Brother Martin easily outpaced the field to take any suspense out of the team scoring at the Louisiana Classic (formerly Lee High) Wrestling Tournament on Saturday in Baton Rouge, but there was plenty of excitement surrounding individual matches during the final day on Saturday.
Lindsey Williams jumped to his feet and pumped his fist when his son Mason of Brother Martin outpointed Jake Rando of Holy Cross 9-4 to win the 147-pound division and make the Williamses the fourth father-son champions in the 42-year history of the tournament.
Williams, Sr., was a champion in 1983 when Brother Martin edged Holy Cross by nine points to win the tournament.
Holy Cross was the runner-up again this year, but this time the margin was 340-2171/2. Jesuit finished third with 1551/2, followed by Rummel; St. Paul’s; Madill, Oklahoma; and Catholic of Baton Rouge.
Hahnville took 11th place, Shaw finished 19th, Mandeville 22nd, John Ehret 23rd and De La Salle 26th.
“I’ve saved my championship sweatshirt for 32 years in a box hoping this day would come,” Lindsey Williams said. “He made me so proud, he wrestled so tough and he’s such a fine boy. I couldn’t be prouder.”
The tournament’s outstanding wrestler, Hahnville’s Kendrick Jones, celebrated his 8-4 win over defending champion Guy Patron of Jesuit by sprinting across the mat and leaping into the arms of his coach, Dan Erwin.
“He almost knocked me down, the little sucker,” Erwin said, “but I was expecting it. He’s an unbelievable kid. Unbelievable talent. Unbelievable work ethic. He wants to be the best, and he wants everyone to know he’s the best.”
Brother Martin coach Robert Dauterive also showed enthusiasm, a little too much enthusiasm, in a conversation with officials and was ejected from the tournament before the finals began.
“No coach likes to be ejected,” he said, “and it wasn’t about winning or losing or about my team, but a lot of inconsistency I’ve seen throughout the tournament.
“I thought we wrestled our best in five years at the Prep Slam (in Atlanta) a couple of weeks ago, but I’m going to put this one right up there, winning six straight matches in the Louisiana Classic finals.”
After Jesuit’s Brody Martin stopped Rummel’s Blake Mateu 6-2 at 108 to open the finals, sophomore Steven Shields started the Crusaders’ run with a 7-0 shutout of Colt Olinde of Live Oak.
It was the fourth individual title for the Shields family, as Nick Shields was a three-time champion from 2005-2007.
Stephen Rumney followed with a tough 6-5 decision over top-seeded Nicholas Lirette of Hahnville, coming from behind with a third-round reversal and holding off an escape attempt by Lirette at the buzzer.
Paul Klein had four takedowns in a 9-5 win over Rio Zamora of Madill, who could manage only five escapes in the match.
Blaine Elsensohn won the closest match of the day at 140, managing an escape with one second left to best Joey Foret of Holy Cross.
Foret had scored a takedown with 14.9 seconds left to tie the match.
Holy Cross had peak performances from defending champions George Benoit, who won the 154s with a 10-8 win over Matt Mire of Catholic High, and Brice Duhe, who pinned Joe Kerry of Rummel in 2:55 at 172.
Brother Martin’s Yehia Riles decisioned Brody Bonura of Live Oak for the 184 title.
Other weight class individual champions were Koby Mancuso of Brusly (162), Nick Simeneaux of Live Oak (222) and Kirk Wilson of Dunham (287).
Wilson’s win was the first for Dunham in the history of the tournament.
The tournament is over, but the weekend isn’t for coach Jim Love and his Madill team.
“I brought a team from Little Axe (Oklahoma) in 2011, and we had a blast. Some of our kids don’t get a chance to travel, so we’re going to New Orleans Sunday. It’s an educational trip. Sometimes wrestling is more than a sport. … It’s preparation for life,” he said.