OCEAN CITY- Stephen Decatur’s 8th Annual War on the Shore wrestling tournament gets underway this afternoon at the Ocean City Convention Center for the first time with some of the top high school programs in the mid-Atlantic area converging on the resort for the two-day event.
The War on the Shore tournament, which features some of the best high school wrestling programs from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia, has been moved to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City this year after being held at host Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin for the first seven years of the event.
A total of 27 teams from four states make up what tournament director Todd Martinek calls the “toughest field ever,” with nationally ranked teams including two in the top 30 in number-9 St. Marks’s and number-30 Smyrna. Mount St. Joseph of Baltimore was last year’s champion and will be on hand to defend its title and take on all comers.
Individually, the tournament will feature over 40 nationally ranked wrestlers, according to Wrestling USA magazine. The most highly ranked wrestler in the field is Bobby Telford of St. Mark’s, who is the number-one heavyweight in the country. Locally, Decatur’s best shot at a finalist is Dylan Drew at 285 pounds, who finished third in the state last year.
The two-day tournament gets underway this afternoon and will continue practically around the clock until finals matches in the individual weight categories begin Saturday, when team and individual champions will be crowned.