Catholic Duals should provide stiff early season test
December 1st, 2012

Eight teams will converge on Catholic High School in Baton Rouge today for the Catholic Duals.  Six Division I participants include last year's state-runner-up Catholic, 4th-place finisher Jesuit, East Ascension, Hahnville, St. Amant and Zachary.  Added to the fray are Live Oak, third in Division II last year and one of the favorites to win it this year, and perennial Division III powerhouse Brusly.  The format will consist of two four-team round-robin brackets.  For the final matches, the bracket winners will square off against each other, as will each team that finished 2nd through 4th in each bracket.

Last season Catholic went undefeated in this event at 5-0.  Jesuit placed 2nd and Holy Cross 3rd, each with 4-1 dual meet records.

Catholic has not lost a dual meet this season, with victories over Dutchtown, St. Amant, Rummel, Teurlings Catholic and Comeaux.  They have also won the only two tournaments they have entered: the Central Invitational and the East Ascension Spartan Open.  The Bears are led by returning senior state champion Brandon Luckett (11-1 at 160), juniors Phillip Nauta (11-3 at 120), James Claitor (5-0 at 138) and Brennan Taylor (12-2 at 126).

Losses by the Bears do not come easily.  Luckett's sole blemish is a 10-8 loss to two-time defending state champion Tyrek Malveaux.  Nauta's losses include a disqualification against Wade Nash of Brother Martin and an overtime loss to Rummel's Tyler Mire, who is 11-1 this season.  Taylor, who was injured during last season's state tournament, lost early in the season, in the finals of the St. Michael Warrior Open, to defending Division II state champion Cody Hill of Live Oak.  Since then he has defeated Hill in the finals of the Central Open and East Ascension Spartan Open tournament finals, and on the way pinned returning 120# state champion and state Outstanding Wrestler Jacob Dale of Comeaux.  His second loss came last week in a sudden victory period against Rummel's two-time defending state champion Matt Calcote.

Live Oak enters the event with a decisive win at the Dutchtown Griffin Open and third-place finishes at the Central and East Ascension tournaments.  Hill, a junior, has 16 wins vs. his two losses to Taylor, including victories over Dale and Calcote.  Jacob Chenevert (10-3 at 106), Seth Bosarge, a returning Division II runner-up (7-2 at 138) and sophomore Brody Bonura (11-4 at 195) are just a few of Live Oak's weapons.

Jesuit has not entered a Louisiana team-scoring tournament this year, but performed impressively at the Warrior Open, the Mandeville Open and the Fontainebleau Bulldog Duals.  Senior and 2012 state runner-up Mitch Capella is 9-0 at 133 pounds.  Manny Armour, another senior, and is 8-0 at 220 pounds.  Armour placed third in the 2012 state tournament at 195 pounds, which could almost be considered winning a non-recognized weight class, as it included Brother Martin senior Gerard Roman and eventual winner and three-time state champion Scott Gibbons.  Junior Nicky Charles is 8-1 at 106 pounds and Gaston Eymard, at 152 pounds, is 11-1 and was able to avenge his only loss against Brother Martin's Logan Labry.

East Ascension should have strong showings by Jacob Bernard (113) and Mike Bernard (145), as well as heavyweight Conor Karwath, who won the Griffin Open and placed 2nd at the Spartan.

St. Amant senior Kade Siears (138) has nine victories this year against seven losses.  He placed 2nd at Central and 4th at the Griffin.  Siears will have a great opportunity to "get even" today, though, as four of the wrestlers he lost to should be in the competition.

Zachary heavyweight Ty Simpson is 5-1, losing to East Ascension's Karwath in the finals of the Griffin Open, but avenging the loss in the finals at the Spartan Open.  The Broncos are young but promising, as their JV squad won the JV Division of the Spartan.

Brusly returns Division III state champions in juniors Baret Sanchez (120) and Trevor Schermer (132).  Sanchez is 7-2 with a championship at the Griffin Open, and a 3rd-place tie at the Warrior Open, which included a 6-1 OT victory over Catholic's Nauta in the quarterfinals.  Schermer is 8-1, with his only loss to Holy Cross' George Benoit at 138 pounds in the finals of the Warrior Open.  He won the Griffin Open at 132 pounds with a pin over Jorge Sanchez of Helen Cox in 2:22.  (That was Sanchez' first loss of the season after winning the St. Michael and Mandeville tournaments.)

 Wrestling is scheduled to begin on four mats at 1:45 p.m.

SOURCES:    TrackWrestling and LHSWA.

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© 2012 by Martin Muller

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