BOSSIER CITY — Going into this weekend’s Louisiana State High School Wrestling Championships, defending champions Brother Martin in Division I and Teurlings Catholic in Division II were expected to repeat their successes from last year’s tournament. De La Salle was also favored to take home the title in Division III.
After Day 1, those expectations seem to be on the right track.
The Crusaders, Rebels, and Cavaliers all sit atop the standings in their respective divisions after the first two sessions of the state tournament held Friday at CenturyLink Center. The tournament concludes Saturday.
Brother Martin rolled up 171.5 points, 29.5 more than second-place Jesuit (142.0). Comeaux (129.0) sits in third, followed by St. Paul’s (126.5) and Holy Cross (122.5). Catholic is in sixth place with 102.0 points.
“We wrestled really well (Friday) overall,” Brother Martin coach Robert Dauterive said. “We wanted to get our 13 (wrestlers) to the semifinals, but we got 11. Our 145 (pounds) and our 152, we expect them to wrestle back and place in the top six.”
Jesuit coach Sheridan Moran said he knows it will take another good day for the Blue Jays to topple the defending champs.
“We’re not taking a backseat to anybody, but we’re going to keep getting better,” said Moran, who had 13 wrestlers alive at press time. “If we win by six (Friday), we want to win by seven (Saturday). If we get a fall (Friday), we want to get a quicker one (Saturday). These guys have a lot of pride in what it means to carry on the tradition of Jesuit wrestling.”
Teurlings Catholic goes into Saturday’s action with a slim lead over second-place Rummel (146.0-139.5), while Live Oak (132.0) sits in third and Rayne (127.0) is fourth. Shaw rounds out the top five with 109.5 points.
“We knew it was going to be close coming in with Teurlings,” Rummel coach Jon Orillion said. “We’re right where we need to be right now. We have eight in the semifinals. Those guys have to go out and do their jobs and wrestle hard for us (Saturday) and continue to do what they’ve been doing.
De La Salle sent eight wrestlers through to Saturday’s semifinals and hold the overall lead with 127.0 points, ahead of second-place North Vermilion with 107.0. South Plaquemines (103.0) goes is in third place, followed by traditional power Brusly (95.5).
“We’ve done well (Friday), but I’ve told the guys that these things are session to session,” De La Salle coach Rod Cusachs said. “We can’t rest on what we’ve done. We have to get out there and lay it all out on the mat.”
Brusly coach Jimmy Bible came into the tournament with less firepower than in previous years, but the Panthers still have a chance to bring home some hardware.
“We still have five or six kids that can make some noise in this thing,” Bible said. “We only brought 10 with us this year, and we knew it was going to be tougher than in years past. We’ve got a chance to have all seven of our remaining kids in the finals, and that would be a hell of an accomplishment.”