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The Legacy
Patriot Wrestlers Send Loud Message to Opponents for December 4th

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Shaheem Dukes '13

Assistant Coach Zappa reports that the Patriot Men's Wrestling Team is on a mission this year and that they are not afraid to let everyone know it.

The Patriot wrestlers began a new season by sending a loud message to upcoming opponents.

The Patriots are led by this year's captains Kelsey Bocek '13, Yassir Shabazz '13, and Shaheem Dukes '13. These seniors, along with the other returning wrestlers were determined to avenge early season losses a year ago to cross town rivals North St. Paul and St. Paul Harding in the opening matches of the season last Thursday . It was the Patriots turn to host this early season triangular and it was made very clear by the coaches that the outcome needed to be decisively different this year. Coach Simmonds explained to his team how important their performance would be to set a course to achieving the teams goal of a trip to the Minnesota State Tournament. With less than two weeks of practice, the Patriots would begin the season against the defending St. Paul City Conference and Twin City Champions from Harding HS. The Patriots were more than ready for this challenge and once the dust was had settled from the 14 matches, the scoreboard displayed a final score - Patriots 45 / Harding 18 -. The team was very excited about their big win, but Coach Berkowitz quickly returned the team's focus towards the second opponent of the evening, by reminding our wrestlers of the close loss a year ago to North St. Paul. With the strength of 12 returning varsity wrestlers competing at the 14 weight classes, our team powered though their second match of the evening with a 51 - 22 victory. A highlighted athlete for the Patriots is first year wrestler Tony Yang(JR), who was asked to compete at varsity level, and won both his matches by pinning his opponents.

With only one day to enjoy their success, the Patriots were up very early to catch the 6:30am bus to the Fridley Invitational Tournament. This is a very tough event that has 12 teams with wrestlers competing for individual championships at each of the 14 weight classes. The Patriots had strong performances by the following wrestlers - Damarius Gilmer(JR) and Kesley Bocek both finishing with 3rd place medals and seniors Shabazz and Dukes both placing 4th at their individual weight classes.
 
The strength of our team this year is due to the many returning experience wrestlers, but coaches Newman and Yang have worked very hard with many of the new wrestlers that participate at the Junior varsity level. The future of our wrestling program depends on the development of new talent. Here are a few exciting wrestlers to watch for this season -
Aaron McCalip(JR) - Won JV title at Fridley and has yet to lose a match this season.
Nelson Espinonza(FR) - 4 wins with only 2 losses
Some of the other wrestlers that are showings very good progress are Samantha Fuller(JR), Sulficar Saleh(JR), Juan Huicochea(JR) and Lejon Milon(FR).

See the full Patriot Men's Roster and Schedule here.

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Yassir Shabazz