Catholic has what it takes to challenge the Crusaders
December 11th, 2013 | Written by: Editor

Catholic will attempt to do something Wednesday evening no wrestling team has done since last December - beat Brother Martin in a dual meet.  It took a team from Oklahoma to do that in 2012.  The last time a Louisiana team defeated Brother Martin was probably in the 2009-10 season when Rummel won the state tournament and Brother Martin finished only fifth.  (Information on that season is very sparse on the Louisiana High School Wrestling Archives, a problem to remedy with further library research.)

The match is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. in the Brother Martin gymnasium.

The Bears are evenly matched with the Crusaders re returning state champions (two apiece), but Brother Martin has proved as dominating this season as they did in 2012-13.

Four Crusaders expected to start are undefeated.  Five others only have one loss on the season.  Catholic has three undefeated wrestlers in defending state champion James Claitor, Matthew Moreau and K.J. Wilson.  Brennan Taylor, Catholic's other returning state champion, has only one loss in 20 matches.  That loss, however, was to Austin Meyn of the Crusaders (whom Taylor defeated in the 2013 state finals), whose record this season is 12-0.  The other undefeated Crusaders are Taylor Gambill, two-time defending state champion Paul Klein and Mason Williams.

The red boxes indicate a Brother Martin wrestler is a heavy favorite.  The orange boxes indicate a Catholic wrestler is a heavy favorite.  They green boxes indicate that this should be a close match between the wrestlers, either one of whom could win.  Such predictions cannot be guaranteed, of course, but are reasonable based on 2013-14 season records to date.  To have chance at beating the Crusaders the favored Bear wrestlers will need pins, as will the Bears who win the yellow boxes.

The lineups below are the Louisiana Wrestling News' best guess as to who will be in the varsity lineups Wednesday night.  They are based on the wrestlers' records and their recent activity, but are not definite.

Weight Catholic Record Brother Martin Record Head-to-Head Edge Reason
106 Jonathan Bradley 7-5 Steven Shields 12-2 Shields 13-8 Shields Head-to-head win.  The Crusaders have a slew of talented wrestlers at 106 and Shields has earned his starting role.
113 Nate Chopin 3-7 Mason Mauro 5-1 None Mauro Mauro is a 2013 state champion whose only loss came to the runner-up he defeated.
120 Joshua Matthews 12-2 Ryan Genco 12-7 Matthews 6-1 Matthews Head-to-head win.  Genco has been a dependable replacement for senior Wade Nash, but Matthews has been "on a tear" since an early season 8-5 loss to Brusly's Baret Sanchez, including a subsequent victory over Sanchez and wins over teammate Mitch Napoli and East Ascension's Jacob Bernard.
126 Dominic Dewey. 5-2 Taylor Gambill 13-0 None Gambill The sophomore Gambill is starting 2013-14 as he did 2012-13 in which he ran-off 27 wins against only two losses to wrestlers not from Louisiana.
132 Brandon Fontenot 10-7 Paul Klein 13-0 None Klein Klein has simply been unstoppable this season. 
138 Brennan Taylor 19-1 Austin Meyn 12-0 Meyn 7-1 Meyn Head-to-head win.  This could be very close, though.  Taylor suffered a severe head cut prior to his match with Meyn.  Meyn had a 3-0 advantage in 2012-13 until the state finals.
145 James Claitor 5-0 Danny Evans 14-1 None Claitor Claitor lacks any recent experience in losing to Louisiana competition.  He may only have a 5-0 record due to cross-country competition, but one win was a 6-4 victory over Brusly's Trevor Schermer.
152 Matthew Mire 13-3 Mason Williams 9-0 Williams 5-3 Williams Williams owns a head-to-head win from the Spartan Open, but required a takedown in a Sudden Victory period to win.  Mire's other two losses were against stellar competition in Jesuit's Efosa Eboigbe and Brusly's Trevor Schermer.
160 Morgan Root 13-8 Travis Quarterman. 11-2 None Quarterman Root showed a lot of potential by placing 4th at last season's Ken Cole, but the Texas transfer Quarterman has dropped a weight class, and his two losses were to Holy Cross' Brice Duhe at 170 pounds.
170 Matthew Moreau 4-0 Nick Comardelle 13-3 None Moreau Moreau is 4-0 and won the Greater Baton Rouge championship in 2013. He also has a win over Live Oak's Brody Bonura, who defeated Comardelle in early November.  A senior who had not wrestled since his freshman year, Comardelle is getting better and now has a Trygg championship to his credit.
182 Nicholas Danna 2-2 Yehia Riles 13-1 None Riles Riles, a 2013 state runner-up, suffered his first loss last weekend at the Trygg Memorial.  Another one any time soon is unlikely.
195 Braedon Smith 2-4 Josh Tapia 9-1 None Tapia Tapia's only loss was to C.E. Byrd's Quin Gillian, who has not lost this season.
220 Connor Ortego 5-6 Jacob Clapp 6-1 None Clapp Clapp beat Belle Chasse's Logan Thompson, a 2013 Division II runner-up, at the Trygg and his only setback was also to Quin Gillian.  Thompson defeated Ortego at the Warrior Open.
285 K.J. Wilson 3-0 Matthew Montalbano 8-3 None Wilson Wilson has a "quality win" over Hahnville's Blade Rager.  Montalbano shows a lot of promise though, as evidenced in his finals appearance at the Trygg.

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