Status: Fini

Title: Live Oak's "Take Down Blindness" to benefit Baton Rouge Regional Eye Bank
Written by: Virginana Quercus
Date: October 31, 2013

Live Oak's bid for a state championship begins Saturday at their annual "Take Down Blindness" tournament, an event that not only serves as a tune-up for wrestlers in the Greater Baton Rouge area, but also is a fund raiser for the Baton Rouge Regional Eye Bank.

Wrestling starts at 9 a.m.  The scrimmage format includes modified rules to allow everyone to participate and try to work out any kinks before regular season matches begin.  Last year teams from Denham Springs, Central, Episcopal, Parkview Baptist, Plaquemine and St. Amant participated in the event.

Staffers from the Baton Rouge Regional Eye Bank will provide information about the eye bank and encourage attendees to register as organ donors.  All proceeds from the event will benefit the eye bank.

"The Take Down Blindness Tournament is a way for our wrestlers to give something back to the community by educating the public about the benefits of organ donation” said Live Oak head coach Chris Collier. Added Collier, "One of our students last year had a father who was affected by organ donation and had a corneal transplant."

The Eagles return a veteran squad from last season's team, which placed third in the Louisiana Division II State Wrestling Championships last February.  Seniors Seth Bosarge, Jacob Chenevert, both returning Division II state champions, and two-time defending Division II state champion Cody Hill, will lead a talented and experienced team that is considered a top contender for the Division II team championship.  Junior Colt Olinde was a state runner-up in 2013 and classmate Brody Bonura placed fourth.

Live Oak first dabbled in wrestling in 1953, finishing 4th out of 10 teams.  The current program started in 2008 and has grown impressively under the tutelage of head coach Chris Collier, assistant coaches Kenny Whittle and the founder of the Live Oak Wrestling Club in 2007, Norvin Hill.

Teurlings Catholic of Baton Rouge is considered the Eagles' primary competition for the Division II title. 

"I'm very excited about the upcoming season” said Coach Collier.  “We finally have all the pieces in place to make a serious push for a state championship as a team and not just an outside shot.  We have the core of our state placers as well as a strong supporting cast.  Our coaching staff has done a great job with the off season as far as prepping the wrestlers for the upcoming season.”

The school moved to a new facility in December of 2012, which includes a wrestling practice room and locker area.  Upgraded wrestling mats have been purchased with money raised by the program.  

"It is nice to have a place that we can call our own.  It gives our team an area that we can take pride in and train without distraction” said Collier.

Live Oak's official season begins Saturday November 9 when the Eagles travel to St Michael for the Warrior Open.  A full Live Oak schedule may be found on the "Schedules & LHSAA Date" section under "High School Schedules."

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