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St. Francis Reclaims Msgr. Martin Wrestling Dual Meet Crown



The WNY #2 Red Raiders took down #10 St. Joe’s 42-24 on the road Saturday to complete the 2023-2024 league schedule unbeaten at 4-0. The league dual meet title is the third in the last five full wrestling seasons for St. Francis after having won most recently in 2021-2022 and 2018-2019.

 

The Marauders jumped out to a 15-0 lead on the visiting Raiders after the first three weights of the dual. Senior state federation place winner Austin Zimmerman earned an impressive major decision at 124-pounds to start the match with a 4-0 lead for St. Joe’s. Fellow senior and federation placer Nik Massaro earned a technical fall at 131 before Sean Gordon accepted the only forfeit of the match for the Marauders at 138.

 

Rory White got the Raiders on the scoreboard with a crucial decision win at 145-pounds to kick off a stretch run of seven straight wins by St. Francis. After a Griffin LaPlante pin at 152, Brandon Drummond earned another critical victory for the Raiders at 160 before four straight pins leading to Zach Caldwell’s match sealing fall at 285.

 

Gage LaPlante (pin, 170), Connor Miller (pin, 190), Jack Coughlin (pin, 215), and Cullen Edwards (pin, 116) also earned wins & pins for St. Francis who won eight total bouts with six pins in the dual.


Edwards, a sophomore and 2023 Section VI Division I champion while at Frontier, also captured his 100th career victory in the match.


“We’ve had a good season so far and we’ve won all these accolades but coming into St. Joe’s we always know it’s going to be a dogfight,” said St. Francis head coach Mike Messore. “They always have a really well prepared team. I thought our young guys went out and battled against their studs, and other guys got their jobs done in tight matches…it could’ve gone either way; it was a hard fought battle. Without practicing for the week because of snow and starting our season late, this team continues to overcome challenges.”

 

Damien Ndagano (pin, 101) and Alessandro Mancini (108) also won bouts for ‘Joe’s who complete the league schedule at 3-1 in standings.

 

St. Francis and St. Joe’s will travel to Msgr. Farrell High School on Staten Island for the CHSAA Dual Meet Wrestling Championships on Sat. 1/127 and Sun. 1/28.

 

2023-2024 St. Francis Red Raiders Msgr. Martin High School Athletic Association scores:

 

Dec. 6th: St. Francis 47 – Gow School 6

 

Jan. 10th: St. Francis 57 – Canisius 6

 

Jan. 10th: St. Francis 53 – St. Mary’s 6

 

Jan. 20th: St. Francis 42 – St. Joe’s 24

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