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Msgr. Martin All-Catholic Wrestling Roundup; St. Joe’s Claims 9th Straight Team Title

St. Joe’s crowned over half of the individual champions at Sunday’s 57th Annual Monsignor Martin All-Catholic Wrestling Championships at St. Mary’s High School as the Marauders cruised to the team title for their 9th consecutive time. In doing so, the Marauders tied St. Francis’s 1981-1989 teams for the league record of consecutive All-Catholic Championships team titles.

“It was a complete team effort,” said St. Joe’s head coach Pete Kennedy after the tournament. “We are a relatively young team with four seniors on the roster. All season, they have displayed continuous improvement weekly. I am excited to see how we can continue to improve this week and turn in our best performance yet on Sunday.”

St. Joe’s also captured the league’s dual meet title with a perfect 4-0 record in Msgr. Martin duals this season.

“I have an incredible staff of dedicated coaches,” Kennedy added. “Simply, assistant coaches are the lifeblood of any successful high school wrestling program and I am extremely blessed to work with these men.”

The Marauders assistant coaching staff this season includes Brad Devlin, Craig Ostrum, Taylor Golba, Dan Menza, Dan Bavisotto, and Steve Schenk.

The All-Catholic tournament annually serves as not only an individual league championship for the Msgr. Martin member schools but also as a qualifier event for the NYS Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) Championships. The top-5 place winners in each Msgr. Martin All-Catholics bracket earn automatic advancement to the CHSAA tournament.

The 57th CHSAA Championships are Sun. 2/12 at St. Anthony’s HS in Huntington, Long Island.

‘Joe’s qualified the most wrestlers from the five Msgr. Martin teams for the 2023 CHSAA tournament with nineteen total wrestlers placing in the top-5 of their weights. St. Francis was second with seventeen qualifiers, followed by St. Mary’s with nine, Canisius with six, and Gow School with one CHSAA qualifier.

Individual champions at the CHSAA tournament earn an automatic entry to the state federation tournament in Albany, Feb. 24-25th.

St. Joe’s junior Austin Zimmerman is the league’s only returning CHSAA champion (two-time champion) and federation tournament qualifier while senior teammate Luke Ventresca is the league’s only other returning CHSAA place winner. Both wrestlers captured their third Msgr. Martin titles on Sunday while junior Jayson Kline set the pace for the Marauders with his first All-Catholics title while being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.

“Jayson turned in another great performance,” said Kennedy after the tournament. “The final was a back and forth match until the third period when Jayson took him to his back. Those are two kids that work their tails off and represent their programs well.”

Five of St. Joe’s seven league champions were in the first six weights between 102 and 138-pounds.

St. Francis claimed four of the Red Raiders’ five individual titles in the heavier seven weights, capturing three in a row at 172, 189, and 215-pounds highlighted by the return of outstanding junior Connor Miller who pinned through the 189-pound bracket.

Canisius’s Reese Spiro was the lone title winner for the Crusaders. Spiro earned a crucial finals victory with bonus team points with a major decision to help land Canisius a 3rd place finish only one point ahead of St. Mary’s.

**57th Msgr. Martin All-Catholic Wrestling Championships individual champions**:

102: Gianni Augello – St. Joe’s

110: Austin Zimmerman – St. Joe’s

118: Sean Gordon – St. Francis

126: Nik Massaro – St. Joe’s

132: Jayson Kline – St. Joe’s

138: Aidan Schenk – St. Joe’s

145: Rory White – St. Francis

152: Reese Spiro – Canisius

160: Luke Ventresca – St. Joe’s

172: Brandon Drummond – St. Francis

189: Connor Miller – St. Francis

215: Jack Coughlin – St. Francis

285: Nathaniel Lopez – St. Joe’s

**57th Msgr. Martin All-Catholic Wrestling Championships team scores**:

1. St. Joe’s 280 2. St. Francis 210 3. Canisius 77 4. St. Mary’s 76 5. Gow 7

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