Fini Finalement
Outstanding Ken Cole Invitational clears up little re state seeding
February 9th, 2014 | Written by: Editor | Contributors: Guy Patron, Sr., Coach Trey Duhon, Mr. Bryce Wilson, Mr. Bernard Pacheco*
*  Despite his mammoth ego the editor knows full well he cannot accurately keep track of everything that occurs during a wrestling event of any size, and this year's Ken Cole Memorial had a little more to it that other events covered by the Louisiana Wrestling News.  The editor encourages anyone to submit information on circumstances the editor incorrectly related to the reader.  It is the opinion of the editor that publishing correct information is much more valuable than being the first to publish information and is the best way to serve the wrestlers, their coaches and the wrestling community in general.  This by far includes blunt spelling errors, typographical and grammatical errors, as proofreading becomes hard to do after ten edits and Word's grammar and spell checking tool is not familiar with the vernacular of wrestling - fresh eyes are a huge help.


The Brother Martin Crusaders needed a big stage to garner seeding strength for the state championship on February 21st-22nd after they were forced to take off three weeks and miss the Louisiana Classic.  Luckily, a lot of other teams needed to do the exact same thing.

Fifty-seven teams, the largest field ever seen in the 37 previous years of the event, participated in the Ken Cole Invitational at Comeaux High School in Lafayette on January 31st and February 1st.  The previous record was 54 teams in 2010, and that included two teams from Texas.  The 2014 event was represented by one out of state school, Ocean Springs, MS, but the Greyhounds only brought one competitor.

The Crusaders placed seven wrestlers in the finals and came away with four championships, outpacing runner-up Holy Cross (three championships) by 60 points and third place finisher Brusly (one champion) by 125 points.  Jesuit (one champion) placed fourth, followed by East Ascension (1 champion), Live Oak, Teurlings Catholic, Comeaux, Dutchtown and Airline.  The other schools who had champions crowned were De la Salle, Byrd and Belle Chasse.

2014 Ken Cole Invitational Champions - Brother Martin Crusaders
Runners-Up - Holy Cross Tigers
Third Place - Brusly Panthers

What was a little odd about this tournament is that it further muddled, rather than cleared up, the state seeding picture.  Upsets were common.  Six top seeds fell (106, 120, 126, 132, 182 and 195).  Two third seeds (106 and 182) and one sixth seed (120) won.  Suffice to say it added to the importance of the February 7th and 8th events, as well as the few events that follow.

Elaine and Byron Guidroz received a plaque in recognition of their years of service running the Ken Cole Invitational, as well as several other tournaments across Louisiana.
Holy Cross' George Benoit (138 lbs. - left) received the Outstanding Wrestler Award in the lighter weight classes for his defeat of Brother Martin's Paul Klein.  Belle Chasse's Robert Kennedy (285 lbs. - center) won the Outstanding Wrestler Award in the heavier weight classes for his decision over Northside's O'Shea Dugas.  Northshore's Ray Dupuy at 132 lbs. won the "Most Pins/Least Time" Award with five pins in 7:05 in the 132 lbs. weight class.  Bobby Badeaux, the LPSS Director of Athletics and Physical Education accepted the award on behalf of Mr. Dupuy (right).
Makenzie Mouton of Comeaux High School (left) earns a Grammy nomination for her rendition of the National Anthem before the start of Saturday's finals matches.  The "Happiest Grandfather" Award (center) goes to Mr. Danny Rousselle, the grandfather of 126 lbs. champion Taylor Gambill of Brother Martin.  Another Gambill relative, cousin Ryder Rousselle (right), gets the equivalent of Hockey's Lady Bing trophy (awarded annually to the "Most Gentlemanly Player) for his determination to not disrupt the editor's videotaping of the finals matches by ducking under the camera, which was on a tripod almost as tall as the young man himself.

It took a while to determine, among too many photographs in which they appeared, what the big white columns in some of the photos were (left).  Then I found this one which explained it. This will not be a problem at the state championships, but a little consideration for a 51-year-old spine would be appreciated.  There were plenty of venues available to simply watch the action on two mats but only so many exist to get any decent photographs of it.

As promised - "The Huntington Group" (right).

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