A portion of a recap, at best
December 28th, 2023| Written by: Staff writer



Kansas City Stampede Lone Survivor Editorial

Trey Culotta Invitational Matches

December 23rd at the Trey Culotta did not disappoint.  Saturday’s finals released a little light onto the Louisiana Classic potentialities, which is a mere three weeks from now.

Brother Martin won the event by 30 points over Tennessee’s Christian Brothers.  East Ascension, however, was only 19.5 points behind Christian Brothers and they only had 12 entrants.  Teurlings Catholic only had 11 entrants and were 7.5 points behind East Ascension in fourth place.  Sans Jesuit, Holy Cross and St. Paul, that means little, though.

There are some more juicy facts with which I could start, but I am going to start with Brother Martin’s Quinn McDermott.  McDermott, then a freshman, was chosen to fill the shoes of Jacob Elsensohn when Elsensohn was not allowed, due to concussion protocol (I think) to compete at the 2023 state championships.  Master McDermott had a fine 37-16 record prior to the state championships, and in that event he went 2-2 and scored seven points.  That was the kind of experience he did not expect to get, and he has used it quite well this season.  Remembering that I only use out-of-state wins, not losses, he is 14-5, losing to nefarious wannabes like Tyson Roach (x2), Kaiden Triche (x2) and Kye Karcher.  McDermott was not one of the top-four Friday pool-rounds seeds, yet went 5-0 on Friday with falls in 3:17, 1:18 and 1:29 and decisions of 10-5 and 17-5 MD.  In the championship brackets he scored a fall over Eli Roberts of Zachary in 3:41, won an 11-4 decision over Fontainebleau’s defending Division I 106 lbs. state champion Samuel Favaza and then prevailed 6-5 against Ephram Ormison of Southside, AL  He entered the third period in the top position with a two-point lead and only allowed an escape with 42 seconds remaining.  From seven points at the state championships to a Trey Culotta championship.  Contemplate what another 39 days might do for the young man.

Sticking with the Crusaders, let us look at senior Hunter Chabert.  The brackets now have his record as 8-0.  Look up his record on TW’s Brother Martin team page and he is 1-0.  Either way, that is not a lot of matches compared to his finals opponent, Aiden Krass of East Ascension, who was 35-0 upon entering the event.  Karss scored the first takedown but Chabert responded with five unanswered points for the title.

Kudos to EA’s Holden Wempren for a fall over BM’s William Fontenot to place third.

Additional kudos to St. Amant’s Braylon Stewart, who avenged two prior losses to Zachary’s Sergio Garcia with a 26-17 MD score fest.  There were nine takedowns, four reversals, seven escapes and 10 nearfall points scored in the match.  Unfortunately for Houston, Stewart won all three rounds: 9-6, 9-4 and 8-7.

There was another match of note.  Senior Tyson Roach of Sam Houston, a 2022 Division I state champion and a 2023 Division II state champion, with a 30-0 record and championships at the Warrior Open, the Cougar Classic, the Gulf Coast Clash, the Spartan Invitational and the Black Horse in Tennessee, faced sophomore 2023 Division II state champion Alez Rozas of Teurlings Catholic.  Rozas brought a 23-0 record into the event (OK, that only counts two wins at the Reno TOC, in which Rozas placed third and thus won several more matches) and championships at the Warrior Open, Gulf Coast Clash, the Black Horse and the Brusly Invitational.

The sophomore prevailed 7-4 in what was a much closer match than the score indicated.  When asked on Varsity Sports Now last week at what weight they would compete in the Louisiana Classic, both said 120 lbs.  That they both competed at 120 at this event and that they will still compete at 120 at the LACL surprised this pundit.  Having losses on his resume does not discourage Roach.  For the last three seasons he had Southside’s Landon Reaux in his weight class, and he gave as good as he got in those battles.  The last time he lost by three points, to Reaux in the 2023 LACL finals, the following week he beat Reaux 12-2 MD in the Ken Cole finals.  Yet does anyone believe Alex Rozas thinks he cannot win again after this match?

Let us go back to East Ascension (because I love them according to Carlos!) they placed third, and aside from Coach Ballantine, I know little about Christian Brothers.  Did anyone notice Holden Wempren taking third over Brother Martin’s William Fontenot?  I have said before that Wempren is a seasoned veteran, and he showed it this weekend. 

Jacobi Clement is 34-0 which indicates he remembers quite well that he did not perform as well at the 2023 state championships as he would have preferred.  Schaeffer Moran of Baton Rouge, Pike Landry of Teurlings Catholic, Billy Edmonston of Live Oak, Gavin Landry of Central and Will York of Episcopal are some of his victims so far this season.  He has not had the fortune to face Jesuit’s Jackson Calderaro or Jackson Peak of St. Paul, but that should happen within the next fortnight-and-a-half. 

St. Thomas More entered seven wrestlers.  At 120 lbs. Colin Romero placed seventh in the weight class with Alex Rozas, Tyson Roach, Dylan Duvernay of De la Salle and Brother Martin’s Blake McDonald, to whom Romero lost via an “injury default.”  Yet he came back to win seventh place in a 16-9 win over Braden Carroll of Vancleave, MS.  At 165 lbs. Sawyer Pugh lost two matches, both to Kaleb Sanders of Lakeshore, to place third.  A second Cougars team placed fourth at the Greg Lavergne Lafayette Duals.  Not competing this week was Jonas Rebstock, but after a Jacob McMillan championship that is allowed. 

Unexpected by, well everyone, in particular Lakeshore’s Bryce Latino and Brother Martin’s Matthew Graffagnini, was Cougar freshman Foster Peterson.  After two falls and a technical fall on Friday, Peterson teched  Dustin Smith of Fontainebleau 21-5, beat Latino 8-4 and then beat the undefeated Graffagnini 5-3 in the finals.

Suffice to say – Division II, do not take these Cougars lightly come February.  The same goes to Division I and Division III before that.

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Kansas City Stampede

Kudos to the Jesuit Blue Jays for placing seventh in a field of 74 at the Kansas City Stampede held on December 15th and 16th, 2023.  Two defending Division I state champion placed in the top-eight.   Bodi Harris placed seventh and Spencer Lanosga was a runner-up.

Lone Survivor

I’m using a whole paragraph just to extend congratulations to Chevy Coleman who pinned six opponents over the last two days to earn the Parkway Lone Survivor Outstanding Wrestler Award.  Her falls on Friday were in 0:59, 2:31 and 1:07.  On Saturday they were in 0:41, 0:48 and 2:09.  That is 7 minutes and 15 seconds.  They should have just let her FAX those to Parkway.

Chevy Coleman of
Sam Houston

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Editorial: Trey Culotta “Yeah, I tried for two weeks but I cannot let it go.”

The following is a  Facebook correspondence I had with Brother Martin Coach Andrew Nicola last week:

Martin Muller:

“Hey Coach!  I am very glad you let the non-scorers compete against the scorers this year.  It was the right move.  And congrats on the win!”

Andrew Nicola:

“It just so happened that the tournament wasn’t as close this year so I was able to do that. Next year may be different, the year after may be different, etc. I will make that decision when the time comes. I’m glad you’re glad though and you agree that my decision for my team was the right move.”

Does anyone else see a tad of sarcasm there following a compliment?

Yes, I wrote more, a lot more, but to what end?  (Look at this year's Culotta results vs. last year's, and not just at points totals.)



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