For the Wolves, Wrestling is Not a Sport It’s a Lifestyle

The 2013-2014 SPS Wrestlers. (photo from the SPS wrestling facebook page).

The 2013-2014 SPS Wrestlers. (photo from the SPS wrestling facebook page).

The SPS Wrestling Wolves just finished up a season that they will not forget for a very long time, placing 6th overall in the state tournament, with two individual place winners at state, and finishing as the number one team on the northshore.

Tanner Leblanc took top honors at the state tournament, finishing in 1st place in his weight class and leading his team to 6th place overall. (photo from SPS wrestling facebook page)

Tanner Leblanc took top honors at the state tournament, finishing in 1st place in his weight class and leading his team to 6th place overall. (photo from SPS wrestling facebook page)

The Wrestling Wolves competed in 10 tournaments this season, and you can see the team results here. They are led by Craig Ketelsen, also the Athletic Director at St. Paul’s School.

“This is a young team that has done a great job this season and have shown a standard of excellence competing,” said Ketelsen.

These wrestlers put in so much time and effort into practicing for big wrestling meets, practicing three hours a day, five days a week.

“Wrestling is not a game, we battle,” said Ketelsen.

Even though wrestling is full of physical force, the rules of the game keep its competitors mostly safe and injury free.

A wrestling match is usually divided into three rounds, with each round lasting two to three minutes. Different accomplishments in a wrestling match score numbers of points. Exactly how many points depend on the style of wrestling.

At the end of a match, the wrestler who is ahead wins by a “decision,” but a wrestler who wins by 8-14 points scores a “superior decision.” If at any time during the match a wrestler holds his opponent on his back for three seconds, the match ends, and that wrestler wins by pin or “fall.”

Regardless of the results, wrestling teaches the competitors to play with pride and to shake hands at the end of the match.

This is best stated in a famous quote from Dan Gable, Olympic wrestler and former University of Iowa head coach, “More enduringly than any other sport, wrestling teaches self-control and pride. Some have wrestled without great skill. None have wrestled without pride.”

The seniors end their career on top in their five year St. Paul wrestling career.

Senior Chris Meraux wins a tough match at state, placing 5th in his weight class. (photo from the SPS Wrestling facebook page).

Senior Chris Meraux wins a tough match at state, placing 5th in his weight class. (photo from the SPS Wrestling facebook page).

Chris Meraux finishes as a three-time state place winner, proving he is a consistent winner. Tanner Leblanc finishes a season undefeated in 5-A competition and a State Championship.  Leblanc was dominant all year and is also a 5-A Academic All-State athlete.

Meraux and teammates Matt Rader and Grant Landwehr were also composite all-state academic, holding among the top 15 wrestling GPA’s in the entire state.

Wrestling is a growing sport at St. Paul’s, and students interested in participate next season are encouraged to talk to Coach Ketelsen. To learn more about the SPS Wolves, go to their facebook page.

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