The varisty wrestling team fought hard at this year’s SPC tournament. Senior captain Tucker Ribman (138lbs) continued his undefeated run in Texas and won his second SPC championship with a pin at the start of the second period against his Episcopal High School opponent. Senior co-captain Calvin Hosler (170lbs) was the runner-up and earned his second All-SPC Honors. In total, eight out of ten St. Mark’s Wrestlers placed at the SPC Tournament: freshman Trevor Crosnoe took 4th at 106lbs, freshman Rajan Joshi took 3rd at 113lbs, sophomore JP Noonan took 3rd at 132lbs, senior Tucker Ribman took 1st at 138lbs, freshman Jackson Fair took 3rd at 152lbs, junior Chad Kim took 4th at 160lbs, senior Calvin Hosler took 2nd at 170lbs, and junior Gabe Bankston took 4th at 220lbs. St. Mark’s placed 5th as a team. Tucker Ribman will wrestle at the National Prep Wrestling Championships at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania this weekend February 23–24, 2018.Swimming
The varsity swim team traveled to Conroe to participate in the SPC Championship, hoping to capture their 10th straight SPC Title. The team knew it would be a monumental task, but everyone was confident they could put up a great fight. With great effort, determination, and exemplary spirit, the Lions managed to post an outstanding accomplishment: 89% personal bests throughout the meet. Here are some of the remarkable performances: first place in the 200 Freestyle Relay (Ethan Pittson ’18, Mark Weisberg ’19, Robert Newman ’19, David Li ’20); second place in the 200 Medley Relay (Mark Weisberg, Edward Ro ’18, Ethan Pittson, Ben Hurst ’18); second place in the 400 Freestyle Relay (Robert Newman, David Li, Edward Ro, Ben Hurst); second place 50 Freestyle (Ben Hurst); second place 100 Freestyle (Ben Hurst); third place 100 Breaststroke (Edward Ro). In the end, St. Mark’s placed second, just 4 points short of defending their Title. With so many outstanding performances from the young Lion swimmers, the future looks bright for the program.
The varsity basketball team took third place at the SPC tournament this past weekend. Following a bye in the first round, the Lions squared off against Oakridge (Arlington). The Lions began the game on at 10-0 run and appeared to have all the momentum. However, four Marksman starters finished the first quarter with at least two fouls, forcing a slower attack for the remainder of the first half. With a nine-point lead at the break, St Mark's came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders and went on to win the game by a wide margin (65-42). In the semifinals, St. Mark's faced Houston Christian, a talented opponent who had won a December shootout in Hicks Gymnasium, 81 to 76. With the scene shifted south, the Lions knew they would need their “A” game to overcome Houston Christian's local crowd. The first half went back-and-forth, and St. Mark's found themselves trailing by 3 points at the break. Unfortunately, the game got away from the Lions in the third quarter, and Houston Christian moved on to the championship game where they won easily. In the third-place game on Saturday, St. Mark's faced Kinkaid. Freshman Harrison Ingram knocked down several long threes in the first half, and senior Sam Sussman continued his strong weekend of play as a rebounding force, defensive juggernaut, and offensive play maker. However Kinkaid's talented 6’9” senior play maker, Jaedon LeDee, took over the game following halftime and had the Lions on their heels. Fortunately, St. Mark's was not to be deterred! Midway through the fourth quarter, Kinkaid tied the score. Shortly after, the team’s leading scorer, sophomore Andrew Laczkowski, who finished the season with 600 points, knocked down a huge 3-pointer to give the Lions a late lead. The team demonstrated its grit for the final minute and a half of the game by defending exceptionally well and converting clutch free throws. St. Mark's won the game 55-48 to put the finishing touches on the ninth season in St Mark's history with at least 25 wins. Seniors Jesse Zhong, Omar Rana, Jimmy Rodriguez, Garrett Mize, Reece Rabin, and the aforementioned Sussman had all invested six quality years in the program and contributed to a foundation of excellence for future generations to continue to build upon.
With a second-place finish in zone play, the varsity soccer team earned a bye at the SPC tournament for the first time under the current format. In the SPC quarterfinals, the Lions needed extra time and a decisively-struck free kick from senior Kabeer Singh in the ninety-sixth minute to defeat the St. John’s Mavericks (1-0). In the semifinal, against host Episcopal High School, St. Mark’s missed a couple of opportunities early before conceding goals just prior to and after the halftime whistle. Midway through the second half, the Lions mounted an offensive which left them vulnerable to a third goal. St. Mark’s finished the match by substituting the entire first team for the final fifteen minutes. The Lions regrouped from their four-goal loss in the semifinal with a strong performance against Greenhill that fell short, 1-2. Sophomore William Holtby opportunistically finished a thunderous free kick from senior captain Cal Rushton that the Hornet keeper was unable to handle. The Lions finished in fourth place in the SPC, their ninth top-four finish in the past 13 years and St. Mark’s extended its streak of consecutive years playing in the championship bracket to fourteen, currently best in the conference. Kudos to this year’s seniors Owen Berger, Matt Power, Cal Rushton, Arjun Singh, and Kabeer Singh for all they have done to help create a competitive and supportive culture within our soccer program.