St. John’s School’s 200th championship was on the line at the 2020 Prep State Duals. For the record, St. John’s had won 178 SPC championships and 21 state titles in the history of the school. Girls’ and Boys’ Lacrosse and Wrestling accounted for all of the state titles. Wrestling was the 2019 State Duals champion and aimed for a second consecutive title. Leading up to the meet, practices in the mat room reached a heightened intensity, and every wrestler was ready and eager to get the big team win for the school.
While the Mavericks were the favored #1 ranked prep team in Texas, #2 ranked Bishop Lynch was the host school. After dominating their first dual of the day, with a perfect score of 84-0, the Mavericks swept the rest of their pool with scores of 64-9 and 66-16 to clinch a semi-final bout against St. Thomas, whom they dispatched 51-30 to advance to the finals. Bishop Lynch loomed as the final team to beat.
In the time leading up to the finals matchup between the #1 ranked Mavs and #2 Bishop Lynch, the team focused on getting locked into the right mindset as the hype for the marquee matchup between the two Texas prep wrestling giants began to build. The coaches’ message had been clear all along: the team needed to not only win key matches but to win via pins.
The dual started at 152 pounds, and early on, the Mavs rattled off four consecutive pins for the 160, 170, and 195 pound matches (Michael Daichman, Thomas Chang, John Perdue, and Jack Curtin, respectively). A few matches later, the trend continued with pins at 285 (Eric Johnson), 106 (Ishan Shah), and 113 (Sebastian Grannen), before Ken Matsunaga won the clincher with a fall in the 120-pound bout. Wyatt Cyprow picked up a key victory at 132, and captains Sebastian Jimenez and Thomas Grannen closed out the dual with two dominant wins at 138 and 145.
The championship was a complete team effort, as 23 wrestlers competed in the 14 weight classes (Ishan Shah, Nick Plana, Sebastian Grannen, Luke Romere, Ken Matsunaga, Matthew Perez, Patrick Batsell, Wyatt Cyprow, Jack McGarry, Sebastian Jimenez, Thomas Grannen, Stevie Otillar, Oliver Magdol, Michael Daichman, Dean Davis, Thomas Chang, Addison Spiegal, John Perdue, Jack Curtin, Luke Venus, Duncan McClaren, Eric Johnson, and Tyler Langin). The Maverick bench was electric throughout the dual, and the energy carried over into the celebrations, as SJS took home its 200th championship trophy, and Maverick Wrestling defended their title.
“It was one of the most significant all-around team wins in my 14 years here at St. John’s,” said Head Coach Alan Paul. “Everyone made a contribution.”
The Mavericks’ quest for success continues as they look to defend their Prep State individual title at St. Thomas High School on February 1, followed by SPC at Dallas St. Mark’s on February 15 and ending week later at National Preps at Lehigh University, PA.