NEW ORLEANS — De La Salle junior Alex Martin looks like he’s ready to defend his Division II state wrestling title at 152 pounds. No longer is Martin relying solely on athleticism. He’s becoming a technician.
And in team competition, expect Brother Martin to head into the Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Tournament in two weeks with notions of winning another Division I state title.
Martin cruised to an individual championship Saturday afternoon at the New Orleans City Tournament, which was held by Holy Cross High for the first time since 1995. Martin dispatched of all three of his opponents with pins, including Brother Martin’s Jordan Wright (2:30).
Not that the Crusaders took a lot of loses lying down.
Brother Martin dominated the one-day tournament, placing wrestlers in the finals of every weight class.
The Crusaders won 10 individual championships, proving to be more than enough to dominate the 19-team field. It started with Taylor Gambill’s pin of Peyton Markey of Jesuit (1:49) at 113 pounds and ended with Ross Brister winning the heavyweight division by pinning Jesuit’s Zachary Creel (2:44).
Brother Martin scored 275½ points, distancing itself from second-place Jesuit (199), which went head-to-head with the Crusaders in eight finals, losing all but two.
“I think it’s gone back a long ways,” Gambill, a freshman, said of the Brother Martin-Jesuit rivalry on the mats. “We both have good programs, and we battle it out the whole time.”
At 106 pounds, Jesuit’s Nicky Charles defeated Mauro Mason 4-2. And at 186 pounds, teammate Gage Grush beat Daniel Albrecht 8-4.
“It boosted my confidence so much more,” Charles said of his win over Mason of Brother Martin. “I know that I can beat them, so there’s going to be nothing holding me back from beating them later in the year.”
Lead by second-place finisher Brice Duhe at 160 pounds, Holy Cross finished third with 114 points, followed by Fontainebleau (86) and John Ehret (85), whose 126-pound. wrestler, Stefon Foster, was the only individual champion Saturday not from Brother Martin, Jesuit or named Alex Martin.
Foster won his weight class by taking a 3-2 decision over the Crusaders’ Austin Meyn.
Chalmette’s Dano Miller did not enjoy the same success against Brother Martin. Miller finished second to Paul Klein at 120 pounds (18-2). In other matches, Mandeville’s best finish was by Jack Ingalls, who was second in 170 pounds. Fontainebleau was paced by Daniel Priola, who finished second at 195 pounds.