Weekly Feature



2018-02-08 / Sports

St. Mary’s wrestling takes fourth at All-Catholics

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter


Tyler Cruz (left) of St. Mary’s grapples with his opponent during the All-Catholic Championship Tournament Sunday at St. Joe’s. The 113-pounder finished fifth in his class and will be heading to the CHSAA Championship Meet in Staten Island this weekend. Tyler Cruz (left) of St. Mary’s grapples with his opponent during the All-Catholic Championship Tournament Sunday at St. Joe’s. The 113-pounder finished fifth in his class and will be heading to the CHSAA Championship Meet in Staten Island this weekend. The St. Mary’s wrestling team had a strong showing at All-Catholic Championships Sunday at St. Joe’s High School. The team took fourth place, finishing with 73 points. This was a huge step for a program that was only two years removed from struggling to find participants.

“Overall, this season was a huge step for all of us,” St. Mary’s coach Zach Weiss said. “We kept working together and pushing forward.”

The team had a number of strong matches, qualifying 12 of 15 wrestlers for the Catholic State Championship Tournament at Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Island.

“We definitely had a lot of expectations, but we were able to take care of business,” Weiss said. “We had a couple tight matches where we came out on top and a couple that went the other way. We knew what we were getting into. We had some little bumps along the way, but we did what we’re trying to do as a program.”

Liam Regan had a great day in the 99-pound weight class, making it all the way to the finals.

“He had a great day in the 99-pound class,” Weiss said. “He pushed to the finals and wrestled with confidence. He made some waves.”

Jake Fay was third in the 152-pound class after losing a close match to defending champion Matt Baldwin from Canisius.

“He took third in his class,” Weiss said. “He battled with the defending champion from Canisius in Matt Baldwin and came up a little short. He wrestled hard, so we’ll see if we can catch him again next weekend.”

Tyler Cruz took fifth place in the 113-pound bracket as a sophomore. He’ll be moving on to the state championship meet next weekend.

“He punched his ticket to get through,” Weiss said. “He’s just had a huge year of improvement. He’s taking what he’s learning and making it happen for himself. I’m overjoyed to see him qualified. Overall, the team outlook is very positive. It’s nice to keep things moving forward.”

All in all, it was a successful meet for St. Mary’s and a successful season in general. The team has more state qualifiers than it had team members last year. Because of this turnaround, Weiss was named the Monsignor Martin Coach of the Year.

“For me it’s huge, having wrestled at St. Mary’s against Coach Cunningham at Canisius and Coach Kennedy,” Weiss said. ‘To be recognized by everyone means a whole lot. It’s great to be in the same conversation as teams like St. Francis and St. Joe’s, who had such great years. It’s overwhelming to think about. It’s really nice. It shows that they’re working hard and listening. I guess I’m doing my job. I’m proud to be coaching this team.”

The team now turns its attention to the state championship meet, where the Lancers will try to send out its seniors with a solid finish. Meanwhile, the juniors and sophomores will gain valuable experience.

“The goal for this weekend is for the seniors to finish their career in a way they can look back on and be proud of,” Weiss said. “They helped build the program to go where it is going. I think they’ll feel good about the way they end up this weekend. For the juniors and sophomores, we just want to get as much experience and match time as we can. We want to get to the next level and put in work in the offseason so we can start next season well.”

Return to top