St. Augustine Prep Wrestling Ends Successful Season With Three State Placewinners
Hermit Wrestling Has Impressive Season with Three Placing in States for the First Time Ever
by Luke Grippo ’24
Beginning with an encouraging and promising two wins and three losses at the Virginia Duals, the Prep Wrestling season was full of many exciting matches. The wrestling team had a good season with few losses. Clearly surpassing many of their previous seasons, they were able to make it to the NJSIAA Team Tournament, where they blew through the Quarterfinal round against Paul VI and won the Semifinal round against St. John Vianney, who had been #8 in the state at the time, but sadly lost the Final to Christian Brothers Academy. The Prep, however, in light of many of their upperclassmen’s success, is able to boast students Kaden Naame ‘23, D’amani Almadovar ‘22, Richie Grungo ‘23, Jake Slotnick ‘23, and Alex Marshall ‘22, as the District Champions, while crowning Jake Slotnick ‘23 as the Region Champion.
State Placewinners included Kaden Naame, who was 3rd at 113 lbs., Richie Grungo, who was 4th at 144 lbs., and Jake Slotnick, who was 7th at 150 lbs. Richie was extremely proud of his team, adding that, “This season we won as a team, and lost as a team, learning that we can overcome any adversity as long as we supported one another.” Jake described his team as “one band, one sound.”
Mr. Wooster, the Prep Wrestling Team’s newest coach who arrived only two years ago, feels honored to be able to coach the wrestling team. He has this to say: “Thank you to our seniors (D’Amani Almadovar, Brady Small, Trey McLeer, Alex Marshall) for leading the way to one of the most successful seasons in Hermits Wrestling history. The hard work and dedication of the entire team was on display all season long and never more evident than the impressive showing you put on in Atlantic City.”
Coach Ward, long-time Prep Wrestling coach, said, “This was one of the better teams in the history of the program. We were ranked 2nd in South Jersey, in the top 10 in the state and had 3 individuals place at states.” The Prep Wrestling team is excited for sophomores like Tristan McCleer and freshman Jackson Slotnick to begin leading the program in the next couple of years.