No restrictions on the mats for St. Paul, Teurlings Catholic or Basile as they win team titles
May 9th, 2021 | Written by: Staff writer | Photographs by Camille Tyra



The 2020-21 wrestling season was the most confounding and disagreeable season in Louisiana high school wrestling history.

Inside the barricades, though, nobody seemed to care about a world-wide pandemic that caused numerous tournament and dual meet cancellations before the LHSAA cancelled the last five weeks of the season.  Nothing in the past mattered.  All that mattered is what they did now.  Now is STATE.

The new venue was the Raising Cane's River Center in downtown Baton Rouge.

This was the 2021 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships.  This is what the kids trained for all season.  It is what made them forget the disappointments of events not held or performances in events they might rather forget.  Once again, as they did in the 2005-06 season after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Louisiana's wrestlers put on a show worthy of a Tony Award.

In just the Division I finals, five matches were decided by only one point.  One of those included an Ultimate Tie-breaker round.  In all three divisions five third-seeds won championships, as did three fourth-seeds and one seventh-seed.  The finals had 18 falls and three technical falls.  Eighteen, more than one-third, of the 42 #1 seeds did not bring home championship brackets.  Six wrestlers completed undefeated seasons (in Louisiana at least).  One freshman won a championship and thus started the long and hard road chosen by those who want to win four consecutive titles.  Another is halfway down that road.  Three more can see the finish line next season.  And one made it through unscathed.

Team Results Top-10 Final Team Scores All-Academic Four-time Winners Remembering Jimmy Vidrine
75 Years Ago 50 Years Ago 25 Years Ago Wrestling-Specific Media

Team Results

Before the finals started there was no doubt as to who would win the team championships in each division.

Division I

St. Paul won their first Division I title by 51 points over Holy Cross, a surprise runner-up despite their four #1 seeds.  More surprising was East Ascension, who needed to win the last Division I match of the evening to place third over defending champion Brother Martin.  The Spartans became the first public school team to place third in Division I since Grace King, under the late Sam Sara, did so in 1999.

Division I Champions
St. Paul Wolves

St. Paul and Brother Martin each had six finalists while Holy Cross had five.  The Tigers went 4-1 in the finals.  The Wolves were 4-2 while the Crusaders went 0-6.  East Ascension had two finalists, each of whom won.

Jacob Houser, the third seed at 120 lbs., won the first title for St. Paul over a Brother Martin opponent.  Then Holy Cross' Charles Sauerwin, III, and twins Evan and Jacob Frost won consecutive titles for the Tigers at the expense of one Crusader and two Wolves.  Grant Nastasi gave St. Paul their second title at 145 lbs.  He was followed by Holy Cross' seventh-seeded Jake Romig, who pinned a Brother Martin opponent.  Defending Division I state champion Peyton Ward of St. Paul won his second title, defeating Brother Martin's last finalist.  Next, East Ascension's Brad Mahoney capped off a 50-0 season with a Division I championship, followed by St. Paul senior Blaine Cascio win at 182 lbs.  It was not until the last match of the evening, won via a fall by EA's top-seeded Gavin Soniat, that the Spartans surpassed the Crusaders to take third place.
Division I Runners-up
Holy Cross Tigers

Southside's Landon Reaux, Airline's Ernie Perry, Sulphur's Cory Hyatt and Zachary's Aston Freeman won the remaining Division I titles.  Landon Reaux of Southside High School, the 106 lbs. champion, was voted the Outstanding Wrestler in Division I.

Division II

Teurlings Catholic dominated Division II with 301.5 points, easily outpacing runner-up North Desoto by 70.  The Rebels, who won in 2020, have now won or shared in nine of the last 11 Division II championships.  Shaw, with three individual champions, placed third and were 66.5 points ahead of Catholic League rival Rummel.

Division II Champions
Teurlings Catholic Rebels
The Rebels went 6-1 in the finals.  North Desoto, who had five finalists, only took home one title.  Shaw, who placed third, went 4-0 in the finals.

Ashton Sonnier and Ethan Boudreaux won the first two titles for the Rebels via a technical fall and a major decision.  Shaw's first title was next by now three-time Division II state champion Glenn Price.  Fourth-seeded Cameron Davis then won North Desoto's sole title of the evening.  Shaw's second title came from Ashton Surrency at 138 lbs.  Another fourth-seed, Rebel Joshua Vincent, won at 152 lbs. and was followed by an win by TC teammate John Paul Travasos.  Jude Monaco of Shaw capped an undefeated season with a fall at 4:51 and he was followed by Teurlings Catholic's fifth championship by third-seeded Reid Bourgeois.  The last Rebel title came from Joel Lanclos and 220 lbs., and Jason Bush, the fourth seed at 285 lbs., ended Division II with the fourth title for the Eagles.
Division II Runners-up
North Desoto Griffins

Carencro's Tyrick Clay won his second consecutive championship at 132 lbs., as did Jacob Ramirez of Rummel at 145 lbs.  Carencro's Latrell Williams won his second title after finishing second in 2020.  Joshua Vincent of Teurlings Catholic was voted the Outstanding Wrestler in Division II after winning the 152 lbs. championship.

Division III

Basile held off a veteran De la Salle team 219.5 to 188 to win their third consecutive Division III title.  Hannan was a mere 6.5 points behind the Cavaliers and recorded their best state finish of their six-year existence.

Division III Champions
Basile Bearcats
The Bearcats only had four finalists and two champions but sealed the championship with three 4th-place and three 5th-place finishes.  Alex Menier won his fourth-consecutive Division III championship at 132 lbs. and seven weight classes later Baylor Waggoner won the second title for the Bearcats.  The Cavaliers also went 2-2 in the finals.  Zach Lauland won for the Cavaliers at 138 lbs. and was followed seven matches later by Byron Phillips, III at 220 lbs. Hannan had four finalists but only Mark Penniston at 170 lbs. took home a bracket.

Fourth-place Brusly had the most individual championships as they won three of their four finals matches.  Seniors Kaul Kayser at 120 lbs., Marc Martinez at 145 lbs. and Andrew Trahan at 160 lbs. (Trahan's third title) won for the Panthers.  St. Louis had two winners in sophomore Luke Caballero at 106 lbs. and freshman Henry Hebert at 113 lbs.  Erath's Wiley Boudreaux took first at 132 lbs.  Evangel freshman Michael Gilreath started his quest for four titles with a win at 152 lbs.  Senior Shad Sheffie of St. Michael remained undefeated at 182 lbs. and John Curtis senior John Drake won at 285 lbs.

Division III Runners-up
De la Salle Cavaliers

Wiley Boudreaux, the 126 lbs. champion from Erath High School, was voted the Outstanding Wrestler in Division III.

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Top 10 Final Team Scores

Division I Division II  Division III
Place Team Points
1 St. Paul  291 
2 Holy Cross  240 
3 East Ascension  217.5 
4 Brother Martin  215.5 
5 Catholic  183.5 
6 Jesuit  172 
7 Sulphur  137 
8 Zachary  121.5 
9 Dutchtown  96.5 
10 Parkway  86.5 
Place Team Points
1 Teurlings Catholic  301.5 
2 North Desoto  231 
3 Shaw  223.5 
4 Rummel  163 
T-5 Carencro  152 
T-5 Rayne  152 
7 Belle Chasse  132.5 
8 Lakeshore  82.5 
9 Benton  55 
10 Haughton  41 
Place Team Points
1 Basile  219.5 
2 De la Salle  188 
3 Hannan  181.5 
4 Brusly  150.5 
5 St. Louis  119 
6 St. Michael  97.5 
7 Kaplan  81 
8 John Curtis  77.5 
9 Bossier  58 
10 South Beauregard  54 
Division I Scores & Brackets  Division II Scores & Brackets   Division III Scores & Brackets  

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This was a state championships COVID disappointment.  Rather than letting the Composite Team (4.0 GPA) kids walk up and get their photos taken, their names were readover the loudspeaker due to COVID concerns.  There were 12 members in that group.  They could have walked up individually to be recognized and photographed, and then stood back six feet away from the others before and after they were introduced.  In the grand scheme of things they could have remained in place after their names were called to take a group photograph.  No doubt RomaPics would have let them due that if the example they set at the team photos was used.  Those who should have been recognized on the mats with G.P.A.s of 4.0 were:

Name School Name School
Sean Michael Cursain Brother Martin Gavin Soniat East Ascension
Ryan Doody Holy Cross John Drake John Curtis
Peter Kelly Catholic Alex Menier Basile
Lance Landry Catholic Trace Morrow Summerfield
Logan Pertuis Live Oak John Reina St. Louis
Charles Sauerwin Holy Cross Timothy Routon Church Point

The Complete 2020-21 All-Academic Class in Wrestling

Four-time Winners

Alex Menier of Basile became the fourth Bearcat to win four individual championships, and the third to do so consecutively.  In 2019 Gavin Christ won his fourth consecutive Division III title (along with everything else that season and the season before).  From 1994-98 Carmen Cortez made the Division II finals five times, winning four of them.  And it all started with the late Jimmy Vidrine, who passed away last February, who won five state championships from 1960-64 when there were no divisions.

2018 2019 2020 2021 2021 2021 Add a 2020-21 All-Academic
At the Spartan Invitational in November of 2017 Basile's Gavin Christ pulled the editor aside to meet his "protégé."  Freshman Alex Menier, said Christ, would become Basile's next four-time Division III state champion after Christ graduated.  (Christ still had two more titles to win to join that group, but confidence, albeit with modesty, has never been a problem for Mr. Christ.) 

Juniors Evan and Jacob Frost of Holy Cross
2019 2020 2021
In his three high school seasons at Holy Cross, Frost has yet to lose to a Louisiana wrestler.  This season he did not lose to any out-of-state wrestlers either, which included matches against foes from Alabama, Florida and Georgia.  In his three Division I finals appearances he only went "the full six" in his freshman year.  One more title and he will join Brother Martin's Paul Klein, Jr. and Stephen Shields as winners of four consecutive Division I championships.
(← The text works both ways →)
2019 2020 2021

Junior Glenn Price of Shaw
2019 2020 2021 2021
Price's third Division II state title capped a perfect 20-0 season which included wins over the Division I 120 lbs. state champion and the Division I #1 seed.  Price joined Mason Mauro as a three-time state champion for the Eagles.  Mauro's first two came in his freshman and sophomore years at Brother Martin, so one more win should silence any critics as to the Eagle's all-time best wrestler.  The last four-time state champion in Division II was Brock Bonin of Teurlings Catholic, who completed his sweep in 2016.

Sophomore Ernie Perry, III of Airline Freshman Michael Gilreath of Evangel
2020 2021 2021
While certainly not the 67-second finals match of his freshman year, Perry still prevailed 2-1 over a very game Mason Elsensohn of Brother Martin 2-1.  Like the Frost twins, Perry has yet to lose a match to a Louisiana opponent in either his freshman or sophomore years.
2021 2021
Gilreath was two points away from the potential to be a five-time state champion when, in 2020 as a fifth-seeded eighth-grader, he lost a finals war with Hannan's 2nd-seed Mark Pennison 16-15.  This year, seeded second, he pinned 4th-seed Luke Robertson of De la Salle in 5:17 to start the quest to win four.

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Remembering Jimmy Vidrine

James Lee "Jimmy" Vidrine, the only wrestler to win five consecutive individual Louisiana state wrestling titles, passed away on February 3rd at his home in Scott, Louisiana.  He was 73.

Mr. Vidrine attended Basile High School and won individual state championship titles in 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964.  In his wrestling career at Basile, which started in eighth-grade, he was never defeated.

In Ready....Wrestle, Coach Bill Bofinger wrote the following about Vidrine in 1964:

 "Jimmy Vidrine of Basile, winner of the 155-pound title, was selected as the outstanding wrestler of the meet and was presented with the William B. Schriever Trophy.  Vidrine, coached by Ernie Duplechain, capped a fine high school wrestling career as the only five-time state champion in Louisiana wrestling history.  Vidrine did not lose a match in five years. His titles range from the 103-pounds in 1960 through 155-pounds in 1964.  It was also said that he wrestled "barefoot," but I don't that for sure."

Wrestling was only 18-years-old in Louisiana when he won his last championship and there were not that many teams participating to even consider separate divisions.  Yet each year Vidrine and his teammates from 1A Basile High School competed against Brother Melchior's 4A Holy Cross Tigers and Ed Stacey's 4A Jesuit Blue Jays.  And not against just one Tiger or Blue Jay (or South Cameron Tarpon or East Jefferson Warrior), but ALL of them - there were no limits as to how many wrestlers a school could enter in a weight class.  Jimmy Vidrine whipped them all.  In 1962, so did his older brother Clarence.

In the editor's 40+year memory of the sport, and more reliably on actual documentation, the opportunity to say one was the best at one's weight class for five straight years lasted about six hours.  For now, and probably for a long, long time, that can only be said of Jimmy Vidrine.

In 1964, Al Trevino, a junior on Ray Gremillion's new East Jefferson wrestling team (and who coached the vaunted St. Martin's Saints from 1973 to 1979), was paired against Vidrine at the state championships.  Gremillion told Trevino "Son, if you get past Vidrine you are going to win state."  To this day Trevino recalls Vidrine as "the toughest, meanest wrestler I ever encountered.  Just a tough country boy."  ("Meanest" is a compliment in this type of dialogue.)  Later he remembers Dennis Murphy, a Warrior teammate and later Rummel head coach, mentioning all of the sports on Vidrine's letter jacket they saw in 1964. 

Left: The 1962 Eunice News article on three Basile state champions (L-R: Melvin Fruge, Jimmy Vidrine, Clarence Vidrine).

In January of 2019, the editor conspired with Chris Briscoe, a three-time Division II state champion for the Bearcats, to have "Mr. Jimmy" attend the finals of the Ken Cole Memorial, at which it was expected Briscoe's son, Gavin Christ, would win a few weeks prior to becoming Basile's second four-time Division III state champion.  Upon hearing that Mr. Vidrine was "in the house," tournament director Keith Bergeron almost dropped his microphone, and when he introduced Mr. Jimmy to the crowd, Mr. Jimmy was doing something he loved, showing a young man an arm-lock (photo-left).  Following photos: Mr. Jimmy acknowledging the crowd at Comeaux High School, Kevin Bushnell, Mr. Jimmy and Gavin Christ, Mr. Jimmy and some of the Basile contingent (L-R: Anthony Guillory, Gabe Duplechin, Alex Menier, Gavin Christ and Isaac Cortez).

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75 Years Ago - March 15th-16th, 1946 - Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana

Seven teams participated in this event, and Holy Cross, under Brother Melchior Polowy, dominated it as they did in 1945.  Holy Cross' 55 points dwarfed runner-up St. Aloysius' 16.  Jesuit was third with 11 points, followed by Newman and Shreveport's Fair Park, which tied for fourth with three points apiece.  Warren Easton and Byrd participated but failed to score any points.

The Tigers had eight winners and five runners-up in the 11 weight classes contested.  St. Aloysius had two champions and Jesuit had one, Mike Schroder, who was chosen as the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.

Wrestlers of note include Jack Hecker of Holy Cross, who won his second of four individual titles, and Manuel Sala of St. Aloysius, a winner in 1945 and 1946, who later was a prominent institution at the New Orleans Athletic Club.

03/17/46 03/18/46

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50 Years Ago - February 26th-27, 1971 - L.S.U. Assembly Center - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Coach Pat McCardle's De la Salle Cavaliers won their third consecutive state championship, outpacing Jesuit by 14 points, 104 to 90.  South Cameron was third (87 points), followed by East Jefferson (74 points) and Lee High (53 points).  Twenty-one teams participated, eight more than in 1970, and including Brother Martin, created by the merging of St. Aloysius and Cor Jesu in 1969, and the Airline Highway bastion of Jefferson Parish elitism, St. Martin's.

De la Salle had two champions and seven top-four placers, while Jesuit had four champions but only three other top-four placers.  It was another example of how individual championships often only merit individual championships, but team championships are won in the consolation rounds.

De la Salle would not win another state team championships until 2016 when they won the first of two consecutive Division III championships under Coach Rod Cusachs.

Notable top-four placers include Coach Beau McInness (Lee High - 1st) and Judge Charles Cusimano (Jesuit - 1st) and Judge Leon Cannizzaro, Jr. (De la Salle - 1st).

02/26/71 02/27/71 02/28/71

03/01/71 03/01/71
138 lbs. placers: Beau McInness, Lee High (1st), Wayne Daigle, De la Salle (2nd), Paul Lachin. J.F. Kennedy (3rd), Steve Lee, Jesuit (4th)

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25 Years Ago - February 9th-10th, 1996 - New Orleans Lakefront Arena

Coach Sam Harnsongkram's Jesuit Blue Jays won their ninth of what would be 11 Division I team titles in a row, edging out the Brother Martin Crusaders by 4.5 points, 199.5 to 195.  St. Paul was a distant third with 120 points, followed by Rummel with 115 points and Lafayette with 101 points. Come the finals Jesuit had yet to claim the title although they had six finalists to Brother Martin's three.  David Reinhardt sealed the title for the Blue Jays with a fall at 140 lbs.  Jesuit's Curt Diester and Brother Martin Trey Culotta would win individual titles after Reinhardt's match.

In Division II the Brusly Panthers won their second consecutive team title for Coach Camille Plaisance with 228.5 points, 20 points more than runner-up Bishop Sullivan.  Buras placed a distant third with 160 points, followed by  Redemptorist with 155.5 points and Basile with 143.5 points.

A lot of future coaches came out of this event.  Certainly, some are not listed, but the ones immediately recognized include Nick Accardo, Barrett Wilson, Duffy Rousselle, Carmen Cortez, J.P. Pierre and Roderick Ratcliff.  Another champion who fared pretty well after high school was Northside's Daniel Cormier.  Cormier won his second of three Division I championships in 1996. 

02/11/96 02/11/96 02/11/96 02/12/96

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Wrestling-Specific Media
After threatening the LHSAA with a lawsuit based on their illegal 2020 decision to deny the Louisiana Wrestling News any media credentials, they capitulated in three days, allowing two wrestling-specific media on the floor of the Raising Cane's River Center.  The editor's daughter Camille came from Marietta, Georgia to help her aged, half-blind father cover the event as best as possible with only two cameras.  The LWN will just have to sue harder to get more media credentials come the 2022 championships.
Camille "in action" Camille on Friday with a newly sprained wrist Camille after State, celebrating her 23rd birthday The editor eliciting words of wisdom by the Louisiana Wrestling News' Cat-in-Chief

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