BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s Danny Miller, one of the most decorated athletes in the school’s history, punctuated an outstanding high school career last weekend with his third straight state wrestling championship.
Miller was one of six Seahawks wrestlers to compete in the state Class 4A-3A championship meet last weekend at Cole Field House at the University of Maryland and the only one to reach the finals and win a state championship. It was the third straight for the Seahawk standout, who won a Class 2A-1A title two years ago as a sophomore and won the championship again last year in the first season Decatur moved up in class to 4A-3A.
Miller was dominating again in the 189-pound weight class last weekend as he reached the finals again for the third straight year. He started the state meet with an 11-2 major decision over Josh Hertz of Sherwood, then beat Mike Morgan of Frederick in a major decision by the same score. In the semifinals of the 189-pound class, Miller topped Jeryl Cole of Patterson with a fall at the 1:36 mark to earn a return trip to the finals.
In the championship match, Miller faced Pat Carey of North County in a rematch of last year’s final in the 189-pound class and the result was the same this year. Miller and Carey battled back and forth through the match and were tied at the end of regulation. Miller and Carey were tied at the end of the first overtime period and tied again at the end of the second overtime to force a third extra session.
In the end, Miller outlasted his familiar foe thanks to some late match strategy. Twice during the last overtime period, Miller had an option on where to start the match and twice he elected to start on the bottom, first at the coin toss and second after an injury time-out. Twice, he escaped from the bottom position, earning a single point each time. Finally, after three overtime periods, Miller beat Carey, 7-2, to earn his third straight state title.
The championship was just another feather in the cap of Miller’s outstanding high school wrestling career. He finished the season with 139 career wins, becoming Decatur’s all-time leader in career wins. Trevor Rickett, who finished his career at Decatur with 122 wins, held the old record. Miller, who was also a standout on Decatur’s football team, will continue his athletic and academic career at the Naval Academy after signing a letter of intent earlier this year.
Miller was one of six wrestlers representing Decatur at the state championship meet last weekend and one of three to place in their respective weight classes. In the 285-pound class, Decatur’s Dylan Drew finished an impressive third after fighting his way back from a mid-meet loss. Drew opened the meet with a win over Eric Alexander of Crossland and followed that up with a win over Winterfield Mensah of Paint Branch in the second round.
In the third round, Drew lost to Dake Williams of Quince Orchard in the third round to bounce down to the loser’s bracket. However, Drew beat Andrew Midgette of Sherwood to advance and then topped Ryan Jones of North County to take third place in his weight class.
The other Seahawk wrestler to place was Corey Tobias, who finished fifth in the 130-pound class. Tobias dropped his opener, but reeled off three straight wins to fight his way back from the loser’s bracket. He lost his fifth-round match to Brian Samuels of Leonardtown, but came back to beat Kekuna Musa of Montgomery-Blair in his final match to take fifth place in his division.
Three other Seahawks wrestlers, Bernie McGarry, Danny Kominos and Bryce Smith, each earned a trip to the state championship meet last weekend and acquitted themselves very well, but did not place in their respective divisions. Overall, Decatur finished in ninth place in the meet as a team with 55 total team points.