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Decatur to send seven wrestlers to regional meet

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Feb 22, 2018
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli Seven Stephen Decatur wrestlers will represent the school during this weekend’s 3A/4A East Region championship at Severna Park High School. Pictured, from left, are sophomore co-captain Jagger Clapsadle (106 pounds), senior co-captains Cade Solito (120) and Jeremy Danner (126), fresh- man Johnny Hofman (160), sophomore DJ Taylor (195) and senior captains Caleb Bourne (220) and Justin Manganiello (285).

(Feb. 23, 2018) The Stephen Decatur wrestling team came in second place during last weekend’s Bayside Conference championship meet in Cambridge.

Because of their performances, seven Seahawks have advanced to the regional tournament.

North Caroline won the Bayside competition, scoring 208 points. Decatur was close behind, finishing with 206 points. James M. Bennett took third, tallying 163.5 points.

“I was disappointed with second. We had a chance to win the tournament,” Decatur Coach Todd Martinek said. “We were up by 22 after the semifinals. North Caroline just wrestled back better than we did.

“We wrestled pretty much to our potential,” he continued. “I would like to have won a few more matches here and there. That would give us the team title too and maybe taken eight or nine guys to regionals.”

Two Decatur wrestlers won Bayside Conference titles.

Senior captain Caleb Bourne captured the title in the 220-pound weight class. Seeded No. 1 in the division, he received a first-round bye and wasn’t challenged during the entire competition.

Bourne pinned his first opponent in 3:29, his second in 1:10, and in the finals, he scored a pin in 3:13.

“I did pretty well. Coach and I had a little bit of an agreement that I would get as many points as I could before I pinned a kid in every match, so that kind of let me wrestle,” Bourne said. “Otherwise, I was just going to try and go out there and pin them in seconds. I wrested a decent amount compared to how much I wrestled during the season.”

Martinek wanted Bourne to spend more time on the mat to prepare for the upcoming regional tournament. Out of the 26 matches he has competed in this season, Bourne said only about four or five he was really challenged in, so that was why the plan was to work on the mat a bit longer during his Bayside matches.

Bourne said winning his first Bayside title was “pretty exciting.”

“I felt pretty confident going into the tournament,” he said. “It was definitely weird though. I’m not used to winning [a big tournament] like that. It felt good.”

Bourne is 26-0 going into the 3A/4A East Region tournament, held today and Saturday at Severna Park High School. He is seeded No. 1 in his weight class.

“I’ve changed my mentality from the other years I’ve wrestled. I’ve started to realize the biggest person that you have to wrestle out there is yourself,” Bourne said. “I just go out there and wrestle the way I want to wrestle.”

Bourne is confident he can win his regional division.

“That’s what I’ve been training for and I’m ready,” he said. “I just have to wrestle hard, wrestle the way I’ve been wrestling every match this year and just wrestle my match [and] not think about what other people are going to do against me. Just think about what I have to do.”

Sophomore captain Jagger Clapsadle earned a Bayside title in the 106-pound division.

He was seeded No. 1 and awarded a first-round bye. Clapsadle pinned his first opponent in 1:05 and his second in 1:58. He defeated James M. Bennett freshman Nico D’Amico 7-3 in the finals.

“I think I wrestled well. I was cutting a little bit of weight, so that affected me,” Clapsadle said. “[D’Amico’s] definitely a good competitor. We had a good finals match. It’s good because I have history with him. It was fun.”

Clapsadle said his experience helped him earn his first Bayside title.

“I’m a sophomore and he’s a freshman, so I have a year experience on him,” he said. “I think that’s what it came down to.”

Clapsadle said it “feels good” to win a conference championship.

“It’s definitely progress,” he said. “To me, Baysides is just a smaller step in a bigger picture, because I’m working my way toward a state championship.”

Clapsadle (22-4) is seeded second for the regional tournament. He decided to drop down to the 106-pound division instead of compete at 113 pounds during post-season tournaments.

“I’m going to have my best bet of winning a state title at 106,” he said. “My body is right in between 106 and 113, so I can either wrestle bigger guys at 113 or go down to 106.”

Clapsadle also thinks he has a good shot at winning a regional title.

“I think as long as I make weight, I’m healthy and I’m strong, I can win regionals and go on to states,” he said.

Five other Decatur wrestlers will compete in the regional tournament because of their top-four finishes at Baysides.

Senior captains Cade Solito (21-6) and Jeremy Danner (20-6) took second place in the 120- and 126-pound divisions, respectively.

Freshman Johnny Hofman (11-7) came in third at 160 pounds. Sophomore DJ Taylor (14-12) and senior captain Justin Manganiello (17-4) finished in fourth place at 195 and 285 pounds, respectively.

“I think we’re going to get anywhere between two and five out of regionals, [but] none of those seven are out of the questions that they could not go to states,” Martinek said. “They all have the potential to go … they need to get better and just finish. Every kid has little flaws they need to fix, because regions and states will expose their flaws.”

The top-four wrestlers in each regional weight class will advance to the state tournament, slated for March 2-3 at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

 

 

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