The Greater Baton Rouge City Championship is still going strong even though many local signature wrestling tournaments have fallen by the wayside. Of course, success is simple with an eternal fountain of youth.
Outstanding Wrestlers Ethan Ourso of Catholic and Caleb Mickelson of Zachary were among the teens who helped make the 50-year-old tournament look as good as ever Saturday at Catholic High.
“I’m a senior and last year I placed third,” Mickelson said. “Winning a City title was one of my goals and this was my last chance. It (City tourney) means something. I came in with a very determined mindset.”
Host Catholic won the team title with 274 points, placing ahead of three other Division I teams, St. Amant (254) and Zachary (207) and East Ascension (200).
The Bears also scheduled a 50th anniversary celebration for their wrestling program, which brought back the tourney’s first Outstanding Wrestler winner, Billy Aguillard, who presented the individual awards to Ourso and Mickelson.
“This is unique in a lot of ways,” Catholic coach Tommy Prochaska said. “New Orleans still has one, but it has become more of a junior varsity tournament. As coaches, we got together a few years ago and worked toward keeping it alive. It still means something. We believe that.”
Ourso, a sophomore, illustrated what winning a City title means. He was the first winner in the finals, claiming an 8-5 victory over St. Amant’s Ty Didier. Ourso entered the tourney as the No. 4 seed in his weight class.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Ourso said. “I think I did better on offense in this tournament. Coach (Prochaska) always tells me to keep wrestling hard and good things will happen. They definitely did.”
Hunter Goodson (113), Canon Hunt (145) and Connor Finucane (285) were other winners for the Bears. Eight of the top individual seeds won titles in their weight classes.
“I think we wrestled pretty well,” Prochaska said. “I am proud of our guys. This was the first time we’ve had our complete lineup all year. It is work in progress. We’ve got some guys wrestling outside their normal weight class, but they came through today.”
The City tourney typically takes on an added sense of urgency because it is the final tuneup for the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Wrestling tournament set for Feb. 8-9 in Bossier City. It was particularly crucial for Mickelson, who was wrestling at 182 pounds for only the second time this year. He pinned Live Oak’s Austin Cook in 42 seconds in the final.
“That builds my confidence,” Mickelson said. “I need that going into state.”
50th Greater Baton Rouge City Championship
Team Scores: 1. Catholic High, 274. 2. St. Amant, 254. 3. Zachary, 207. 4. East Ascension, 200. 5. Live Oak, 191. 6. Brusly, 119. 7. Baton Rouge High, 76. 8. Dutchtown, 67. 9. Dunham, 59.5. 10. St. Michael, 48. 11. Central, 38. 12. McKinley, 37. 13. Episcopal, 14. 14. Parkview Baptist, 8.5. 15. Plaquemine, 7.
106 pounds: Ethan Ourso, Catholic, dec. Ty Didier, St. Amant, 8-5
113: Hunter Goodson, Catholic, dec. Jace Chenevert, St. Amant, 7-0
120: Clayton Hill, Live Oak, by fall Luke Romano, Catholic, 3:54
126: Seth Signorelli, St. Amant, by fall Martin Helouin, Catholic, 2:27
132: Calep Balcuns, Brusly, by fall Peter Kelly, Catholic, 1:08
138: Anthony Johnson, Live Oak, by fall Andrew Trahan, Brusly, 1:52
145: Canon Hunt, Catholic, major dec. David Pellerin, East Ascension, 9-1
152: Trent Mahoney, East Ascension, by fall AJ Sabine, Catholic, 4:35
160: Reginald Barnes, East Ascension, dec. Ian Wyble, Catholic, 11-9.
170: Hunter Hawkins, St. Amant, major dec. Jarin Meyer, Baton Rouge High, 12-4
182: Caleb Mickelson, Zachary, by fall Austin Cook, Live Oak, :42
195: Grant Rabel, Dunham, by fall Alex Newman, St. Amant, 5:58
220: Wes Brady, Zachary, by fall Brian Amis, Brusly, 3:14
285: Connor Finucane, Catholic, pinned Caleb Jackson, Zachary, 3:59.
106: Aaron Guillory, East Ascension dec. Andrew Lusby, Live Oak, 9-7
113: Cameron Selmon, St. Michael, major dec. Ashton Hull, Zachary, 12-3
120: Corey Brownell, St. Amant, def. Paul Kayser, Brusly, disqualification
126: Jordan Chenevert, Live Oak, pinned Marc Martinez, Brusly, 3:24
132: Evan Light, Dunham, dec. Austin Martina, Dutchtown, 4-3
138: Cody Comeaux, St. Amant, pinned Chance Jackson, Zachary, 3:00
145: Jacob Wallis, Zachary, dec. Jordan Griffin, Live Oak, 10-3
152: Jack Manchego, Live Oak, pinned Shad Sheffie, St. Michael, 5:53
160: Conrad Mitchell, St. Amant, dec. Austin Landy, Zachary, 15-10
170: Austin Reason, Central, dec. Santos Ramos, East Ascension, 7-4
182: Macullen Mire, Catholic, dec. Fred Garrison, St. Amant, 12-5
195: Brian Hibbard, Catholic, dec. Caleb Daigle, Zachary, 5-1
220: Axel Encalada-Arce, Baton Rouge High, major dec. Tyler Braun, Live Oak, 10-2
285: Gavin Soniat, East Ascension, pinned Keantre Harrison, McKinley, 12-6