year.”
Sophomore Noah Reho was victorious in the 145-pound weight class. He won the regional title last year at 126 pounds.
“I killed everyone that I wrestled, but my main goal was to go out there and pin every single kid I wrestled. I pinned two out of three, so that was a little bit of a disappointment,” he said.
Reho received a first-round bye. He pinned his first opponent, then earned a 16-2 major decision in the semifinals. He then pinned his finals opponent.
Reho (34-3) won a state championship in the 126-pound division last year as a freshman. His goal is to bring home another title.
“There is a certain amount of pressure on me, but it doesn’t really affect me,” he said. “If I ever get affected by pressure I wrestle better.
“My goal is to win four times. I want to win this year and then I’ll be halfway to my goal,” he continued. “Whenever I’m confident I’m scoring. If I believe I can win the match I win the match.”
Junior James Parana came in first place in the 160-pound division.
“I feel like I did good. I was pleased for the most part with my matches,” he said. “I only had a few mistakes that I need to work on.”
Parana got a first-round bye. He pinned his first two opponents. Parana won by medical forfeit in the finals.
This will be Parana’s (33-1) second time going to states. He hopes to win a state title.
“I need to push as hard as I can during practice and put my mind in the right spot and get mentally prepared,” he said.
Junior Micah Bourne became a regional champion in the 170-pound weight class.
“I think I did good. There’s a little work that needs to be done this week, and just some conditioning and stuff to have a good weekend at states,” he said. “I was happy.”
Bourne was awarded a first-round bye. He pinned his first opponent, then won by tech fall (26-11) in the semifinals. He topped his finals opponent, 6-4.
Bourne (31-5) will make his second appearance at states.
“It’s huge to go into states with a No. 1 seed. I’m hoping to do the same I did this week and win,” he said. “Hard work and dedication this last week is going to pay off. I’m excited and ready to prove what I’ve been waiting to all year.”
Junior Johnny Hofman won the regional title in the 195-pound weight class.
“I think I did good. There’s always things to improve on,” he said. “I’m pleased I got first but … I don’t think I wrestled close my abilities. I could have done much better.”
Hofman received a first-round bye then won by forfeit in the quarterfinals. He earned a 9-2 victory in the semifinals and a 3-2 decision in the finals.
This is Hofman’s (34-6) first time going to states. He would like to win his division, but he hopes to finish top four.
“I just really need to focus this week on stuff I need to improve on,” he said. “I’m excited. I’m just trying to keep a cool head, be me and just wrestle.”
Senior Kyle Elliott came in second place in the 138-pound division.
“I think I did pretty good. I definitely improved from last year, but I could have done a little better,” he said.
Elliott (25-8) is looking forward to going to state for the second year in a row.
“I’m definitely excited to redeem myself from last year,” he said. “This year I’m definitely going to place. My goal is to place top four. It’s going to take everything I’ve got. I’m going to put my heart and soul into it.”
Sophomore Alex Koulikov took second in the 152-pound division.
“I didn’t do as good as thought I was going to do. I wanted to win,” he said. “I feel like I lost to someone I shouldn’t have lost to [in the finals].”
This will be Koulikov’s (36-3) first time going to states.
“I’m excited. I definitely want to win,” he said. “I just need to wrestle the best I can and not quit.”
Freshman Logan Intrieri finished in fourth place in the 106-pound weight class.
“I was confident after the first match after I teched the kid. The second match was kind of a heartbreaker; I lost 5-4,” he said. “I won 6-3 [in the consolation semis], then I had to come back and wrestle for third/fourth and I fell short. I didn’t wrestle my best.”
Intrieri (22-12) is excited but a little nervous for his state tournament debut.
“I need to push past all that and focus on myself and my match,” he said. “I’ve got to stay focused and wrestle hard.
Senior DJ Taylor placed fourth in the 182-pound division.
“I think I could have done better. The goal was just to place,” he said.
This will be Taylor’s (33-8) first time competing in the state tournament.
“I’ve fallen short the past three years, so I just want to place,” he said. “It’s hard to place. I just need to go in with the right mindset, have confidence and go in ready to just dominate every match.”
Martinek thinks the Decatur wrestlers can be quite successful at states, which will take place today and Saturday at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.
“I think we have a realistic chance of getting five in the finals and maybe nine place winners [top six],” he said. “The school record is six place winners and two state champs.”
This is the first time a state tournament will take place just for girls. They were scheduled to compete yesterday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Freshmen Jenna Danner (112) and Mia Stubblebine (180) will represent Decatur.
The girls just started wresting this season and are excited to be a part of history, participating in the inaugural championship.
“I think in the years to come it’s only going to be bigger and better,” Stubblebine said.
“It’s cool. For the first time girls get to do something we’ve never done before,” Danner added.
Stubblebine is looking forward to challenging herself as a wrestler.
“I’m also trying to expand women’s wrestling as a whole and change some people’s minds about it, try to put women’s wrestling on the map,” she said.
She said she’s worked hard this season and would love to win her division.
“Even if don’t win, I’m looking to place. If I place [top three], I would be meeting my goal,” she said.
Danner is also aiming high.
“My goal is to win, get my first pin and hit some new stuff I’ve never hit before,” she said.
Danner has learned from her brother, Jeremy, who wrestled for Decatur, and her teammates.
“The guys are really nice and they teach me a lot. It’s fun learning new stuff from them,” she said.
“I’m excited for them. They’ve been working hard. They work just as hard as the boys do,” Martinek said. “It’s their chance to shine. I’m proud of them and I think they’re going to do good things at the state tournament.”