Mateu and Christ garner national recognition
June 6th, 2018| Written by: Editor



Two of Louisiana's finest were recognized nationally recently.

Senior Blake Mateu of Rummel was awarded the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award for Louisiana, which is presented annually to a high school senior, and is based equally on outstanding wrestling success, scholastic achievement and citizenship or community service.

Junior Gavin Christ of Basile was recognized by Wrestling Insider Magazine as the Louisiana High School Wrestler of the year.

Mateu and Christ both were undefeated during the 2017-18 season.  Both won the Louisiana Classic and followed that with their third state championship titles: Mateu in Division II and Christ in Division III.

2018 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award for Louisiana - Blake Mateu of Rummel High School

Mateu's short senior season, in which he posted a 22-0 record (with 18 falls and one technical fall) was a result of injuries.  He wrestled with most of his appendages held together with Scotch tape and old Velcro.  Yet he did not let his injuries get in the way of accomplishing his goals for the season, albeit he had some "close calls" due to them.  The first was a Louisiana Classic quarterfinals match against Live Oak's Clayton Hill.  Up by around 10 points early, Mateu reinjured his leg and was barely able to get past the sophomore 13-12 when the match was over.  His semifinals match with Teurlings Catholic's Colten Sonnier was harder for Mateu than most of his matches, even though he won by a fall in 4:49.  Only one other opponent pinned by Mateu went into the second round prior to being pinned this season.  In the finals he defeated St. Louis prodigy Alex Yokubaitis 5-3, handing the sophomore his only loss of the season.  (Hill and Sonnier would later win Division II state championships; Yokubaitis went on the win his second Division III championship.)  Mateu cruised into his third consecutive Division II finals and seemed to use all he had left in him to preserve a 1-0 win over Parkway's Zachary Harper.  The point came via stalling on Harper's part, which few seemed to dispute.  It was reminiscent of Mateu's freshman year when he made the Division I finals and lost 1-0 to Jesuit's Brody Martin via a stalling point against Mateu.

Freshman year at the
South Walton Border Wars
Sophomore - 1st Louisiana Classic Championship Junior - 2nd Louisiana Classic Win Senior - semifinals of third Division III championship

In his freshman year Mateu sported a 44-5 record with 33 falls and one technical fall.  Four of those losses came to Martin, whom Mateu also beat twice.  The other was to Logan Brown of Allen High School in Texas.  In that season he defeated four wrestlers who would win five Division I championships, three Division II championships and two Division III championships.

As a sophomore Mateu posted a 37-1 record, with his only blemish a 5-2 loss to Dawson Bates of Jefferson, Georgia.  In that season he defeated opponents who would win three Division I championships and four Division II state championships.

In his junior year Mateu lost one match to a Florida wrestler in the finals of the South Walton Border Wars, which Mateu won as a sophomore.  His only other loss that season, in which he finished 32-2 with 22 falls and two technical falls, was a match he did not have to wrestle.  But he wanted to see how he would fare against Brother Martin senior Steven Shields, who already had three Division I state championships and would win his fourth a little later.  Mateu moved up to 126 lbs. for that match and came out with a very respectable 5-3 loss to the Crusader.  During that season he defeated a Division I state champion and a 2018 Division II state champion three times, including in the Division II finals.

All told, Blake Mateu went 135-8 for the Raiders, with 98 falls.  After a runner-up finish to Martin in the 2015 Louisiana Classic, Mateu won the tournament in the next three years via finals scores of 12-0, 6-2 and 5-3.  In his three Division II finals matches he won via scores of 10-1, 6-3 and 1-0.  Mateu entered 20 tournaments in his tenure as a Rummel Raider wrestler, winning 15 of them.  In the other four he was a runner-up four times and had one third-place finish.

Tournament Results - Blake Mateu of Rummel

Year Tournament Place   Year Tournament Place
2014 Warrior Open 3rd   2016 Raider 8 1st
2014 South Walton Border Wars 1st   2016 Rebel Open 1st
2014 Jefferson Invitational 1st   2016 South Walton Border Wars 2nd
2014 Trey Culotta Invitational 2nd   2017 Louisiana Classic 1st
2015 Louisiana Classic 2nd   2017 Bruin Open 1st
2015 Division I State Championships 2nd   2017 Division II State Championships 1st
2015 Raider 8 1st   2017 Brusly 8 1st
2015 Trey Culotta Invitational 1st   2017 Dale Ketelsen Memorial 1st
2016 Louisiana Classic 1st   2018 Louisiana Classic 1st
2016 Division II State Championships 1st   2018 Division II State Championships 1st

Mateu joined an elite club of Louisiana wrestlers who have won the Dave Schultz Award, which is almost a Rummel tradition as Raider wrestlers have now won it four times since 2007 (the LWN could not find any records of winners prior to 2007).  John Calcote (2009), Mark Pinero (2011) and Scott Gibbons (2012) won the award wrestling for Rummel.  Brother Martin has three winners: Nick Shields (2008), Paul Klein (2015) and Steven Shields (2017).  Catholic's Michael Love (2010) and Comeaux's Tyrek Malveaux (2013) are the other Division I wrestlers to win the honor.  Mateu is the fourth Division II wrestler to receive the award.  Kamron Johnson of Parkway did so in 2007.  In 2014 the honor was bestowed on Live Oak's Cody Hill and in 2016 on Brock Bonin of Teurlings Catholic.

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Wrestling Insider Magazine Louisiana Wrestler of the Year

As of yet, no Division III wrestlers have won Dave Schultz Award.  That might change come 2019.

Basile's Gavin Christ won 12 tournaments during the 2017-18 season in which he went 57-0.  He was voted a tournament's Outstanding Wrestler four times.

Gavin Christ of Basile was recognized by Wrestling Insider Magazine (WIN) as the Louisiana Wrestler of the Year.  In the 2017-18 season Christ was 57-0 with 35 falls and eight technical falls.  In the process he won the Louisiana Classic and his second Ken Cole Invitational title, winning the Outstanding Wrestler award for that event a second time also.  Later Christ won his third Division III state championship and his second Division III Outstanding Wrestler award.  In this season Christ beat a Division I state champion twice, two Division II state champions, as well as wrestlers who would win state championships in all three divisions in 2018.

Christ won 12 tournaments in the 2017-18 season and was voted the Outstanding Wrestler in four of them.

Year Tournament Place   Year Tournament Place
2017 Central Wildcat 1st   2017 Parkway Lone Survivor 1st - OW
2017 Griffin Open 1st   2018 Brusly Invitational 1st
2017 Spartan Invitational 1st   2018 Louisiana Classic 1st
2017 Jefferson Invitational 1st   2018 Ken Cole Memorial 1st - OW (2nd)
2017 Jacob McMillan Memorial 1st   2018 Lafayette Metro Championships 1st
2017 Trey Culotta Invitational 1st - OW   2018 Division III State Championships 1st - OW (2nd)

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