Shaw • Division II
In four years as a member of Shaw’s wrestling program, Eduardo Garcia has emerged as a master craftsman.
Culmination came this winter as Garcia produced a sterling 61-2 record and a Division II state title at 170 pounds.
“Eddie is blessed with great natural ability,’’ Shaw coach Paul Hatty said. “But talent (alone) doesn’t really do anything for you, especially in wrestling. You see it all of the time.
“Talent helps in wrestling, but at the end of the day, (wrestlers) need ... to be 100 percent committed to that craft and willing to get better constantly.’’
The 5-foot-8 Garcia’s rise to the pinnacle of his sport illustrates Hatty’s point.
After coming out for wrestling as a freshman, Garcia “was hooked,’’ as he describes it, when he attended his first state tournament, then held at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
“It was a different environment than I had felt anywhere else,’’ said Garcia, whose 61 victories are a single-season record at Shaw. “I’d seen my first finals setting and that place lit up. You could feel the energy from outside of the arena. You walked in and you could hear the crowds. You could feel the intensity of each match. It was awesome.
“I told myself, ‘One day, I want to be that guy.’ ”
Brother Martin • Division I
Away from a wrestling mat, Brother Martin’s Daniel Croy is friendly, engaging and enjoys a good laugh.
On the mat is a different story.
“He flips a switch,’’ Brother Martin coach Robbie Dauterive said.
Croy, a 5-foot-8½ junior, won the Division I state championship at 126 pounds, had 33 pins, a 39-1 record and an undefeated record in state.
“Daniel’s got the killer mentality,’’ Dauterive said. “When he gets on the mat, he flips a switch and he’s going for a pin every time. He’s not afraid to try just about anything out there.’’
Croy’s fearless approach has produced two consecutive state championships, two consecutive undefeated runs versus in-state competition, a cumulative record of 67-2.
Five pins came at the LHSAA state tournament in Bossier City, where none of Croy’s matches made it to the third round.
“I strive to be perfect every season and the past two seasons I’ve come up short of that goal, but I have been undefeated in Louisiana, which is a tremendous achievement for me,’’ Croy said. “It’s always been a goal of mine in wrestling. So to be able to do that, it’s been an amazing ride for me.”
South Plaquemines • Division III
After he won the first of his three consecutive state wrestling championships, friends and family members of Brandon Turner affectionately dubbed the then-sophomore “GUMP.’’
As in “Great Under Major Pressure.’’
“I love pressure,’’ said Turner, a state champion at 170 pounds as a senior with a 25-5 record. “That’s when I perform the best, under pressure.’’
Pressure is something Turner has known long before stepping on to a wrestling mat as a high school freshman, having lost his mother to a stroke a year earlier as an eighth-grader and his grandmother to cancer eight months later.
Those personal tragedies coupled with his father ‘s incarcerationd resulted in Turner moving in with his great-grandmother and instilled a fierce determination into the now 6-foot senior to do something positive in life. He has several college wrestling opportunities from which to choose.
His success in wrestling, he said, “really comes from a mindset. I’m not losing. That’s just how I feel. Because if I lose, I lose everything. I’ve got more to lose than the person I wrestle.”
“I come from a rough background, a one-parent household and then my mom dying. So this is my only way out. Losing is not an option for me, especially when it comes to state tournaments.’’
COACH OF THE YEAR
Dauterive directed the Crusaders to an undefeated season and runaway victory at the Division I LHSAA state tournament in Bossier City.
The Crusaders, who finished third last season, placed all 14 of their entries at the state tournament and finished with four individual champions to outscore runner-up Jesuit 319½ to 233. The state crown was Brother Martin’s ninth in 13 seasons under Dauterive and the program’s 18th overall.
“It was a very rewarding season. ... I really think, and all of our coaches think, as well, that we did a much better coaching job this year. We had the team peak at the right moments,’’ Dauterive said. “It’s always our goal to not only be state champions, but also to be undefeated state champions. And the kids really did perform as a team this year. So it was a great season.’’
Brother Martin • So. • 106
Division I state champion, compiled a 40-4 record.
Rummel • Sr. • 113
Louisiana Classic champion at 113 pounds and Division II state champion at 120.
Holy Cross • Jr. • 120
Division I state champion, two-time All-Metro selection, compiled a 27-4 record as a junior.
Brother Martin • Jr. • 126
Two-time Division I state champion and All-Metro selection, compiled 39-1 record with 33 pins.
Jesuit • Jr. • 132
Division I state runner-up, compiled a 24-9 record.
Jesuit • Sr. • 138
Division I state champion, compiled a 16-5 record.
Brother Martin • Jr. • 145
Two-time All-Metro selection; Division I state champion as a junior with a 50-3 record.
Jesuit • Sr. • 152
Two-time Division I state champion and All-Metro selection, compiled a 36-4 record.
Jesuit • Sr. • 160
Division I state champion, compiled a 33-7 record.
Shaw • Sr. • 170
Division II state champion, compiled a 61-2 record.
Holy Cross • Sr. • 182
Division I state runner-up, compiled an 18-5 record.
St. Paul’s, Sr., 195
Division I third-place finisher, compiled a 41-13 record.
Jesuit, Jr., 220
Two-time Division I state champion and All-Metro selection, compiled a 37-3 record.
Brother Martin, Jr., 285
Two-time All-Metro selection; Division I state champion as a junior with a 35-3 record.
106: Jacob Frost, Holy Cross, 8th • 113: Caruso Signorelli, Holy Cross, So. • 120: Justin Leal, Brother Martin, Sr. • 126: Chris Montalbano, Rummel, Jr. •
132: Luke Cotton, Brother Martin, Sr. • 138: Cole Houser, St. Paul’s, Sr. • 145: Eli Larriviere, Jesuit, Sr. • 152: Grant Hughes, St. Paul’s, Sr. •
160: Caden Mumme, Holy Cross, Jr. • 160: Martin Garrett, Shaw, Sr. • 170: Brandon Turner, South Plaquemines, Sr. • 182: Thomas Arseneaux, Jesuit, Sr. • 195: Garrett Legendre, Brother Martin, Sr. • 220: Eric Hamrick, De La Salle, Sr. • 285: Jeremiah James, De La Salle, Sr.