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Bourne Decatur’s first WOTS tourney champ since ‘12

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Jan 18, 2018
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli Stephen Decatur senior captain Caleb Bourne stands atop the podium after winning the 220-pound weight class title during the annual War on the Shore tournament, last Saturday at the Berlin high school. He is the first Decatur wrestler since 2012 to take first place in the event.

(Jan. 19, 2018) In front of family, friends and supporters last Saturday, Stephen Decatur senior captain Caleb Bourne became the first wrestler from the school to win a War on the Shore title since 2012.

“My senior year, the first time in six years anyone at Decatur’s won it; it feels good,” he said. “Thanks for my family supporting me, always coming out. To look up in the stands and see them rooting for me feels good.”

Among family members in attendance to cheer Bourne on was his brother, Nathan, who wrestled for Decatur from 2002-2006. He also won War on the Shore his senior year, competing at 160 pounds. Nathan Bourne finished his four-year career with 121 wins, putting him sixth overall on the school’s 100-wins club board.

A two-time state runner-up, Nathan Bourne visited with his brother before his War on the Shore finals match to give him some words of encouragement.

“I started to coach him and then I said, ‘just go kick his ass.’ At the end of the day, it’s a fight,” Nathan Bourne said. “I’m super proud of him. Wrestling is a very physical sport, but it’s a mental sport even more than it is physical.

“He had to believe that he was a champion, so what he did was solidify, ‘I am a champion’ and now he can go into every match knowing that,” he continued. “You could see he wrestled freely. He wrestled in the flow.”

Bourne battled junior Keagan Rill of Mount Saint Joseph in the 220-pound weight class finals, last Saturday at Decatur in Berlin.

He led 6-1 at the end of the first period.

“I knew I had to wrestled smart and wrestling well on such a big kid and I knew I needed to start off very early, so in the first couple of seconds I took a shot and I was very surprised that I came up with it so easily,” he said. “I got on top and I think right then I broke him. I could feel it in him he started to give up. I knew once I started to tilt him and got some back points on him I was in his head. After the first period, I knew I had him.”

Bourne pinned his opponent with 54 seconds remaining in the second period.

“I was thinking lower body all match and then he got a nice undertook on me and I was getting kind of frantic, and I pulled something out I haven’t done since freshman year –hit the butt slide, arm drag right to my butt, came around, got my two [points] and that for me is what put me over the top,” he said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to win this match no matter what.’

“At the end he was just pushing into me and I was thinking, ‘I can’t throw him he’s too big,’ but as soon as he pushed into me I said ‘I’m going to throw him’ and I threw him right to his back and I wasn’t letting go from there,” he continued. “It was the best feeling ever.”

Bourne was ranked second in the tournament, while Rill was seeded first.

He received a first-round bye. Bourne then pinned Octarara sophomore Colby Wrigley in 44 seconds. It only took him 32 seconds to pin freshman Nathanie Sears of Nansemond River in the next round. He pinned Archbishop Ryan senior Brett Tetlow in 1:36 in the semifinals.

“He’s a monster. I haven’t worked with him on the mat, but you can tell he’s got the same mindset,” Nathan Bourne said of his “much bigger, stronger, better-looking younger brother,” he added.

“It was a cool experience to see him wrestle,” he said.

“I was very proud of him. He wrested a great tournament,” said Decatur Coach Todd Martinek, who is also director of War on the Shore.

Sophomore captain Jagger Clapsadle lost 5-4 to sophomore Brennan McBride of Coatesville in the 106-pound finals to finish runner-up in his weight class.

“Jagger Clapsadle lost by a point to a very tough kid. That was a tough bracket,” Martinek said. “He wrestled outstanding.

“Caleb’s realized now he can be a state champ. Jagger’s realized he can do the same thing,” he continued. “Some of the other guys are challenged now. ‘Hey if I want to be a place winner I have to work as hard as these guys.’ It makes them realized they have a lot of work to do, whether you’re Caleb or a kid that went 0-2 for us. Everybody’s got work to do.”

Bourne is currently ranked second in the state at 220 pounds and Clapsadle is third at 106, which includes both public and private schools. Decatur is raked 15th overall.

Co-captains, senior Cade Solito (120 pounds) and junior Lukas Layton (170) finished in eighth place in their weight classes.

Decatur placed ninth overall out of 24 teams.

“I was very pleased. I thought top-eight would be a good tournament, so ninth is certainly respectable,” Martinek said. “You remember your loses more than your wins sometimes. But our losses we were competitive, we were tough, we didn’t get pinned and our wins were dominant. I feel like we’re in good shape, we stayed healthy again and that’s tough to do in a tournament like this.”

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