(COVINGTON, La.) — St. Paul’s sports this school year has set a new bar, concluding the year with all teams winning district championships, three state championships, many top five finishes in state, 12 college signings, and several broken records, as well as top five national rankings in two sports.
“The main goal for all of the sport teams at St. Paul’s is to create a cohesive brotherly team unit,” Athletic Director Craig Ketelsen said.
The SPS Soccer Wolves have been state champs for the past three years and counting, earning a spot as the number one team in the nation. The team finished the season with 27 wins, 3 ties, and 1 loss. The Soccer Wolves will be losing 14 seniors, eight of which were starters. Five team seniors will go on to play at a collegiate level: Michael Boudreaux and Austin Wiles at Christian Brothers University, Nick Isolani at Rhodes college, Jonathan King at Spring Hill, and Colin Ross at Fort Lewis.
“Every year that your team can win a state championship is special,” varsity soccer coach Sean Moser said. “D1 boys soccer has close to 50 high school teams competing in it. Knowing that last year’s team was undefeated, I thought there would be extra pressure; but the team — especially our three captains Ross, Boudreaux, and Wiles — handled things beautifully, and the team finished 27-1-3 with a LHSAA 3-peat.”
The varsity Basketball Wolves broke the school record for most games won in a regular season, setting the new record at 32-2, as well as a new record for the most consecutive wins in a row, with 31 consecutive wins. The Wolves won their first CYO Tournament championship, and the inaugural Gene Bennett Memorial tournament championship. The team advanced into the playoffs beating Acadiana, but lost in the second round to East Ascension. Individual players have accomplished the following: Harrison Prieto – team captain, LHSAA all-star, District MVP, 1000 point club, Clarion Herald elite, and 5A all-academic, Gene Bennett all-tournament; Jacob Broussard – composite all-academic; Lucas Schmitt – team captain; Skyler Herbet – all-district; Timothy Bedford – Clarion Herald elite MVP; all-district, Gene Bennett all-tournament; Devonte Allen – all-district, CYO tournament MVP; and Parker Edwards – all-district, CYO all-tournament, Gene Bennett all-tournament. Schmitt will continue his basketball career at the collegiate level, playing for Huntington University.
The Cross Country Wolves capped their season off with a 4th place finish at State. The team also won their eighth district title in a row. Junior Eric Coston was District Champion and senior Spencer Albright was District Runner-Up. Coston was also the Metro champ and State Runner-Up, placing 1st or 2nd in every race he ran during the season. Albright placed in the top ten all season long and also earned Metro and All-State honors.
The Track Wolves this season earned first place finishes at the FHS Andy Thiel Invitational and the Ponchatoula High School Relays, and claimed their fourth consecutive St. Tammany Parish Title. They also defended their District 6-5A title, winning their fifth in a row. The indoor track team was led by Junior Eric Coston, who led the team to finish 3rd place in this year’s LHSAA Division I State Championships. Eric finished first in the 3200 M Run with a time that broke the Class 5A record for the State meet. He also finished second in the 800m Run. Coston also took 1st place at the outdoor track state meet in two events, concluding the day with a post-race video interview with Nola.com. The following team members will compete at a collegiate level: Spencer Albright has signed to run Track at Spring Hill College, and Oliver Guice has signed to run track at Birmingham Southern.
The Football Wolves won 1st place in District with a 9-2 record, but went on to lose in the second round of the playoffs to John Curtis after a first round bye. This season was their 11th straight playoff appearance and 10th District Title finish. The Wolves also made their fourth quarterfinal appearance in the last nine years. Also, quarterback Kenny Sears signed with Northwestern Louisiana University to play football at the collegiate level.
The varsity Lacrosse Wolves earned their fifth consecutive Final Four berth and finished the season as State Semifinalist, ranked 4th in the state with a 13-5 overall record. The season ended to the Jesuit Blue Jays in the state semi-finals. The following players received recognition: Eli Crosby earned 1st Team All-State and All-District; Dylan Futrell and Kevin Katich earned 2nd Team All-State and 1st Team All-District; Kenneth Avanzino, Ryan Flood, and Zach Nunez earned 2nd Team All-District; and William Murphy, Parker Hagood, and Robert Ellis earned District Honorable Mention.
The Rugby Wolves this season had roller coaster season, but finished with a record of 8-3 and third in the Deep South League. According to the coaching staff, this year’s team was more of a quick-finesse team instead of a power team. The only returning starters for the Wolves are Bam Barreiro, who will move to 8-man, Gavin Grefer at hooker, Nick Montreal at scrumhalf, Tanner Landry at inside center, and Cameron Meyers at outside center. The team plans on coming back hard against their only losses this season which were Jesuit and Houma.
“St. Paul’s Rugby will be the number one team next year when the season is over,” junior Cameron Meyers said.
The SPS Wrestling Wolves finished 14-3 in dual meets, champions of three tournaments, and were ranked second in the state, but finished 5th place in State for this season. The team also placed higher in major tournaments than any other team in school history. Sam Dufour finished the year as a member of the rare 100-win club, finishing with 105 wins. The team had six individual place winners, including sophomore Cole Houser, State Champion, and Hunter Bourgeois who finished his career as a two-time State Runner-up.
“Wrestling had a great year, we set a lot of records early, even though we did not finish as strongly as we hoped in state,” Head Wrestling Coach Craig Ketelsen said.
The Baseball Wolves finished 16-11 on the season and 10-4 in district play. The following players earned 1st team All-District honors: Nick Marinello, Bradley Yaeger, Hunter Romero, and Blake LoCicero, who was District MVP. Romero and Yaeger will both continue their baseball careers next year at Spring Hill College.
The Bowling Wolves finished their first year as an LHSAA team as District Runner-up with a record of 5-3 and made it to the bi-regional round of the playoffs as a number 10 seed. The team consisted of eight bowlers: senior Garret Grass; sophomores Matthew Aupied, Jackson Cretin, and Berren Perry; and freshmen Peter Bertucci, Jared Kreeger, Joseph Brown, and Jonathan Wellmeyer. Bertucci won the District MVP with a 181 average. First Team honors went to Wellmeyer with a 173 average and Second Team honors went to Cretin with a 144 average. In a post-season summer league game, Bertucci bowled a perfect 300 game on Saturday, May 14.
“The team’s dedication and commitment makes for a promising future in the program,” Head Coach Peter Bertucci said. “The team thanks Bro. Ray, Mr. Ketelsen, Mr. Scoriels and all our fans for their support.”
The Tennis Wolves completed the season 8-0 while also finishing 3rd in State and winning District and Regionals. Every player on the team qualified for state, making this the 36th consecutive year that moderator Bro. Ken Boesch, FSC, has had at least one or more players qualify for state. Brothers Kurt and Kent Shiell won in the State Division I Doubles final against Jesuit in a three setter 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Senior Kurt Sheill has signed to play tennis for Spring Hill College.
“Our dad won the Division I Doubles State Title in 1981 as a senior at Rummel when he was in high school,” Kurt Shiell said. “One of (my brother’s and my) biggest goals throughout our entire St. Paul’s career was to do the same, and we have.”
The Iron Wolves, or SPS powerlifting team, had another successful year finishing 4th in State, 2nd at Regionals, and 5th in the nation as a team. The top lifters for the Wolves were John Rushing and Nick Gordon, who both became State Champions and All-Americans. In addition, Gordon was named light weight MVP of the state, breaking the state record in the bench press and total and earning his third state championship in a row. Rushing was State Champ at 220 and broke the state record with a squat of 680. Gordon also earned 2nd at Nationals, with Rushing placed 3rd.
Much of this year’s Ultimate Frisbee season was canceled due to the weather, and the team only got to play in two tournaments. The team finished the season losing in the state semi-finals.
The Aqua Wolves finished their season in 3rd place behind Jesuit and Hahnville in the 21-team Championship. The team had four All-State swims: the 200 medley relay took 2nd place, Griffin Guzan too 1st place in 100 butterfly, Harrison Prieto took 3rd in 100 backstroke, and the 400 freestyle relay team took 2nd. Seven varsity records were set: the 200 medley relay with 1:37.23, Jack Cheng with 21.81 in the 50 free, the 200 free relay team with 1:32.03, the 400 freestyle relay team with 3:16.00, and Griffin Guzan with 23.53 in the 50 fly, 50.31 in the 100 fly, and 47.93 in the 100 freestyle.