The St. Paul’s School Athletic Department enters the second semester of the 2013-2014 school year having accomplished much in the fall semester and preparing to accomplish much more in the spring. Having already won one state championship in the fall, the Wolves are poised to top last year’s accomplishments of three state titles and 10 teams ranked in the top five.
“I’m very proud of our continued success,” said Athletic Director Craig Ketelsen, “It’s due to the hard work of coaches and athletes.”
In the first semester, the Cross Country Wolves won the state championship while the Football and Wrestling Wolves won district championships, and in swimming, sophomore Griffin Guzan won the state championship in the 100m butterfly. The Wrestling Wolves also won the parish championship and will compete in the state meet on Feb. 21-22.
Ketelsen, who is also the head wrestling coach, said that he is excited to have won district and parish with such a young team.
He also added that senior Tanner LeBlanc is currently ranked number one in the state and that senior Chris Meraux will be ranked in the top five.
Many more SPS teams are just beginning or are preparing to begin their seasons.
The defending state runner up Soccer Wolves are currently the number one team in Division I in the state, according to nola.com and the number two team in the country, according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. They opened district play on Tuesday, Jan. 7, with a win at Slidell and followed that up with wins against Hammond and Mandeville.
The Basketball Wolves, who are coming off of a playoff berth last year, opened district play last week with a loss against Slidell. The Wolves then bounced back with wins at Hammond and at home against Mandeville.
The Rugby Wolves, who are playing their first season, played at Lake Area in a scrimmage on Saturday, Jan. 11, and have their first match on Saturday, Jan. 18, against Jesuit at City Park in New Orleans.
The Iron Wolves, who are coming off a state championship, have begun working out. Their first meet will be this weekend, and according to Ketelsen they have a young team with many new starters.
The Track Wolves, who were state runner-ups in indoor track as well as district and parish champs in outdoor track last year, have begun practicing for the indoor season.
The Golf Wolves’ season begins in February, when they will try to defend their state title.
The Baseball Wolves, who are the defending district 6-5A champions, have begun working out in preparation for their season.
The Gymnastic Wolves are coming off back-to-back state championships and have begun practicing in preparation for their season.
The Lacrosse Wolves season is just beginning, but they have been practicing since mid-November. Their goal this season is to get back to the state finals and to win, according to Ketelsen.
The Tennis Wolves, who finished last season 4th in state, are also gearing up to begin their season later in the spring semester.
As it stands, the SPS Athletic Department has a good chance of topping its number of state champions from last year. In the 2012-13 school year, the Wolves won all three of their state titles in the spring semester. But this year, they begin the spring semester with one trophy already in the cabinet from the Cross Country Wolves and look to get a few more before the end of the year.