BOSSIER CITY – The symmetry was perfect.
The shirts were waiting and the champions would not be denied.
Brother Martin claimed its 20th state wrestling title in 2020, holding off St. Paul’s 242-236.5 to claim its third state championship in a row and the eighth in the last nine years for the Crusaders, who were able to wear the “20 in 20” shirts.
It was a champion with a new coach, an uphill climb against a stiff challenger but in the end the dominant team in Louisiana wrestling emerged victorious.
Brother Martin had five finalists and won two individual state champions in seniors Connor Hoffman '20 at 132 pounds and Alex Duncan '20 at 145 pounds as both won second individual state titles.
First-year head coach Andrew Nicola was emotional about the hard earned team title.
“I’ve got goose bumps,” Nicola said. “We knew going into this week that Hoffman was going to be very hard to beat. Alex is special to me with a 4.3 GPA and a young man that will major in chemical engineering. This might have been one of the most hour and a half nerve-wracking hours of my life but it was fun. It feels good. It feels good.’
As a senior, Hoffman wanted to go out on top.
“It’s huge, but the individual accomplishment doesn’t mean anything,” Hoffman said. “It is all about the team to me. I knew I had to come back this year and finish on top. I was more concerned about the team title than anything.”
Duncan was grateful for the experience at Brother Martin.
“It’s humbling,” Duncan said. “I can only thank so many people that influenced and helped me on my journey. My teammates made it better with all of the hard work they put into this tournament. We didn’t know the team score so I knew I had to get points on the board. I knew I needed to step up.”