(Feb. 2013) A banner hangs in the Stephen Decatur High School gym, noting each year the wrestling team has won a Bayside Conference championship title.
The dominant Seahawks secured the trophy in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
In 2012, the Decatur grapplers fought for their 11th consecutive title, but came up 14 points short, as the Parkside Rams captured the coveted award.
The Seahawks, who are undefeated in conference matches this season, are hungry to finish on top during the two-day Bayside championship meet, today and Saturday in Cambridge.
“Last year, Parkside had a great team and this year we’re going to have to battle with Kent Island again. It’s good because we tied them in the dual meet (Decatur awarded the victory on tie-breaker criteria) and now it’s really going to be who deserves it,” said Decatur Coach Todd Martinek. “Whoever shows up [and] wrestles the best tournament they can is going to win. It’s not going to come down to the champions — they’ve got some kids who are definitely going to win it and we’ve got some kids who are going to win it; it’s going to be how are other kids do. That’s what’s going to make the difference of winning the Bayside or coming in second.”
For the first time this season, Martinek said, the whole team is healthy. The boys are wresting well, he added.
Senior captain Kaelan Patterson is seeded No. 1 in the 152-pound weight class division. He finished third last year.
Wrestling hard and smart are keys to coming away with a title in the division, he said.
Patterson not only wants an individual award, but a team trophy as well.
“[Decatur] and Kent Island are going to be right there together. If everyone wrestles well, we should win it. We have the talent,” he said.
Added junior captain Andrew Borradaile, “I think we should get out of Cambridge with a first-place trophy, and hopefully, take down Kent Island. That’s our main goal, to trump Kent Island as a team.”
Borradaile is the top seed in the 160-pound weight class division. He finished second in the 145-pound division last year. Borradaile said earlier this week he is anxious and looking forward to competing. The junior thinks he has a good shot to win the 160-pound title.
The top four finishers in each of the 14 weight classes will advance to next weekend’s 4A/3A East Regional tournament, at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia.
The top four placers at regional in each weight class will qualify for the 4A/3A state tournament, March 1-2, at the University of Maryland College Park’s Cole Field House.
“I think we’ve established that we’re as good as we can be right now … Before they were putting it out for the team, but now it’s about them,” Martinek said. “Now they get to concentrate on their strengths and weaknesses, and hopefully, come through with some Bayside, region and maybe a state champ or two.”