Holy Cross handles Jesuit for the GNO Catholic League championship
February 2nd, 2017| Written by: Editor



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Jesuit's visit to Holy Cross Wednesday night was more than just a dual meet between two of the favorite Division I programs heading to Bossier City next week for the 2017 State Wrestling Championships.

It was a spectacle of the finest kind.

School pride was exhibited as the Holy Cross side of the gym was packed with students and parents.  Jesuit pride was also abundant, as the Jesuit cheering section took up more than half of the Jesuit side bleachers. 

Holy Cross (left) and Jesuit (right) fans packed the Holy Cross gym on Friday for the Holy Cross-Jesuit wrestling match

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Prior to the wrestling, seniors on the Holy Cross team honored their parents with flowers and a walk through a corridor of cheerleaders, while a tribute to parents was read recognizing the influence and help the parents of wrestlers provide for their children.

Next, the home team came roaring through a cheerleader-held paper sign, much like a college football team does when they are ready to start a game.

The cheerleaders' corridor for the introductions of seniors and their parents (left).  The break-away sign through with the Tigers entered the gym after warm-ups (right)

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Mother and fathers honored by their sons and Holy Cross

More importantly, this was a gym full of parents, fans and wrestlers who showed interest in reviving the Greater New Orleans Catholic league championship, and the pride associated with winning it.  The schools contending for the Catholic League championship are Holy Cross, Jesuit, Brother Martin, Rummel and Shaw.

Pre-match lineups: Holy Cross (left) and Jesuit (right)

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Much has been written and said about Brother Martin not caring about the Catholic League title, as they sent their second squad to Holy Cross for their scheduled dual meet.  Some have opined that since the Crusaders lost to Jesuit on January 11th, they lost interest in the distinction as they could not win it (at best, they could be in a tie with Holy Cross and Jesuit if they won).  But the Crusaders had their reasons for not entering their first team versus Holy Cross this close to the state championships.  Brother Martin is all about state championships, and Coach Robert Dauterive's five consecutive Division I titles shows that he knows what he is doing.  Still, it would have been nice to see the Crusaders and Tigers at full strength in a dual meet.  A loss really does not mean much come the state tournament, as Brother Martin proved by winning the Louisiana Classic three days after losing to their dual meet with Jesuit.

As Holy Cross did not get to wrestler Brother Martin's starters, the next best option was to defeat the team that beat the Crusaders, Jesuit.  And the Tigers did that convincingly on Wednesday.  They defeated Jesuit 34-18.  The match was a little closer than the score indicates, but not so much that Holy Cross would have lost.

Meeting of the captains before the match (left).  The start of the competition (center).  Meeting of the head coaches, Sheridan Moran of Jesuit and Eric Desormeaux of Holy Cross (right).

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After the match the Holy Cross wrestling team, coaches and fans left in droves toward the bell at the entrance to the main building.  Tradition holds that Holy Cross teams winning significant sporting events get to ring the bell.

Students ringing the bell after the match.
"For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee" Holy Cross Tigers.
(OK - I am Donne with quotes now.)

Holy Cross head coach Eric Desormeaux has been trying to organize some type of Greater New Orleans championship, to be on par with the caring and participation of tournaments like the Greater Baton Rouge Championships and the Lafayette METRO tournament for several years.  Even the three programs in Ascension Parish, Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant take pride in determining which is the best team via the annual Jambalaya cup competition.  A Catholic League Duals Championship could be held early in the season. Or, dates could be reserved for teams who are in line to win the championship, or at least place second.

The schools should think it is important, however, and since that most of the state champions in the last two decades have been won by New Orleans Catholic schools, perhaps some people deem that a Catholic League championship or any kind of GNO championships are not worthwhile.  An award, like the Jambalaya Cup, could be kept by the winning school until someone wrestles it away to a new school's trophy case.

Something re a New Orleans championship, in tournament or dual meet form, should be aggressively pursued - if only to ensure more dual meets have this much pomp and circumstance, and for the wrestlers and coaches, something else for which to strive.

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