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St. John's impressive year on mats will continue at Nationals

Submitted

Courtesy Sam Chambers, St. John's Communications

2019 SPC Champions, 2019 Texas Prep State Champions, 2019 Texas State Duals Champions, 2019 Texas Prep Wrestling Coach of the Year, No. 1 Ranking 2019 Wrestling Texas Prep Team Rankings and over 200 dual wins.

The 2018-2019 Maverick Wrestling season is one big bundle of wrestling prowess and promise now and rolling into next weekend’s Nationals in Lehigh, Pennsylvania.

In 2013 St. John’s won their first SPC championship. Now they have six of the last seven to their name. In 2016 the coveted Big Horn Duals of private and public school teams was added to their plate. In 2017 the Mavericks relished in their first State title at the State Championships (combined scores of individual results). This year they won everything they could get a hold of. But even with over 50 All-State and All-SPC wrestlers to their credit, St. John’s is hungry for more.

“Early on we had to prove ourselves at the SPC level, but now we expect to win SPC,” said Head Coach Alan Paul. “It’s also about the state and national level. We are still searching for our first All-American.”

“It means a lot that we have achieved everything we can achieve in Texas,” said Harrison Fernelius ’19. “This puts us on notice at the national level.”

The Mavericks head to Lehigh University, PA for the Nationals next weekend and hope to put a wrestler in the top eight and gain their first All-American.

“You have to win three or four matches in a row to have a chance to be an All-American,” said Fernelius. “It is very difficult because you have to wrestle good competition in every match.”

In past trips to Lehigh, the Mavericks have placed three wrestlers in the top 16 and two in the top 12. Getting to the top twelve is also called the “blood round.” One more win and you get All-American status.

St. John’s will be sending six wrestlers to the event. Ken Matsunaga ‘21, Thomas Grannen ’20, Sebastian Jimenez ‘21, Michael Daichman ‘21, Harrison Fernelius ‘19, and Roman Lewis ‘19.

“Out of the six we have three state champs,” said Paul. “We have a chance to secure our first All-American and possibly a top ten finish with our combined scores. This is a huge event with 64-man brackets. About 900 competitors will be there.”

As the bus rolls back to Houston from Ft. Worth with the SPC champs (258 points & 8 winners) everything has gone the Mavericks’ way this season in the Lone Star State. Let’s hope more folks in Pennsylvania take notice of Texas’ best at the Nationals.

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