Cusachs' Raiders prevail at his alma mater
December 15th, 2021 | Written by: Editor



The Rummel Raiders swept the weight classes from 113 lbs. to 132 lbs., and tacked on another title at 145 lbs., en route to winning the 36th annual George Trygg Memorial Tournament at Grace King High School on December 4th.  Raiders coach Rod Cusachs graduated from Grace King in 1994, in which he placed fifth at the Division I state championships.

The Raiders finished with 197 points, 41 better than runner-up De la Salle.  The Cavaliers had four individual champions.  Teurlings Catholic placed third and had three champions, followed by Chalmette, who did not have any individual winners) and Pearl River, who had two champions.  The top-five team scores are below.

Team Rummel De la Salle Teurlings Catholic Chalmette Pearl River
Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Points 197 156 136 99 86

De la Salle

1968 103 lb. state champion
Coach George Trygg 

The tournament was first held in 1983 and named in honor of former East Jefferson High School wrestler and coach George Trygg, who unexpectedly died in 1982.  Trygg won state championships in 1967 and 1968, and coached the Warriors to a Division I team championship in 1978.

The event is named for East Jefferson coach George Trygg, who won individual state titles for the Warriors in 1967 and 1968, and who, as a coach, led the Warriors to the first Division I team championship by a public school in 1978.  With the exception of 2002 and 2020, the event has been held since 1983, 

Trygg was posthumously inducted into the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2008.Trygg was posthumously inducted into the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2008.

 1978 Division I state champion coach

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Three others were also recognized at the event.

Coach Sam Sara

The Outstanding Wrestler award is named for Sam Sara, the Louisiana Wrestling Hall of Fame coach who was the first coach at Grace King.  Never having wrestled himself, Coach Sara started the wrestling program at John Quincy Adams Middle School in the late 1970s and at Grace King High School in 1981.  In his first year at Grace King his team placed fourth in Division II.  In that year Coach Sara allowed a rag-tag four-member St. Martin's team to practice with the Irish.  He founded the George Trygg Memorial Tournament in 1983.

A year later they won the Division II state championship.  In the following 16 years competing in Division I, Sara's teams placed in the top-five seven times.  The Irish were fourth four times, third once and they took home the runner-up plaques twice, in 1986 and 1987.  In 1987 the Irish won the Greater New Orleans Championships.  He coached eleven wrestlers to state championship titles - seven in Division I and four in Division II.  In 2005 Coach Sara was inducted into the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with a Lifetime Service to Wrestling award.  Three years later his wife Stephanie was accorded the same honor.  Coach Sara passed away on December 29th, 2019.  He was 73.

Pearl River's Gabriel Whittington, the 285 lbs. champion, won the 2021 award.  [Photo right, with Mrs. Stephanie Sara]

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Coach Ray Gremillion

The participating coaches will honor one of their own with the Ray Gremillion “Coaching Distinction Award.”  Gremillion wrestled for Louisiana wrestling icon Brother Melchior Polowy at Holy Cross in the 1940’s and in over a quarter-of-a-century of coaching built teams at East Jefferson and Bonnabel that won state championships in 1966 and 1988, respectively..  In 2006 he was inducted into the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with a “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” Award..  Coach Gremillion passed away in 2011 at age 81.

Grace King head coach and tournament director Roberto Furtado won state championships for Gremillion in 1982 and 84.oach and tournament director Roberto Furtado won state championships for Gremillion in 1982 and 84.

[Photos left] Coach Gremillion at East Jefferson c. 1964; at LWHOF induction in 2006 with former Bonnabel greats John Nette (1st D1 1978, 2nd D1 1979), John Fogarty (1st D1 1978-79) and Joe Sunseri (2nd D1 1978)..

Rummel coach Rod Cusachs won the 2021 Gremillion Award. Cusachs [Photo right]


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Army Specialist Christian J. Romig

The Christian J. Romig "Warrior Award," award is presented to the wrestler who persevered against great odds during the tournament..  Romig wrestled for Irish coach Roberto Furtado and graduated from King in 2005.  A U.S. Army specialist and scout, he was killed by an IED in Afghanistan on January 5th, 2011 at 24.

The 2021 Trygg Memorial Warrior Award went to Pearl River sophomore Kaleese Halbrook.  Competing at 120 lbs., Miss Halbrook may not have won a match, but she lost to the eventual champion and third-place winner.  She has four "notches on her belt" this season, one from the Rumble on the River, another from a Belle Chasse dual meet and two from the December 11th Bronco Open.  [Photo right]

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Individual Weight Class Champions

106 Pounds 113 Pounds 120 Pounds 126 Pounds 132 Pounds 138 Pounds 145 Pounds
Dylan Duvernay
De la Salle
Jake Brandstetter
Stephen Kimball
Dylan Stubbs
Carter Burgess
Brandt Babineaux
Teurlings Cath.
Austin Shook

152 Pounds 160 Pounds 170 Pounds 182 Pounds 195 Pounds 220 Pounds 285 Pounds
Spencer Hughes
De la Salle
John P. Travasos
Teurlings Cath.
Luke Robertson
De la Salle
Jason Krail
De la Salle
John W Prejeans
Teurlings Cath.
Riley Halbrook
Pearl River
Gabriel Whittington
Pearl River

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Trygg family members help run the event and presented the awards:

[L-R] Georgia Brown, Kathleen Trygg Chiles, Kati Trygg Brown,  Scarlett Brown, Christopher Baxter, Madeline Gonsoulin, Lauren Trygg Baxter

Not in photo: Rachael Trygg, Mya Baxter, Bryson Baxter

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