By Leo Niksic ‘24

The Brother Rice Crusaders wrestling team had a home match on Jan. 25 against the St.Ignatius Wolfpack. It was a special night for all five seniors: Pat Gilhooly, James Bennett, Jim Bowes, Billy Jacobson, and Mac Murzyn. They were celebrated for senior night with the annual giving of flowers to their lovely moms.

As the match began, Brother Rice was on a hot start, winning their first two matches with a hard-fought win by junior Charlie Stec in the second match. St. Ignatius tried fighting back with a close 3-2 win in the third match. Then, freshman Jimmy Litito got the Crusaders back on track with a dominating 7-0 win.

The Crusaders were rolling through the Wolfpack with five consecutive match wins and a standout win by senior James Bennett. Bennett is one of the leaders of the team and showed why with a dominating win ending in a pin.

Bennett said, “It was a very exciting night for all of us. I’m happy we had the chance for all of our seniors to wrestle. This year has been a very fun and exciting time.”

The seniors were crushing the competition with back-to-back wins, with Jim Bowes coming out with a 4-0 win. Bowes controlled the whole match and showed why he is one of the toughest 138-pound wrestlers. The Crusaders were on a 7-match win streak until they met one of St. Ignatius’s best wrestlers – a state qualifier who snapped the streak in a hard-fought victory against Billy Jacobson.

Right after that match, senior Pat Gilhooly got on a fast start, absolutely crushing his opponent and finishing it with a pin. Pat is a key player on this Crusader team and has been battling injuries throughout the season, so it’s great to see him back and dominating.

Gilhooly said, “It felt good to be back and dominating with my team. I can’t wait to continue and hopefully make it down state.”

The Crusaders won their last three matches with a big win by junior Jimmy Crane to finish the day out. The final score was 63-18, with Brother Rice coming out with a big win over the Wolfpack. It was a great day for the team, especially for all the seniors who competed.