BERLIN- The highly anticipated match between Stephen Decatur’s varsity wrestling team and Kent Island, postponed last week due to snow, certainly lived up to the hype with the Seahawks scoring a dramatic comeback win with a pin from an unlikely hero in the night’s final bout.
After last week’s match was postponed due to snow and school closures, the anticipation grew for the match between Decatur and Kent Island, both unbeaten in the Bayside Conference. The two teams finished in a dead tie last year at 33-33 in a match finally awarded to the Seahawks after officials sorted through several steps in the tie-breaking protocols.
Ever since, local wrestling enthusiasts have circled this year’s rematch as one of the potential highlights of the season and it didn’t disappoint. With snow falling outside, the gym at Decatur was packed for Tuesday’s match and the crowd was treated to one for the books. After falling behind late, the Seahawks rallied with four straight wins capped off by a dramatic pin by Robert Kaminski at 106 to seal the 34-31 win.
Decatur’s Andy McKahan got the Seahawks on the board with a 6-0 lead with a forfeit at 113 to start the match. Kent Island then won five straight matches to build a 24-6 lead. Decatur’s Nick Bennett stopped the bleeding at 152 with a major decision over Kent Island’s Colton Smith to cut the Buccaneers’ lead to 24-10.
After Kent Island got a win at 160 to extend the lead to 27-10, Decatur’s Andrew Borradaile answered with a decision over Kent Island’s Dmitry Callas to cut the Buccaneers’ lead to 27-13. However, Jared King fell at 182 as Kent Island pushed the lead to a seemingly insurmountable 31-13 before the Seahawks began their dramatic comeback with just four matches remaining.
Brandon Wooten won a 9-4 decision over Kent Island’s Kelsey Haigler and Ethan Eibl pinned the Buccaneers’ Lucas Walzak at 220 to cut the lead to 31-22 with just two matches remaining. At 285, Caleb Massey won by forfeit to earn six points and cut the lead to 31-28, setting up the dramatic conclusion with the 106 match.
Kaminski needed to either earn a decision and enough points to tie the game, which would have sent officials scrambling for the tie-breaking protocols for the second straight year, or pull out a major decision or a pin to send the Seahawks to victory. With the big, raucous crowd urging him on, Kaminski pinned Kent Island’s Brett Ogden in just 54 seconds to complete the dramatic comeback and keep the Seahawks unbeaten. The crowd went wild as Kaminski was swarmed by his teammates and coaches.
With the win, the Seahawks improved to 9-0 overall including an 8-0 Bayside Conference record. Last week, the Seahawks beat St. Mark’s, 48-26. Picking up wins for Decatur in that match were Kaminski (106), McKahan (113), T.J. Scafone (120), Bennett (152), Borradaile (160), Nevin McIntosh (170), King (182), Wooten (195), and Eibl (285).