Saint Xavier High School Wrestling Team
Jim Kraeszig, a 1985 graduate of Saint Xavier High School, is entering his 16th season as the Head Wrestling Coach. While a student at St. X, Jim earned three varsity letters in wrestling and placed in the state tournament in both his junior and senior years.
Jim, who currently teaches Science at Saint Xavier, has twice received the Saint Xavier Teacher of the Year Award and in 2011 earned the Coach Joe Maupin Award for outstanding teaching and coaching. In 2001 and 2013 he was selected Kentucky Wrestling Coach of the Year.
Although Coach Kraeszig has coached three state championship teams, one as an assistant coach in 1998 and two as a head coach in 2001 and 2013, he credits his two top assistants, Efren Quirino and Isaac Knable, for a great deal of the program’s success. Coach Quirino is also the Head Coach of River City Wrestling of Louisville. He was named Coach of the Year in 2014 and led River City to the program’s first middle school state championship. Coach Isaac Knable was a four-time undefeated Kentucky State Champion, a National Qualifier from the Big Ten, and 2013 Saint Xavier Assistant Coach of the Year. Together, they have helped establish the Tigers as one of the premier programs in the state of Kentucky.
Saint Xavier Wrestling: “Where the weak become strong and the strong become champions.”
Jim and his wife, Kimberly, are the proud parents of four boys: Konner, Jimmy, Hunter, and Kody.
Wrestling Through the Years
- The KHSAA sanctioned the sport of wrestling in 1964.
- Brother Giles Crowell was named the program's first head coach in 1963 and led the team until 1977.
- Denny Passafiume and Mark Wahle became the first individual state champions in 1974. Mark repeated as champion in 1975.
- Chris Havrin took the individual crown in 1978.
- From 1987-1990, the Tigers had three individual state champions: Mark Ohlmann (1987), Chris Zinner (1989), and Greg Kraeszig (1990).
- Tendai Charisika became the first wrestler in the program to win three individual championships (1994, 1995, 1996).
- In 1997, the team finished as runners-up in the state tournament and was led by individual state champion Dave Kalbfleisch.
- Under Head Coach Shaun Garing, the program won its first team state title in 1998. The title gave St. X the distinction of being the only school with a state championship in every KHSAA-sanctioned sport.
- The Tigers also went on to win the 1998 KHSAA State Duals Championships.
- In 1999 and 2000, the team finished as runners-up in the state tournament under new Head Coach Jim Kraeszig.
- Billy Redman and Will Rabatin won individual state championships as the Tigers captured the KHSAA State Duals Championship again in 2000.
- Zack Steinbock was an individual state champion and helped Coach Kraeszig and the Tigers capture their second team state championship in 2001.
- From 1999-2002, Isaac Knable became the first wrestler to win four individual state champonships. Knable won the the title in four different weight classes (112, 130, 140, 145) and finished 2002 with the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award from the KHSAA State Tournament.
- John Lampe captured back-to-back state titles in 2010 and 2011.
- In 2013, the Tiers won the third state title in the program's history. Justin Lampe and Gabriel "Hunter" French won individual state titles. French also won Most Outstanding Wrestler at the KHSAA State Tournament.
- The 2017 Tigers finished 22-3, were regional champions, and placed at the state championship. Individual weight-class finishers were runners-up Austin Cook, Konner Kraeszig, Clayton Hanson, and Cameron Ward. In addition, Nate Wheeler finished third, Kaden Darbro and Dallas Miles (fourth), and Isaac Marret (seventh) to round out the scoring for the Tigers.
- The 2018 Tigers finished the season 23-1, winning the regional championship, and placing second at the state championship. Individual weight-class finishers included runners-up Ben Deprest and Konner Kraeszig, Cameron Ward (third), Isaac Pledger and Clay Fitzhugh (fifth), and Nate Wheeler (sixth).
- In 2019, the Tigers won the Region 4 championship and finished third in the KHSAA State Championship, led by Nate Wheeler winning the program's first state title at the 145 pound weight class. Additional individual finishers included Ben Deprest (second), Everett Marret (third), Matt Meyer (fourth), and Ryan Bellucci (eighth).