Weekly Feature



2018-01-11 / Sports

St. Mary’s wrestling team aiming for growth

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter


Sophomore 99-pounder Liam Regan of St. Mary’s grapples with an opponent at Alexander High School Saturday. Regan is among the top performers for the Lancers. Sophomore 99-pounder Liam Regan of St. Mary’s grapples with an opponent at Alexander High School Saturday. Regan is among the top performers for the Lancers. The St. Mary’s wrestling team is young, but there is progress being made. About half the team is made up of first year guys, many of whom are underclassmen. The Lancers aren’t having much success in the win-loss department, but the team is showing growth and improvement.

“Everything has been progressing in the right direction,” St. Mary’s coach Zach Weiss said. “We have a young team, so taking losses isn’t really the focus right now. We’re building toward something by the end of the year. We’ll take our lumps now, but we’ll get them in the future.”

The team is made up of 18 guys, nine of whom are in their first season with the sport. The overall number shows improvement from years past as the team has almost doubled in size since last year.

“We have a lot of guys who are starting out for the first time,” Weiss said. “They’re still in the first half of their high school career; they’re not at that high level yet.”

However, the team does have some experienced guys who are having success this season. Senior captain Jake Fay is 18-7 thus far.

“He’s had a really good season,” Weiss said. “He got invited to the Officials Tournament at Niagara County Community College last weekend. He wrestled with some of the best kids around. He came up a little short, but it was a good experience for him.”

Additionally, Liam Regan took third at the Alexander Invitational last Saturday. Sophomore Matt Ash is beginning to look like a varsity wrestler.

“He’s starting to make the jump from JV to varsity,” Weiss said. “He’s put together a good season. He also has a twin brother who is a year behind him, in terms of experience.”

Beyond that, there is a lot of learning and growing going on with the other athletes. If they can’t win a match, the goal is at least to give the best effort at all times.

“Overall as a team, we just want to be consistently competitive,” Weiss said. “We want to give our max effort, whether you’re facing a first-year guy in a JV tournament or you are the first-year guy in a varsity tournament. We want them putting out a max effort and giving it their all. We’ve been harping on being focused on what we need to do. We have All-Catholics in 26 days, so that’s what we need to focus on.”

Next on the schedule for the team is the Lockport Tournament. This event features some of the best teams in Section VI, making for some solid competition for the Lancers.

“This weekend is the Lockport Tournament, that’s a big one,” Weiss said. “We’ll have both the JV and varsity there, the whole team. We’ll see how everyone is doing. We will get a good look at what Western New York’s better wrestlers have to offer.”

The end of the season is rapidly approaching, which means All-Catholic Championships are near. The team isn’t aiming to finish in any certain position, just aiming to be as competitive as possible.

“We don’t have a goal in a quantifiable sense,” Weiss said. “As long as we go out there ... work hard and move toward that goal, those things will take care of themselves.”

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