An apocryphal section not found in Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales"
May 13th, 2019 | Written by: Editor

 

 

Gavin Christ got
pinned by a girl
Other Middle
School Losses
High School
Losses
High School
Non-State Tournament Wins

Four Division III
State Championships
Record Against
State Champions
Overall Records
by Season
Tournament
Results
Why Don't I Ask?

Next for The College Years

I readily admit I have liked knowing Gavin Christ over the last four years.  He is a polite, intelligent and modest young man and understands witticisms better that most neophytes.  I also admit I have a "soft spot" for smaller schools, having wrestled for St. Martin's and recalling someone cutting and giving me half of his cloak when he saw me wearing only a singlet. 

Gavin asked me to write my impression of him over those four years, citing my honesty, perception and knowledge as bases to coerce my vanity and acceptance of the task.  Hence, I was happy to do so or coerced, I am not sure.

His prowess on the mats is widely known and will be emphasized when I add photographs and records.  First, though, I must harp on something that happened when he first started wrestling as a Basile seventh grader.

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Gavin Christ got pinned by a girl

I ask that female wrestlers momentarily suspend their rage against such a misogynistic remark on my behalf.  I have the utmost respect for girls who wrestle, even more so for those who wrestle in Louisiana as there are no LHSAA-sanctioned women's wrestling competitions, and the girls must wrestle the boys.  Girls started wrestling when I was in high school many, many years ago, and even then, some coaches refused to allow their boys to compete against a girl in the event the girl won, and the boy became, as some coaches said, scarred for life.  That stigma for young men continued until the 2010's when, for one year at least, Brittany Bates received more forfeits than she wrestled actual matches.

I disagreed with that then and certainly do now.  Since I have been following wrestling for the last 14 years after a 20-year hiatus, I have seen and met some great female wrestlers: Brittany Bates, Abigail Nette and Raven Guidry to just name three who have gone on to compete at the women's collegiate level.  If Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon, which have smaller populations than Louisiana, can do that, why cannot Louisiana? 

Brittany Bates Raven Guidry Abby Nette

In this case it was in the 2013-14 season and Doyline freshman Brittany Bates pinned Gavin in 2:55 at the Brusly Invitational a 113 lbs.  She won that tournament as well as the Jacob McMillan Invitational (in which she was voted the Outstanding Wrestler of the lower weight classes).  That was Brittany's best season although she only placed fifth at the state championships.  She had a record of 27-6 and, at 106 lbs., she gave eventual state champion Austin Franklin of Brusly (who would become a four-time Division III state champion, like Gavin) his toughest match of the state tournament, losing 6-5 in the semifinals.  Brittany also had two more years of varsity experience at the time though than Gavin did.

But if such stalwart young ladies did not exist in the realm of Louisiana wrestling, how funny would it be to overhear the following: "Hey Mom, can I go to a birthday party?"  "No, Gavin.  You got pinned by a girl;" "Dad, can I borrow the car?"  "No.  You got pinned by a girl;" "Mom, Dad...can I go to college?" "Sorry son, but colleges do not accept boys who get pinned by girls."  It is funny because it hypothetically relates to Gavin Christ.

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Other Middle School Losses

(Regretfully I am starting out with Gavin's wrestling losses.  But have no fear, this second is not very long.)

 
Two guys who can say they beat Gavin more than twice
 
North Vermillion's Gavin Becker holds the record for defeating Gavin the most time at five.  Becker won two matches over Gavin in the 2013-14 season, culminating in the state consolation finals, and three in the 2014-5 season, knocking off Christ in the semifinals.  Becker won a Division III championship in 2016.  Next on the list is Jeffery Argrave from Holy Cross, who defeated Gavin three times in Gavin's eighth-grade year.

In the following four seasons, Gavin only lost twice: once as a freshman and once as a sophomore.

That's enough about Gavin losing matches while in middle school.  One should remember that in middle school, Gavin's record was 46-26.  But listing everyone Gavin defeated in his career is, well, "it's just not cricket," whether in middle school or high school.  That is a very good middle school record against varsity opposition.

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High School Losses

I added this section because I happened to witness two of the matches Gavin lost in his high school career.  I do not have photographs of his 2016 semifinals loss to Brier Babin of St. Amant in the Central Wildcat semifinals, but I do have photos of his 2016 loss to Comeaux's Seth Oubre in the Ken Cole finals and his 2017 loss to St. Paul's Cole Houser in the Louisiana Classic finals.

2016 Ken Cole Finals
Freshman and #2 seed Gavin Christ of Basile vs.
Senior and #1 seed Seth Oubre from Comeaux
Score: Oubre 11 - Christ 7

Gavin came up to me to me a little dumbfounded at the 2017 Louisiana Classic, telling me he was seeded sixth, with his only loss of the year to St. Amant's Brier Babin.  Everyone knew defending Division I state champion Cole Houser would be the top seed, and due to his win Babin would be seeded before Christ.  But Morgan Manuel of Rayne was seeded second.  Brother Martin's Lane Boudreaux was seeded third, Live Oak's Mason Middleton was seeded fourth.  Babin was seeded fifth. 

Manuel had two losses - one to Houser and another the Brother Martin's Ben Wisniewski - but he had never wrestled Boudreaux, Middleton or Babin.  Boudreaux had a loss to Holy Cross's Cole Clement, but he had not wrestled Boudreaux or Babin.  Middleton, however, had defeated Babin three times before the event and should have been seeded higher.  Because Manuel, Boudreaux and Middleton had not wrestled each other, Middleton should have been second with Babin third and Christ fourth.  In my opinion the seeding committee simply did not respect Gavin's abilities as much as they should have.  Being seeded sixth, however, worked out better than fourth, as it meant he would only face Houser in the finals.

2017 Louisiana Classic Finals
Sophomore and #6 seed Gavin Christ of Basile vs.
Senior and #1 seed Cole Houser of St. Paul's
Score: Houser 8 - Christ 5

The two tied 4-4 in the first period and over the next two periods Houser outpointed Gavin 4-1.  He lost the match 8-5.

One might think Gavin would be upset about his seeding and the outcome of the match.  As mentioned, he was bewildered by his seeding, but he took it "in stride," and rather than be upset he viewed it as a challenge from the seeding committee.  He also displayed nothing but respect for Houser before and after the match.

But what I noticed about the match and told Gavin after it, was that he often tried to use certain moves, such high leg-rides, trying to force an opponent's head over and expose his back.   This happened at least once in the first period.  I told him that against most of the wrestlers with whom he competes he will get-away with such moves, but not against someone who is really good, like a defending Division I state champion.  They may work but would almost guarantee an immediate reversal.  Gavin was given two nearfall points with nine seconds remaining in the first period.  Houser was given a reversal with just eight seconds remaining.  If Gavin ever learned anything from me, I hope it was that.

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High School Non-State Tournament Wins

Let us now forget about Gavin's losses, as it just did not happen enough to merit any more column inches.  That should not be hard as Gavin forgot about losing for the last two seasons of his high school career.  But, then again, having lost only a combined three matches as a freshman and a sophomore, he did not have a lot of experience of losing to draw on as a junior and a senior.  The photos below are all of tournaments Gavin won:

Freshman Year

2015 Jacob McMillan Memorial
Semifinals wins over Rayne's Morgan Manuel (9-5) and Parkway's Garrett Strozier in the finals (pin in 3:07); his 1st-place sweatshirt and his Outstanding Wrestler Award

2016 Brute Nationals
Third Place
(After the high school season was over)
Gavin on the podium and with his father Chris Briscoe

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Sophomore Year

2017 Ken Cole Invitational
Wins over Jay Arcemont of Catholic via a 1:26 fall (left two photographs) and Brier Babin of St. Amant in the finals 11-6; Outstanding Wrestler Award

2017 Jacob McMillan
Memorial
Outstanding Wrestler award with Mrs. McMillan
2017 Basile Lafayette Metro champions

2017 Lafayette Metro winners Gavin Crist, Isaac Cortez and Brennan Langley

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Junior Year

 2017 Griffin Open  2017 Spartan Invitational  2017 Jefferson Invitational  2017 Jacob McMillan  2017 Jacob McMillan
Basile placers: Alex Menier (1st), Hunter Langley (3rd), Gavin Christ (1st), Blake Menier (1st), Ethan Bazinet (1st)  Finals win over Calep Balcuns of Brusly via a 16-4 major decision Basile placers: Blake Menier (3rd), Gabe Duplechin (2nd), Gavin Christ (1st) and Isaac Cortez (1st)  Finals win over Trevor Tamburo of Parkway 4-2 Gavin with his Grandmother 

In the 2017 Trey Culotta Christ and Brother Martin senior Luke Cotton were both undefeated against Louisiana competition (Cotton lost one match to an out-of-state wrestler in the Prep Slam).  Cotton was a Division I runner-up in 2017 and a state champion in 2016.  In the finals, the top-seeded Christ was relentless in the first period and built up a 7-2 lead, scoring two takedowns and a three-point nearfall to Cotton's two escapes.  Cotton scored an escape in the second period, but Christ scored a takedown, making it a 9-3 match.  Neither wrestler scored in the third period, and the match ended at 9-3 in Christ's favor.

  2017 Trey Culotta  2017 Lone Survivor 
   Finals win over Luke Cotton of Brother Martin 9-3   Outstanding Wrestler Award
   Gavin Christ (1st), Isaac Cortez (2nd) and Blake Menier (4th)  Outstanding Wrestler Award

The Louisiana Classic once again pitted the top-seeded Christ against the second-seeded Cotton.  This was a low-scoring affair.  Christ scored a takedown in the first period, nothing in the second period and he received a penalty point and scored a reversal in the third period for his five points.  Cotton, however, could not score on Christ at all, and a 5-0 score was enough for Christ to win his first Louisiana Classic.

2017 Louisiana Classic  2017 Ken Cole Invitational 
   Finals win over Luke Cotton of Brother Martin 5-0 Christ with parting gifts 
Christ over EA's Trent Mahoney in the finals 10-3 Christ with O.W. award

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Senior Year

The 132 lbs. finals match was what everyone in the Brother Martin Conlin Gymnasium was waiting to see in the Trey Culotta Invitational: Gavin against two-time Division I state champion Daniel Croy of Brother Martin.  Croy went undefeated in his sophomore and junior seasons.  Getting past Christ would all but guaranty three undefeated seasons as nobody in Division I was considered a serious threat to Croy.  Like he did the year before against Brother Martin's Luke Cotton, Christ took control early.  He led 4-1 after the first period and 6-2 after the second period.  A third-period escape gave Christ a five-point lead, at which point giving up a couple of points to Croy would not matter much.  Christ wrestled safely and Croy did get a takedown, but Christ escaped for the last point of the 9-4 match. 

2018 Jacob McMillan Memorial    2018 Trey Culotta Invitational 
Basile Placers: Dawson Ashford (2nd), Gavin Christ (1st) and Alex Menier (2nd) Outstanding Wrestler Award
Finals match win over Daniel Croy of Brother Martin 9-4 Gavin with Trey Culotta parting gifts Christ with his second Trey Culotta Outstanding Wrestler Award

2019 Brusly Invitational 2019 Ken Cole
Finals win over Ouachita Christian's Michael Gordy via a 15-0 technical fall in 3:04  Outstanding Wrestler Award 
Finals win over Rummel's Chris Montalbano via a pin in 5:19 Gavin with Ken Cole parting gifts

The Louisiana Classic was expected to be a rematch of the Trey Culotta finals between Christ and Croy, and the two top seeds fared as expected by reaching the finals.  The outcome, however, was much closer than in their first match.  Christ started the scoring and led a 5-0 after the first period using a takedown and getting three nearfall points.  But Christ was also warned for stalling in the first period.  That would hurt him in the second round, when he was cited for stalling twice, giving Croy two penalty points.  Between those points Croy scored a reversal and after four minutes Christ only led by a single point at 5-4.  Christ started the third period on the bottom and Croy's attempts to turn Christ over kept Christ busy and did not give him any time to stall, not that was his intention.  One would think after a minute with no success Croy would let Christ go and hope for a match-tying takedown, but he did not and near the end Christ scored a reversal to seal a 7-4 win.

2019 Louisiana Classic
Semifinals win over Chris Montalbano of Rummel via a pin in 2:41 Finals win over Daniel Croy of Brother Martin 7-4
Finals win over Daniel Croy of Brother Martin 7-4 Gavin with LA Classic parting gifts Outstanding Wrestler Award

 

After Gavin's two Louisiana Classic wins against Cotton and Croy, placing himself as the best wrestler in the state (only Patrick Evans of Brother Martin's has a case disputing that) based on talent, speed and being able to win in higher weight classes, despite the elation and meaning of those wins, Gavin did not gloat or excessively celebrate.  He was respectful of his opponents and their efforts.  Gavin, one must see, expects to win against everybody, and thus is not surprised when he does.  Inside he might be ecstatic over winning against some wrestlers, but it does not show in his demeanor.  He is "modest to a fault."  A prime example arises from the 2016 Jazz Town Duals.  I had just watched Gavin run-up the score in the first period over Logan Brown of Texas' Best Trained wrestling club.  Gavin won the match, but kept laughingly repeating that Brown was coming back, and fast!

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Four Division III State Championships

Gavin Christ placed in every LHSAA State Wrestling Championships in which he entered.  In 2014 he placed fourth as a seventh grader.  In 2015 he placed fifth as an eighth grader.  From 2016 to 2019 he placed first, becoming a four-time Division III state champion, joining Basile's Carmen Cortez (1994, 1996-1998 - as a freshman in 1995 Cortez placed second) and Jimmy Vidrine, who won five consecutive state championships from 1960-1964.  He joins 17 wrestlers who have won four or more state championships since 1948:

Wrestler School Years Wrestler School Years
Jack Hecker Holy Cross 1945-48 Cade Phelps Zachary 2004-2007
Jimmy Vidrine Basile 1960-64 Nick Michael  Holy Cross  2009-12 
August Vegas Holy Cross 1963-1966 Austin Schermer Brusly 2009-12
Tim Leblanc Brusly 1979-1982 Trevor Schermer Brusly 2011-14
Chad Buras Buras 1987-90 Paul Klein Brother Martin 2012-2015
Ernie Payton Hackberry 1984-87 Brock Bonin Teurlings Catholic 2013-2016
Brad Macha Redemptorist 1992-95 Steven Shields Brother Martin 2014-17
Carmen Cortez Basile 1994, 1996-98 Austin Franklin Brusly 2014-17
Micah Easley Zachary 2001-2004      

Suffice to say, that is good company.

His record in state championship events is 21-2.  In those events he has defeated four defending or soon-to-be state champions (the years they won are in parentheses): John Rollins of Episcopal (2016) and Michael Gordy of Ouachita Christian (2018) - defending state champions; Richard Mack, III, of North Desoto (2018) and Calep Balcuns of Brusly (2019), soon to be state champions.  But those are only Division III state champion victims. 

Time for more photographs.  These are his Division III Outstanding Wrestler award and podium photos from 2014-19

2013-14
Seventh Grade
Fourth Place
2014-15
Eighth Grade
Fifth Place

2015-16
Freshman D III
State Champion
2016-17
Sophomore D III
State Champion
2017-18
Junior D III
State Champion
2018-19
Senior III
State Champion

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Record Against State Champions

Overall, he has beaten 16 state champions in all divisions a total of 36 times:

Wrestler School Division Year(s) they Won Christ's Grade Wrestler School Division Year(s) they Won Christ's Grade
Daniel Trappey Carencro II 2015 7th Sam Pitts Ouachita Christian III 2017-18 10th (x2)
Isaac Cortez Basile III 2018-19 7th Trey Fontenot Parkway II 2017 & 2019 10th, 11th
Richard Mack, III North Desoto II 2018 8th Caleb Balcuns Brusly III 2019 10th, 11th (x2)
Morgan Manuel Rayne II 2018-19 9th (x2), 10th (x2), 11th (x3) Trevor Tamburo Parkway II 2017 11th
Garrett Strozier Parkway II 2016 9th (x2) Luke Cotton Brother Martin I 2016 11th (x2)
John Rollins Episcopal III 2015 9th Michael Gordy Ouachita Christian III 2018 11th, 12th
Trent Mahoney East Ascension I 2018-19 10th, 11th Luke Eccles Jesuit I 2019 11th
Christian Satchell Sam Houston II 2019 10th, 11th (x2), 12th (x2) Daniel Croy Brother Martin I 20-6-18 12th (x2)

Christ has only lost to seven state champions a total of 11 times, all in his 7th, 8th and 10-grade years.  As a seventh grader he lost to Live Oak's Jacob Chenevert (who won from 2013-14) and Gavin Becker of North Vermillion (who won in 2016) twice.  As an eighth grader he lost to Becker three times, twice to Brother Martin's Steven Shields (who won four Division I state championships from 2014-2017), once to Austin Franklin of Brusly (a four-time Division III state champion from 2014-17) and to Logan Griffin of Thomas Jefferson (who won Division III in 2013).  As a sophomore he lost to St. Paul's defending Division I state champion Cole Houser in the Louisiana Classic finals.  Houser would also win another state championship that year.

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Overall Records by Season

2013-14
Seventh grade
2014-15
Eighth grade
2015-16
Freshman
2016-17
Sophomore
2017-18
Junior
2018-19
Senior
20-11 26-15 23-1 42-2 58-0 42-0
Pinned 12 Pinned 20 Pinned 15 Pinned 27 Pinned 36 Pinned 31
Was pinned by 2 Was pinned by 6 Was pinned by 0 Was pinned by 0 Was pinned by 0 Was pinned by 0

His total record is 212-29.  His high school record is 165-3.

 Gavin pinned 141 opponents and was pinned only eight times.  Amongst his wins scored 18 technical falls lost by a technical fall only four times (all in his seventh-grade season). He recorded 17 major decisions and lost by major decisions only six times (all in 7th or 8th-grade).  If one does the math, 36, or roughly 17% of his wins, were by regular decisions.

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Tournament Results

2013-14 - 7th-Grade

Tournament-7th Year Place Notes
Teurlings Rebel Open 2013 4th Lost to Seth Oubre of Comeaux in the semifinals and the consolation finals
Brusly Invitational 2014 4th Lost to Brittany Bates of Doyline in the semifinals and Alex Beraud of North Vermillion in the consolation finals
Jacob McMillan
Memorial
2014 T-5th Lost to Luke Kilchrist of Teurlings Catholic in quarterfinals and Keon Jones of Acadiana in the consolation semifinals
Ken Cole
Invitational
2014 DNP Lost to Hunter Fitch of Comeaux in round-two and Jacob Chenevert of Live Oak in the consolations round-four
Lafayette Metro 2014 4th Lost to Gavin Becker of North Vermillion in the semifinals and Luke Kilchrist of Teurlings Catholic in the consolation finals
State 2014 4th Lost to Billy Smith of Ouachita Christian in the semifinals and Gavin Becker of North Vermillion in the consolation finals.

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2014-15 - 8th-Grade

Tournament Year Place Notes
Warrior Open 2014 4th Lost to Paul-Stephen Schmidt of Brother Martin in the semifinals and Austin Pfister of Jesuit in the consolation finals
Spartan Invitational 2014 4th Lost to Jeffery Argrave of Holy Cross in in the quarterfinals and the consolation finals
Eagle Open 2014 1st First tournament championship
Beat North Desoto's Richard Mack, III, in the finals
Jacob McMillan Memorial 201 1st Beat Jayce Menard of Comeaux in the finals
Brusly Invitational 2015 2nd Lost to Brusly's Austin Franklin in the finals
Louisiana Classic 2015 DNP Lost to Steven Shields of Brother Martin in round-one and Jeffery Argrave in round-two of consolations
Teurlings Rebel Open 2015 1st Beat host team's Josh Hebert 9-6 in the finals
Ken Cole 2015 DNP Lost in round-two Gabe Peterson of Fontainebleau and to Gavin Becker in consolations round-four
Lafayette Metro 2015 2nd Lost to Gavin Becker of North Vermillion 9-5

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2015-16 - Freshman

Tournament Year Place Notes
Central Wildcat Open 2015 1st Beat John Rollins of Episcopal in the finals
Eagle Open 2015 1st Beat Garrett Strozier of Parkway in the finals
Jacob McMillan Memorial 2015 1st Beat Church Point's Jacob Routon in the finals
Ken Cole Invitational 2016 2nd Lost to senior Seth Oubre of Comeaux 11-7 - only loss of the season (Oubre placed third in Division I later)
Lafayette Metro 2016 1st Beat Morgan Manuel of Rayne in the finals

2016 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships - Freshman - 120 lbs.
Semifinals win over Chris LeBouef of South Plaquemines via a 16-0 technical fall in 2:40 Finals win over John Rollins of Episcopal via a pin in 2:26 Finals win over John Rollins of Episcopal via a pin in 2:26   Christ's first Division III OW Award

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2017-17 - Sophomore

Tournament Year Place Notes
Warrior Open 2016 1st Beat Trent Mahoney of East Ascension in the finals
Central Wildcat 2016 2nd Lost to St. Amant's Brier Babin 12-6 in the semifinals
Teurlings Rebel Open 2016 1st Beat Church Point's Jacob Routon in the finals
Eagle Open 2016 1st Beat Airline's Thomas Barringer in finals
Jacob McMillan Memorial 2016 1st Beat Church Point's Jacob Routon in the finals
Brusly Invitational 2017 1st Beat Church Point's Jacob Routon in the finals
Louisiana Classic 2017 2nd Lost to Cole Houser of St. Paul's 8-5 in the finals.
Ken Cole Memorial 2017 1st Avenged his loss to St. Amant's Babin in the finals 11-6
Lafayette Metro 2017 1st Beat Dylan Ames of Comeaux in the finals

2017 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships - Sophomore - 126 lbs.
Semifinals win over
De la Salle's Grant Gebo
via 16-0 technical fall
in 2:40
 Finals win over
Calep Balcuns of Brusly
via a pin in 3:46
 Finals win over Calep Balcuns of Brusly
via a pin in 3:46 
Division III 126 lbs. Awards Podium 

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2017-18 - Junior

Tournament Year Place Notes
Central Wildcat 2017 1st Beat Cody Comeaux of St. Amant in the finals
Griffin Open 2017 1st Beat Cody Comeaux of St. Amant in the finals
Spartan Invitational 2017 1st Beat Calep Balcuns of Brusly in the finals
Jefferson Invitational 2017 1st Beat Colin Clement of Holy Cross in the finals
Jacob McMillan Memorial 2017 1st Beat Trevor Tamburo of Parkway in the finals
Trey Culotta Invitational 2017 1st Beat Luke Cotton of Brother Martin in the finals
Lone Survivor 2017 1st Beat Trey Fontenot of Parkway in finals
Brusly Invitational 2018 1st Beat Michael Gordy of Ouachita Christian in the finals
Louisiana Classic 2018 1st Beat Luke Cotton of Brother Martin in the finals
Ken Cole 2018 1st Beat Trent Mahoney of East Ascension in the finals
Lafayette Metro 2018 1st Beat Dylan Dauphiney of Lafayette in the finals

2018 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships - Junior - 138 lbs.
Quarterfinals win over Deven Durham of John Curtis via a pin in 5:18  Semifinals win over Hung Nguyen of Thomas Jefferson via a pin in 3:40  Finals win over John-Patrick Broussard of St. Louis 17-5 MD Christ with Alex Menier's OW Award

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2018-19 - Senior

Tournament Year Place Notes
Spartan Invitational 2018 1st Beat Demetri Teddie of Byrd in the finals
Jacob McMillan Memorial 2018 1st Beat Dyllon Bernard of Comeaux in finals
Trey Culotta Invitational 2018 1st Beat Daniel Croy of Brother Martin in the finals. 
Brusly Invitational 2019 1st Beat Michael Gordy of Ouachita Christian in the finals
Ken Cole Invitational 2019 1st Beat Chris Montalbano of Rummel in the finals
Louisiana Classic 2019 1st Beat Daniel Croy of Brother Martin in the finals

 2019 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships - Senior - 145 lbs.
Round-one win over Episcopal's William Guffey via a pin in 0:48 Semifinals win vs. North Vermillion's Braxton Hebert via a 17-1 technical fall in 4:39
Finals win over Ouachita Christian's Michael Gordy via a pin in 3:48 On top of the Division III 145 lbs. Podium Gavin with Blake Menier's  OW Award

Multiple Tournament Wins

Tournament Times Won Years 
Jacob McMillan Memorial  5 2014-18 
Division III LHSAA State Wrestling Championships 4 2016-2019
Evangel Eagle Open 3 2015-17 
Brusly Invitational 3 2017-19 
 Ken Cole Invitational 3  2017-19 
Lafayette Metro 3 2017-19 
Spartan Invitational 2 2017-18  
Teurlings Rebel Open 2 2014, 2016 
Trey Culotta Invitational 2 2018-19 
Louisiana Classic 2018-19 

Only one of Gavin's four state finals matches did not end in a fall.  That was in his junior year when he defeated John-Patrick Broussard of St. Louis by a 17-5 major decision.  As a freshman he pinned defending Division III state champion John Rollins of Episcopal in 2:26.  As a sophomore he pinned Brusly's Calep Balcuns in 3:46.  (Balcuns would win his own state championship as a junior in 2019.)  As a senior he pinned another defending Division III state champion, Ouachita Christian's Michael Gordy, in 3:48.

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Why Don't I Ask?

I very rarely publish any interviews with coaches or wrestlers.  The questions I ask coaches usually involve the health of one or more of their wrestlers, and they will usually tell me the answers as they know I will not publish them without their permission or tell anyone else in the event other programs might unfairly benefit from such knowledge.  That coaches trust me with such information is one of my favorite perks of this job.  Asking coaches about upcoming events generally elicits the same type of responses: "I think our boys have worked hard and will try the best they can.  We'll see how it turns out," and stuff like that.  I do not ask wrestlers because they are either distracted by preparing for an upcoming match or have just wrestled a match and are too tired to create coherent replies.  Often, though, they just do not know what to say.

Gavin gave me one of the best interviews ever to make my point.  At the 2017 Spartan Invitational Gavin and Trent Mahoney of East Ascension both asked me why I did not interview wrestlers.  I told them why.  A little later, I did pull Trent aside to ask him about his next match.  Trent immediately went over to his father, East Ascension head coach Pat Mahoney, and told him exactly what I said to Trent.  That gave me time to take a deep breath, mutter "sigh...," and walk away.  A few minutes later I saw Gavin and asked him to rate the weight class in which he was competing.  He answered along the following lines:  "Well, this will be a hard weight class.  It has a state champion, a second-place state champion and a third-place state champion so it will..." When I rolled my eyes, he stopped.  I asked Gavin what exactly a "second-place state champion" was, and Gavin just hung his head and shook it, not believing the fodder he just gave me for future reference.  But it was a good try and by far the funniest interview I have ever done.

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Next for   The College Years 
 

 

  Gavin got a "full ride" because of wrestling at Campbell University in Buie's Creek, North Carolina.  In the fall of 2019 Gavin will be matriculating Camel as well as a Camel wrestler.  The Camels are an NCAA Division I school in the Southern Conference (wrestling only - other programs are in the Big South Conference.  The program started in 1968 and its pinnacle was in 2017 when the Camel wrestlers won the Southern Conference and sent five wrestlers to the Division I Championships in which they had one All-American Camel.  (For those who are curious, Campbell's came is a dromedary one, not a filthy Bactrian one.)

Campbell University has an enrollment of about 6,800 students.  It is a liberal arts oriented university but has a wide selection of more technical science and mathematics curricula.  The university was founded in 1887 and ranks as one of the top 25% of regional colleges in the South.

With over 260 college credit hours, two BAs and half of a BS (some say I have a whole lot of "BS," though), I feel confident in giving advice about one's college years and what Gavin should do in them.

Completing a college education provides two important things that employers look for. 

First, it shows that a student can set a goal and complete it.  One's major is not as important people may think, and it is great to find something one is interested in as a major.  But that rarely comes within the first two years, and if it does not come by then, a business degree can open a lot of doors.

Second, it shows employers that one can wakeup without one's mother telling one to do so.

Upon entering college, one should know that it is generally a "worldly" experience, in that one will learn a lot of things for which one will have absolutely no use for in the future.  Centuries ago college was simply a rich parent's way to let a teenager mature for four more years before he could be trusted doing anything important.  But the "worldly" information is good to know and provides one with the tools to bewilder others who do not know such things.  It means one is not at a party looking at one's cell phone all night.  Instead, that person is espousing philosophy and literary quips that leaves no recourse for others but to look at their cell phones all night.  Yet when one finds someone who knows such things, actual conversations may arise.

One needs, however, to graduate, preferably in four years, although five is allowed, particularly if one is involved with a sport like wrestling.  An advantage one has in a relatively small school like Campbell is that it should have many relatively small classes.  This enables one to be recognizable to the instructors, which is a requirement for success in any class.  In much larger classes that recognition can be gained by arriving to class early and sitting in the front row.  Then, at times, even if you know the answers, ask the instructor for some help so he will know you are really trying to do well in the course.

One of the best ways to ensure graduating in four years is to take summer school classes.  Granted, these are longer classes and sometimes meet five days a week, but they only take about six weeks, if that, to complete.  Most viable summer school classes are in one's first and second years and are usually basic "core" classes.  Wrestling in a Division I school is not easy, and a 12-hour semester may lighten his load.  If he takes six hours in summer school, then effectively he will have 15 hours in each semester.  This may interfere with some summer wrestling tournaments, but hopefully Gavin's priority will be to graduate.  Having learned he already has 43 hours from the LSU Eunice program, he could graduate in three years and work or start on his master's degree while wrestling his fourth year.

The first year is the hardest and most important: it decides whether one will stay in school or settle for a menial job back home.  In the first year one will meet a lot of different people.  Despite the best tries of the Admissions Department, there will be students majoring in temptation and irresponsibility (he will most probably listen to that "Rock 'n Roll" music, too, even though Benny Goodman can be found on I-Tunes, if Gavin is "In the Mood" for that).  Having fun is perfectly alright, but none of it should distract one from going to class, study groups, labs, doing homework promptly and, in Gavin's case, wrestling practice.  It is not hard to develop a schedule that enables one to do the things one needs to do and also have some free time for other activities of a more entertaining nature.

I hope and believe Gavin is smart enough to heed this advice, or variations of it, while at Campbell.  There is no work so hard in university classes that matches the difficulty of a wrestling season, and when Gavin is feeling pressure, he should look back on his practice days and know that anything they throw at him he can handle.  That is why one does the extra spin drills and practices the same move a hundred time a day.  If Gavin completes the coursework while in a sport like wrestling and graduates in a respectable time, potential employers should welcome him with open arms.  Unforeseen difficulties occur in every college student's life, and how one works through those times is very important, which is another reason remembering what one did in the practice room can be even more important.  That is my "core" reason for hoping kids wrestle.  If they are talented, that is fine.  But being dedicated by going to practice even after getting whipped and physically exhausted the previous day is better.

The easiest thing to do in one's first year is to screw the whole thing up.  And then one finds himself back in his hometown asking for a minimum wage job and being told "No.  We do not hire people who get pinned by a girl."

I wish Gavin the best of luck in his college career, and he should know he can draw on the entire Louisiana wrestling community should he need to. 

Martin Muller

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