Seahawks to compete in inaugural Governor’s Challenge

BERLIN- After starting the season with a modest 2-2 record, Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity basketball team will hit the ground running next week when it competes in the inaugural Governor’s Challenge in Salisbury.

Decatur will compete in the first-ever Governor’s Challenge at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury next Tuesday through Thursday. The inaugural event will feature many of the top high school basketball teams from Maryland’s Eastern Shore and beyond along with many of the top programs in Delaware.

While some of the games will feature teams playing against other teams from their own state, most will feature battles between schools from Maryland and Delaware with regional bragging rights on the line. A total of 29 teams will compete in the Governor’s Challenge next week including 19 from Maryland and 10 from Delaware.

Already, the governor’s of each state are getting caught up in the spirit of the event with a friendly wager on the line. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is putting up one of the state’s famed Smith Island cakes, while Delaware Governor Jack Markell is offering a Delaware Peach Pie.

“Interscholastic sports bring not only family, but neighbors and friendly rivals together,” said O’Malley this week. “This annual tournament presents a wonderful opportunity to enjoy basketball over the holiday season with our fellow residents on the Eastern Shore. To further enhance the excitement around this event, I’m happy to put Maryland’s famous dessert on the line with Governor Markell.”

For his part, Markell said he was only happy to reciprocate.

“Friendly, but fierce, competition is a great way to encourage active lifestyles and good sportsmanship,” he said this week. “This should be an exciting community event and I hope our wager is a fun way to show our young athletes that we are proud of them.”

The tournament will be held at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center starting next Tuesday, December 28 and will conclude on Thursday, December 30. Two games will run simultaneously on two courts starting at 2 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. each day. Victories in the Maryland versus Delaware games will be tallied to determine an ultimate winner.

Decatur will play two games in the tournament and its first will count in the Governor’s Challenge standings. The Seahawks open with a game against Delaware’s Woodbridge High on December 28 at 8 p.m. In Decatur’s other game, the Seahawks will face Frederick Douglass High next Thursday, December 30, at 6:30 p.m.