Much to his chagrin Teurlings Catholic wrestling coach Kent Masson embraces the anticipated drama of what could unfold during this weekend’s Division II state wrestling tournament.
“Realistically this is one of the more even years that I’ve seen. It’s going to be very close,” Masson said. “To me that makes for a very fun weekend. It’s stressful, but it’s a lot of fun. A couple of years ago it came down to the last few matches during the final. That’s better than someone running away with it.”
Masson, who has guided Teurlings to four state titles in the past five years and two straight, may get his wish when the Rebels begin competition Friday at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City.
Although not as equipped with the same tournament-level experience as a year ago, the Rebels still have plenty of depth with 11 seeded wrestlers in 14 weight classes. They are led by a trio of No. 1 seeds in Colten Sonnier (106), Brock Bonin (138) and Kynan Sonnier (195).
“We feel pretty good about where we’re at,” said Masson, now in his 13th season. “To have 11 seeded wrestlers, it’s a good recipe for being one of the top teams in the tournament. I believe the team that’s going to come out on top, whether it’s going to be us, you have to pin and pin a lot. The extra points go a long way.”
Rummel, which has nine seeded wrestlers and four No. 1 seeded participants, is considered a threat to Teurlings’ reign, while Shaw, Live Oak, Parkway and Rayne are all expected to be among the contenders, Masson said.
“This is fun,” he said. “I think our kids and the kids from Rummel, Live Oak and Shaw are all ready for it. They know how close it’s going to be.”
Teurlings has a pair of 40-match winners in Colten Sonnier (41-14) and Kynan Sonnier (43-5) and a defending state champion in Bonin (32-3) to set the tone.
The Rebels have received standout seasons from No. 3 Dane Langley (32-14) at 113 pounds, No. 3 Josh Hebert (27-12) at 126 pounds and No. 4 Luke Kilchrist (22-7) at 132.
Teurlings put together a 13-8 dual-meet record and won a pair of team championships at the Lafayette Metro Tournament and Shaw Tournament.
“For years we were always chasing the bull’s-eye,” Masson said. “The past four or five years, we have had the bull’s-eye on our back. The kids enjoy that part. The competition is great.”
Rayne leads the way with five seeded wrestlers topped by No. 1 Cooper Simon (113), No. 2 Morgan Manuel (120), No. 3 Mason Benoit (285) and No. 4 Tyler Carriere (170). … No. 3 Ethan Wood (285) will represent St. Thomas More, while Carencro has No. 3 Joseph Venable (160) and No. 4 Trevor Gunter (152).