By James Zygadlo ‘24

On Thursday, Jan. 11, the Crusaders took on the Redhawks in what would be one of the most anticipated matches of the season. Every year, people and students from around the area gather together to watch one of the most heated rivalries on the south side. Even with many injuries, the Crusaders would have to battle in one of their toughest matches yet.

Senior Mac Murzyn said, “Injuries definitely impacted our team in a big way. If we have a full and healthy team, we can compete with some of the best teams in the state. Going forward, we will continue teaching and working with the guys who are next in the line up. We’ve had the next-man-up mentality all year. If the coaches need kids to move up or down a weight class, they do it.”

Going into the match, the Crusaders had four seniors out and junior state champion, Bobby Conway, out. The other wrestlers had to step up, but knew it would be difficult. They did what they could, but in the end, they fell short.

Senior Jimmy Crane said, “Although I do it a lot, I had to mentally prepare myself for this match. I tried my best to better myself and better my teammates. I wasn’t expecting the outcome that happened, but can definitely learn from it.”

Injuries can hurt any team, and they had a major impact on the Crusaders. As a team, they can only get better going forward. Everybody has to hold each other accountable and to a higher standard.

Senior Patrick Gilhooly said, “We definitely didn’t get the results we wanted, but that’s motivation to never lose like that again. We put that in the past and look to build off it. In the future, we plan on doing really well as a CCL team.”

In the end, the banged-up Brother Rice team gave it their all but didn’t come home with a win. Next week, the Crusaders go on the road and take on Yorkville Christian.