OCEAN CITY- Stephen Decatur’s 8th Annual War on the Shore wrestling tournament gets underway next week at the Ocean City Convention Center for the first time with some of the top high school programs in the mid-Atlantic area converging on the resort for the two-day event.
The War on the Shore tournament, which features some of the best high school wrestling programs from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and even Pennsylvania, has been moved to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City this year after being held at host Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin for the first seven years of the event.
A total of 27 teams from four states make up what tournament director Todd Martinek calls the “toughest field ever,” with 41 nationally ranked teams including two in the top 30 in number-9 St. Marks’s and number-30 Smyrna.
Because of the size and popularity of the annual tournament, the event was moved to Ocean City for the first time this year. Martinek said the Convention Center provides over 40,000 square-feet of space for the event, which will feature eight mats in almost constant use over the two days.
“The convention center was only made available to us through some hard work by the town of Ocean City and the tourism department the support of our administration and the sponsorship of the U.S. Marine Corps,” said Martinek.
The two-day tournament gets underway next Friday and will continue practically around the clock until next Saturday, when team and individual champions will be crowned. For host Decatur, the annual tournament often serves as a barometer for the season for the Seahawks, which have used success at War on the Shore as a launching pad for a string of several successful seasons.