(March 14, 2014) Six Stephen Decatur wrestlers competed in the 3A/4A state championship last weekend at University of Maryland’s Cole Field House and four earned a spot on the podium, placing fifth or better. Overall as a team, Decatur finished tied for seventh place with Reservoir High School.
Decatur Coach Todd Martinek was pleased with the Seahawks’ performance.
“I was super happy. You look back at tournaments and you think ‘we could have won this match, we could have won that match’ but we won those matches so it was refreshing to win the matches you’re supposed to win and for everybody to do well was exciting,” he said. “I thought we peaked at the right time. My goal was to finish in the top 10 and we were as high as fourth Saturday morning. I knew it was going to be tough that semifinal round. I was hoping we could sneak one person by the semifinal into the finals, but we couldn’t get anybody in the finals.”
Freshman Andy McKahan finished third overall in the 113-pound weight class. He pinned his first opponent and won his second match 3-2. He then lost 8-1 to Damascus’ Mickey Macklin, who went on to win the 113-pound title.
McKahan bounced back after the loss and pinned his next opponent. He won 6-1 over Huntingtown’s Gino Sita to take third place. McKahan said he was excited to place, especially as a freshman.
“I was nervous coming in as a freshman, just getting there and wrestling in front of the crowd,” he said. “I wrestled [well]. I’ve got to train harder and come back next year strong.”
McKahan finished the season 35-5. He won the 113-pound Bayside Conference title and captured the 3A/4A South regional crown.
A few days prior to the state meet, senior Ethan Eibl said if he placed third or better in the 220-pound division he would be happy. He finished in third place.
“Overall, I wrestled well at states…I went from not even placing in Baysides last year to getting third at states, which is a big improvement,” Eibl said. “It was exciting [to win third place]. My family was there. They got to see me do it.”
Eibl pinned his first opponent and took his second match 3-1. He lost his third bout 14-2, but took the next two 1-0 and 3-0, respectively.
Eibl earned a 33-6 record this season and became the 220-pound Bayside champion.
Senior Nick Bennett took fourth in the 145-pound division. He shutout his first competitor 4-0. Bennett injured his knee in his match against Damascus’ Owen Brooks and he still came out on top, 14-0. Wrestling with a strained meniscus, he got pinned in his next match. Bennett then outscored Arundel’s Tyler Rendina 10-0. He lost the third-/fourth-place match by pin to Paint Branch’s Mitchell Zio.
“I wasn’t satisfied with how I did, honestly. I wrestled [well] and then I got hurt in my quarterfinals match and that kind of killed my confidence,” Bennett said. “The next day my knee was killing me. I wasn’t 100 percent.”
Bennett transferred from Sussex Tech this year so this was his first season wrestling for Decatur. He won 35 matches and lost only six. The 3A/4A South Region 145-pound champion tallied 120 career wins. He ties Latra Collick (2002-2006) for the No. 5 spot on Decatur’s “100 Wins Club” list.
“I thought I wrestled [well] this whole season. It was my best year out of all four years wrestling,” said Bennett, who admitted he was a bit disappointed he didn’t win a state title. “I feel I didn’t fulfill my goal that I had since I was a kid.”
Bennett said he is “proud” to be on Decatur’s leader board for wins.
Senior captain Andrew Borradaile said competition was tough in the 160-pound state division and he was just happy to place. He finished fifth.
“My first match I came out and choked. I didn’t wrestled very well,” Borradaile said after losing 8-1. “It was just the big stage, the bright lights in your eyes. I was just kind of slow and sluggish. I did well after that. The second day I wrestled [well.]”
Borradaile pinned his next two opponents and then earned a 10-2 major-decision victory. He lost his next bout 2-1 to put him in the fifth-/six-place match, which he won 8-5.
Borradaile went 37-8 this season and earned his second consecutive 160-pound Bayside Conference title. In his four years wrestling for Decatur, Borradaile logged 123 career wins.
Before Monday’s Bayside All Stars meet against Upper Chesapeake All Stars, Borradaile had 122 wins, tying him with Decatur alum Trevor Rickett (2003-2007).
“It’s a really good list of kids. Trevor Rickett was a state champ so I’m really happy to tie his record,” Borradaile said. “It’s a really big honor.”
Scoring a victory during the all-star meet boosted him past Rickett into the second spot on Decatur’s “100 Wins Club” list. Danny Miller (2005-2009) holds the top spot with 139 wins.
Freshman Robert Kaminski also competed in the state meet. He lost his first 106-pound match 6-1, but won his second 5-0. He was pinned in his third match.
“There were only two freshmen in the 106-pound weight class. He was able to win a match and he beat a senior,” Martinek said. “I think he has as bright career.”
He finished the season a Bayside champions with a 31-11 record.
Senior Nate Rosenblatt (23-13) lost his two 126-pound state matches, 8-4 and 6-1, respectively.
“On paper, I thought he had a chance of beating them, but those kids were pretty good,” Martinek said. “He went out and wrestled hard, he just wasn’t ready to beat those guys.”
Decatur went undefeated, 14-0, during the regular season. The Seahawks finished in second place during the Bayside Conference championship.
“I was real happy with the season. Our goal was go undefeated and we did that, to win a Bayside and regional title and we came very close to that, and then to place top 10 at states and get some place winners and we did those last two goals,” he said. “We fell short on a couple [goals], but overall it was a good season. We peaked at the right time and that’s what you want as a coach.”
The team will lose six starting seniors to graduation.
“Our young kids will progress. Next year we’re leaning toward having a younger line-up. This year we were more seasoned,” Martinek said.