Louisiana teams alternate dominant performances at the 2020 Deep South Nationals Duals
July 26th, 2020| Written by: Staff writer | Photographs compliments of William Blanchard and Crystal Modica




Two Louisiana teams travelled to the Deep South National Duals, held on November 24th and 25th at the Zamora Shrine Temple in Irondale, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham.  Team Louisiana consisted of 18 wrestlers, in grades two through eight, and coached by Chuck Rozas and Glenn Bernard.  They competed in the Deep South K-8 Duals.  The Bayou Elite Wrestling Club brought 17 8th-12th grade students to the Deep South National High School Duals.

Team Louisiana

Weight Name Grade Name Weight Grade Name Weight Grade
Jason Coffel 45 2 Alex Rozas 75 6 Brandt Babineaux 108 8
Levi Stanley 50 2 Kael Reaux 80 8 Caleb Lavine 116 ?
Cole Bourquard 55 4 Wallace Blue 85 8 Rylee Reeves 125 7
Mason Parria 60 4 Dominick Durham 90 ? Jake Dempsey 140 8
Mason Modica 65 4 Zachary Little 95 6 Nick DiGerolamo 170 8
Zane Blanchard 70 6 Kelby Bernard 100 8 Willie Cox 225 ?
Zamora Shrine Temple
3521 Ratliff Road
Irondale, Alabama
Bayou Elite

Name Weight Grade Name Weight Grade Name Weight Grade
Hunter Chabert 106 9 Jacob Frost 132 11 Nick DiGeralamo 152 8
Landon Smith 106 ? Dylan Lauriano 132 12 Gatlin Klein 152 12
Lucas Maneckshaw 113 9 Charles Sauerwin, III 138 12 Jake Romig 160 12
Nick Sauerwin 120 9 Josh Atkins 145 12 Luke Battaglia 160 11
Brandon Gainey 120 10 Reed Barnwold 145 12 Tyler McDonald 170 12
Evan Frost 126 11 Clark Amore 152 12      

Team Louisiana

On Friday, the younger Louisiana wrestlers were in Group E, the fifth of five round-robin brackets - and they destroyed it.  They won their matches by scores of 68-16, 73-18, 68-18 and 54-31.  As undefeated pool winners they qualified, with 15 other teams, for Saturday's Gold championship bracket in which they were seeded fourth.  In those matches they won 50 matches and lost only 17.  Twenty-six of their wins were by falls.

The Team Louisiana wrestlers knew the Gold bracket would be tough, but perhaps not as tough as it actually was.  Despite placing an unexpected 12th, they did not make it easy for teams to get past them. 

They lost their Round One dual 44-37 to KVegas Wrestling 44-37, despite receiving 12 points via forfeits.  Their opponents simply wrestled better, winning 11 of the 16 contested matches.  Six of the matches were very close.  Three were won by two points after regulation time and three that went into overtime periods.  The teams split those matches 3-3.  While the entire match cannot be determined by a mere six of 18 matches, Team Louisiana would have needed to win five of them.

The kids rebounded in the first consolation round match and drubbed the Teknique Wrestling Blue team 75-12.  They received five forfeits, but they won eight of the 11 contested matches.  Next, though, was the Teknique Black team.  It was a close final score at 41-34, and Team Louisiana received two forfeits again.  Their opponents won 10 of the 16 matches, and this time there were five matches decided by two points or overtime rounds.  Team Louisiana won five of them yet still came up a little short.

Before, during (with Lafayette Scrappers coach Glenn Bernard) and after the 2020 Deep South Nationals K-8 Duals (coach Chuck Rozas in gray shirt)

Their last match was for 11th-place against the Alabama Elite team.  This match was determined by one match - or...well, one of three.   Each team won nine of the 18 matches.  Each team scored two bonus points (the Alabama Elite scored two major decisions while Team Louisiana scored a technical fall).  The match came down to falls.  Alabama Elite scored three; Team Louisiana scored one.  Assuming the kids who scored the falls would have won the matches anyway, that meant nine "pin points" for Alabama Elite and three for Team Louisiana, leaving a difference of six: Alabama Elite 37-Team Louisiana 31.

On Saturday Team Louisiana won 28 matches, six by fall, and lost 43 matches.

Since there are second-graders, fourth-graders and a few others who have yet read the editor's thoughts about out-of-state competition, here it is:  Even if you did not win a match, and even if you did not actually wrestle a match, got better!  You went to a competition with opponents you have never met from places you have never been and who talk of Big 10, Big 12, ACC and something called the PAC 10 as college football conferences.   They talk of Daytona 500s, Indianapolis 500s and Talladega 500s instead of Mardi Gras.  They talk of peaches, wheat and corn instead of tomatoes, rice and okra.  And yet they made the same decision you did - to go to Irondale, Alabama, last weekend - and wrestle.  You already have that in common, a shared love of the hardest elementary and high school sport you can choose to do.  You learned initially that most of them are just as scared of you as you are of them, so you have that in common as well.  There is a lot more to be learned in these events than you may yet realize.  You do not have to win on the mat to come out of this type of event a winner.

As the philosophy lesson is now over, some kids should be recognized for their prowess on the mats over the weekend. as some excellent records were recorded.

Team Louisiana hi-jinx Team Louisiana higher-jinx

The best was by sixth-grader Alex Rojas who went 8-0 on the weekend.  Rojas pinned one opponent in the first period (1:28), three in the second period (2:12, 1:54, 1:41) and one in the third period (2:56).  He also won three decisions: 6-0, 3-1 and 2-0 SV.

Eighth-grader Nick DiGerolamo notched a 5-1 record.  Sixth-grader Zane Blanchard went 6-2, as did eighth-graders Kael Reaux, Dominick Durham, Kelby Bernard and Brandt Babineaux.  Fourth-grader Mason Parria and eighth-grader Wallace Blue went 5-2.  Fourth-grader Cole Bourquard went 5-4 and Mason Modica, also in fourth-grade, posted a 4-4 record.

Bayou Elite

The Bayou Elite probably did not consider Friday one of their finest moments.  No doubt that they wrestled hard, but they just seemed to be outmatched in their pool bracket.  Actually, they appeared to be outmatched by a lot of teams.  They had the Frost twins, of course, with their four Division I state championships (although it only means "two state champions"), but that distinction paled among the descriptions of other teams in the event:

"4 - AL State Champs, 3 TN State Champs, 1 GA State Champ, 4 State Place-winners;"

"2 wrestlers ranked Top 5 in the nation (Gabe Arnold, RJ Weston), Fargo champ, Fargo AA, 1 SB national champ, 5 state champs, 5 others 2nd in state, 5 other state placers; 2 Grand River Rumble champs;"

"Tough Team! 5 state champs, 2 state runner ups, team full of placers:"

"3 Fargo All-Americans. Two Indiana State Champs, State Runner up, 3 state placers. Everyone else is semi-state. Indiana has one class:"

"7 State Champs, 2 State Runner-ups;"

"(1) State champ, (1) 2nd state, (2) 3rd state, (3) 4th state, (1) 5th state, (2) 6th state. Fargo All-American, UWW World Trials Placer, 3 NHSCA Placers, multiple Pre-Season All-Americans."

If the competition was not enough, another problem plagued the Bayou Elite.  They had to forfeit four matches in every dual, having nobody to fill the weight classes from 182-lbs. to 285 lbs.  Hence, they started every match down 24-0.

In Friday's first match they faced the eventual pool winner, Higher Warrior (Alabama).  The Frost brothers and Luke Battaglia managed to score wins in a 54-14 loss.  After a Round Two bye they faced the Central Illinois Wrestling Academy.  Head-to-head they won this match 21-18.  They scored three pins and two decisions (24 points) to three pins (18 points) by the team from Illinois.  But the forfeits made the final score 42-30 against the Bayou Elite.  Granted, had they had entrants in the heaviest four weight classes, the match could have gone either way.  It did not, but hopefully winning five of the nine matches provided a little solace.  Against Ironclad Black of Alabama the match was much like their first one. The Frost twins and Battaglia won their matches, but the Alabama team won seven matches and received the forfeits, resulting in a 54-12 loss.  In their last match of the pool the PM Savages just put an explanation point on what had to already be a frustrating day.  The saving grace of the match was a 15-2 major decision by Charles Sauerwin, III, giving the Louisiana team their only points in a 66-4 drubbing in which both Frosts lost their matches.  Or maybe not.  Sauerwin's major decision was listed at 138 lbs.  Yet at 145 lbs., Sauerwin is listed as losing 5-0 to a different opponent.  Over a day later the score still reads 66-4, so the win stays. 

To sum up Friday's pool round, the Bayou Elite won 12 matches, lost 27, received one forfeit and gave 16 forfeits.

Bayou Elite gang cheering on Team Louisiana Bayou Elite gang forgetting all about Team Louisiana

Saturday had to be better.  Sure, the Friday pools are meant to "weed out" the weaker teams, and starting every match down 24-0, the kids should have known in this case that meant them.  Yet it also meant five other teams who were just as unfortunate on Friday.  This was a fighting chance to come away with something positive, and they wasted little time in doing so.

For the Deep South High School Duals the Saturday matches were also in a round-robin format. 

In Round One they beat Tiger Wrestling (!) of Alabama 44-19.  Actually, in that match they received more forfeits (five) than they received (one), and split the actual six matches 3-3.  (There were two "Double Forfeit" weight classes.)  Yet in their three wins the Bayou Elite scored 14 points, and only 13 points were scored against them in their three losses.  Advantage: Bayou Elite.

Next came Wildcat Wrestling of Alabama.  Only six matches took place, but the Bayou Elite won them all in a 64-6 rout.  Their third match, against Whitted Trained Grey of Texas, was almost a duplicate of their first match of the day against Tiger Wrestling.  Each team won and lost three matches.  The Bayou Elite wrestlers, however, outscored their opponents 14-11.  Next came Florida's Beach Boys, whom the Bayou Elite handled easily 55-12, winning five of the six matches contested.  In their last match of the event the defeated the Skull and Crossbones Wrestling Club of Alabama 39-22, winning five of the seven matches.

On Saturday, the Bayou Elite won 22 matches, lost nine and scored 11 falls.  They had to walk out of the gym feeling better than they did on the previous night.

The best records of the event were, as one probably guessed already, posted by Evan and Jacob Frost.  The twins each won seven matches and lost only one.  Jake Romig went 5-3 and Luke Battaglia went 3-1.

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