BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s 11th Annual War on the Shore wrestling tournament gets underway next week at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center with some of the top high school wrestling programs in the mid-Atlantic converging on the area for the two-day event.
The War on the Shore tournament features some of the best high school wrestling programs in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. The field is currently set at 30 teams although the addition of two more teams is possible before the event next week. The field of teams is impressive as is their collective lists of accomplishments.
The top Maryland teams in the field include Archbishop Curley, Archbishop Spalding, Arundel, Bishop McNamara, Broadneck, Centennial, Charles E. Smith, DeMatha, Glenelg, Huntingtown, La Plata, Mount St. Joseph, Severna Park, St. Mary’s Ryken, Thomas Stone, Wilde Lake and, of course, host Stephen Decatur.
Representing Delaware in the field will be Caravel Academy, Middletown, Salesianum, Sussex Central and Sussex Tech. Virginia will also be well represented with five teams including Grassfield, Great Bridge, Hanover, Hickory and Northampton. Washington D.C.’s Gonzaga will also participate, as will Wheeling Park and Musselman from West Virginia.
For the first seven years of the War on the Shore, the tournament was held at host Decatur, but the growth of the field of spectators and the thousands of spectators who turn out for the annual event forced organizers to seek a larger venue. It was held at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center for one year before logistical challenges forced the move to the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center two years ago.
For host Decatur, which is expected to be as strong as ever this year, the annual tournament often serves as an early barometer for the season. Last year, the Seahawks finished 15th, or right near the middle of the 32-team field, with 66 total team points. Archbishop Spalding won the tournament with 190 total team points while Sussex Central was second with 159 and La Plata was third with 158. The event gets started with early round matches next Friday, December 7, and concludes on Saturday, December, 8.