SportzBuzz - April 2023
The St. John’s Mavericks remained a dominant force in the world of high school wrestling after winning the 2023 Texas Prep State Wrestling Championship. The victory marked the Mavericks’ fifth consecutive Texas Prep State wrestling title while capping off a magnificent season in which the Mavericks completed the trifecta of also winning the Prep Duals State Championship and the SPC Wrestling Championship. The SPC title was the seventh in a row for St. John’s.
“It’s always great to win a championship but this season’s Texas Prep State Wrestling title was probably the most remarkable we’ve had given not that one of our wrestlers finished first in his weight class,” said Mavericks wrestling coach Alan Paul. “It was the ultimate total team effort. The most significant thing is that all 14 of our wrestlers scored points. I don’t know if that’s ever been done before. Every single one of our guys contributed to the victory.”
The Mavericks received the most points from Mason Lum in the 120-pound weight class and Dax Garza in the heavyweight division, with both advancing to the championship finals in their respective weight classes. As a team, the Mavericks finished with 202 points to win the championship by a 16-point margin over Liberty Christian (186 points) followed by Dallas’ Bishop Lynch (169-points) and St. Thomas (158-points.) In all, 20 schools competed for the title.
“We’ve just had an established culture that starts with our youth wrestling program (Alpha Pups) continuing into middle school and then high school,” said Paul. “The kids understand the expectations and the standards by the time they even reach the high school level. It’s truly a wrestling community.”
With a 1-0 victory over rival Kinkaid Falcons in the SPC tournament final, the Episcopal Knights captured the SPC 4A Boys Soccer Championship. Episcopal sophomore Kaden Martinez scored with 10 minutes left in the match to propel the Knights to their fifth SPC boys soccer championship since 2016. The victory also capped off a phenomenal season in which Episcopal posted a 15-1 overall record while going undefeated in SPC play.
“We felt like we let one get away last season,” said Knights boys soccer coach Travis Smith. “We were undefeated a year ago but then lost to Dallas Greenhill in the SPC tournament. So, this group of 12 seniors felt like we left one on the table. Our motivation was to finish it off this year.”
The Knights finished off the season with a trio of shutout victories in the SPC tournament, while also avenging last season’s loss to Greenhill. The Knights landed five seniors on the All-SPC team including Connor Kuenstle, Marvin Rivas, Yousuf Saeed, Yael Gonzalez, and Careem Flores.
“You win with seniors and with defense and that was definitely our formula for success all season,” added Smith. “This was the largest senior class I’ve ever had. They’ve done a lot of heavy lifting for our program since they were freshmen and sophomores. As for our defense, we allowed a mere seven goals in 16 games. It was extremely difficult for opponents to score on us.”
It was a major off-the-field honor for Memorial Mustangs quarterback Chase Goodwin who received the Greater Houston Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. The prestigious award was presented at the Touchdown Club of Houston’s 24th annual Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards luncheon, with Goodwin beating out a field of 22 finalists. All of the finalists were senior starters for their respective football teams.
“It’s pretty amazing and I was kind of in shock when my name was announced as the overall winner,” said Goodwin. “I was honored to even be a finalist. It’s a huge blessing.” With a 6.751 GPA on a weighted 6.0 scale, Goodwin is a co-valedictorian while ranked number one in the Mustangs senior class. In addition, Goodwin is a National Merit finalist.
“I’m just so grateful to be in this position,” added Goodwin, a three-year letterman who’ll play football in college at Columbia University. “My mom and dad (Cynthia and Weir Goodwin) have been my biggest supporters. So, to win this award is a total team effort. I’m also very thankful to the support of my coaches and our school principal Lisa Weir.”
Editor’s note: Todd Freed is the host and executive producer of H-Town High School Sports, which airs Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on CW39 and Monday-Thursday on AT&T SportsNet SW. To submit high school sports news for possible inclusion in SportzBuzz, please email [email protected].
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