After a season of ups, downs, and injuries, the Seaholm varsity wrestling team ended their season as the Division 1 district champions for the third time in four years.
“The kids were determined, they wanted to win,” assistant coach Steven Stein said. “They wrestled hard and they got after their opponents. We have had a rough season with a lot of injuries this year, but we had a lot of guys back in the lineup and things really came together for the win.”
Among the injured: senior captain Sam Gomez, who spent two weeks out from an ankle sprain, and junior Dakota Tuomi, who was rested due to a thumb injury, but both were back to contribute to the win at districts.
The tournament was held at Brother Rice High School Wednesday, February 6. The first win was against crosstown rivals Groves (48-21). The Maples were led by pins from Gomez, junior Anthony Saadatjoo, and sophomore Max Campbell.
Anthony Saadatjoo was a late addition to the team, joining in the last month of the season, and turned out to be a turning point in the tournament.
In December Seaholm defeated Groves at the City Meet 45-25.
Their second opponent was host Brother Rice for the championship. The Maples came out on top with a decisive 48-34 victory with key performances by Anthony Saadatjoo with another pin.
Although together, they were able to take home first place at team districts, no wrestler from either Birmingham school made it out of individual districts.
“All of the seniors got a t least one win, but the competition was daunting,” Stein said. “It was a really tough room, there were kids who probably would have placed at the state meet that were knocked out for multiple schools.”
The closest to moving on were Gomez and fellow senior captain Erik Adams. Both of whom placed fifth, unfortunately, only the top four advance to regionals.
“Erik and I both made it to the blood round which is the last round that if you win in, you place top four and if you lose, you don’t make it,” Gomez said.
The team’s overall record is now 15-11. Their biggest win came in December against powerhouse Carleton Airport in a tight 42-39 meet.
The team’s greatest strength is their ability to make come from-behind wins with a single move.
“We call it the Seaholm funk,” Gomez said. “We have a lot of cool moves that not a lot of the other teams know and we’re known for our knock out punches, so our kids can come back from losing and pin their opponents.”
The team also relied on a mix of senior leadership from the three captains Adams (30-20), Gomez (31-10), and Tim List (32-17) and younger talent. Sophomores Chris Saadatjoo and Matt Moloney both had over 30 wins on the season.
The team had to overcome a struggling middle to the season, but the win at districts capped the season off on a high note.
“We started the season strong, then we went into a slump because of injuries and such and we ended up winning 6 of the last seven meets,” head coach Neil Tuomi said.