Crusaders lead precariously after first day of 50th Louisiana Classic
January 13th, 2023 | Written by: Staff writer


[Time dictates that this be brief.  Thorough proofreading does not exist at this point.]

Brother Martin was very aware they would be challenged at the 50th Louisiana Classic on Friday.  And they rose to the challenge, albeit by a slim margin, after the first day of competition at the Lamar-Dixon EXPO Center.  They might not have expected, however, who would be nipping at their heels, trailing only by 2.5 points.  Teurlings Catholic (TC) was, by many, the favorite to win the event, making the Rebels the first Division II team to do so since its inception in 1973.  After Friday, though, the Rebels were in third-place, 25.5 points behind the Crusaders.  It was a Catholic of another sort, the Baton Rouge one, who were in the second spot.  Texas’ Rockwall Heath was fourth with 119 points, followed by Jesuit with 115.5.

Top 10 Scores after Friday

Place Team Points   Place Team Points
1 Brother Martin 146.5   6 Holy Cross 104
2 Catholic 144   7 North Desoto 101.5
3 Teurlings Catholic 121   8 St. Paul 99
4 Rockwall Heath, TX 119   9 East Ascension 79.5
5 Jesuit 115.5   10 Rummel 77

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So what happens on Saturday.  Unfortunately, the last three hours of breaking down Friday’s results is much longer than they will be valid, but here goes.

First, and with no disrespect intended, Rockwall Heath does not have the numbers to be in contention for a high team placement after Saturday’s first two rounds (the fourth consolation and semifinals).  All three of their semifinalists are seeded higher than their opponents, but one, through no fault of his, should not have been seeded as high as he is.  What may hurt the most is that of their six wrestlers in the consolation rounds, five are seeded lower than their opponents.  After the first consolation round and the semifinals, Rockwall Heath may only have four wrestlers remaining in the tournament.

Using the same criteria, the Crusaders should have 10 wrestlers remaining after the first two rounds on Saturday.  The Blue Jays will have nine while Catholic and Teurlings Catholic should have eight apiece. 

The Crusaders have seven semifinalists but are only favored to win two of those matches.  That bodes well for the Bears, especially, as they are favored to have five finalists.  TC should have three and Jesuit only two.  Expect the Bears to take the lead after the semifinals.

Placement in the consolation rounds, and pins, will decide who wins this tournament.

Naturally there were some upsets.  But there were also UPSETS!

Nobody had a better day than Live Oak’s Billy Edmonston.  Well, Northshore’s Samuel Torres matched Edmonston’s feat, but Torres is a junior.  Edmonston is a freshman.  Edmonston first pinned his Round One opponent in 1:25.  Then he beat second-seeded Luke Brunson of Caddo Magnate 6-5 via a stalling point assessed on Brunson with three seconds remaining.  The freshman should not have cared that he avoided a Sudden Victory round via a stalling point.  Very feasibly he did, though, as he pinned seventh-seeded Kyle Stephens, a senior, in 0:51 in the quarterfinals.  Should his next match against defending Division I state champion Thomas Domangue be different?  Why?  The Eaglet has only lost four times this season, to only three wrestlers, two of whom are not in the consolation bracket on Saturday (the other is not competing).  Sometimes not knowing that much can be a good thing.

Torres had a Round-One bye and then beat #7 Jared Paulino of St. Paul in 1:15.  He followed that with a 7-5 SV win over #2 Adam Landry of Baton Rouge.  Torres is an unknown entity.  He went 4-1 at the Trey Culotta before he was sidelined with an injury.  This is his first event since then.

The only #1 seed to be felled was East Ascension’s Jacobi Clement at 160 lbs. by Brother Martin’s #8 Rory Horvath in the quarterfinals.  Horvath never trailed in the match, which he won via a fall in 4:22.  The editor remembers someone writing that Rory Horvath may surpass the wrestling heights of his older brothers Riley (unexpected runner-up finish in 2020) and Rocco (state champion in 2022).Horvath faces North Desoto’s Lake Bates in the semifinals.

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Of second seeds to fall, Brunson of Caddo Magnate and Landry of Baton Rouge have been mentioned.  But there were more.  TC’s Lance Rivette defeated #2 Colin Cusimano of St. Paul 6-5 in Round One, via a takedown with one second remaining.  Should they each win their first match on Saturday, a rematch will occur. 

Non-Top-Eight-Seeded Anthony Hernandez of Covington defeated #7 Cameron Gandolfi of Rummel 3-1 and then upended #2 Foster Shank of Dutchtown 7-6 via a two-point reversal with 17 second remaining.  Hernandez faces #3 Gunner Guidry of Holy Cross in the semifinals.

Coach Bill Bofinger and his son Eric Live Oak's Kolton West after defeating Chalmette's #8 Mohammed Gaber 3-1 Covington senior Anthony Hernandez after making the semifinals via a 7-6 win over Dutchtown's #2 Foster Shank 2020 Division II North Desoto state champion Isaac Dees, competing for Caddo Magnate at 160 lbs., fell to #2 Nicholas DiGeralamo of Holy Cross 17-4 MD.

The minor upset the editor wanted to see but only heard of from the noise of the crowd was at 120 lbs.  In that nut-case weight class fifth-seeded and 2022 Division I 106 lbs. state champion Tyson Roach defeated fourth-seeded 2022 Division I 126 lbs. state champion Watts Goodson of Catholic 9-8.  Roach was in a 7-4 deficit as the third period began but won the final two minutes 5-1, including the go-ahead takedown with nine second remaining.

The highlight of the day for the editor was getting photographs of Sam Houston’s Chevy Coleman winning a match.  Miss Coleman wins plenty of matches, but in the tournaments the editor goes to her wins usually come in the beginning championship or consolation rounds, to which the editor is late to arrive.  Not so this time as he was there as Miss Coleman defeated Holy Cross eighth-grader Brook Breaux 15-2 MD.  It sounds worse than it was for Master Breaux, as Mrs. Coleman and the editor spoke openly about how many times Miss Coleman tried to give a lot of points to Master Breaux.  Yet the sophomore Bronco lass reacted well to every ridiculous predicament into which she put herself.

Sam Houston's Chevy Coleman defeated Brock Breaux of Holy Cross 15-2 MD

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