Ocean City Today

Decatur wrestling team falls short in 3A East reg. duals

Seahawks now eye Bayside Conf. title
By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Feb 15, 2018
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli Stephen Decatur senior captain Cade Solito works to pin his 126-pound Atholton opponent, Shea Collins, – and was successful – during last Thursday’s 3A East Regional Dual meet in Berlin.

(Feb. 16, 2018) Getting pinned too many times was the Stephen Decatur wrestling team’s downfall during the 3A East Regional Dual semifinals against the Atholton Raiders, last Thursday in Berlin.

“Especially in two matches, where we’re winning by five points and seven points. One was a matter of inexperience and the other was just a matter of not finishing,” Decatur Coach Todd Martinek said. “It’s the regional dual meet. You’ve got to finish.”

Out of the 14 weight-class matches, Decatur wrestlers got pinned in five of them.

“We seem to like getting pinned this year,” Martinek said disappointedly. “I’ve got to coach better and they’ve got to wrestle tougher. Now, we’re going to be in tournament season and they’ve got to want it for themselves.”

Decatur earned the No. 1 seed in the 3A East and hosted the four-team competition. Atholton was seeded fourth. No. 2 Mt. Hebron battled third-seeded James M. Bennett on the next mat in the semifinal round.

Atholton earned a major-decision victory in the 106-pound match and then scored pins at 113 and 120 pounds to take a 16-0 lead.

Decatur senior captain Cade Solito put his team on the board with a pin at 126 pounds. Next, senior captain Jeremy Danner outscored his 132-pound opponent, 8-0.

Leading 16-10, the Raiders logged pins at 138 and 145 pounds to pull ahead, 28-10.

Decatur freshman Johnny Hofman won his 152-pound match, 10-3, before Atholton recorded a pin at 160 pounds and a decision at 170 pounds.

Trailing 37-13, Decatur needed six points in each of the final four matches to tie.

Decatur sophomore DJ Taylor’s 182-pound opponent was injured during their match and could not continue, so he was awarded the victory and six team points.

Atholton then forfeited the 195-pound match to Decatur junior Daletez Smith. Another six points for Decatur.

Senior captain Caleb Bourne then pinned his 220-pound opponent to get Decatur another six points. With one match remaining, Atholton led 37-31.

Senior Shakur Nock did his best to pin his 285-pound opponent, but was unsuccessful. He did win, 3-0, but Decatur lost the meet, 37-34.

“It did put a lot of pressure on those [final four wrestlers] and three of those guys could handle the pressure,” Martinek said. “It shouldn’t have been left up to Shakur. He is a fill-in here and there for us on varsity, and he did a great job. He won a match against a varsity starter. He wrestled with some heart.”

Mt. Hebron topped Bennett,42-35, and advanced to the final against Atholton. Mt. Hebron won, 35-25.

Since the regional duals, Decatur has been preparing for the Bayside Conference championship tournament, held today and Saturday at Cambridge High School.

Decatur captured the Bayside Conference championship for 10 consecutive seasons (2002-2011). After falling short the following years, the Seahawks were determined to bring home the title last season and they accomplished it.

The group hopes to win the trophy again this year, but it won’t be easy.

“We will have our work cut out for us to repeat as tournament champions,” Martinek said. “We will have to wrestle a perfect tournament and outperform our seeds in at least nine weight classes – which we could do – just mathematically that usually doesn’t happen.”

Bourne, who is undefeated 23-0 this season, received the No. 1 seed in the 220-pound weight class. Sophomore captain Jagger Clapsadle earned the top spot in the 106-pound division.

Solito (120), Danner (126), Hofman (160) and senior captain Justin Manganiello (285) have been seeded third in their weight classes.

“We need to get our best lineup on the mat and win the close matches,” Martinek said. “North Caroline is undefeated in the conference. They were undefeated last year and we won the tournament.

“We’re going to have to repeat that,” he added. “They’re peaking and we’re a little beat up. It’s been a grind lately – a lot of big matches at the end of the season. We’ve got to clear our heads a little bit and get our weights right, and just hope we wrestle well.”

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