Jefferson (Georgia) High School ran its season dual meet record to 28-0 with a 36-26 victory over Brother Martin in the final of the Deep South Bayou Duals Wrestling Tournament at the Baton Rouge River Center on Tuesday.
In the process, the Dragons ended Brother Martin’s 69-match dual match win streak and gained a certain measure of revenge.
Two years ago, the two teams met in the Bayou Duals final and were tied at the end of the match. The eighth criterion (tiebreaker) gave the championship to the Crusaders.
“A lot of guys on this team remember that, losing on criteria,” Jefferson coach Doug Thurmond said, “and they were excited (Tuesday). Take nothing away from Brother Martin — they have a wonderful wrestling team — but it was awesome.”
The championship win was anything but easy for the Dragons. Brother Martin took an early 6-0 lead when Jacob Clapp pinned Jackson Bowen in the 220-pound division. Jefferson then ran off six straight wins, but the Crusaders weren’t through.
After Jefferson freshman Cole Potts came back from a 6-3 deficit for a 10-8 win over Stephen Rumney at 126 and Thurmond’s son, Tanner, scored eight points in the third round to defeat Seth Gambill 10-3, the Dragons had a 21-6 lead.
Then, Brother Martin got pins by Taylor Gambill at 138 and Cal Palermo at 145, as well as major decisions by Brad Guidry at 160 and Pierce Williams at 170, to pull within 27-26 with two matches remaining.
“We knew there would be a bunch of matches that weren’t pins, so those pins were big,” Doug Thurmond said. “It was pretty scary.”
Fortunately for the Georgians, junior Caleb Little, a two-time state champion, was up next, and he managed a pin of his own at 182, and Deshon Lester finished with an 8-3 decision to ice the championship.
“I told my guys we’ve won 69 in a row, and if we had to lose to someone, that’s a great team there. They’ve won 15 state championships in a row,” Brother Martin coach Robert Dauterive said. “Now that it’s over, we definitely left some points out there today, but kudos to (Jefferson).
“We don’t plan to lose again this year,” he said.
Saturday was a landmark day for Catholic High coach Tommy Prochaska as he notched his 300th dual meet win as the Bears’ head coach when Catholic defeated Teurlings Catholic 49-27 in consolation bracket A play.
“I don’t think much about milestones, but it’s been a fun run,” Prochaska said. “I just hope we keep getting better. My first thought was, ‘Who do we wrestle next?’ ”
Catholic gave Prochaska his 301st win by winning bracket A with a 40-28 victory over Cypress Bay.
Tanner Thurmond was named outstanding wrestler for the meet in the lower weight classes, and Little took the same honor in upper weight classes.
Jesuit, St. Paul’s and Brother Martin won its respective pools Monday to advance to the final eight in the championship bracket. Jesuit fell to Jefferson 47-17 in the quarterfinals, St. Paul’s lost to Jefferson 48-24 in the semifinals after a 49-27 win over Teurlings Catholic in the quarterfinals, and Brother Martin topped Central Phenix in the quarterfinals and Altus, Oklahoma, 37-22 in the semifinals.
Catholic High was the top Baton Rouge area finisher in pool play with a second place finish in Pool C. St. Amant and Live Oak finished third in their pools, while Brusly and Dutchtown had fourth place finishes.
Other New Orleans teams came out of pool play with a second-place finish (Holy Cross), third-place finishes (De La Salle and Rummel) and a fourth place (Shaw).