January 27, 2024
By Fred Liggett
On Thursday, Jan. 18 the St. Michaels wrestling team hosted state ranked St. Pius X. A large crowd was onsite for the event given both teams are highly ranked in the state of Missouri. Another reason was the Guardians honoring junior Sampson Stilwell before the match. Stilwell who competes at 285 was honored before the much anticipated match. Along with assistant coach Tyler Curd, Stilwell stood in front of everyone as Guardians fans cheered his accomplishments as a 2023 U17 USA World Team member.
The idea to do this came from St. Michael’s head wrestling coach Matt Infranca. Infranca felt, “He needed to be honored.” Infranca adds Stilwell’s success “takes a lot of effort and time.” Infranca describes Stilwell as “a humble kid.” The SMA coaching staff gets “a lot of thank you’s from him and his family” according to Infranca. A couple of coaches traveled to Turkey with him to help Stilwell as he competed for the USA last summer.
The two-time Missouri State Champion is enjoying his junior season. In the team’s most recent competition the Guardians finished third in the Platte County Invitational. Stilwell was the champion in his weight class. Stilwell and the rest of the Guardians are working hard to have another successful post-season this year. The Guardians will be competing in the Class 2, District 4 tournament coming up on February 16-17 and will be held up in Excelsior Springs, MO.