St. Paul’s School concluded their 2013-14 sports program with three state titles and ranked by MaxPreps as one of the top five overall sports programs in the state. The school plans to reach greater heights this year and kicks off the fall season with five strong varsity teams currently beginning competition: football, cross country, swimming, ultimate frisbee, and bowling.
“We are going to have a great year in sports this year,” Athletic Director Craig Ketelsen predicts.
Despite losing to two-time defending state champs Rummel High in Friday night’s Christian Brother’s Jamboree, Ketelsen is optimistic about another positive football season, eyeing yet another district championship. SPS beat John Curtis in an earlier scrimmage and kicks off the regular season this Friday at home against Edna Karr.
Defending state champs, the Cross Country Wolves are already off to the races to defend their title. Even though SPS lost a lot of big names last year, there are still a couple of runners stepping up to take the lead. In particular, reigning state champion Eric Coston is out to defend his title.
“Eric is a superstar, and he will do very well,” Ketelsen said. “And like Drew Brees, he will make other people better and not just him.”
The SPS Aqua Wolves also dive in to compete for a state title, coming in fourth place last year with a very young team. Ketelsen feels like they have more maturity under their belts and are looking to compete.
The SPS ultimate frisbee team, known at the school as the Dire Wolves, finished second in state but are suffering from the loss of a key player. Last year, the SPS pack lost David Conroy who was a great contributor both on and off the field, often organizing practices and games. However, Ketelsen says that Coach Mark Richards has been doing heavy recruiting and is ready to compete.
Although not an LHSAA sport, the SPS Bowling Wolves have taken to the alley and have typically been a competitive team in the league.
“These are a group of guys that play for fun, and they love to play together,” Ketelson said.
Winter and Spring Sports Preview
Although only in the beginning weeks of school, SPS is already looking ahead to their winter and spring sports, and many of these students are already training to prepare.
The SPS power lifting team, known as the Iron Wolves finished in second place last year and are looking to reclaim the state title they won in both 2012 and 2013.
“Coach Jesse Kellum is looking for a little revenge after losing last year but hopes to be on top this year,” Ketelsen said.
The SPS Lacrosse Wolves finished second in state last year and are aiming for the top. As a relatively young sport at SPS, the coaching staff has always held an open walk-on policy, but has grown to have the second largest roster at St. Paul’s behind football and will be holding tryouts this year. According to Ketelsen, the team has very promising talent for a state title.
On the mat with the SPS Wrestling Wolves, Ketelsen fights to get on top as both the A.D. and the team’s head coach.
“We lost all of our starters last year, but with the hard work and dedicated kids, we should have a very good year,” Ketelsen said. The team finished sixth in state last year.
The SPS Basketball Wolves plan to run down the court for another playoff bid this year with new coach, Doug Sailor. Ketelsen notes that there are a lot of young guys that should show some promise and that he’s looking forward to what the new coach can do.
After winning a state title three years in a row, the SPS gymnastics team lost two top gymnasts, making it hard for them to defended their state title as a team, but they believe they can pull it off. Individually, Colin Skinner, has a huge chance to be a state champion, says Ketelsen.
Going down to the diamond with the SPS Baseball Wolves, Ketelsen says they are also looking forward to a playoff run again this year. He notes that they have a lot of young talent emerging.
State champions, the SPS Soccer Wolves, are looking forward to defending their state title and defeating Jesuit High School again in a rivalry that has come to be known at SPS as the Battle of the Blues.
“Coach Moser does a good job reloading and not adding,” Ketelsen said about the team’s prospects. SPS fans hope to win back-to-back titles without repeating the power outage of last year’s championship game.
The SPS Tennis Wolves, under the direction of Bro. Ken Boesch, FSC, ended last season as runners-up in both district and regionals and are looking to improve their standings this upcoming season.
“Brother Ken does a great job organizing the tennis program,” Ketelsen said, who believes they will hit that goal.
State runners-up, the SPS Golf Wolves, lost their best golfer last year, Thomas Ruli. As they hunt for another title, Ketelsen says, “They have a lot of good talent this year and are hoping to get a shot at state.”
“The Indoor and Outdoor Track Wolves will be great as always,” Ketelsen said.
Overall, SPS has one of the top programs in the nation for boys sports, ranked #5 in the state last year by MaxPreps in overall points. Incidentally, St.Paul’s sister school, St. Scholastica Academy, was ranked #3 in the state in points. By adding the SPS and SSA points together, their combined score of 707 would rank SPS and SSA as #1 in the state and #17 nationwide.