Late entry Brother Martin runs away with Trygg Memorial; four "undefeateds" fall; third time's the charm for Florida's Pickren
December 9th, 2013 | Written by: Editor Complete Brackets in PDF
Brother Martin rarely goes to the Trygg Memorial.  In the early days of the event the Crusaders opted for the De la Salle "Big Eight," which pitted the top eight Division I teams from the previous year's state tournament that could schedule it.  More recently they have been attending the Blackhorse Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee.  But after they travelled to Memphis and destroyed Christian Brothers 62-6 in a Wednesday night dual meet, the Blackhorse was cancelled due to inclement weather on Thursday.  Preferring not to wait another week for their next scheduled match against Catholic, the Crusaders, at the last minute of Thursday's registration deadline, entered the Trygg.

They dominated the event.  They scored 317 points and had 12 finalists (11 from their "A" squad and one from their "C" squad).  They had 10 champions, at one point winning five weight classes in a row.  Only one weight class did not have a Crusader place in the top four spots.
106 113 120 126 132 138 145 152 160 170 182 195 220 285
The 2013 Trygg Memorial champion Brother Martin Crusaders 
A surprise team runner-up finish went to Pearl River, which edged out St. Paul's 133 to 121.  While the Rebels had no champions (only three weight classes were won by schools other than Brother Martin) they had three runners-up, one third and one fourth place winners.

Four previously undefeated grapplers lost their first matches, two in one weight class.  First, Brother Martin's Yehia Riles lost in the first round at 195 pounds to Covington's Brendan Allen, who was also undefeated.  In the 145 pounds finals, South Walton's Cody Pickren marred Brother Martin's Danny Evans' 14-0 start to the season.  At 160 pounds, Tanner Leblanc of St. Paul's was defeated by De la Salle's Alex Martin.  Two matches later, it was Allen's turn to fall, losing by a point to Travis Viener of the Crusader-C squad.  Taylor Gambill (126), Paul Klein (132) and Mason Williams (152) of the Crusaders, and Belle Chasse's Robert Kennedy (285) remained undefeated after participating in the Trygg.
The 2013 Trygg Memorial runner-up Pearl River Rebels Tournament director and Grace King Coach Roberto Furtado presents the "Ray Gremillion Coaching Distinction Award" to St. Paul's coach Craig Ketelsen. Pearl River's Jacob Spohrer received the "Philip J. Romig Warrior Award.  Spohrer placed second at 195 pounds but was unable to compete in the finals due to an injury.
Brothers Cody and William Pickren made the most of South Walton's trip from Florida to the Trygg, winning the 145 and 106 titles. A young Crusader looks with trepidation at a loose "Happy Fun Ball."

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The Louisiana Wrestling News wishes to apologize to the finalists of the 106, 113 and 120 weight classes for not photographing their matches.  While the editor believes he was present as the matches started, he did not realize the finals had started until the 126 pounds match began.  If anyone has photographs from these matches that they would like published, please forward them to the
106 Pounds
The Seahawks of South Walton High School, located in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, made their finals presence known early.  In a battle of freshmen, William Pickren of the Seahawks defeated Brother Martin's Steven Shields in 3:10.  Earlier this season Pickren won the first annual South Walton Border Wars tournament, while Shields won a Spartan Open championship on November 27th.

Tucker Boesch of Rummel pinned St. Paul's Mason Rader in 0:40 to place third.

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113 Pounds
Brother Martin crowned their first champion when junior Kyle Dunn pinned Fontainebleau's Gabe Peterson in 2:19.  It was the third pin of the day for Dunn, whose only blemish on a record of 4-1 came to teammate Mason Mauro in the Mandeville Open finals.

Grace King's Mauricio Ballesteros defeated Dutchtown's Brandon LeBlanc 11-7 to place third.

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120 Pounds
Brother Martin's next champion was junior Ryan Genco, who scored a 10-1 decision over Pearl River's Matt Mears.  A junior, Genco improved his 2013-14 record to 11-7.  Genco's losses have been against very stiff competition, including Catholic's Mitch Napoli and Jonathan Matthews, and Christian Brothers' Elijah Oliver.  He has a 1-1 record against East Ascension's Jacob Bernard.

St. Paul's Stevie Van Zandt defeated South Walton's Alex Cao 6-5 to place third.

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126 Pounds
Brother Martin sophomore Taylor Gambill extended his undefeated streak to 13 in winning his third tournament of the year.  His opponent was Jesuit's Ben D'Antonio, a 2013 third place winner at the state championships, as well as the winner of the Louisiana Classic and Ken Cole that year.

In what was a close match early, D'Antonio threw Gambill to his back in the first period to open a 5-0 lead, but Gambill reversed and put D'Antonio on his back to end the first round in a 5-5 tie.

Gambill owned the next two rounds in very different ways.

Starting the second round on top, Gambill rode his Blue Jay opponent for the entire round, and near the end placed the Blue Jay on his back to increase his lead to 8-5.  On bottom to start the third period, Gambill escaped and took down D'Antonio in the first 11 seconds to lead 11-5.  After Gambill added two more nearfall points, D'Antonio managed an escape and took Gambill down, reducing Gambill's lead to five at 13-8. But that was all for the Blue Jay as Gambill escaped at the end and prevailed 14-8.

This was D'Antonio's first event of the season, and it is very likely these two will meet each other later in the season.

Justin Sentilles of Brother Martin-A placed third via the 5-match rule, which prevented his match vs. Chalmette's Dano Miller.

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132 Pounds
Crusader Paul Klein has entered three tournaments, winning them all, and has also netted three Outstanding Wrestler Awards.  It could be lamely argued that he gets treated a little differently because he has been a Division I state champion since he was a freshman, and he netted the 2013 Division I OW Award.  But despite the unexpected upsets that occurred during the Trygg Memorial, one fact remains that more than justifies his third OW of the season:

In four matches Klein spent a whole 138 seconds on the mat.  That's just 18 seconds more than a single round of a wrestling match.

He downed Grace King's Perry Juli Hawxhurst in 17 seconds.  Brian Ricks of Destrehan took twice the effort - 34 seconds.  Holy Rosary's James Netherly must have all but exhausted Klein by lasting 66 seconds.  But with a rest after the semifinals, Klein responded with a finals pin over Northshore's Ray Dupre in 21 seconds.

Seven of Klein's nine victories this season have been by falls.  One was by a 15-0 technical fall, and the only opponent to last six minutes with him was two-time Division II state champion Cody Hill of Live Oak, whom Klein defeated 9-3 in the Spartan Open finals.

To borrow from Mel Brooks' 1981 History of the World, Part I, "It's good to be the Klein."

Pearl River's Tim Hillard placed third with a fall in 4:45 over James Nethery of Holy Rosary.

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138 Pounds
Brother Martin junior Blaine Eisensohn took over the 138 pound duties for Austin Meyn for this tournament in impressive fashion, pinning Jesuit's Evan Palmisano in 2:46.  A third place finisher at the St. Michael Warrior Open at 145 pounds, Eisensohn had built a 5-1 lead over his Blue Jay opponent prior to scoring the fall. 

Matthew Rader of St. Paul's defeated James Graham of South Plaquemines 14-4.

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145 Pounds
This was Cody Pickren's third appearance at the Trygg.  The South Walton High School wrestler placed 5th as a freshman in 2011, and was a runner-up to Rummel's two-time defending Division I state champion Matt Calcote in 2012.

Pickren, seeded second, faced top seed Danny Evans of Brother Martin in the finals.  Evans was 14-0 with Mandeville and Griffin championships to his credit.

Evans attacked a single leg early, and managed a takedown in 46 seconds for a 2-0 lead.  Evans then rode Pickren for the remainder of the first period.

On top in the second round, Pickren demonstrated stifling leg rides and held Evans scoreless.  Evans, though, still maintained a 2-0 lead.

Beginning the third round on the bottom, Pickren scored on a stand-up to halve Evans' lead with 1:23 remaining.  Fending off Evans' single-leg attack this time, Pickren upended Evans, spun around and forced Evans to cede a takedown to avoid exposing his back.  Pickren then rode Evans for the remaining 41 seconds to notch his first Trygg Memorial championship.

Dutchtown's Brandon Cowell defeated De la Salle's Dominic Bioc 6-0.

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152 Pounds
This was the second time in a little over a week that Brother Martin's Mason Williams faced Division III state champion Marshall Hill of Parkview Baptist.  In the Spartan Open semifinals the junior Williams defeated Hill 10-1 on his way to a title.  In this match Williams was even more dominant.

Hill started with some quick leg attacks but Williams defended them, waiting to set up an attack of his own.  After starting with a single and switching to a double, Williams was able to turn Hill to his back for nearfall points.  Hill got out of that predicament but could not get away from Williams and his constant arm bars and wrist control.  Williams finally turned Hill with a bar-arm half-nelson to put Hill on his back for good, ending the match with four seconds remaining in the second period.

Williams is now 8-0 on the season.  Hill is 18-4.

Sam Dufour of St. Paul's pinned Allen Blanchard of Pearl River in 1:18 to take third place.

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160 Pounds
In the 2013 Division I State Championships St. Paul's Tanner Leblanc placed third at 152 pounds, a weight class that was dominated by Comeaux's Tyrek Maleveaux all season.  Before the Trygg Finals Leblanc was 18-0 and won championships at the Mandeville Open and the South Florida Border Wars.  His opponent was De la Salle senior Alex Martin, a two-time defending Division III state champion. Martin had a 13-1 record prior to the finals, including a Pearl River Open championship.  Both wrestlers pinned their opponents to reach the finals.

Leblanc dominated the first period with shots to Martin's legs, and with 38 seconds remaining Leblanc scored a takedown for a 2-0 lead.

On bottom for the second period Martin scored a reversal to knot the score at 2-2, taking advantage of Leblanc overriding him. Leblanc escaped and led again 3-2, but this time it was Martin's turn to be the aggressor, and he grabbed a single and lifted Leblanc off of the mat before putting him down again for a takedown, giving Martin a 4-3 lead with 16 seconds left in the second.

Leblanc was on bottom for the third period and, when attempting to use a stand up to escape, Martin lifted him several times off of the mat and gently back on it.  But Leblanc managed to get away for a point and a tied match.  But Martin responded quickly, grabbing and driving a single-leg to the mat for a two point takedown and a 6-4 victory.


Chase Menendez of Destrehan pinned Alex Guchereau of Rummel in 4:36 to place third.

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170 Pounds
Brother Martin's Nick Comardelle wrestled his freshman year but skipped the next two seasons.  Now a senior, he is performing very impressively and entered the Trygg with 11 wins against only three losses.  His opponent for the finals was Pearl River's junior Jason Moran.  Moran came into the tournament with a 12-3 record.

Each wrestler had two victories on the day, and each won via pins and decisions to make the finals.

The senior Comardelle remembers his freshman year well and showed it early against the Rebel junior.  Comardells took down Moran and immediately started working his opponent over to his back.  Near the end of the second period Comardelle was already enjoying a 7-1 lead when he put Moran on his back to stay, getting the pin at 4:00 as time ran out.

De la Salle's Logan Silve defeated St. Paul's Chase Cochran 9-1 to place third.

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182 Pounds
Nobody seems to know why two very competent and undefeated wrestlers would meet in the first round of the tournament.  Brother Martin's Yehia Riles, a junior, entered the tournament 10-0 with titles at Mandeville and the Spartan.  How he was matched with Covington's Brendan Allen, who was 4-0 and had a Mandeville championship to his credit, in the first round, is unknown.  But Allen did not seem to mind, pinning Riles in 4:31.

Allen's 4-0 record included wins at the Mandeville Open against Holy Cross' Porter Dazet and Brother Martin's Travis Viener, whom he defeated 14-4.

Viener, as it turned out, made the finals for the Crusader-C squad.  With the loss to Allen Viener still held a 6-1 record, also had a Griffin Open title to his credit.

But this was different.  It was a close match in which the wrestlers traded scores evenly.  In the third round Allen was on top but trailing 8-7.  Allen put his legs in and tried banana splits and guillotines, but Viener never yielded enough to lose points.  The score remained 8-7 for Viener as the match ended.

Viener is now 10-1 while Allen is 7-1, with both of their losses coming from the other.

Yehia Riles of Brother Martin-A defeated Grace King's Aaron Maddox 12-1 to place third.

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195 Pounds
Brother Martin's Josh Tapia won the finals due to a forfeit.  Pearl River's Jacob Spohrer made it to the finals, but he injured himself in the process.  In the end his coaches decided he should not wrestle again, but for wanting to he received the "Phillip J. Romig Warrior Award," bestowed upon a wrestler deemed unwilling to yield in the face of adversity.

Tapia had a good tournament, anyway.  In his three matches before the finals he pinned his opponents in 42, 41 and 63 seconds apiece.

Fisher's Matt Adams and Riverdale's Corey Stutson tied for third place due to the 5-match rule.

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220 Pounds
In a grueling match between the two wrestlers, Jacob Clapp of Brother Martin prevailed with a pin as the second round buzzer sounded over Belle Chasse's Logan Thompson. 

The senior Thompson entered the tournament with an 11-2 record, having won the Warrior and Central opens and placing fourth to Tapia in the Spartan.  Clapp, only a sophomore, was 3-1

Thomspon started the scoring with a first round takedown but Clapp refused to quit and tied the score 2-2 a minute into the second round.  Williams scored two more points on a reversal, but Clapp answered with a reversal of his own and two back points.  In the end Clapp caught Thompson trying a roll and kept him on his back, scoring a fall in 4:00.

Destrehan's David Thompson defeated Dutchtown's Travis Goodman 4-0 to place third.

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285 Pounds
Belle Chasse was not finished, however, as Robert Kennedy took to the mat against Brother Martin's Matthew Montalbano.  After receiving two forfeits so far this season, this was the first event in which Kennedy, a senior, was able to actually wrestle.  Montalbano, a sophomore, had a 6-2 record, although one loss was a forfeit in the consolation finals of the Spartan Open.

The Cardinal was too strong and fast for the younger Crusader.  Shooting a single leg in the first nine seconds, Kennedy completed the takedown and worked Montalbano to his back, ending in a reverse-Nelson hold.  Kennedy used that to score a fall in 1:29.

Jalen Haydel of De la Salle pinned Dutchtown's Josh Miller in 1:48 to place third.

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