Once the season enters its final month, it is not unusual for teams to start sizing up the competition in their division going into the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s State Wrestling Tournament.
The 27th annual Brusly Invitational provides that opportunity for schools in classes 3A, 2A, 1A, B and C that make up the LHSAA’s Division III. Action begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. at Brusly High with the finals set for about 5 p.m.
“It does give teams a chance to see where some of the other teams are at this point,” Brusly coach Jimmy Bible said. “There have been a couple of years when we’ve won easily.
“Our kids take a lot of pride in this tournament. We’ll have to really work for this one. We’ve got some good teams and individuals coming in it.”
The Brusly Invitational helps start a late season wrestling push. Meanwhile, Episcopal helps open the powerlifting season with its fifth annual Kay Fenton Memorial Power Meet, which also begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Bible expects about 20 schools to participate led by his Panthers, the defending Division III state champions, and River Ridge’s John Curtis, the runner-up a year ago.
Other Division III teams set to compete include Shreveport powers Calvary Baptist, Bossier and Evangel Christian along with Rayne, The Dunham School, Redemptorist, South Cameron, North Vermilion, Lakeside, Episcopal, Grand Lake, Doyline, DeLaSalle and Basile.
Ocean Springs (Miss.), Plaquemine, Sam Houston, St. Michael the Archangel and Sulphur are some of the other teams expected to compete.
Top individuals for Brusly include Barrett Sanchez (113-pound weight class), Wyatt Lejeune (120), Trevor Schermer (132) and Koby Mancuso (152).
Curtis will be led by heavyweight Spencer Lemoine, Baron Clofer (172), Brice Cortez (120) and Patrick Martin (197). Others to note include Rayne’s Billy Marcantel (197), Redemptorist’s Grant Godso (138), South Plaquemines’ Jesse Phea (134) and Evangel’s Bradley Wright (113) and Benjamin Karkikis (138).
Fifteen schools and about 250 lifters are expected to compete in Episcopal’s Fenton meet with proceeds going to fund the school’s Kay Fenton scholarship and to cancer service groups in the Baton Rouge area.
It will be Baton Rouge’s first major tourney since powerlifting became a sanctioned LHSAA sport for 2013, said Episcopal coach Steve Baronich.
“It’s a big meet because we have so many competitors,” Baronich said. “But I think the most important thing about it is that it’s our first meet as a sanctioned LHSAA sport.”
Slidell’s Pope John Paul II, last year’s Class 2A state champion for boys and girls, helps lead the field along with Church Point, the 3A boys runner-up.
Other teams expected to compete include 5A Walker, 4A Broadmoor, 5A Woodlawn, 3A Port Allen, 4A St. Michael, 5A Slidell, 4A Assumption, 4A Holy Cross, 5A West Monroe (girls only), 5A Chalmette, 2A Runnels, 2A Episcopal, 5A Zachary and 1A Hanson Memorial.