Crusaders eke out 20th championship; Teurlings Catholic upends North Desoto; Basile repeats easily
April 15th, 2020 | Written by: Editor



NOTE: This is not the state championships website I wanted to create.  My true feelings are somewhat described in the signs where photographs should be.  As a challenge, perhaps for a fourth-grader, I have written them in "Black Speech."  As Gandalf would tell Frodo Baggins, "the language is that of Mordor which I will not utter here."

Apathy and avarice on the part

of two entities have prevented completing a

comprehensive pictorial article on the 2020

Louisiana state wrestling championships.

Perhaps next year, with some help from many of you, the Louisiana Wrestling News will once again be allowed to photograph and describe the state championships as the athletes, their family and fans deserve.

Overdue Honorific and All-Academic Wrestlers All-Academic Four-Consecutive-Years Applicants Farewells 50 Years Ago 25 Years Ago 10 Years Ago One Year Ago and February 2020

Division I Champions Division II Champions Division III Champions
Brother Martin Crusaders Teurlings Catholic Rebels Basile Bearcats

The Crusaders' 5.5-point victory over runner-up St. Paul was by their smallest margin of the eight Division I championships they won since 2012, when they defeated Catholic by four points.  Connor Hoffman at 132 lbs. and Alex Duncan at 145 lbs. won their second state championships for Brother Martin.

Teurlings Catholic won their eighth Division II state championship in the last 10 tournaments by 29 points over favored North Desoto.  Champions for the Rebels were Charles Travasos at 160 lbs., Vaughn Romero and David Bernard (his second) at 182 lbs.

Basile easily defended their 2019 Division III title by 42 points over runner-up Brusly.  The Bearcats had five state champions.  Alex Menier (120 lbs.) and Isaac Cortez (182 lbs.) won their third Division III titles, and Menier has one more left to win to be Basile's fourth wrestler to win four state championships.  Blake Menier won his second championship at 132 lbs.  The other two were sophomore Andrew Johnson at 113 lbs. and senior Gabe Duplechin at 220 lbs.

Overdue Honorific and All-Academic Wrestlers

Coach Donny Burton spearheaded the growth of Northwest Louisiana wrestling, coaching at Bossier as far back as 1978, at Airline in the early 2000s and more recently with Calvary Baptist, from whence he retired in 2013.  Coach Burton was recognized as a Louisiana Sports Legend.  Coach Burton's son Dustin is the coach at North Desoto High School.  Coach Burton chartered the first NW Louisiana USA Wrestling Club (the NW LA Warriors) in 1999.  His father started Northwest Louisiana wrestling in the 1960s.  Should the Louisiana Wrestling Hall of Fame ever be resuscitated, Coach Burton is long overdue a green jacket. [Left to right]

Jordan Clark - Parkway, Macullen Mire - Catholic, Colton Kendrick - John Curtis Christian,
Kemal Robertson - St. Louis,
Chase Spooner - South Beauregard,
Lucien Naquin - St. Amant,
David Bernard - Teurlings Catholic

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Four-Consecutive-Years Applicants

Five Louisiana wrestlers have the potential to become four-time state champions.

Basile's Alex Menier has completed 75% of his requirement, and could win his fourth Division III state championship in 2020.

Two Division I wrestlers and one Division II wrestler are halfway there.  The Holy Cross Frost twins, sophomores in the 2019-20 season, each have two Division I championships.  Shaw's Glenn Price has two Division II state championships, and was also a sophomore in the 2019-20 season.

And then there is Airline's Ernie Perry, III, a freshman in 2019-20 who won his first Division I state championship this season.

Basile junior Alex Menier has three D III titles Holy Cross sophomore Evan Frost has two D I titles So does his twin brother Jacob Shaw sophomore Glenn Price has two D II state titles Airline freshman Ernie Perry, III, has one D I state title

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Three extraordinary wrestlers will graduate this season.

Alex Yokubaitis - St. Louis

Yokubaitis joins a select few who have won four Division III state championships.  Coming to mind are Gavin Christ of Basile, Austin Franklin, Trevor Schermer and Austin Schermer of Brusly, after the creation of Division III in 2000.  Prior to that, in Division II was Redemptorist's Brad Macha, Chad Buras of Buras, Carmen Cortez of Basile, Ernie Peyton of Hackberry and Tim Leblanc of Brusly.  Division I has only two such individuals, Paul Klein and Steven Shields, both of Brother Martin.  And, of course, there is Basile's Jimmy Vidrine, who won five state titles. 

While he never won the Louisiana Classic, he only lost one match in his three attempts.  In 2018 it was in the finals versus Rummel's Blake Mateu, a senior who would defeat Yokubaitis 5-3 to win his third Louisiana Classic title.  In 2019, after being upset by North Desoto's Joshua Sarpy, Yokubaitis came back to place third, defeating Brother Martin's Ethan Castex 7-1.  In his senior year he was 50-0, not counting his Louisiana Classic loss to a Texas kid whom only his mother might love. 

Alex has always impressed the editor with his proclivity on the mats and his politeness off the mat.  Even after very rare losses he shows nothing but respect for his opponents and does not show a hint of disappointment. 

Oddly, he has never won a Division III Outstanding Wrestler award.  Feasibly it is because he has no more room on his shelves. 

2017 2018 2019 2020
106 Pounds 113 Pounds 120 Pounds 126 Pounds
11-2 over David Kent of Brusly 12-5 over Colton Kendrick of John Curtis 15-0 TF over Zachary Lauland of De la Salle 15-0 TF over David Diecidue of Hannon

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Isaac Cortez - Basile


For the last two years, now three-time Division III state champion (as a freshman he placed third) Isaac Cortez has been the best 182 pounds wrestler in the state.  In the 2018-19 season Caden Mumme of Holy Cross was undefeated and arguable a Cortez-Mumme match would have been great to see.  The two only had one common opponent, which was Jeremiah Brooks of Acadiana.  Cortez lost their first match 7-5 in a Sudden Victory period, but later in the season he scored a 13-3 major decision over Brooks.  Mumme beat Brooks twice.  The first time was by a 9-1 major decision, but later, in the state semifinals, he needed a Sudden Victory round to win his state championships semifinals match 7-5.  By the time Cortez had his first match, on December 1st, 2018, Mumme already had nine matches "under his belt."  He lost to Brooks in his sixth match.  This matter could have been decided at the Louisiana Classic, but Cortez suffered a concussion in an early round.  Refusing to quit, Cortez still placed sixth.  Mumme won that event and had an undefeated season, so the editor decided he earned the coveted Louisiana Wrestling News "Best of 2018-19" paperweight.

There was no doubt this year.  His first match was on December 20th at the Trey Culotta Invitational, which he also won in 2018.  Of his seven opponents, Cortez pinned six of them and defeated the remaining one via a 9-1 major decision.  He pinned his way through the Brusly Invitational and Rayne Invitational, and to the finals of the Ken Cole.  There he would meet one of three wrestlers who might present a problem for Cortez.  Teurlings Catholic's David Bernard was a defending Division II state champion and his only loss of the season was 3-2 to another defending Division II state champion, Latrell Williams of Carencro.

Bernard did take Cortez to the 6:00 limit, but not easily.  After the first period Cortez built a 13-2 lead.  The last two rounds were rather dull compared to the first one, and Bernard scored the only points via a third period reversal.  Cortez won the match by a 13-5 major decision.  Any doubts about Williams were erased after the Division II 182 finals match in which Bernard defeated Williams 10-4.

2018 2019 2020 2020
195 lbs. 182 lbs. 182 lbs. 182 lbs.
Fall in 4:00 over Haven Dominguez of Church Point 5-1 over William Gage of St. Louis Fall in 1:43 over Joseph Belcher of St. Louis Outstanding Wrestler in Division III

The other wrestler who could claim to be the best at 182 pounds is Jarin Meyer of Baton Rouge, the 2020 Division I state champion.  Meyer finished the season with a 34-1 record.  His sole loss was to East Ascension's Trent Mahoney, who went up to 182 to wrestle Meyer and won 4-2 in the first match of the season for both wrestlers.  We can use a common opponent to favor Cortez.  Jarin Meyer defeated Summerfield's Trace Morrow via an 18-3 technical fall.  Bernard pinned Morrow in 3:58.  Then again, Meyer pinned Morgan Burke of Comeaux in 1:57 while Bernard only scored a 9-1 major decision over Burke.

It is simple enough to make the decision based on Meyer's one loss when Mahoney moved up a weight class and beat him, but the clincher was at the Ken Cole against Bernard.  With most opponents Cortez just invades their personal space like a bull, and upon feeling his strength they come to learn that they just want to get off of the mat as soon as they can.  Bernard, naturally, did not feel that way.  And in the first period of the Ken Cole finals when the two grapplers were still on their feet, Bernard tried a shuck or a duck-under and started going around to get behind Cortez.  Then Cortez pulled out the savvy (or the "he's never done anything like that before") and reached back to the far side of Bernard's head and ripped Bernard right to his back.  He rarely has to use it, but Cortez has a wicked "A-game."  (When he was a sophomore the editor used to tell Cortez that he either brings his "A-game" or his "D-minus-game" to tournaments.  Last year his only "D-minus-game" was due to a concussion at the Louisiana Classic.  This year, he only brought his "A-game.")

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Trent Mahoney - East Ascension

East Ascension senior Trent Mahoney had a spectacular season.  He was undefeated with a record of 77-0.  On November 20th, 2019, he scored his 148th fall as a high school student, breaking the former record of 147.  He would add 60 more falls to that record, ending up with 207 falls, tying the national record for pins in a high school career. He set a single-season Louisiana wins record of 86 and a new pins record for a season with 66.  He won three Louisiana Classic title, his first as a freshman when he pinned Brother Martin's Steven Shields, a senior who would later that year be the second wrestler to win four consecutive Division I state titles.  Not one to leave people wondering, he chose to move up to 182 lbs. in his first match against Baton Rouge's Jarin Meyer, also his first match, and won 4-3 over the Bulldog wrestler who would follow Mahoney on the Division I finals match at 182 lbs., which he won.  Mahoney went down to 145 lbs. last season to challenge Brother Martin's Patrick Evens, who ended his senior year undefeated, won two Division I championships and a Dave Schultz Award.  He lost the match 6-5, but more than a few onlookers, and not all from East Ascension, thought Mahoney won the match.  In 2019 Mahoney became East Ascension's first two-time state champion.  This year made it three.

'Nuff Said 77-0 With Mom after #3 Honoring a fallen former teammate

2018 2019 2020
7-1 over Luke Eccles of Jesuit and voted Division I Outstanding Wrestler Fall in 4:49 over Seth Alfonso of Brother Martin Fall in 2:53 over Blain Cascio of St. Paul

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50 Years Ago - 1970

Coach Pat McCardle's De la Salle Cavaliers won their second consecutive Louisiana state team title, outscoring runner-up East Jefferson by 38 points.  St. Paul coach Ricky Zimmer placed third that year for the third place Holy Cross Tigers.

25 Years Ago - 1995

The undefeated Ryan Hess made the headline, but it was the Jesuit Blue Jays who won their eighth consecutive Division I championship under legendary coach Sam Harnsongkram.  The Blue Jays' closest competitor, Catholic, finished second 108.5 points behind the blue Jays. Brusly, under Coach Camille Pleasance, won their first Division II team title by six points over Coach Brian Biggs' Buras Wildcats.  Placing third was defending Division II state champion Redemptorist who was led by undefeated senior Brad Macha, who won his fourth individual state championship.  Biggs currently coaches at Summerfield High School and Macha coaches at the perennial Division II powerhouse Teurlings Catholic, which won their eighth Division II team title since 2011.  Current coaches Barrett Wilson, Duffy Rousselle, and Carmen Cortez won state championships that year.  Former Basile coach Kevin Bushnell was a runner-up.

Ten Years Ago - 2010

Michael Love at 171 lbs. propelled the Catholic to the Division I state team championship by three points, and John Luckett added another four points immediately afterward to give the Bears a seven-point win over defending champion Jesuit.  This was Coach Tommy Prochaska's second Division I team title (the Bears also won in 2008).  Catholic's first state championship won by Catholic was in 1975 under Coach Mac Faul. St. Michael the Archangel dominated Division II, winning by 61.5 points over Runner-up Holy Cross.  The last three lines of this article mentions that Brusly won the Division III title by 124.5 points over runner-up Evangel. The fine print above is readable when magnified.

One Year Ago - 2019 and February of 2020

In 2019 the authorities granted the Louisiana Wrestling News five press passes so that we,  from left to right, Jonathan Belaire, Anthony Benedetto, Editor, Emily Hamman and Anna Tedesco could photograph the event.   Camille Tyra was to be a sixth camera, as well as the editor's daughter.  Thus, the LWN can only claim the photo above, which was actually taken by our Red Lobster waitress. Does anyone know who this lady is?

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