Wrestlers take down the competition


Eric Johnson

Dragging his opponent back into the middle of the mat, senior Hunter Ritter wrestles his way into Patriot history. Ritter won his 206th match, surpassing the record of Matt Miller, class of ’12, for the most wins in four years.

The varsity wrestling team currently holds a 28-3 record after defeating Mount St. Joe’s on Feb. 4 for Senior Night. It was the last home match of the season and coach Keith Watson’s last home match of his career.

“The season went great. We went undefeated in Maryland, and we have more ranked wrestlers now than [in] the past three years I’ve been here,” senior captain CJ Skokowski said.

Skokowski is ranked third in the state for his weight class and is having a successful season along with his fellow captain, senior Hunter Ritter.

During the match against Mount St. Joe’s, Ritter wrestled his way into JC history, passing the 205 win record of Mat Miller, class of ’12, and recording his 206th win as the Patriots defeated the Gaels 33-27.

Ritter is currently ranked seventh in the nation for his weight class and will wrestle for the University of Wisconsin Badgers next year. Along with Ritter, senior Chris Almony will also wrestle in college next year at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.

“Right now, the team is better than it’s ever been, and I’m excited for our next match,” Ritter said.

On Feb. 6, the team competed in the state championship against McDonogh and was only eight points away from winning their third consecutive state championship. Despite losing state championships, Ritter was able to win his 207th match as a Patriot.

“I definitely think it was a great achievement for myself and for the program. I feel incredibly blessed that all of my hard work has paid off,” Ritter said.

The Patriots’ season will end after MIAA individual competitions on Feb. 14 and 15. The team will lose six seniors next year.

“I really don’t know what to expect next year with some of the best wrestlers in the state leaving,” junior and varsity wrestler Devin Darrington said. “[I’m] looking forward to the future and leading the team next year.”

Eric Johnson is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.