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"Four" is the winning number at the 2015 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships
April 25, 2015 | Written by: Editor; Photographs by Editor and Camille Tyra


Division I Division II Division III All-Academic & Golden Whistle Awards Paul Klein George Benoit

"Four" is definitely a magic number for the 2015 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships:

°   Robert Dauterive's Brother Martin Crusaders won their fourth consecutive Division I team title;
°   Teurlings Catholic in Division II and Brusly in Division III each won their fourth team titles in the last five years;
°   Paul Klein of the Crusaders won his fourth consecutive Division I state championship;
°   Holy Cross' George Benoit, a runner-up for three consecutive years, won a Division I title in his fourth and last state finals match;
°   Four wrestlers went undefeated on the season.,

The championship teams remained the same as they were in 2014, as did two runner-up teams and 13 individuals.

Division I Team Champions
Brother Martin
Division II Team Champions
Teurlings Catholic
Division III Team Champions

Klein, Benoit, Kendrick Jones of Hahnville and Ethan Eisenhardt of Fontainebleau went undefeated (including out-of-state matches for Klein and Benoit) during the course of the 2014-15 season.  Brother Martin's Steven Shields, Jesuit's Ben D'Antonio and Brother Martin's Yehia Riles were undefeated against Louisiana opponents.

Shields, a Crusader sophomore, won his second Division I state title and is well on his way to following in Klein's footsteps as another Crusader to win four in a row.

Teurlings Catholic junior Brock Bonin is one more championship away from matching Brusly's Tim Leblanc, Chad Buras of Buras, Carmen Cortez of Basile, Brad Macha of Redemptorist, Ernie Payton of Hackberry and Micah Easley and Cade Felps of Zachary, to win four consecutive Division II state championships.

Brusly's Austin Franklin and Kendon Kayser, both sophomores, are now both two-time Division III state champions, and are halfway through matching the feats of fellow Panthers Austin and Trevor Schermer, by winning four consecutive Division III state championships.

Repeating as state champions in Division I were Brother Martin's Steven Shields, Paul Klein and Yehia Riles, as well as Hahnville's Kendrick Jones.  In Division II Live Oak's Colt Olinde, Brock Bonin of Teurlings Catholic and Parkway's Zach Funderburk successfully defended their 2014 titles.  In Division III Brusly's Austin Franklin, Kendon Kayser and Koby Mancuso defended titles they won in 2014.

Additionally, Shaw's Mason Mauro won the 126 lbs. championship in Division II.  In the previous two seasons he won individual Division I titles as a Brother Martin Crusader.  Basile's Raymond Bushnell, injured prior to the state tournament last season, took home his third Division III title in four years.

All-Academic and Golden Whistle Award

The 2014-15 All-Academic Wrestling Award Winners  2015 Golden Whistle Award Winner - Jeff Domangue 

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Division I

Brother Martin head coach Robert Dauterive (left) with assistant coach James Casadaban during the state finals.  This event marked Dauterive's seventh state Championship at Brother Martin.
For the fourth year in a row Robert Dauterive's Brother Martin Crusaders proved they were the best team in the state by taking the Division I team championship 310 points, 39.5 points over runner-up Jesuit. 

The Crusaders had seven finalists and three champions - all repeaters - including Paul Klein who won an unprecedented fourth state title in a row.  Sophomore Steven Shields and senior Yehia Riles won their second consecutive state championships.  Mason Mauro, a two-time Division I state championship for the Crusaders, took home a Division II state championship for Archbishop Shaw.  The Crusaders had four other wrestlers in final matches: seniors Mason Williams and Danny Evans, and juniors Steven Rumney and Pierce Williams.

The Crusaders won the Big Twelve tournament in Houston, the Dutchtown Griffin Open and the Stewart Schay Blackhorse in Tennessee before hosting the Trey Culotta.  In that they expected to be challenged by Allen High School of Texas, but ended up winning by 61 points.  In the semifinals of the Deep South Bayou Duals the Crusaders dominated an Oklahoma team which placed third in Oklahoma's Class 5A in 2014.  In the finals they thrashed the defending Alabama 6A champions from Thompson High School in Alabama 55-15 for their second consecutive win at than event.  The Crusaders finished second to the #1 team in the nation (Wyoming Seminary) at the Holy Innocents Prep Slap and then routed the competition at the Louisiana Classic and the St. Paul's Open.

The Jesuit Blue Jays, however, surprised a lot of people by finishing second by one point over the Holy Cross Tigers, after a season in which Holy Cross beat the Blue Jays soundly in the Louisiana Classic, the Mandeville Open, the GNO Championships and 39-20 in a dual meet.  Jesuit had three state champions: senior Brody Martin at 106 lbs., senior Ben D'Antonio (his second) at 120 lbs. and senior Dominic Carmello at 285 lbs.  The Blue Jays had runners-up in Joseph Dupre (a surprise finalist after a surprising Ken Cole victory as an unseeded and non-scoring participant) and junior Guy Patron, Jr. 

Jesuit eked out second place by unexpected performances, including the second-place finish by the fourth-seeded Dupre, a third-place finish (and major decision) by fourth-seeded Max Grosch, a fourth-place finish by seventh-seeded Jake Rovira, and a third-place finish (and a major decision) by fifth-seeded Will Lafranca.

Holy Cross had the most state champions with four: seniors George Benoit, Dylan Soileau and Brice Duhe, and sophomore Jake Rando.  Junior Beau Bush and sophomore Joey Foret placed second. 

After the Crusaders thrashed the runner-up Tigers in the Louisiana Classic by 122.5 points, five of the most experienced Tigers dropped weight classes to try to increase their chances to win the Division I team title.  The strategy worked as the Tigers won the Ken Cole, as they did the Spartan Open and, for all practicable purposes, the Mandeville Open, but four of the five wrestlers (Beau Bush, Collin Guerra, Dylan Soileau and Jake Rando) were placed in opposite halves of the brackets than the Brother Martin entrants.  They all finished as seeded or higher, but none kept their Brother Martin counterparts out of the finals (although Jesuit and St. Paul's wrestlers knocked off two of them).

The remaining Division I state champions were Hahnville's Kenderick Jones (his second), Rummel freshman Josh Ramirez, Airline sophomore Christian Walden and Fontainebleau senior Ethan Eisenhardt.

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Complete Division I Brackets Set in PDF
Division I Champions - Brother Martin Crusaders
Division I Runners-up - Jesuit Blue Jays
Place Team Points
1 Brother Martin 310
2 Jesuit 270.5
3 Holy Cross 269.5
4 Catholic 187
5 Rummel 180
6 St. Paul's 164.5
7 Hahnville 143.5
8 Airline 141.5
9 Fontainebleau 141
10 Comeaux 120.5
11 St. Amant 99
12 Baton Rouge 93
T-13 McKinley 76
T-13 Zachary 76
15 Dutchtown 73.5
16 Lafayette 70.5
17 East Ascension 57.5
18 Mandeville 56
19 Sulphur 52.5
20 John Ehret 36
21 Covington 35
22 Destrehan 32
23 Acadiana 27
24 Barbe 22
25 Chalmette 19
26 Northshore 15
27 Denham Springs 9
T-28 C.E. Byrd 7
T-28 Bonnabel 1
30 Walker 1
31 L.W. Higgins 0

Klein wins fourth Division I state title and second state Outstanding Wrestler award

Brother Martin senior Paul Klein won his fourth consecutive Division I state championship (photo right), and second Division I Outstanding Wrestler award (photo left), with a 10-5 victory over Holy Cross' Joey Foret, who was the #2 seed.

With the exception of Foret (so far as he is only a sophomore) each wrestler Klein beat in a finals would or had previously won Division I state championships (Capella in 2013, Dale in 2011, Benoit in 2015.)

Compiling a record of 37-0 in the 2014-15 season, Klein won the Cinco Ranch Big 12, the Dutchtown Griffin Open, the Stewart Schay Blackhorse Invitational, the Trey Culotta Invitational (his 3rd), the Holy Innocents Prep Slam VII, the Louisiana Classic (his 2nd) and the St. Paul's Invitational during his only undefeated season.
Klein's four state championships:
*2012 @ 106 lbs.:
Over #1 Capella of Jesuit 4-0
2013 at 120 lbs.:
Over #2 Dale of Comeaux in 1:07
2014 at 132 lbs.:
Over #1 Benoit of Holy Cross 3-1
2015 @ 132 lbs.:
Over #2 Foret of Holy Cross 10-5

Note: Jimmy Vidrine of Basile never lost a match and won five state championships from 1960-1964.  However, that was in a timespan in which only a maximum of six teams participated in the sport.
* This is actually a photo of a dual meet district championship match in which Capella defeated Klein and thus earned the #1 seed at the state championships.  Klein, however, defeated Capella in the state finals match.

Benoit finally breaks through with a championship

A pensive Benoit finally atop the state awards podium
After disappointing state finals matches in 2012, 2013 and 2014, Holy Cross' George Benoit finally landed a state championship, and a big one at that.  Benoit defeated the returning 2014 Division I state champion Matthew Mire of Catholic, 13-5, capping off a perfect 29-0 season which included tournament wins at the Mandeville Open, the Spartan Open, the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, the Louisiana Classic and the Greater New Orleans Championships prior to the state championships.
2012 State Championships: Seeded #2 in Division II, Benoit lost to Live Oak's Cody Hill 9-3.
Ken Cole Finals match won by Benoit 3-1 in SV A rare sight: Klein not at the top of a podium
2013 State Championships: Seeded first by defeating #2 Seth Bosarge of Live Oak twice, Bosarge won his first Division II state championship with a 3-2 win.  Late in the 2013-14 season, Benoit ventured where nobody else wanted to go - 132 lbs.  Then, 2xDI state champion Paul Klein was undefeated.   In the Ken Cole finals, Benoit gave Klein his only loss of the season 3-1 in SV. 2014 State Championships: While seeded first in the 2014 state tournament, Benoit came up short against Klein 3-1.  2015 State Championships: Benoit dominated the 152 lbs. weight class, including three wins over Mire: 9-3, 10-8 and a 13-5 finals win 

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50 years ago Brother Melchior's Holy Cross Tigers won their 20th team championship at the NOAC.
03-13-65 03-21-65 03-25-65 03-30-65

25 years ago Coach Sam Harnsongkram's Jesuit Blue Jays won their third consecutive and 11th overall Division I state championship.
02-10-90 02-10-90 02-10-90 02-11-90  02-11-90  02-11-90  02-12-90

10 years ago Coach Mark Strickland's Jesuit Blue Jays won their second consecutive Division I championship.  Additionally, Mandeville's Caleb Levee, after missing all but the final week of the season due to a football injury, successfully defended his Division I title from 2004 as the fifth-seed of the 130 lbs. weight class.
02-13-05 02-13-05 02-13-05 02-13-05 02-13-05

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Division II


Teurlings Catholic, behind state champions Brock Bonin and Travis Santiago, as well as seven runners-up, won their fourth Division II championship in five years under coaches Kent Masson and Brad Macha.  The Rebels scored 285 points, comfortably ahead of runner-up Shaw with 211 points and third-place Live Oak with 180 points.

Paul Hatty's Archbishop Shaw team, albeit with only one state champion in senior Mason Mauro, placed second with 211 points, tying their highest place since the 2009 state championships.

Complete Division II Brackets Set in PDF
Division II Champions - Teurlings Catholic Rebels
Division II Runners-up - Shaw Eagles
Place Team Points
1 Teurlings Catholic 285
2 Shaw 211
3 Live Oak 180
4 Parkway 162.5
5 Sam Houston 100.5
6 Belle Chasse 91
7 Carencro 84
T-8 North DeSoto 82
T-8 Rayne 82
10 Huntington 72.5
T-11 Grace King 69
T-11 Pearl River 69
13 Northside 68
14 Central 65
T-15 Benton 59
T-15 Haughton 59
17 St. Thomas More 55
18 St. Michael 54
19 Bossier 53
20 Northwood 39
21 Riverdale 34
22 East Jefferson 30

With three state champions - Colt Olinde (his second), Brody Bonura and Nicholas Simoneaux - Live Oak placed third with 180 points.

Division II Outstanding Wrestler Cozinski Alfred of Northside
Third-seeded Cozinski Alfred of Northside trailed Teurlings Catholic's #1 seed Kynan Sonnier for all but the last seven seconds of the match.  Near the end of regulation a scoring foul-up was corrected and the two found themselves tied at 7-7.  Alfred scored the takedown in the Sudden Victory period for the win.

After a first round forfeit Alfred won his quarterfinal match in 0:31 and his semifinal match by a 16-7 major decision.

Alfred placed fifth in 2013 and fourth in 2014.

25 years ago Coach Pat Davis' Buras Wildcats won their fourth consecutive Division II state championship.
02-10-90  02-11-90  02-11-90  02-12-90 

10 years ago Northside High school of Lafayette, behind state championships by Keven Brooks, Javand Duhon and Dustin Glover, successfully defended their 2004 Division II team championship.

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Division III


Coach Jimmy Bible's Brusly Panthers won their 11th Division III championship (Brusly's 13th, including two by Coach Camille Plaisance's Division II teams in 1995and 1996).  The Panthers scored 247 points, 52 more than runner-up De la Salle.

For the second year in a row Coach Rod Cusach's De la Salle Cavaliers were the Division III runners-up, scoring 195 points, 52 points behind champion Brusly.  That's a far cry from the 167 points the Panthers had on De la Salle last year.

Complete Division III Brackets Set in PDF
Division III Champions - Brusly Panthers
Division III Runners-up - De la Salle Cavaliers
Place Team Points
1 Brusly 247
2 De la Salle 195
3 North Vermillion 150.5
4 Basile 141
5 Dunham 108.5
6 Kaplan 103.5
7 Episcopal 93
8 Ouachita Christian 92
9 South Plaquemines 91.5
10 Lakeside 79
11 Thomas Jefferson 64.5
12 St. Louis 62
13 Evangel 56
14 Fisher 45
15 John Curtis 32
16 Crescent City 24.5
17 Doyline 24
18 Leesville 21
T-19 Redemptorist 19
T-19 South Cameron 19
21 Grand Lake 16
22 Church Point 14
23 Loyola Prep. 13
24 University Lab 7
25 LA School for the Visually Impaired 4
T-26 Eunice 3
T-26 Holy Rosary 3

Division III Outstanding Wrestler Raymond Bushnell of Basile
Raymond Bushnell in the 2013 Division III state finals

Bushnell won his third Division III state championship via falls in 1:46, 1:40 and 3:54.  During the season Bushnell posted a 23-5 record and won the St. Michael Warrior Open, the Central Wildcat Open, the Evangel Eagle Open, the Jacob McMillan Memorial and the Brusly Invitational.  Injured at the Louisiana Classic, Bushnell took off five weeks to heal before the state championships.

In his eight matches in three LHSAA Division III State Wrestling Tournaments, Bushnell only failed to pin his 2012 finals opponent, whom he defeated 7-3.  No other opponents reached the third period against Bushnell.

Bushnell also won Division III titles in 2012 and 2013.

10 years ago Coach Jimmy Bible's Brusly Panthers won their third Division III title behind state championships by Garrett Couvillon, Cody Rodriguez and Jake Leveron.

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