Decatur Wrestlers Claim First-Ever Team State Championship

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s men’s varsity wrestling team continued to build on its growing legacy of dominance last weekend, winning its first-ever state dual meet championship in its first season since moving up to Class 4A-3A.

The Seahawks’ emotional roller-coaster ride began last Thursday with its third regional title in four years, culminated by a narrow win over defending Class 4A-3A region champion Old Mill. The regional championship propelled the Seahawks into the state dual meet championship’s Final Four in Class 4A-3A held last weekend.

In the state semifinals, Decatur edged Walt Whitman by a narrow 34-33 margin to reach the state finals against North Carroll. The Seahawks then took care of business in the title match, beating North Carroll, 33-26, to earn their first-ever state championship. It is believed Decatur’s state title last weekend was the first ever claimed by a school from the Eastern Shore in any division, but it was made even sweeter by the fact Decatur moved up this year from Class 2A-1A to Class 4A-3A because of increased enrollment figures. Decatur is the only school on the Eastern Shore competing in the higher class in all sports.

Decatur steam-rolled through its schedule this year, going undefeated in the Bayside Conference and scoring well and even winning some larger tournaments against some of the top high school wrestling programs in the state and region. Decatur’s not-so-gradual climb to dominance has not gone unnoticed as the Seahawks have found themselves ranked among the top wrestling teams in Maryland by several publications.

Including this year, Decatur has won its district/conference championship seven straight years beginning in 2002 and was region champion in 2005 and 2006. The Seahawks reached the threshold of a state championship a few times, but this year reached the threshold, kicked the door down and walked right in with a sweeping performance in the regionals and state championship meet last weekend.

In the regional dual meet championships last Thursday, Decatur (seeded second) narrowly defeated three-seed Atholton, 34-30, in the semifinals to earn a spot in the championship. On the other side of the bracket, top-seed and defending state champion Old Mill defeated South River to reach the region final against Decatur.

Against Old Mill in the region title match, Decatur fell behind early but took six of the next seven bouts from weight class 103 to 140 to top the defending champions. In the big run by the Seahawks against Old Mill, Devin Bataille won by pin at 103, Corey Tobias won by decision at 112, Sean McGarry won by technical fall at 125, Danny Banks won by decision at 130, Bernie McGarry won by technical fall at 135, and Skylar Snead won by technical fall at 140.

The big win over Old Mill propelled Decatur into the Class 4A-3A state dual meet championships. Decatur, the number-two seed, defeated third seeded Walt Whitman in the semis, while top-seeded La Plata fell to fourth-seeded North Carroll on the other side of the bracket, setting up the dramatic final match between Decatur and North Carroll on North Carroll’s home mat.

Decatur took care of business in the championship match, however, to claim its first-ever state wrestling team title. Several Seahawks have won individual state titles over the years including two last year- Trevor Rickett and Danny Miller- but last weekend’s victory was the first team title for the Seahawks.

In the championship match, Matt Doherty won by decision at 140, Snead won by pin at 145, Miller won by decision at 189, Bataille won by technical fall at 103, Tobias won by pin at 112, Sean McGarry won by decision at 125 and Banks won by decision at 130.

The Seahawks will compete in the Bayside Championships at Cambridge-South Dorchester starting this afternoon. The individual state championship meet will be held at the University of Maryland on March 7-8 and the Seahawks should be well represented there.