St. John’s wrestling looking to expand dominance to national tournament

St. John's is a prep school and a wrestling powerhouse.

The St. John’s Mavericks wrestling team have prep school dominance down to a science in Texas.

The Mavericks have won back-to-back-to-back Texas State Championships, and are now even producing Division I wrestlers.

The school, primarily known for academics, is sending 145 pounder Sebastian Jimenez to wrestle at Duke next season. The 2021 season was the toughest win for the Mavericks, who were limited in practice by COVID. Wrestling, typically a winter sport, was pushed back and the Mavs had only five dual meets, quickly thrown together before State. Despite the lack of practice, the Mavericks still dominated the State meet, crowning four state champions.

St. John’s taking on another challenge in a Sunday-Monday tournament in Pennsylvania. The National Prep tournament brings the top prep school teams around the country, including powerhouses like Blair Academy of New Jersey and Wyoming Seminary of Pennsylvania. Both of those teams find their wrestlers at almost every weight ranked nationally in the top 20. Blair Academy crowned a collegiate national champion this past season.

“The talent may not be the same, but the work is the same,” said 195-pound wrestler John Perdue. Perdue is slated to finish top six at the tournament after early wins. According to head coach Alan Paul, the Mavericks will have three wrestlers finish in the top 12 at prep nationals.

The dominance comes from a trust of the coaching staff, including Paul and former Cuban Olympian Alberto Hernandez.

“I would jump off a bridge for them,” said Jimenez.

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