The wrestling team has a rich history of success and a long list of state and national accolades. In coach Jeff Ragan’s seventh year at the helm, the wrestling program continued to reach new heights. This past season, after moving to 5A, the wrestling team made the final 4 at the state duals championships.
After the dual season, it was onto the traditional state championships, where Woodward Academy placed 3rd in the toughest division in the state. In addition to qualifying all 14 wrestlers for the individual state tournament (a school record), Woodward Academy wrestling had seven state placers finish in the top 5 and put four wrestlers into the state finals, crowning all four of those as individual state champions! The state placers and state champions were:
Colby McBride - 1st
Michael Kilic - 1st
Gunner Filipowicz - 1st
Matthew Singleton - 1st
Ben Valdes - 3rd
Tristen Hill - 5th
Jaylin Tate - 5th
The wrestling team has a very talented group of kids back next season, after graduating only two seniors, Robert Joseph and Michael Rinker. The team returns 12 of its state qualifiers, all seven of its state placers, and its four state champions. Two of those state champions are currently the number one ranked juniors in the country at their weight class, Michael Kilic at 145 and Matthew Singleton at 170.
With such a talented group of kids returning next season, the team’s sights are set on winning its first 5A state championship next season, after winning four dual and traditional state titles in 2019 and 2020 in 4A.
Woodward Academy also welcomed female wrestlers this season for the first time in school history and things started off with a bang, with the team qualifying three girls to the state tournament. The three talented girls, Sophia Sangha, Sophie Zents, and Aneri Patel, all fought hard to place, with Aneri making it to the top 8 round before losing a close match. All three of these talented freshmen will be back next season, and the expectation is that many more girls will follow in their footsteps for many seasons to come.
Acknowledging these amazing recent accomplishments for Woodward wrestling on the mats over the last several seasons, the most important goal of the wrestling program is building the best student-athletes who are champions on the mat, in the classroom, and in life. One of the major goals of the program is helping these young men and women achieve success at Woodward and beyond, with recent graduates from the wrestling team going on to wrestle at the Naval Academy, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Princeton, and more.
“I personally feel Woodward Academy is in the early stages of becoming a dynasty,” coach Ragan said. “We look forward to how far and how long we can take this amazing ride with these incredible student-athletes, but we hope you can join us on this ride by either becoming a part of our wrestling family or just joining us for a dual meet or tournament next season so you too can join in on the excitement. Either way, we hope you get to be part of all the fun and success we are having here at Woodward Academy.”