Catholic and East Ascension a Greater Baton Rouge Championships preview
October 31st, 2023| Written by: Staff writer



For the third consecutive year Catholic and East Ascensions will start their seasons dueling in a dual meet.  (Please note, and learn the difference between, those two words that sound the same.) 

In 2021 the Spartans defeated the Bears 41-29 yet the Bears prevailed in the 2022 Greater Baton Rouge Championships 252.5 to 208, and placed third in the Division I state championships, 60.5 points ahead of the fifth-place Spartans.

In 2022 Catholic prevailed 41-18.  The Bears later won the Louisiana Classic, won the GBRs by 79 points over the Spartans and placed second in the Division I state championships by four points to Jesuit. 

In this match the Bears may be outmatched.  The Spartans have a veteran team returning whereas the Bears' 2023 state runner-up squad were (OK, anything but "decimated")...widely dispersed to other institutions.

The Bears have 2023 runners-up Christian Worley and Kristian Scott returning,  The only other 2023 placer was Blair Rousseau, who placed fourth.  Rousseau, however, is playing football on a playoff-bound 7-2 Catholic team which has a game on November 2nd.  Matthew Sanders deserves notice, as he knocked Holden Wempren out of the state championships last year.  The Bears are, no doubt, loaded with talent of which only a few know, so do not expect them to not put up a fight.

The Spartans, however, have a slew of veteran kids who placed in 2023 and who have state championship experience.  Wempren certainly counts, as does Alex Amedee who placed sixth.  Jesse Maneckshaw placed fourth and his monozygotic twin Lucas placed sixth.  Between those two was fourth-place winner Aiden Krass.  Senior Jacobi Clement was seeded sixth but fell short of placing.  Do not bet on that this season.  Grady Stutzman may not be competing on the mats yet as he is still on the football field, but Sheatltiel Lewis at 285 lbs. may be available.

Hence, on paper the Spartans look stronger.  Do not bet the farm on them, though.  Who knew about Catholic before the 2023 Louisiana Classic?  Bet a chicken or an old goat.

The match will be shown on Varsity Sports Now, but as I will not be going to any tournaments this weekend, I might make the drive to take photos and thus have something to do on the plane to Houston on Saturday and back home on Sunday.  It is wrestling related, as I am going to a surprise birthday party for Stephon Breedlove of our UT wrestling team.  I will be joined by fellow teammates Rich Fulmer, Mike Shanks, Larry Swonke and Scott Kirby.  Aside from Rich, I have not seen the other guys in 40 years.  Money well spent, I believe.

The 1983 Texas Collegiate Wrestling Association Champions from UT
Stephon Breedlove is sitting in the middle.  Mike Shanks is left of him.  Larry Swonke is standing on the far right with the IZOD shirt.  I am left of him, and Scott Kirby (with the blonde hair) is next to me and coach Dwayne Keller (64-1 at OSU with 2 NCAA titles).  Rich Fulmer is not in this photograph.  The guy standing on the far right is one of the planet Pluto's assassins, Neil deGrasse Tyson.  (OK, the former planet Pluto did not have assassins - but I bet it wishes it did now.)


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