2018-19 Season

Season Results:

CAJ Invitational Champions


  • Mikhail Titov
  • Eiji Kasahara
  • Harold Mancia
  • William Krcelic
  • Cole Lawlor
  • Austin Koslow


  • Noah Sandoval
  • Jasjot Bedi
  • Hikaru Shimada
  • Warren Koslow
  • Lev Titov
  • Michael Patton


  • Samin Hoque
  • Masaki Aoki
  • Konstantin Meyer zu Brickwedde
  • Nishant Chanda
  • Jo Inoue
  • Paing Phyoe


Beast of the East Runner-up


  • Harold Mancia
  • Nishant Chanda
  • Austin Koslow


  • Eiji Kasahara
  • Warren Koslow
  • Lev Titov


  • William Krcelic


Kanto League Champions


Kanto Tournament Champions


  • Eiji Kasahara
  • Harold Mancia
  • William Krcelic
  • Nishant Chanda
  • Cole Lawlor
  • Austin Koslow


  • Mikhail Titov
  • Warren Koslow
  • Lev Titov


  • Samin Hoque
  • Michael Patton


Far East Individual Runner-up


  • Eiji Kasahara
  • Nishant Chanda
  • Austin Koslow


  • William Krcelic
  • Lev Titov


  • Mikhail Titov (5)
  • Harold Mancia (3)
  • Jasjot Bedi (6)
  • Warren Koslow (3)
  • Michael Patton (6)


Far East Dual Champions


2019 Kanto All-Stars (Kanto Record/Total Season Record)

  • Eiji Kasahara (16-2/20-3)
  • Jasjot Bedi (17-3/20-7)
  • Harold Mancia (16-0/20-2)
  • Austin Koslow (16-0/21-0)
  • Cole Lawlor (18-2/18-6)
  • Nishant Chanda (20-2/25-2)
  • Warren Koslow (18-3/23-4)
  • William Krcelic (21-1/25-2)


Wall of Fame Inductees

  • Austin Koslow
  • Nishant Chanda
  • Cole Lawlor
  • Harold Mancia


Varsity Wrestlers

  • Michael Patton (first year)
  • Warren Koslow (first year)
  • Mikhail Titov (first year)
  • Jasjot Bedi
  • Eiji Kasahara
  • Lev Titov (first year)
  • William Krcelic
  • Konstantin Meyer zu Brickwedde (first year)
  • Samin Hoque (first year)
  • Cole Lawlor (first year)
  • Harold Mancia
  • Austin Koslow
  • Nishant Chanda


Junior Varsity Wrestlers

  • Paing Phyoe
  • Jo Inoue
  • Hikaru Shimada
  • Luke Robottom
  • Ryoichi Ariyoshi
  • Noah Sandoval
  • Abhishek Dash
  • Masaki Aoki



Most Improved Wrestler – Lev Titov

Coach’s Award – William Krcelic

Most Inspirational Wrestler – Mikhail Titov

Rookie of the Year – Warren Koslow

Most Academic Wrestler – Masaki Aoki

Outstanding Wrestler – Austin Koslow

John Michael Kwak Spirit Award – Harold Mancia

Most Valuable Wrestler – Nishant Chanda



The 2018-2019 wrestling season is the 50th wrestling season for St. Mary’s since its establishment in 1969. With the 50th Anniversary Gala waiting on June 8, 2019, the wrestling team began their season with a positive and exciting vibe. November 9 and 10 were the Parent Orientation Night and the 50th Season Kick Off Party at a restaurant owned by a wrestling alumnus. “You know it’s a good program with the number of championship banners; you know it’s a great program when parents of former wrestlers show up to wrestling events,” commented Coach Yabui about the 30 plus people that attended the kick off party which included alumni, coaching staff, and alumni parents. It’s common to see parents involved in a program when their son is in the program; it’s a rarity to see them engaged after their sons graduated. That’s what he St. Mary’s wrestling program has done: produce not only champions, but also a “family.”

On November 24, St. Mary’s hosted — now the annual — a wrestling clinic. This is the fourth year St. Mary’s has hosted this clinic featuring the best wrestlers in the world to directly coach the boys including: Yoshikatsu Yoshida (1964 Tokyo Olympic champion), Atsuji Miyahara (1984 Olympic champion, 1988 Olympic silver medalist), Shinichi Yumoto (2012 Olympic bronze medlaist), Tomohiro Matsunaga (2008 Olympic silver medalist), and Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (2012 Olympic champion). This year, the featured clinician was Takuya Ota, 1996 Olympic bronze medalist and head wrestling coach at Waseda University. “I don’t think any high school in the world gets this kind of caliber of coaches every year,” says Coach Yabui , “but, it’s become so ‘normal’ for them [the wrestlers], I don’t know if that’s good or bad.” The Titan wrestlers spent valuable time with Coach Ota; learning his signature moves that won him the Olympic medal and even a chance to wrestle with him.

The first tournament action happened on December 1 at St. Mary’s. Due to the unavailability of the gym with all Kanto schools, St. Mary’s decided to host the first ever, takedown tournament to take advantage of the smaller space in the MPH. The day turned out to be a fun and exciting day with 5 Titans taking 10 championship spots. Freshmen, Mikhail Titov proved to be the best light weight wrestler of the day. Defending Far East champion, Eiji Kasahara, showed what a Far East champion means. Freshmen, Hikaru Shimada showed grit and toughness to grind his way through the championship round. Junior, William Krcelic, and Senior, Nishant Chanda, cruised through their competition for the gold. Although the tournament was rather informal with the rules and weight classes, Titans were able to show that they are still the top contending team for the Kanto titles.

Despite the positive start of the season, Coach Yabui is cautious of the future competitions. “We’ve got two-thirds of the team missing practice for exams the past several days, few injuries already (some for the dumbest reasons outside of wrestling), several guys getting sick, reports on wrestlers hanging out in McDonald’s during weight cutting time, we can’t fill our weight classes, and we don’t get any mat time for 4 days prior to our first league dual. None of this adds up to success compared to ASIJ who is focused and determined to beat us. Our team’s mind is elsewhere and everywhere. Unless we get back to a champion mentality to becoming one team with one goal, we are at risk,” commented Coach Yabui, referring to this year’s team theme of 一心同体 (isshin-dotai) which means 1 heart 1 body; a Japanese phrase for being one and united for a single purpose.  Though the team’s dynamics may be different from the past 5 years, the team has potential with a squad of experienced wrestlers and a large group of talented first year wrestlers and rookies from the middle school program.


The ASIJ wrestling program had been going through a deep recession since their legendary coach, John Hohenthaner had left the program in the late 2000’s. Coach Hohenthaner, former head coach for St. Mary’s from 1986 to 1989, led the Mustangs to a Far East championship in 1990 and 1993 and kept the program as top contenders in the Kanto plain. From a powerhouse program, they had declined to one of the weakest programs in the Far East after his retirement. However, over recent years, the Mustangs program has been on the rise and December 11, 2018 could have been the day in a long time that they could defeat St. Mary’s once again. On paper, it was their dual to win. ASIJ had filled all weight classes except 275lb, led by seasoned wrestlers at 122lb, 135lb, 148lb, 158lb, and 168lb. The Titans on the other hand had 3 open weight classes and filled 3 weight classes with rookies. “You don’t expect to win a dual meet with 3 open weights; that’s like trying to win a soccer match with 6 people or a basketball game with 3 people,” commented Coach Yabui on the fact that an open weight class automatically means the team is down by 5 points (in this case, 10 points or 2  weights worth as St. Mary’s had 3 open weights but ASIJ had 1 open weight as well). To offset the 2 losses automatically given to ASIJ, 2 out of the 10 remaining wrestlers had to win by pins; and this only “offsets” their open weights, in other words, bring them even.  With the remaining 8 wrestlers, the majority of them must win and by pin or technical fall (a 10 point difference) to beat ASIJ. That is “mission impossible.”

But, as with the movie, it can be done.  In 1997 and 2017, St. Mary’s claimed their Far East dual meet championship titles with 2 open weight classes.  “[It can be done] but it takes  tremendous amount of heart, utmost precision of technique, and making no mistakes by all wrestlers,” explained Coach Yabui, who himself was on the Far East dual meet championship team in 2003 with one open weight class, which he recalls was “nerve-racking hard”.  The 10 Titan wrestlers wrestled with “heart” over technique and skills to win the dual 34—24. A 10 point difference in a dual meet may sound large, but it is only a difference of 1 pin going the other way. Had any pin-winning matches gone the other way around, the score would have been 29—29; in which case, ASIJ would have won due to having more forfeit victories. Freshmen, Mikhail Titov secured a pin at 101lb early in the match to set the Titans off in good tone. Defending Far East champion, Eiji Kasahara struggled with his opponent; almost being pinned. But, in the second period, found himself an opportunity to pin his opponent. Sophomore, Jasjot Bedi showed mental grit to come back from a 8 point deficit and to scramble into a pin for the team. Senior, Konstantin Meyer zu Brickwedde pulled off a major victory pin in a match that was expected to go either way.

Another, freshmen, Warren Koslow, defeated a more seasoned wrestler with a pin as well. And, with Warren’s pin at 158lb, the Titans claimed their victory.  They proved that what’s on “paper” can always be trumped by strong heart and will. “Now, we just need to polish up our technique; which we are very good at doing,” reflected Coach Yabui on the unusual performance of the Titans who are usually more technical than heart.

The evening also showcased the talent of the rookies. Rookies coming up from middle school, Paing Phyoe, Hikaru Shimada, Jo Inoue, Warren Koslow, Luke Robottom, and Mikhail Titov all showed great skills as freshmen. True rookies, Ryoichi Ariyoshi, Masaki Aoki, and Thomas Vilburn also showed great potential for the sport.

The Titans will now enter their holiday training which has been an essential component of the success of the program. While the training over the holidays are challenging, the reward has been clear: Championship titles.


On January 5, Titans competed at the Yokota Dual Meet Tournament. 6 teams (Yokota, Kinnick, Zama, MC Perry, Edgren, St, Mary’s) competed in a round robin format and Titans defeated all 5 teams* with 3 open weight classes.


St. Mary’s 47 – Yokota 10
St. Mary’s 41 – Zama 9
St. Mary’s 36 – Edgren 14
St. Mary’s 35 – Kinnick 19
St. Mary’s 45 – MC Perry 5

*note: some teams had extra wrestlers from other teams compete for them to make a joint team

This was not a league dual, therefore the Titans will still wrestle Yokota and Kinnick for the Kanto league title (and also CAJ). They are on the right track but they have not accomplished anything yet. But, certainly their hard work over the holiday paid off. Titans will face the Yokota Panthers on January 15 at home and Kinnick & CAJ on January 22 at home as well.


Varsity Results

101lb uncontested

108lb Caleb Heino (Yok) defeat Mikhail Titov 10-0, 0:54

115lb Eiji Ksahara wins by forfeit

122lb Jasjot Bedi pin Chris DeGrella (Yok) 1:33

129lb Harold Mancia defeat Ryan Martin (Yok) 10-0, 1:10

135lb William Krcelic pin Ramil Celones (Yok) 0:26

141lb Nishant Chanda pin Joey DeGrella (Yok) 0:30

148lb Cole Lawlor defeat Liam O’Grady (Yok) 10-0, 1:17

158lb Warren Koslow pin Mack Togan (Yok) 0:36

168lb Lev Titov pin Kai Harbert (Yok) 0:29

180lb Austin Koslow defeat Austin Fisher (Yok) 10-0, 1:18

215lb Michael Patton pin Zay Jackson (Yok) 0:18

275lb uncontested



On a night where our 7 seniors were were honored in their last home dual matches, the Titans took on the Kinnick Red Devils and the CAJ Knights to determine whether or not the Kanto League Title would be brought back to St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s opened the evening against the Kinnick Red Devils and based on the number of open weight classes for the Titans (101, 108, HWT) it was quickly apparent that even though this Kinnick squad was different than the one that steam-rolled through the Kanto League and Far East Championship last season, it was still a team with a goal to keep its title!

101 – Walkover win by Kinnick

108 – Walkover win by Kinnick

115 – Walkover win by St. Mary’s

122 – Walkover win by St. Mary’s

SMIS 10 – Kinnick 10 – tied before the first wrestlers took to the mat!

129 – Harold Marcia came out slower than usual but soon made adjustments and won his match by Fall.

135 – William Krcelic looked out of form as his match began and after getting himself into some trouble and bad positions against a rookie wrestler, he settled down and won by Tech Fall.


SMIS 19 – Kinnick 10

141 – Nishant Chanda came out with some vengeance after settling for a 3rd place finish over the weekend at CAJ and won his match by Fall.

148 – Cole Lawlor came out as he has all season, firing shots and working his opponent into positions that he can capitalize on, eventually winning by Fall.

SMIS 29 – Kinnick 10

158 – Warren Koslow had another trough match against his Kinnick opponent with both wrestling a very physical match.  In the end, Warren added to the team point total with a win by Decision.

168 – Lev Titov’s match can be summed up like this – Big Heart and Bigger Mistake!  Lev got down early and then battled back in the second period to take a lead into the final 30 seconds of the match.  Up by 4 all he needed to do was manage the clock and defend shots by his opponent.  Instead, the overly aggressive grappler took a shot, didn’t score and allowed his opponent to tie the match which eventually ended in a 10-10 tie with Lev losing on criteria.

SMIS 32 – Kinnick 13

180 – Austin Koslow came out knowing the Titans had this one in the bag but went hard at his Kinnick rival and, in another very physical match, recorded 4 more points for the Titan’s with his win by Tech Fall.

215 – Freshman Michael Patton’s struggles with Kinnick’s more seasoned wrestler in this weight class continued and he lost to his rival by Fall.  The good news is, Michael continues to improve and with big tournaments coming up he’s got plenty of chances to “payback” the losses.

HWT – Walkover win by Kinnick

FINAL: SMIS 36 – Kinnick 23



Following the win Over Kinnick, the Titans went immediately into their second dual against CAJ.  A win here would result in the boys winning the Kanto League and bringing the title home.

101 – Not contested

108 – Not contested

115 – Eiji Kasahara looked completely out of sorts against his CAJ opponent and eventually ended up with a loss and the end to his unbeaten season.  Similar to his single loss last season, this may be the mid-season boost that propels him to another Far East Championship!

122 – Jasjot Bedi also seemed a bit out of step inches match and after putting himself in danger more than a few times, he capitalized on his opponent’s misstep and won by Fall.

SMIS 5 – CAJ 5

129 – Harold game out strong and made quick work of his opponent winning by Tech Fall.

135 – William came out in a much more conservative manner than his earlier match, stayed in control and recorded his second win of the night by Tech Fall.

141 – Nishant came out shooting at the whistle and recorded a win by Fall in about 20 seconds.

148 – Cole continued his undefeated season with a win by Tech Fall.

158 – Walkover win by St. Mary’s

168 – Walkover win by St. Mary’s

180 – Walkover win by St. Mary’s

215 – Walkover win by St. Mary’s

HWT – Uncontested



By notching wins in their last two dual meets of the season, the Titans successfully brought home the Kanto League Title. This is one of the five big titles to complete the season.  Only the 2016 Titan team has won all five titles in a single season.  With The Beast of the Far East this weekend, the Kanto Plain Championship on February 9th and the Far East Championships two weeks after that, the Titan Matmen have they work cut out for them.

“It seems clear that good things happen when we initiate, are active, and in familiar positions, and bad things happen when we are passive and in positions that we are not familiar or not good at,” commented Coach Yabui reflecting on the dual and also this season’s performance so far. Wrestling “your” style is important, especially when you are wrestling someone for the first time. Coach Yabui gave some tips for wrestling opponents for the first time: “[If you’ve never wrestled the opponent] It’s so important that you are confident with your skills and you bring your game on the mat and you don’t change the way you wrestle; otherwise, the momentum will go to the other guy. ” Coach Yabui spoke about how back in his days most of the opponents at Far East were wrestlers they have never faced as Far East was the only tournament that brought together schools from Okinawa, Philippines, Guam, and Korea (now, the Beast of the East tournament gives a preview of the Korean and Okinawan schools and there are no schools from Guam and the Philippines). And, now with everything on the Internet, it is easy to get a picture of what other schools are like. “I would look at my bracket at Far East and I wouldn’t know most of the guys in my bracket. There were guys who looked at names and which school they were from and got freaked out. I never freaked out because I came here to win and I need to beat anyone that I wrestled. It didn’t matter whether I was wrestling a rookie or an Olympic champion: I had my set up to a fireman’s and high crotch and if that didn’t work, I had my knee taps and reverse lock dumps, if anyone shot on me I had my head shuck and pancake, in par terre I had my arm bar, cradle, and leg lace, and everything else, I let my muscle memory do the work. I was confident if I did those things, I would win and if I didn’t, I would lose. The secret is to initiate so that you can dictate the match to your style first rather than reacting to the other guy’s game plan.”



The King of the Beasts they are not, but the Titans put forth a huge effort given the fact that they once again entered a tournament with 3 empty weight classes.  The Titans 59 team points came up five points short of the Champions from Shonan (who also had 3 empty weights) but far ahead of the Kubasaki Dragons with 47 points who is one of the favorites to take back their first Far East title since 2009.

It can be argued, debated, or discussed as much as anyone would like, but it wasn’t just one thing that worked to keep the title from the Titans.  It wasn’t that we were missing wrestlers in 101, 108, and 275, it wasn’t that we had had a few unexpected brackets where we ended up with zero team points, and it wasn’t the “controversial” officiating – it was a combination of things, none of which were a reflection on the condition and wrestling ability of the Titan Grapplers! “Take Shonan out and we won this with three empty weight classes which means we do have the tools to go after another Far East Championship,” commented Coach Yabui, “but 2nd place is 2nd place and when it comes to losing, there’s absolutely no excuse other than ‘we weren’t strong enough’.”

There were several bright spots throughout the day and the Titans seniors came through to produce three “Beasts” with senior Nishant Chanda finally earning his spot on “The Wall.”  Harold Mancia added to his “Wall-Cred” with his 1st place finish and Austin Koslow claimed his second Beast Championship.  Tournament Summary:

101, 108 and HWT – No entry

115 – Eiji Kasahara was considered a favorite but faltered a bit early and found himself in the consolation bracket.  He chewed through his opponents and easily won the third place match and then waited to see if he’d have the chance to wrestle for 2nd.  As his earlier opponent took gold, Eiji was given the chance for a 2nd place wrestle-off and brought home silver!  Expect to see Eiji defend his Kanto League title in a couple of weeks and hit the Far East with a vengeance.

122 – Jasjot got himself into the semifinals and then ran into a little trouble that dropped him into the consolation bracket where he settled for 4th place.  Jasjot needs to keep on the attack as that always puts him in a position to score – his 11 wins by pin prior to The Beast prove that.  He’ll come back strong for the Kanto Tournament looking to improve on his 2nd place finish from last year.  He has the tools to make a solid run for Far East Gold as well.

129 – Harold Mancia is “The Beast” in this weight class.  Harold wrestled well throughout the day showing some very aggressive take downs and good control of the mat.  With the way he’s wrestling right now he’s got to be considered the favorite in this weight class for Kanto and Far East.  As Coach Moshe commented, “just trust in your conditioning and no one can stay on the mat with you.”

135 – This was a heart breaker for William Krcelic as he wrestled well to make the semifinals but then lost due to a controversial call that awarded his opponent 4 points. “I believe it should have been 1 or 2 points for William, but it is what it is,” commented Coach Yabui.  That 4 point swing turned a match that should have been 5-4 with about a minute left into a 9-2 match in his opponent’s favor.  The refs may not have paid a price for this, but William’s opponents in the consolation bracket did as he steamrolled through to take 3rd place.  “Don’t let the refs be in a position to determine your match,” was the advice offered from Coach Moshe.  It’s time for William to channel that anger to take Kanto and Far East Gold.

141 – Nishant Chanda has a career in firefighting if he wants it because he nailed his Fireman’s Carry over and over throughout the day on his way to becoming “The Beast” at 141!  When Nishant is on, he’s tough to compete with, so with two big tournaments left he needs to make sure he’s ready with some other attacks should opponents find a way to stop that fireman/cradle combo that he unleashes week after week.

148 – Cole Lawlor had his undefeated season slip away along with his shot at becoming “The Beast” at 148 with a loss in the semifinals.  His trek through the consolation bracket did not go the way he expected as he got caught in a modified lace and ended up losing by tech to settle for 5th place.  Now its gut-check time as Cole needs to put this loss behind him, redouble his aggressive wrestling style and bring home Kanto and Far East Gold!

158 – Freshman Warren Koslow continued his scrappy wrestling style all the way up to the finals where he lost to the Shonan Champion.  You don’t see many freshman wrestlers walk away with Beast titles as they typically run into more experienced wrestlers in the finals and that’s the situation Warren found himself in.  He remains the guy to beat in this weight class in Kanto and will no doubt come out harder than ever at the Kanto Tournament in two weeks as well.  He may see a few new wrestlers once he gets to the Far East Championship, but regardless, he has the determination to dominate over those three days in February as well.

180 – Austin Koslow successfully defended his Beast title and, along with Harold, maintained his undefeated season.  Austin is in control of this weight class and the four years of varsity experience is evident as he wrestles with confidence and good “mat-sense” each and every time.  Austin’s challenge now will be to stay focused and go hard against what may be a thinner field due to injuries that occurred at Beast.  This may mean he’ll have a long day of waiting at the Kanto Tournament.  A win there makes him the clear front runner going into the Far East at 180.

215 – Michael Patton may have stumbled a bit at The Beast but it was apparent that he’s starting to figure out ways to go toe-to-toe with more experienced wrestlers.  He wrestled well against his Edgren opponent, scoring points and making some big moves before giving up the loss.  He may not feel good about losing but his opponent probably didn’t feel great about winning either as Michael definitely gave him some things to start thinking about before these two face off again.  Like all of the Titan wrestlers, Michal has the tools, he just needs to continue building confidence all, going in as an underdog, he’ll be in a position to play spoiler at both Kanto and Far East in this weight class.

“Overall the wrestlers did well,” agreed Coaches Yabui and Moshe.  “It’s not about conditioning and it’s not about learning some new technique between now and Kanto, you have all that,” Coach Yabui explained to the team following The Beast.  His message is clear, it’s about getting motivated and focused because if the wrestlers want it bad enough, they have what they need to beat everyone else.  “They need to believe in their skills and they need to believe in their conditioning,” added Coach Moshe.

The Titans are in action again on February 2nd in a dual meet tournament at Zama and then the Kanto Plain Championship on February 9th which they need to use to set the tone for how they’ll go into the Far East Championships in about 4 weeks’ time.



After sweeping through the Kanto league dual title, Titan wrestlers took the Kanto Tournament title for the second straight year. Titans had 9 wrestlers in the finals and came out with 6 champions; and all wrestlers placed top 3. With 91 team points, St. Mary’s surpassed ASIJ and Kinnick with 79 points and 63 points respectively.


101lb—Mikhail Titov; second place

108lb—no entry

115lb—Eiji Kasahara; champion

122lb—Samin Hoque; third place

129lb—Harold Mancia; champion

135lb—William Krcelic; champion

141lb—Nishant Chanda; champion

148lb—Cole Lawlor; champion

158lb—Warren Koslow; second place

168lb—Lev Titov; second place

180lb—Austin Koslow; champion

215lb—Michael Patton; third place



122lb—Jasjot Bedi (champion); Noah Sadoval (second place)

135lb—Hikaru Shimada (champion); Masaki Aoki (second place)

141lb—Konstantin Meyer zu Brickwedde (champion); Jo Inoue (second place)

148lb—Ryoichi Ariyoshi (second place)

180lb—Luke Robottom (champion)


Team Points

  1. St. Mary’s 91
  2. ASIJ 79
  3. Kinnick 63
  4. Yokota 42
  5. Zama 23
  6. CAJ 21



Just a year before, in the same Kinnick high school gym, 12 Titan wrestlers crumbled to their knees in tears when the referee whistled the end of the 215lb dual match against St. Mary’s and Kinnick; ending in a double title victory for the Kinnick Red Devils. The Titans wrestling squad were only 5 team points away from their fifth consecutive individual team title and just 2 points short in the dual meet against the Red Devils. “They [individual team and dual titles] were both so close; too close and it really hurt,” reflected Coach Yabui of the 2018 Far East results, “and I never thought it could get any closer, but I was wrong.” On February 22, 2019, St. Mary’s ended the Far East wrestling tournament in second place for the second straight year behind the Kubasaki Dragons; this time only 2 team points behind. Had any Kubasaki wrestler placed one place lower or any St. Mary’s wrestler placed one place higher, history would have been rewritten.


The 2019 Far East individual wrestling tournament was simply not the day for the Titans. Upsets are bound to happen at Far East to any team, but it seemed like all the upsets were concentrated on St. Mary’s. 101lb Mikhail Titov was prevented his advancement to the finals by Kubasaki. The 122lb favorite, Harold Mancia, suffered a loss at the semi-finals against Kubasaki. 148lb Cole Lawlor got upset by Kinnick in his first match. 158lb Warren Koslow got upset by ASIJ in the last 15 seconds of the match. 180lb Michael Patton was upset by ASIJ for the fifth place match. Despite the series of upsets, St. Mary’s still sent 5 wrestlers in the finals, the most out of all teams. However, Kubasaki and ASIJ were right behind St. Mary’s with 4 finalists each. 115lb Eiji Kasahara, 141lb Nishant Chanda, and 180lb Austin Koslow made the finals for their second straight year while 135lb William Krcelic and 168lb Lev Titov became finalists for their first Far East tournament.


101lb Mikhail Titov, as a rookie, wrestled well. He was off to a slow start, causing him to go to the consolation bracket. In his consolation semi-finals, he scrapped hard against Kadena and almost pinning him twice, but ended up losing the match. In his fifth place match, he wrestled hard against ASIJ to finish fifth.


115lb Eiji Kasahara, proved why he is the defending Far East champion. He was nothing but consistent throughout the tournament; displaying fine technique on defense and offense, especially his reattacks (counter attacks) worked beautifully. Even being down 2-1 in the first period of the finals, his experience and timing of attacks allowed him to reverse the match in the second period as he captured his second Far East title only as a sophomore.


122lb Harold Mancia just did not match up well against Kubasaki in the semi-finals, but in all other matches, he dominated his opponents with his speed and powerful leg attacks and gut wrenches. He wrestled till the end for the team to obtain crucial third place points for the team.


129lb Jasjot Bedi bumped up and competed in this weight class for the first time. It was expected that he would be out powered in this weight class and not be competitive, but he proved everyone wrong. He wrestled aggressive, hard, and smart throughout the tournament. Although he lost against Osan, eventually a three time Far East champion, he wrestled back hard in the consolations. In the consolation semi-finals, he was close to pulling off an upset against ASIJ; having him on his back for about 2 seconds with his cradle, but not enough to be called a pin. After his loss, he continued to wrestle hard to place fifth.


135lb William Krcelic dominated the entire competition until the finals. His head hand fighting and blast double legs were simply too much for his opponents to handle combined with his signature cradle and gut wrench series. In the finals, his opponent was able to prevent his attacks with a tight collar tie. William wrestled hard until the very end but just fell short of the gold, but earning his silver medal for the first time competing at Far East.


141lb Nishant Chanda was more than prepared to take his Far East title at last; coming back from his loss last season at the Far East finals. Nishant absolutely dominated all his opponents and stormed through the tournament. It was takedown after takedown with all his opponents and points after points on the bottom position with his bread & butter outside cradle and butcher series. His matches were fun to watch with his opponents flying through the air and being flipped like pancakes; racking up points and pins.


148lb Cole Lawlor had been dominant in the Kanto Plain and was expected to place top 3. However, this simply wasn’t his day and it wasn’t his tournament. Nothing went his way during this tournament. Multiple times, he attempted to come back and change the negative trend but it was simply not possible. It was a poignant experience for the senior, but nevertheless, he was an integral part of the varsity lineup for this season.


158lb Warren Koslow performed beyond expectation as a rookie and placed a strong, well-deserved third place. In this competitive weight class, he displayed outstanding grit, technique, and stamina. He was only a few seconds away from making the semi-finals as a freshmen but the ASIJ senior showed pride to upset Warren. This didn’t stop Warren from competing. He continued to stay focused and wrestle hard to earn his bronze medal.

168lb Lev Titov showed tremendous improvement over the course of the season. Lev had no problem getting to the finals for his first Far East tournament. In the finals, as expected, he faced ASIJ who he had been wrestling against all season; closing the gap each time. He wrestled most aggressively throughout the whole match and lost another close match. But, his second place finish was unexpected at the beginning of the season. Through the season, he earned to be the second best wrestler in the Far East.


180lb Austin Koslow was nothing but dominant in the tournament. With his superior technique and his favorite knee pull singles and inside trips, he took every single opponent down with ease only to finish them off with his signature leg lace. He advanced to the finals with technical superiority with the opponent scoring 0 points over the #1 wrestler from Seoul American High School, and then another technical superiority over Yokota in the finals to finally claim his Far East champion title. “His performance was worthy of the Outstanding Wrestler Award,” commented Coach Yabui.


215lb Rookie Michael Patton demonstrated the best performance of the season in the tournament. He was always initiating moves and trying; a difficult thing for a rookie to do. He wrestled hard till the very end but fell short of earning his fifth place position and settled for sixth place.



As the tournament headed into the finals, Kubasaki, ASIJ, and St. Mary’s were all in the race for the individual team title. With Titan champions at 115lb, 141lb, and 180lb, and runner-ups at 135lb and 168lb, this knocked ASIJ out of the race and left the results in the hands of Kubasaki with their 215lb finals against Kinnick. If Kinnick could pull off an upset against Kubasaki, the 2019 individual title would go to St. Mary’s. But, such hope would crumble very quickly as the Kubasaki 215lb wrestler destroyed Kinnick in the first period. Kubasaki wrestlers and coaches celebrated in joy for their long awaited Far East titles since 2013; breaking the decade of dominance between St. Mary’s and Kinnick. At the conclusion of the finals, Coach Yabui quietly walked out of Purdy gym in devastation as the nightmare of 2018 was becoming a reality.


Although other teams may see a team like St. Mary’s with 2 open weight classes competing so closely against a full line up team like Kubasaki as a miracle, Coach Yabui firmly believed the team could win: “Just having a full lineup doesn’t give an advantage, but Kubasaki had competitive and quality wrestlers at all 13 weight classes and that is extremely difficult to beat with 2 open weights. Almost everything has to go right and at least 6 or 7 of them have to make the finals to secure a team title; which we had the potential to do. Even with 5 guys in the finals, we had enough back-side (wrestlers in the consolation brackets) to be dead even with Kubasaki but just 1 win short of catching them.” With all of the unfortunate upsets and the unusual situation of an open weight at 108lb, the Far East individual team title slipped out of St. Mary’s hands once again. Assistant Coach, Moshe Grimberg, commented “it just wasn’t our day.”


But, St. Mary’s wrestlers and coaches had no time to bathe in sorrow, as soon after the dual meet tournament portion of the tournament would begin. St. Mary’s, being seeded the #2 team per result of the individual tournament faced this season’s rival, ASIJ, in the semi-finals. In the Kanto league dual, St. Mary’s defeated ASIJ at home, however, ASIJ avenged their loss at the Zama dual tournament. For both competitions, neither team had their best lineup; but this time, they both had their best line up. Much rivalry was expected as the 115lb, 141lb, and the 168lb dual matches were the same matchup as the individual finals a few hours before. Upsets happen at Far East, but when it does, a lot will happen in the dual tournament where a Far East champion a few hours earlier or the day before would get upset in the dual meet. “If anyone knows about upsets in Far East, that would be me,” added Coach Yabui, who himself suffered a major upset in the dual meet tournament after winning his third Far East individual title in 2004. And, sure enough, it happened. 115lb, now a 2-time Far East champion, Eiji Kasahara, was defeated for the first time against the ASIJ wrestler while 168lb Lev Titov scored a takedown in the last 10 seconds to finally defeat his ASIJ rival for the first time. 215lb Michael Patton avenged his loss a few hours ago with a technical superiority. St. Mary’s defeated ASIJ 33 – 17 to break the tie between ASIJ for this season; advancing to the finals against Kubasaki and concluding Day 2 of the tournament.


That evening, Coach Yabui called a meeting with the team. Dual meets can get very strategic in obtaining or giving up the team points and it requires meticulous calculations of wins & losses and pins & technical falls for multiple different scenarios. But, the strategy that Coach Yabui explained to the team was simple: win all matches and get the dual meet over before 180lb. “When you have 2 open weights and going against a champion team with a full lineup, that’s about all you can do,” explained Coach Yabui, “but of course that’s after I ran numerous simulations and numbers against them.” He told the team that if they want to prove that they are the best team in the Far East, they have to go and prove that; otherwise, whether the team has 2 open weights or got upset, they are only the second best team.



On the last day of the Far East tournament, Titan wrestlers were focused and determined to redeem themselves from the loss the day before and a year ago. The dual meet finals began with the introduction of the team roster and matchups; only to reconfirm that St. Mary’s would start at a 10 point deficit with their empty weight classes at 108lb and 275lb. Upsets happen at Far East and the biggest upset happened at the very first match. 101lb Titov went out to face his opponent he lost to 2 days earlier by technical superiority. But, this time, Titov was on the attack and aggressive. This proved too much for Kubasaki’s silver medalist and a scramble turned into a pin for St. Mary’s. “That was huge for us; so miraculously significant,” commended Coach Yabui. 115lb Kasahara and two time Far East champion stepped on the mat and got his job done with a win by technical superiority. 129lb Bedi faced his opponent for the first time and wrestled hard and smart to pull off an important win. “Kubasaki was favored to win 101, 122, and 129, so we needed to keep the losses at minimum and not get pinned, but we came back with 2 wins over those weights and one with an unexpected pin. That was amazing and gave the team a big boost in beating them,” reflected Coach Yabui. From 135lb onwards, it was show time for the Titans. 135lb Krcelic quickly finished off his opponent in a technical fall. 141lb Chanda demolished his opponent to remind them what a Far East champion is. 158lb Koslow launched his opponent with a dynamic firemen’s carry for 4 big points and transitioned straight into a pin. 168lb Titov was determined to ending the dual and pinned his opponent with the St. Mary’s signature reverse lock dump (which is called the “St. Mary’s” by Kubasaki) which he normally does not do. The referee slapped the mat to declare Titov’s pin; which confirmed St. Mary’s victory over Kubasaki. The dual continued with 180lb Koslow’s last match of his career and once again demonstrated the beauty of wrestling to cap off his career with another technical fall victory. The end result was 35 – 25 for St. Mary’s. Considering the fact that St. Mary’s had 2 open weight classes (10 points), the actual team points that were competed was 35 – 10; and St. Mary’s won 8 out of the 11 matches competed. In other words, they demolished the Dragons to show that they may have been down in the lineup, but by quality, they were the #1 team in the Far East. “They are just so good,” commented Kubasaki’s coach after the dual.


And, with this, the 2019 wrestling team avenged their loss from last season to be crowed the 2019 Far East Dual Meet Champions. It was a special moment when 11 young men, believed in themselves and each other to overcome all odds. Often times how we come back from defeat defines who we are and what we can become. Their victory also marked a special moment in the history of the program as this was the 50th anniversary season of the program. St. Mary’s finished this decade of Far East wrestling as the most dominant team, taking 11 Far East championships in 10 years far beyond 5 for Kinnick, 3 for Kubasaki, and 1 for Kadena (and, international schools did not compete in Far East for the 2010 tournament).