2011-12 Season Newspaper Articles

State Wrestling Finals: 13 The Charm For Brother Martin

Posted by: Ken Trahan--President, SportsNOLA in Prep Sports on Feb 12, 2012


It may be an unlucky number for some but that is not the case for Brother Martin. There was no luck involved, just an abundance of skill.

The Crusaders were successful, claiming their 13th state wrestling championship Sunday night, holding off Catholic High and defending state champion Rummel before a packed house at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

The title was the first since 2007 for Brother Martin. It came in the second year of the second tenure of Robbie Dauterive as the head coach of the Crusaders.

The return of Dauterive brought a return to glory for the storied program in Gentilly. Dauterive led the Crusaders to state championships in 1999, 2000 and 2001 before leaving for private business. He ended up coaching in Texas and answered the call to return home to Brother Martin last year. Brother Martin faithful are pleased that he did.

Brother Martin won the championship despite having just one individual state champion and that was their youngest wrestler.

Sensational freshman Paul Klein avenged a pair of regular season losses to top-seeded Mitch Capella of Jesuit, winning 4-0 to win a state championship at 106 pounds.

The Crusaders had five second place finishers, including Blake Schmitt at 113 pounds,

Dominic Casadaban at 120, Kyle Delaune at 170 Dylan Dunn at 182 and Gerand Roman at 195 pounds. All Brother Martin wrestlers won at least one match as their depth won the weekend and the Crusaders placed 13 of its 14 wrestlers into the quarterfinals.

Roman was a defending state champion but he had the misfortune of facing Rummel two-time defending state champion Scott Gibbons, regarded by most in the sport to be the best wrestler in the state in any class and one of the best wrestlers, if not the best, in Louisiana history. Gibbons controlled the match from start to finish in an 8-3 victory.

Catholic edged Rummel for second when 285-pound star Kyle Hidalgo pinned Graham Karwath in the last match of the night. The Bears finished just four points behind Brother Martin and five points ahead of Rummel. The Bears tied for the most individual champions with three, including Zack Louis (132) Brandon Luckett (152) and Hidalgo (285). Louis held off Rummel's Bubby Yeager 3-2 in a double overtime thriller.

The Raiders had three individual champions as well, including Matt Calcote at 113 pounds, his second straight state title, Gibbons at 195 pounds, his third straight state title and Branagh Cohen at 220 pounds. Yeager was second at 132 pounds while Joshua Schilling finished second at 160 pounds for Rummel. Calcote reversed a 6-4 loss to Schmitt in a dual meet with a 4-0 victory. Cohen, who finished second in state a year ago, avenged a regular season loss by pin in pulling away late to beat top-seed Dortanyia McIntyre of John Ehret 19-12. Gibbons has committed to wrestle at Princeton University, an Ivy League standout.

St. Paul's had three individual champions and finished fifth overall. Connor Campo won at 126 pounds, David Englehardt took home first at 138 pounds and Chris Arms was a winner at 170 pounds. Campo, the top-seed,  handled Landon Becnel of Catholic 7-2, Englehardt edged top-seed Michael Bourgoyne of Catholic 4-3 and the top-seeded Arms handled Delaune 10-4.

Jesuit came in fourth, the first time since 1983 that they have not finished in the top two in the state. Jesuit had one individual champion in Zach Carmello at 160 pounds. The top-seeded Carmello scored a 17-6 major decision over Schilling for the title.

The pecking order in Division I has been clearly established over the past six years with Brother Martin, Catholic, Jesuit, Rummel and St. Paul's comprising the top five team totals in four of the last six state meets.

Other champions in Division I included Jacob Dale of Comeaux at 120 pounds, Tyrek Malveaux, a repeat state champion, who won at 145 pounds and Logan Pippin of Acadiana at 182 pounds.

Dauterive was thrilled that his team fought off tough competition.

"Catholic is a great team," said Dauterive. "Rummel is tough and their coaches do a great job. Jesuit and St. Paul's were in there. This was just a great tournament with the top five teams fighting it out. We showed our depth. That's what won the tournament for us."

Dauterive has special praise for his prized freshman champion.

"Paul Klein is a special young man, a talented kid who works very hard," said Dauterive. "What a future he has. It is very difficult to win an individual title at the highest level. He did it as a freshman. We are so happy to have him. What a future he has."

As their depth revealed, this was a consummate team effort.

"Our team slogan is one team, one dream," said Dauterive. "Our wrestlers came up with that motto and we stuck together. What a team they were!"

In Division II, Teurlings Catholic of Lafayette won four individual titles en route to a solid victory for their second consecutive state title.

The Rebels outscored second place Holy Cross 277-249 to take home the trophy. Holy Cross won the state championship in Division III before moving up this season.

Trey Bonin (103), Phillip Miller (145), Jean-Luc Guilbeaux (170) and Nick Schneider (182) won championships for Teurlings. Bonin and Miller repeated as state champions. Bonin, Miller and Schneider each won by pin while Guilbeaux was an 8-2 winner of Joseph Bussiere of Parkway. For Miller, it was a third straight individual state championship.

Holy Cross had three champions as well, including top-seeds Alex Nicosia (113), Dexter Bass, Jr. (126) and Nick Michael (152). Nicosia and Michael were state champions a year ago. George Benoit (120) and Taj Smith (285) finished second for the Tigers. Nicosia pinned Dean Roberts of Live Oak in 1:57. Bass defeated Dylan Corsentino of St. Michael 12-5. Michael, who is seldom scored upon, blanked Kody Woodson of Shaw 14-0 in a major decision. Michael entered the rare company of a select few, winning his fourth individual state title. He will attend Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa to wrestle.

Live Oak finished third and had their first individual state champion in school history in Cody Hill (120). It was the best-ever finish in state for the Eagles, in just their fifth year competing. St. Michael was fourth and had a pair of state champions in Charles Morgan (132) and Stephen Scardina (285). It was the third straight state championship for both Morgan and Scardina, who will be a preferred walk-on in football at LSU.

Shaw finished eighth overall and the Eagles sported a state champion in Troy Hebert (138), who beat Traven Lamalle of Northside 7-5. Other Division II state champions included Louis Stutes of St. Louis Catholic (160), Orlando Calhoun, Jr. of Northside (195) and Jordyn Glaspie (Benton) at 220.

In Division III, perennial power Brusly returned to the winner's circle after falling just short in 2011 when they finished second to Holy Cross.

The Panthers pulled away to win by 35 points with John Curtis Christian finishing second and Thomas Jefferson coming in third. The championship is the 11th overall for the Panthers of Jimmy Bible and their eighth championship in nine years.

Brusly had four individual champions, including Baret Sanchez (113), Trevor Schermer (126), Austin Schermer (132) and Jacob Haydel (285). Both Schermer brothers and Haydel were defending state champions.

Austin Schermer achieved elite status, claiming his fourth individual state title in four different weight classes, pinning Roy Ulrich, III of Thomas Jefferson. He is just the second wrestler in Bruly history to capture four state titles. Haydel's title was his third consecutive individual championship.

John Curtis did not have an individual champion but Joseph Spadaro (138) and Spencer Lemoine (285) each finished second.

Thomas Jefferson had four second-place finishers, including Todd Tidwell (106), Ulrich, III (132), Brent Matherne (145) and Austin David (160).

Basile had a pair of champions in Raymond Bushnell (106) and Trenton Pellloquin (160). Rayne added a pair of champions in Billy Marcantel (182) and Brennan McKnight (220). Pelloquin defeated Austin Davis of Thomas Jefferson in a 14-12 thriller.

De La Salle had its first individual champion since Brian Carter won the 160-pound title in 2004 (Division II) as Alex Martin took home the trophy at 152 pounds, beating Andre' Falcon of Rayne 5-2. Once a wrestling power, the Cavaliers won Division I team championships in three consecutive seasons from 1969 through 1971 under Pat McArdle.

Redemptorist brothers Hunter Arnett (170) and Brandon Arnett (195) each claimed titles. Koree' Venus (120) of Bossier was a winner as well while Joshua Wicke (138) of Grand Lake was victorious.

The outstanding wrestler awards went to Dale of Comeaux in Division I, Michael of Holy Cross in Division II and Pelloquin of Basile in Division III.

The event drew 12,837 fans, a new record for the event, eclipsing the previous record of 11,264 set a year ago in Bossier City.

The Pontchartrain Center was bursting at the seams all weekend to handle the crush of the crowd as a record number of 751 wrestlers competed in the event. The LHSAA has signed a deal to return to the Pontchartrain Center the weekend of February 15-17 next year.

Brother Martin, Teurlings Catholic and Brusly were considered the favorites by most to win going into the tournament. They did not disappoint.

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