Redemption was on Gonzaga College High School's mind at the DC City Wrestling Championships after a disappointing fifth place finish at the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament to eventual champion St. John’s College High School. St. John’s was going for their sixth straight city title, however Gonzaga’s 244 points edged St John’s College for their first title since 2010. It was the third title for coach Milton Yates as Gonzaga’s wrestling coach. Gonzaga had 14 place-winners and three individual champions. Nathan Thacker won his fourth straight title at 152 lbs, while Gordon McMillen and Ryan Smith claimed their first titles at 132 lbs and 195 lbs. Thacker also claimed the outstanding wrestler award for the fourth straight year. “It was a full team effort,” Coach Yates said. “ We had many guys step up to win matches and place. We even had a first year wrestler win two matches to contribute to our points total. All year we had six starters out due to injuries and various other reasons. Right before the tournament we had three of our starters return to the lineup, which gave us a tremendous boost.” The biggest surprise for Gonzaga came from Luke Hoffman at 182 lbs. Hoffman had the unfortunate luck of drawing the first seed and losing to the eventual champion in the first round. Hoffman recovered, and fought his way back in the consolation bracket for a third place finish.
The three champions from Gonzaga and the rest of the DC City Champions will represent the city at the National Preps Wrestling Championships this Friday and Saturday at Lehigh University. Nathan Thacker will attempt to be the District’s first four time placer at the National Preps Wrestling Championship. Thacker placed second his freshman year and sixth his sophomore and junior years. His goal is to claim his first national title, while making wrestling history for the District. “Nathan has a very good chance of winning it all; especially if he wrestles the way he can,” said coach Yates. “This week we tried to stay loose, get everyone healthy, and be mentally prepared for the national tournament.” The entire National Preps Wrestling Championships will be streamed on FloWrestling at https://www.flowrestling.org/events/6056305-2018-national-prep-championship.
Individual bracket and team results are below.