Stories passed down through the years forged the identity for the City Wrestling Championship. The 49th edition of the annual tournament added a layer of lore that may be tough to match.
Host Catholic High won the team title again, but it wasn’t easy. The Bears rallied to win, finishing just 11.5 points ahead of East Ascension on Saturday.
The wide grin of St. Michael’s Lance Robinson, noticeably minus a tooth, illustrated perseverance. The junior was selected as an Outstanding Wrestler for the second straight year.
Camdyn Ingram of Live Oak was stoic, flashing a brief grin after being selected as the meet’s other Outstanding Wrestler, completing a mission that started a year earlier.
“I told my coaches last night it was a race to 250 points and whoever gets there first wins,” Catholic coach Tommy Prochaska said. “I told my guys going into today that we were behind East Ascension. We finished with 250 on the dot. Lots of guys performed well.”
It was the fourth straight City title and 15th in 16 years for Catholic. It is the 17th City title for Prochaska and 28th overall for the Bears.
East Ascension put heat on Catholic throughout the two-day tourney. For example, the Spartans started the consolation round with five pins, garnering bonus points to pull closer.
“Going into the quarterfinals we were only 1.5 points behind them,” East Ascension coach Pat Mahoney said. “I am so proud of my guys. We’ve never had this many freshmen before and they did so well. The reason Catholic finishes on top is that when it comes time to perform mentally they don’t break.”
Catholic with 250 points and EAHS at 238.5 led the way. St. Amant (181.5), Live Oak (168) and Zachary (158) completed the top five. The Bears won five weight classes and got crucial victories ftrom Luke Romano at 113 pounds, Peter Kelly at 120 and Martin Hellouin at 126. Jacob Fereday pinned all his opponents at 170 pounds. Trent Mahoney (132 pounds) and Jordan Campbell (285) were individual champions for EAHS.
St. Michael’s Robinson (22-9) was voted the top wrestler in the upper weight classes in 2017 as the 152-pound champion. This time, he won at 145 and was voted the top competitor in the lower weight classes.
Robinson gutted out a 6-3 decision over St. Amant’s Nakie Brown in the final, hours after being rushed to the dentist to have that front tooth removed. He said the tooth came out with 20 seconds left in the semifinal.
“It was tougher this year,” Robinson said. “I was coming off a football season where I broke my leg, so this really does mean a lot. He (Brown) is a great wrestler … outstanding. I can’t say I had a specific strategy. I was determined to get through.”
Ingram also was a returning City champion. Not being voted one of the Outstanding Wrestlers in 2017 provided Ingram (60-1) the motivation to claim the Outstanding Wrestler honor for the higher weight classes. He won the 152 title by technical fall of Central’s Brayden Wilson in 4:42.
“I had already beaten everybody on the bracket,” Ingram said. “I was kind of upset when I didn’t win it (OW award). I had to come in, stay focused and do what I do.”
City Wrestling Championship
At Catholic High
Team totals: 1, Catholic 250. 2, East Ascension 238.5. 3, St. Amant 181.5. 4, Live Oak 168. 5, Zachary 158. 6, Brusly 105.5. 7, Dutchtown 103. 8, St. Michael 93.5. 9, Episcopal 57. 10, McKinley 48. 11, Baton Rouge High 34.5. 12, Southern Lab 29. 13, Central 23. Dunham 23. 15, Denham Springs 12. 16, Walker 4.
106 pounds: Clayton Hill, Live Oak by fall over Hunter Goodson, Catholic, 2:57
113: Luke Romano, Catholic, dec. Tyree Morris, St. Amant, 2-1.
120: Peter Kelly, Catholic, dec. Corey Brownell, St. Amant, SV-1 11-9
126: Martin Helouin, Catholic, dec. Bayley Hebert, Live Oak, 7-2
132: Trent Mahoney, East Ascension, by fall over Calep Balcuns, Brusly, 3:06
138: Kade Fouts, Catholic, dec. Anthony Dodson, Live Oak, 8-6
145: Lance Robinson, St. Michael, dec. Nakie Brown, St. Amant, 6-3
152: Camdyn Ingram, Live Oak, technical fall over Brayden Wilson, Central, 4:42
160: Hunter Hawkins, St. Amant, by fall over Macullen Mire, Catholic, 3:20
170: Jacob Fereday, Catholic, by fall over Kyle Chatman, East Ascension, 1:19
182: Dane Harter, St. Michael, by fall over Kenyon Martin, Zachary, 3:52.
195: Robert Rabel, Dunham, dec. Gavin Bonilla, McKinley, 2-1
220: Wes Brady, Zachary, dec. Devon Clark, East Ascension, 8-3
285: Jordan Cambell, East Ascension, by fall over Anthony Ingram, Live Oak, 3:18
106: Anthony Krass, East Ascension, dec. Xavier Parms, Baton Rouge High, 10-8
113: Devin Deranger, East Ascension, by fall over Kaul Kayser, Brusly, 2:53
120: Jamarius Koshko, East Ascension, by fall over Ross Richard, Dutchtown, 3:37.
126: Jaden Snyder, St. Amant, by fall over Austin Martina, Dutchtown, 6:00
132: Cody Comeaux, St. Amant, by fall over A.J. Sabine, Catholic, 2:12
138: Joseph Cagayao, St. Amant, over Matthew Anderson, Brusly, SV-1 9-7
145: Canon Hunt, Catholic, dec. Brad Mahoney, East Ascension, 9-5
152: Zion Marable, Dutchtown, dec. Garrett Parks, St. Amant, 6-2
160: Travis Hale, Zachary, dec. Reginald Barnes, East Ascension, 4-3
170: Caleb Mickelson, Zachary, dec. Griffin Dynes, Episcopal, 4-3
182: Tyler Irvin, East Ascension, dec. Brandon Young, Brusly, 5-2
195: Chris Hart, Zachary, dec. Gavin Soniat, East Ascension, 11-4
220: Brian Amis, Brusly, by fall over Axel Encalada-Arce, Baton Rouge, 3:10
285: Caleb Jackson, Zachary, dec. Taajuddeen-Salaam, Catholic, 10-6.