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St. Mary’s Ryken head wrestling coach Matt Myers knows the special year that it has been for the Knights wrestling team.

He starts checking off the first-time list, verbally.

Before he runs through the season, however, he mentions that the school had never won a class championship at the Maryland Independent Schools State Tournament until this past weekend at McDonogh School in Owings Mills in Baltimore County.

With 78.5 points, the Knights outlasted 15 other Division B teams to win the team title, the first in school history.

“We’re knocking a lot of things off of the list of things that we wanted to accomplish that the school has never done before,” Myers said.

He continues, “It started out at the beginning of the year when we beat DeMatha, and we’ve never beat Paul VI [Va.] before and we beat them this year, and to win the B division is an accomplishment and testament to the kids.”

The Knights were led by Steven Simpson, who placed third overall in the 113-pound class with a second-period pin over Austin Smith of John Carroll from Harford County, a division A team. The wrestling brackets were not separated by division.

Simpson also picked up his 100th career victory during the tournament.

“He puts in more work than anybody I know,” Myers said of Simpson. “He is the type of wrestler where everyone knows what [he] is going to do, but can you stop it? And if you can’t, [he] is going to beat you up. He did a great job this weekend.”

Ryken senior Jack Krall placed sixth overall in the 145-pound bracket, and he, along with Simpson, will be participating in the National Prep Wrestling tournament at Lehigh University (Pa.) on Feb. 22 and 23.

Myers and the Knights will also petition for junior Josh Llopez (160) to participate in the National Prep tournament.

Myers added that the team will petition to be in the Maryland Independent Schools State Tournament Division A next season, after the 78.5 team-points total bettered five Division A schools.

Ryken was 7-5 overall, 6-2 in WCAC during the regular season.

jmccray@somdnews.com