By: Christian Cowley’23 and Ethan Stenger’23
Year in and year out, Saint Paul’s is a powerhouse in every sport they compete in. Although the Wolves did not produce any team state champions, they are a force to be reckoned with soon.
Football- After going 8-3 overall (6-1 in district) and losing in the district championship to the eventual Class 5A state runners-up, the Wolves had an incredible season. The season was built on clutch plays and comebacks. Although they did not make it to the state championship, the Wolves gave the state champions, Catholic High, a run for their money, determining the outcome on the last drive and losing the game by one. It was Saint Paul’s farthest run in the playoffs, and it could not have been more special as the week before, they blocked two field goals to secure a victory against Scotlandville.
Basketball- Coach Dale and his squad entered 2022 with high hopes as the wolves were coming off a state semifinal appearance in 2021. This year the Wolves returned 11 seniors, along with Reece Seichnaydre, who saw quality minutes as a sophomore. As the season went on, the Wolves accumulated an undefeated record in district play and the first seed in the state tournament. They went on to handily beat C.E. Byrd in the first round of the playoffs and capture a spot in the final four in Lafayette. They battled hard against their opponent, John Curtis, but could not beat the Patriots losing by four points. Yes, a disappointing outcome for such a talented team, but it puts the rest of the state on notice that Saint Paul’s is a serious opponent for years to come.
Baseball- The 2022 Saint Paul’s Baseball Wolves dug themselves into a hole to start their season with five straight losses early. Saint Paul’s got a dominant first win of the season against an outstanding Dutchtown squad but was then shut out while giving up double-digit runs to the very same team not even a week later. Baseball is a story of momentum and consistency, especially at the high school level. The teams that makes the least mistakes are usually the only one left standing, and the Wolves weren’t that team early this year. But as spring began, the Wolves started to heat up too. Starting with two big road wins at Hahnville and Zachary, the Wolves saved their season, winning eleven games in a thirteen-game stretch and punching their ticket to the playoffs. In the postseason, Saint Paul’s matched up with the south shore’s very own St. Augustine, one of the two teams to hand the program a loss during their season-saving run. In a best of three playoff series, the Purple Knights took both games by one score, effectively ending St. Paul’s 2022 campaign. But that doesn’t mean that the Wolves had a disappointing season. Juniors Kade Anderson and Drew Bode made the All-District 1st Team, while Senior Trent Caime made the 2nd team. Along with many outstanding individual accolades and performances, the program showed a tremendous amount of fight when the going got tough, and that’s a credit to the coaches.
Soccer- The sports program with the richest history out of any other at Saint Paul’s. The team has a reputation and a culture of winning. It’s just in their roots. Led by legendary coach Sean Moser, the Wolves did what they were expected to do, cruise to the postseason with a record of 16-3-6 and a seven-game shutout-win streak to end the regular season. In the single-elimination State Tournament, Saint Paul’s strung together three wins against East Ascension, Northshore, and Sulphur, a stretch in which they outscored their opponents by a score of 17-2. In the Semi-Final, the Wolves met their greatest competition yet. The Wolves took a 1-0 lead into halftime after Junior Danny Wayert put the ball through a sea of bodies and into the back of the net. With just over nine minutes left in the contest, Senior Will Allen slides an incoming pass past the keeper to deliver the dagger into the hearts of Dutchtown. Except it wasn’t the dagger. After scoring a set-piece goal, the Griffins still had one last gasp at sending the game to overtime. The ball comes fluttering towards the Saint Paul’s net off a corner kick, and a Dutchtown player sends the ball to the net. It goes in. Overtime. Another Dutchtown player wiggles his way to barely enough space to get a long shot off and past the Wolves defender. He shoots, and he scores. Dutchtown’s late momentum proved too much for the Wolves defense. A disappointing end to a season shaping up to be one that would bring the State Championship trophy back to Saint Paul’s. It did not. Back to the drawing board for Coach Moser and the Saint Paul’s Soccer Wolves as they look towards next year.
Wrestling- Wrestling is a sport of individual accomplishments, where every athlete’s performance affects the team’s success. “I like the connections that I’ve made through it,” Senior Saint Paul’s Wrestler Jake Houser commented. “I’ve made most of my best friends through the sport. It’s unique because it’s an individual sport and a team sport. You can compete for yourself and your team as well.” For the Saint Paul’s Wrestling Wolves, Coach Pinero focuses on having the team train and coach each other; iron sharpens iron. The work that the Wolves put in this season was unmatched, and the program was rewarded for it. Even with COVID-19 taking out plenty of the team’s top talent, St. Paul’s Wrestling brought plenty of hardware back to Jahnke this year, so let’s take a moment to recognize these achievements. Through many successful tournaments and meets, the most meaningful came in the form of a District Championship, Parish Championship, and fourth place in this year’s Louisiana State Championship. The District Championship came with a clobbering 78-4 victory over rival Covington, making the championship sweeter. In the Parish Championship, the Coronavirus took out two of the program’s top wrestlers. Despite that, Junior Landry Barker helped lead Saint Paul’s to a Parish Championship, winning the Outstanding Wrestler Award for the event. Great individual performances by the Wolves headlined the State Championship. Seniors Jake Houser and Grant Nastasi earned their 2nd State Titles, and Junior Landry Barker won his first, giving the Wolves fourth place in the state. Ten Saint Paul’s wrestlers were selected to the All-Parish 1st Team, with three on the All-Parish 2nd Team. If that doesn’t convince you of the talent on this Wolves squad, then I don’t know what was. As another season of wrestling ends, the sport continues to reign supreme at Saint Paul’s.