Milestone victories are, by nature, memorable. St. John’s Prep wrestling coach Manny Costa recorded career win No. 500 in a fashion that was simply perfect.
Costa and the Eagles swept a quad match on Christmas Eve day with the Prep’s 84-0 victory over Peabody serving as the notable win. Making the moment particularly special for Costa was that his two sons -- Hunter and Jared -- were in the starting lineup.
St. John’s moved to 15-1 on the season and, with Monday’s three wins, Costa is now 502-129-5 in his 23rd season as head coach.
“They have been born and raised in the program,” Costa said about his sons. “Both ran the scoreboard when they were young and did the scorebook. I thank the Prep for the opportunity for my two sons to be part of the school and the team.”
Hunter Costa recorded a pin at 106 pounds in only 4:29. Jared Costa, meanwhile, needed only 52 seconds to pin his opponent at 138 pounds.
St. John’s also shut out Saugus (66-0) and Watertown (69-0).
More than 60 former St. John’s Prep wrestlers were on hand to witness Costa’s milestone victory.
“The memories of the first 22 seasons were being played in my head all weekend. So many special memories and friendships have been made,” Costa said. “I appreciate and love every wrestler that has stepped on the SJP wrestling mats and put on a singlet to compete for the program. Every one of them has been special and brought fond memories to myself, my family, and all the spectators that have watched our team over the years.”
For all the wins and individual state champions (21) Costa has had, it’s still other things that he holds close to his heart.
Costa is most proud of the 33 Academic All-Americans he has coached, and the overall focus on academics that the program has maintained over the years.