A dominant season for the St. Joe’s High School wrestling team continued on the grand stage.
With seven champions and four second-place finishers, the Marauders dominated the 51st Monsignor Martin Athletic Association Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Canisius High School.
“We worked hard to get here,” said St. Joe’s senior Freddie Nixon, the champion at 195 pounds. “We tried hard every day, working for this in practice. It feels real good because of how hard we worked for it.”
St. Joe’s finished with 432 team points, easily besting second-place St. Francis (261.5 points) and Canisius (228 points). Gow finished with 97 points and St. Mary’s compiled 73 points.
Samuel Baker (106 pounds), Anthony Sperrazza (120), Ben Parish (126), Ty Slaugenhoupt (152), Garrett House (160), Nick Martone (170) and Nixon all won championships for St. Joe’s.
“Up and down the lineup, just awesome performances from everybody,” Marauders coach Peter Kennedy said. “You look at a kid like Anthony Sperrazza; he didn’t win a match at all his freshman year. To be able to go out as an all-Catholic champ is pretty special. Ben Parish, a freshman knocking off a senior, Sammy Baker getting some back points late to seal that off. Sully Walsh wrestled well to get himself all the way into the finals (at 160).”
The Marauders also dominated most of the league awards. Nixon earned the tournament’s Aggregate Pin Award by pinning three opponents in a combined 2:01. He was also named the MMHSAA Wrestler of the Year.
“It’s all about having good partners to push me and good coaches to push me,” Nixon said. I feel like I deserve it, I worked hard, but my team definitely helped me get to this point.”
Those coaches were also honored as Kennedy was named Coach of the Year. True to form, he was quick to share the glory. “It’s an honor for my entire coaching staff,” Kennedy said. “Five dedicated assistant coaches. ,I think I have an amazing bunch of assistant coaches and it doesn’t happen without them,”
Matt Heywood of St. Francis was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. He won his fourth all-catholic championship with a pin ov St. Joe’s Garrett Grenauer at 132. Dan Browning (132), Dominik Thomas (145) and Nolan Thomas (182) also won gold for Frannies.
Canisius had two champs: Matt Baldwin (138) and Mason Hoose (220) and Gow had won in heavyweight Stone Giardini.
Jake Fay of St. Mary’s won the Quickest Pin Award by sticking his opponent just 10 seconds into a quarterfinal match at 152 pounds.