All-Star Match Dedicated To Former Decatur Coach

All-Star Match Dedicated To Former Decatur Coach

BERLIN- A high school wrestling showcase tournament in Baltimore this weekend will feature a match dedicated to former Decatur coach Kevin Gilligan, who passed away unexpectedly last summer.

The 3rd annual Maryland All-Star Wrestling Classic will take place at Gilman School in Baltimore on Saturday. The annual event showcases high school wrestlers from around the state or either won state championships last year or placed in the state tournament in their respective weight classes.

One of the key matches will feature a couple of Gilligan proteges and will be dedicated to the long-time former Decatur coach. In the 122-pound class, Decatur junior Jagger Clapsadle will face Huntingtown’s Blake Jury. Gilligan was Clapsadle’s first junior league coach and inspired the local wrestler to achieve great heights at the youth and high school level. Jury was one of Gilligan’s last state champions at Huntingtown High School in southern Maryland last spring.

Clapsadle finished as state runner-up last year at 106 after sweeping through the early rounds in the state meet before falling in overtime to Yonas Harris of Northwest in the championship bout. Meanwhile, Jury won the state championship at 113 last year while wrestling for Gilligan at Huntingtown. The two wrestlers are dedicating their match on Saturday at Gilman to their former coach and mentor.

Gilligan joined the Decatur program in 1999 and his teams won 10 straight Bayside Conference championships. While at Decatur, Gilligan won a team state championship and he produced three straight champs over the years including Danny Miller, Skylar Snead and Trevor Rickett along with countless runners-up and place-winners. Gilligan left Decatur in 2011 to take the head coaching job at Huntingtown and turned the program into a powerhouse in Maryland.

The all-star showcase event at Gilman on Saturday will feature wrestlers who either won the state championship in Maryland or placed in the annual state tournament. While much of the attention will focus on the match between Clapsadle and Jury and its dedication to Gilligan, the highlight will likely be the match between four-time Maryland state champion and NCAA All-American Josh Asper and three-time Maryland state champion and one-time Florida state champ Pat Downey.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.