BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s varsity wrestling team appears poised to continue its recent dominance this season with a new head coach at the helm and a strong crew of top wrestlers returning.
It should be business as usual this season with a few new twists added on with new coach Todd Martinek at the helm of the wildly successful varsity wrestling program. Martinek was named the new coach at Decatur late this summer after longtime coach Kevin Gilligan he was leaving as the head of the growing Seahawk wrestling dynasty to take a teaching job at a school in Calvert County.
Martinek brings an impressive resume to the table as he prepares his team for the 2011-2012 campaign. He was an accomplished wrestler at Bel Air High School and won a state championship in 1989 wrestling at 103. He went on to wrestle at Salisbury University and graduated in 1993 before beginning a teaching career that began at Bennett Middle before landing at Decatur.
The Decatur program has become a dominant force on the Eastern Shore and across the mid-Atlantic region in recent years and last year collected its 10th straight Bayside Conference championship. Under Martinek’s watchful eye, the program is not expected to miss a beat moving forward. Martinek said this week the team prepares for the season practically all year long with offseason matches and endless weight room and teaching sessions.
“The kids are responding and working hard,” he said. “It’s going to be a little different and I have my own take on things, but we will continue to work hard. We’ve worked hard to get this program where it is and that is going to continue.”
Martinek acknowledged taking over the program presents some challenges. Decatur lost several key wrestlers from last year’s successful season, but with a bumper crop of young wrestlers ready to make their own mark on the program, the Seahawks shouldn’t miss a beat.
“We have 44 kids in the high school program and another 40 in the Junior Seahawks, so we should have many good years to come,” he said.
The top returning wrestlers for Decatur include Alford Hardy (132), Luke Bargar (220), Matt Meekins (126), Kaelan Patterson (145) and Andrew Borradaile (152). Top newcomers include Ethan Mariner (113), Ryan Kail (285) and Adam Bargar (195).
Martinek said his crew has high expectations with the season ready to open again.
“I hope to continue a 10-year winning streak in the conference and compete for the regional dual meet title,” he said. “Then, if we could have five or six kids qualify for the individual state tournament, I would be happy.”