After winning the Metro League Tournament for the third consecutive winter, the Priory Rebels return to wrestling competition in the St. Clair Tournament.
The Rebels will begin action at 8 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 19) at St. Clair. Then, the Rebels will hold their annual Priory Tournament will be held at 9 a.m. Jan. 26. Competing in the Priory meet will be John Burroughs, McCluer, Miller Academy, Roosevelt and Soldan.
“Hopefully the snow holds off long enough to wrestle in the Saint Clair Tournament this weekend and the following weekend we are hosting our own tournament,” Priory coach Steve Rolwes said.
The Rebels are 6-6 in dual matches this season.
“We have a smaller overall lineup this year than years past but they guys we put out there on the varsity level have been very competitive,” Rolwes said.
Priory captured the recent Metro League tournament that was held at John Burroughs. The Rebels finished first with 130 points. Westminster Christian Academy came in second with 102. Principia was third with 92 while MICDS (85) and John Burroughs (37) were fourth and fifth
The meet is an important one for Priory.
“One of our season goals for the team was to compete to be able to win the league again this year,” Rolwes said. “Many of the boys have been talking about a third straight year and to their credit they have worked hard to make that happen.
“Having never won it before this run, I feel it is a great achievement for the program to have won it for the third year in a row.”
This is an achievement the Rebels strive for every season.
“In recent years, it has been one of the team goals each of them writes down at the beginning of the season,” Rolwes said. “It means a lot to them to be league champions both as individuals and as a team. This year there was some concern as we have had guys in and out of the lineup with injuries and sickness.
“However, we were able to get enough guys back healthy in time for the tournament. It really was (a good meet for Priory). They were focused and ready to compete. Westminster has been a solid program the last several years with some really great wrestlers. They are well coached so this was a good win.”
The Rebels reacted as would be expected for winning the meet again, Rolwes said.
“They were definitely excited,” Rolwes said. “They have been battling all year against some good opponents so for it all to come together at the right time was a great team effort.”
Junior Luke Bagwell defeated Westminster’s Mike Lemp at 126 by fall in 3 minutes, 27 seconds. He improved to 16-9 on the season after the tournament.
“Luke was up 6-0 before getting the pin,” Rolwes said. “This was a great win for Luke as he wrestled like we knew he could and listened well in terms of wrestling to his strengths.”
Senior Louis Rolwes beat Burroughs’ John Browning in the 182-pound class. He won by fall in 1:28. He remains undefeated at 18-0.
“Louis was winning 7-1 before getting the pin,” Rolwes said. “Louis has been wrestling really well all season and does a good job of wrestling to his strengths and controlling the match.”
Junior Dalton Bingman beat MICDS’ William Schaumburg at 220. He too won by pin at 4:09. He is 6-1 this season.
“This was a great win for Dalton as it was his first action back from an injury from earlier in the season,” Rolwes said. “The score was 9-0 before getting the pin. We were impressed with his level of conditioning after losing so much time and looks ready to get his season started.”
At 285, senior Bret Wang won because there were no one to wrestle. He has a 17-9 record.
“He actually did not have any matches which is unfortunate as he has been wrestling pretty well all year,” Rolwes said.
Several other Rebels did well in the meet, Rolwes said. Senior Elliot Holdosh finished second at 132. Sophomore Adam Rolwes also finished second at 145.
“We also had the help of two JV guys in the lineup,” Rolwes said.
Junior Brennan Spellman finished third at 138. Freshman Stephen McDaniel finished second at 195.
Rolwes said overall it was a great tournament for all the teams competing.
“I just want to point out the great efforts by all the coaches and wrestlers in the league,” Rolwes said. “We have truly seen some great wrestlers come through our programs in the past years.”