BERLIN- Matching last year’s state championship season will likely be difficult for Stephen Decatur’s varsity wrestling team, but the Seahawks appear to have the talent and will to go after it again.
Last year’s Decatur varsity wrestling team captured the state 3A championship and collected several team and individual honors along the way. This year, with the same solid nucleus returning along with a handful of impressive newcomers, there is no reason to believe the Seahawks cannot reach those lofty goals again.
Decatur returns sophomore and defending state champion Noah Reho at 138 pounds, along with senior captain Jagger Clapsadle, who was state runner-up last year at 120 pounds and a three-time state place winner. Also returning is Nico D’Amico, who finished third in states last year at 132 pounds and is also a two-time state place winner.
Other key returners include James Parana at 160-170 pounds, who finished sixth in the state last year; Shamar Baines at 113-120, who was fifth in the state last year; D.J. Taylor at 170-182, who will be a senior captain; and Micah Bourne at 170-182, who was a Bayside Conference champion last year.
Joining Coach Todd Martinek’s varsity team this year are a handful of newcomers expected to make an immediate impact. Freshman Logan Intrieri, who will wrestle at 113, finished fourth in the junior league states last year. Freshman Jayden Criner is expected to make an impact wrestling at 132, while junior Henry Brous will wrestle at 220. Decatur also gets sophomore Alex Koulikov back at 160, who was injured last year. Martinek said the Seahawks went from long shot last year to win the state championship to wearing a bull’s eye this year.
“Last year, we were underdogs to win states,” he said. “After winning the dual state title in 2019, we will be the team everybody wants to beat.”
Martinek said the Seahawks have been working hard since the close of last season to get back to those lofty heights again this year.
“The kids have trained tirelessly over the summer and are ready to hit the mats full time,” he said. “We’ve had a great first week of practice with about 60 wrestlers on the team.”
Martinek said the team and individual goals are all laid out in front of this year’s team.
“With the coaching staff we have assembled and staying healthy, we have a chance to bring home the third wrestling state championship for Stephen Decatur in 2020, but everything will have to fall into place,” he said. “We are going to work hard to try to make that happen.”
The Seahawks open the season next weekend with the Rough Rider tournament. The schedule includes a heavy line-up of Bayside Conference opponents along with the Iron Horse Duals and the War on the Shore hosted by the Seahawks.