Wrestling top 10: St. Mary’s Ryken begins new season where it left off

 

The article was posted by the Washington Post on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.

St. Mary’s Ryken has emerged as the class of the D.C. high school wrestling scene.

The Knights have claimed the past three Washington Catholic Athletic Conference team titles and have made their mark at national events. Last season, they were the best local team at the Maryland Independent Schools championships and National Preps.

Competition will again be stiff, but with a handful of stars returning, St. Mary’s Ryken starts the 2023-24 season in the No. 1 spot of The Post’s wrestling rankings.

Other teams in the area also enter this season with hardware to defend and targets on their backs. Robinson, another three-time reigning champion, returns plenty of talent to defend its place atop Virginia’s Class 6. In Maryland, South River brings back much of the team that repeated as Class 4A champion a season ago. Landon also has a reputation — and an Interstate Athletic Conference title — to defend.

Challengers abound. Paul VI and Gonzaga present threats in the WCAC, with other teams lurking. Westfield and Battlefield can go toe-to-toe with almost any team in Virginia, and South River’s quest for a three-peat will require navigating a competitive field.

Here are The Post’s first wrestling rankings of the season:

(All records are from last season.)

1

St. Mary’s Ryken (12-2)

The Knights are primed for another strong campaign. Senior Mekhi Neal, a Maryland commit and a finalist at last year’s Beast of the East and National Preps events, is back alongside senior Josh Strong and juniors Austin Wood and Will Buckler.

2

Robinson (8-0)

The Rams have won three consecutive Virginia Class 6 championships and return three All-Met selections from a season ago: Tristan Corbin, Robert Kucharczk and Caden Smith.

3

South River (37-6)

South River graduated just three seniors from last year’s Maryland Class 4A dual meet championship lineup, putting the Seahawks in prime position to defend their crown.

4

Landon (14-2)

Despite the graduation of All-Met Wrestler of the Year Joel Brown, Landon is well-positioned to compete for another IAC title. Seniors James Hanley and Nate Furgeson are primed to lead.

5

Westfield (10-4)

Westfield captured district and region titles last season and returns three Virginia Class 6 medalists: Brendan Sholders, Carson Easlick and Jake Brubaker.

6

Paul VI (15-1)

Cash Colbert and Leo Badolato form one of the most formidable sophomore duos in the area and will again compete for WCAC titles.

7

Archbishop Spalding (4-3)

The Cavaliers finished 14th at National Preps a season ago, second only to St. Mary’s Ryken among schools in The Post’s coverage area. Sean Garretson and Vincent Paolucci, who both placed at the event, are back.

8

Gonzaga (17-8)

The Eagles return seven wrestlers who finished in the top three of their weight classes at the D.C. Independent Schools championships.

9

Battlefield (17-0)

Logan Katz and Matthew Arndt are back for their sophomore seasons after placing at the Virginia Class 6 meet. Katz was an All-Met honorable mention.

10

North Point (31-3)

Fresh off their first trip to the Maryland Class 3A dual meet finals, the Eagles will have to replace Connor Huff and Aiden Rivenburg but should be among the top teams in the state again.

On the bubble: Broadneck, Chantilly, Glenelg, Hammond, Northwest, Oakland Mills, Whitman


To view the 2023-24 St. Mary's Ryken wrestling schedule, visit this page.

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