Brother Martin secures ninth consecutive Trey Culotta title; related "quirky insight"
December 22nd, 2019 | Written by: Editor



Despite not having one of their five finalists win a championship, Brother Martin still won the Trey Culotta Invitational team championships by 17.5 points over Woodward Academy of Georgia.  Ironically, Woodward Academy had six finalists and won five consecutive finals matches from 132 lbs. to 160 lbs., but that still left them with the second-place team trophy.  Vestavia Hills of Alabama placed third with 231.5 points, followed by St. Paul with 186.5 points and Parkway with 183 points.

Team champions: Brother Martin Crusaders Individual Champions

"Quirky insights"

The tournament provided a few glimpses of what could be Division I state championship finals matches come February, as well as "quirky insights:"

106 lbs. - Houser-Elsensohn: Jacob Houser of St. Paul, who defeated Mason Elsensohn 3-0 in the December 13th dual meet between St. Paul and Brother Martin, this time required surviving a UTB round to come out the winner in a 4-4 match for the 106 lbs. championship. 

113 lbs. - Jesuit's Max Holmes gets some credit for taking advantage of a minor injury to St. Paul's Trey Faherty and parlaying it into a finals appearance.  His run included wins over Louisiana opponents from Brother Martin, Rummel and Live Oak.  (The editor wishes to apologize to Mr. Holmes who, at the editor's request, stopped to ask if I wanted a photograph of him after he received his medal.  I did, but that request came at the exact time as the editor realized, as he does at every event, that he will be lucky to get photos of all of the champions, much less runners-up and third-place finishers.  As such I rather rudely failed to answer Mr. Holmes, and he has my sincerest apologies.)

120 lbs. - Carter Duet of St. Paul and Alex Menier, a two-time defending Division III state champion from Basile, put up a great finals match, won by Duet 5-4.  There was controversy at the end as to whether Menier had scored a reversal, but the editor has a photograph at the buzzer showing Duet's arm still barely clinging to Menier's leg.  The editor does not know enough to state whether an escape point might have been merited. 

126 lbs. - Keeler-Hill: In the semifinals at 126 lbs. Parkway's Joshua Keeler defeated Live Oak's Clayton Hill 8-7, prior to winning the finals match and Outstanding Wrestler award.  The loss was Hill's first of the season (Keeler has two losses from out-of-state wrestlers), and both Parkway and Live Oak will compete in Division I this season.

138 lbs. - Teddie-Hoffman: In the 138 lbs. semifinals Brother Martin's 2018 Division I state champion Connor Hoffman was only 2-0, but those two wins were a 5-3 one over Division II state runner-up Jacob Ramirez of Rummel and an SV victory over Grant Nastasi of St. Paul's.  He faced the 22-0 Demetri Teddie of C.E. Byrd.  Teddie is quite possibly the fastest kid on the mats this year, and he showed it in the only takedown of the match in a 3-1 win over Hoffman.  And while it will not matter for the state championships but may in other events, Ramirez "turned the tables" on Hoffman defeating him 3-1 to place third.

145 lbs. - Nobody from Louisiana has really challenged Brother Martin's Alex Duncan yet.  In fact, only Caden Gaudet of John Curtis (who lost 8-1) and Martin Helouin of Catholic (who lost 9-1 MD) have gone the full six minutes with the defending Crusader state champion in matches against eleven Louisiana opponents.  But damn those pesky Woodward Academy kids!  Duncan lost to Michael Kilic 7-2 in the Gulf Coast Clash in Mobile, and then this weekend, when Kilic went down to 138 lbs., he was replaced by Vincent Mannella, who prevailed over Duncan in the finals 6-2.  Someone from Louisiana should challenge him at some point and do not be surprised if it is St. Paul's Peyton Ward, who won the South Walton Border Wars at 145 lbs.

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152 lbs. - Horvath-Ward: In the dual meet against St. Paul's Peyton Ward won a 7-6 match at the end of a TB-1 period.  In the semifinals of the Culotta, Horvath pounced on the one opportunity Ward gave him to advance to the finals in a 3-2 win.

Ward-Yawn: Yes, Ward crushed Yawn via a 16-3 major decision.  And Yawn admits he was not injured after his semifinals loss to McCoy Pace of Woodward Academy.  At some point in that match when nothing that usually worked on everyone else Yawn had faced did not work, a circuit breaker tripped in his head and he just couldn't make anything work.  Expect to see Yawn and Ward again, and a much different match.

If anything, Yawn got a "wakeup call" after running off 22 consecutive wins prior to the Culotta, and against some good competition including Charles Travasos of Teurlings Catholic and Anthony Dodson of Live Oak.  Ward got a "wakeup call" in that Horvath taking him to a TB-1 round was no fluke.  And the rest of the 152 lbs. weight class got a wake-up call letting them know that Riley Horvath is no longer a second teamer, nor is he one who simply is filling a spot at 152 lbs. for the Crusaders.  Horvath placed second in the Gulf Coast Clash, third in the Blackhorse and second at the Culotta.  Against Louisiana wrestlers he is 7-1 and avenged that loss.  He may look a tad awkward, unlike, say, a Connor Campo or, wait, there was some kid last season from a little school who was fluid and fast...I forget.  But keep in mind that for the last two years he has been working out with the likes of Patrick Evans, Alex Duncan, Daniel Croy and Mason Massicot, and this year he is sandwiched in-between Duncan and Massicot.  Even if he did not want to, that is simply going to make him better.  As for a "wake-up call" for Horvath, know now that people know about you.

160 lbs. - Massicot-Davidson: After the 5-3 match at St. Paul's in which Davidson proved he was nobody Massicot could take lightly, another match was eagerly awaited.  Fans were given that, but not in the manner in which they preferred.  On Friday it was Davidson whose synapses were off as he unexpectedly lost to Jesuit's Charlie Cyrus 9-8 and Parkway's Jacob Chittom 9-2.  Technically I do not think he should have been in Pool E at 160 lbs. as while both he and East Ascension's Santos Ramos each had only one Louisiana loss, a loss to Massicot should be weighted heavier than one to Anthony Dodson of Live Oak at this juncture in time.  Regardless, it does not mean he would have fared better in another pool. His finish, however, matched him with Massicot in the first round on Saturday.  Due to the "five-match" rule the loser of a first round match does not get the opportunity to compete in the consolation rounds.  Massicot won the match 5-2 and Davidson was done.  Expect to see him back, though.

170 lbs. - Woodland Academy had just won five consecutive championship finals matches and had one more finalist left - Malachi Wiley, who had won the Gulf Coast Clash.  His opponent was two-time defending Division I state champion Trent Mahoney.  The oddest part was that Wiley was almost as tall as Mahoney and looked a little stronger.  And the match started like the last five did, with Wiley scoring a takedown off of Mahoney's ankle-dive at the whistle.  Then Wiley rode Mahoney for the rest of the period.  Mahoney deferred the choice of starting positions to Wiley who thought they should start neutral again.  That was a mistake as Mahoney took him down in 16 seconds and rode him for a little while, turning Wiley this way and that, just "testing the water," so to speak.  Then Mahoney looked at his coach and father Pat as if to say "problem solved."  The Spartan wrestler then proceeded to tilt Wiley for two and then three nearfall points before the second period ended.  Choosing the top position to start the third period, Mahoney turned Wiley twice for four more nearfall points and an 11-2 win.

182 lbs.:  Let me be even more clear on this than I was on Friday.  If Basile's Isaac Cortez is rolled into the weigh-in area on a cold slab with a death certificate stapled to his forehead, and is held and molded into a position so that when rigor mortis kicks in he can be placed on the scale without being supported by anyone, he should be placed as a top seed in pools A, B, C or D in the pool rounds.  1:47, 2:45, 9-1 major decision, 2:21, 1:26, 5:06, 3:21 [Drop the mike and depart the gymnasium until awards are given]. 

195 lbs. - Frederick-Ulfers: In their first meeting Evan Ulfers was caught by surprise when Cameron Frederick rolled through a head-and-arm throw by Ulfers, which put Ulfers on his back and allowed Frederick to score a fall.  In the Culotta semifinals, Frederick did not give Ulfers the option of throwing him very much and seemed to stupefy Ulfers with his defense in a 5-1 victory.  This match should be held again at least once before February, and I think it will get closer.

In the long-run none of that mattered as a 2019 Division III runner-up from South Beauregard destroyed everyone in his path.  Spase Chooner won his matches as follows: 0:17, 14-3 major decision, 0:42, 0:28, 1:32, 1:06 and 0:49. 

220 lbs. - Ulfers-West: St. Paul defending state champion Cole Ulfers pinned Brother Martin's Kyle West at 220 lbs. in 1:50  Ulfers also pinned West in their first meeting, and West's first match of the season, at the December 13th dual meet.  A "wake-up" call should go out to the 220 lbs. wrestlers in Louisiana though - Kyle West is only going to get better.  Last week he was 0-1.  After this weekend he is 4-2 and a Trey Culotta runner-up.

285 lbs. - Paul-Soniat:  This is one of several 285 lbs. possibilities and was realized in the semifinals via a 9-2 Paul win.  Paul is it for now, but perhaps not enough just yet to be considered the favorite at 285 lbs. 

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Individual Award Winners

106 Pounds 113 Pounds 120 Pounds 126 Pounds 132 Pounds 138 Pounds 145 Pounds
Jacob Houser
St. Paul
Ty Martinez
Holy Innocents
Carter Duet
St. Paul's
Joshua Keeler
Nick Masters
Woodward Academy
Michael Kilic
Woodward Academy
Vincent Mannella
Woodward Academy

152 Pounds 160 Pounds 170 Pounds 182 Pounds 195 Pounds 220 Pounds 285 Pounds
McCoy Pace
Woodward Academy
Matthew Singleton
Woodward Academy
Trent Mahoney
East Ascension
Isaac Cortez
Spase Chooner
South Beauregard
Cole Ulfers
St. Paul
Donald Paul

Outstanding Wrestler:
Joshua Keeler
of Parkway
Trey Culotta Award Winner:
Donald Paul of Comeaux

Final Team Scores

Place Team Points Place Team Points Place Team Points
1 Brother Martin (BM) 301 10 Chalmette (CHL) 123 19 John Curtis (JC) 44
2 Woodward Academy, GA (WDW) 283.5 11 C.E. Byrd (BYD) 110 20 Memphis University School, TN (MUS) 43
3 Vestavia Hills, AL (VH) 231.5 12 Holy Innocents, GA (HI) 95.5 21 South Beauregard (SB) 41
4 St. Paul (StP) 220 T-13 Bishop Lynch Academy, TX (BL) 91 22 Lakeshore (LKS) 38
5 Parkway (PKY) 186.5 T-13 Comeaux (COM) 91 23 Lafayette (LAF) 23
6 East Ascension (EA) 183 15 St. Thomas Catholic, TX (STC) 71.5 24 South Walton, FL (SW) 16
7 Jesuit (JES) 150 16 Acadiana (ACA) 57 25 Carencro (CAR) 9
8 Basile (BAS) 148 17 Rummel (RUM) 48 26    
9 Live Oak (LO) 143 18 Zachary (ZAC) 46 27    

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