Saint Stephen’s wrestling made school history in 2016 by hosting its very first on-campus meet. The inaugural Falcon Invitational was held Jan. 28 on the brand new mat in Hoagland Arena, featuring grapplers from SSES, Bayshore, Manatee, Bradenton Christian, and Sarasota Military Academy. It was one of the highlights of a truly memorable season for the young program.
Saint Stephen’s eventually placed three wrestlers in the FHSAA 1A-Region 3 championships in Fort Myers. Max Manning (132 lbs.), Jake Manning (106 lbs.) and Parker Lansberg (160 lbs.) each won their weight class at the Class 1A-District 11 tournament to qualify. Jake Manning and Lansberg capped off their seasons by winning first-round regional matches.
All three will return more experienced and confident in 2016-17, along with sophomores Jake Ross and Robert Smith. The Falcons will also welcome impressive newcomer Alan Morano, Jr. The freshman transfer from Bradenton Christian made his own history last season at BCS. As an eighth grader, Morano advanced to the state meet by winning district and regional titles at 113 pounds – the first post-season wrestling championships ever for the school.
Saint Stephen’s is coached by Bobby Latessa, who won an incredible 161 career prep matches and back-to-back state championships at Manatee High School in 2002 and 2003. He went on to wrestle collegiately at Harvard, where he was a four-year letter winner.
Wrestling is FHSAA sanctioned and is a winter season sport.