Sometimes, a dual-meet loss is just what a wrestling team needs to get refocused. Brother Martin continued its mission to prove that point by winning the 47th Louisiana Classic on Saturday night.
The Crusaders, the defending LHSAA Division I champions, took some lessons learned in a recent duals loss to St. Paul’s and put them into practice. Brother Martin had two individual champions on the final day of the two-day meet that featured 51 teams and more than 400 competitors at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center.
“I was not super thrilled with how we did in a couple of our matches yesterday,” first-year Brother Martin coach Andrew Nicola said. “But today was a different story. We were able to come back and avenge a couple of losses that we had either earlier in the season or earlier in this tournament.
“In particular, Mason Elsensohn '22 (106-pound competitor) had lost to the guy from St. Paul’s twice and was able to beat him in the semifinals, which was huge. We were hoping to get a win in the finals, but the freshman he wrestled is awfully good. I was proud of the resiliency our guys showed on the back side today (wrestle backs).”
Brother Martin finished with 235 points to win the team title, ahead of Holy Cross (194) and St. Paul’s (179½). Meet host Catholic (171½) and East Ascension (165½) completed the top five.
A second-place trophy was not the only hardware Holy Cross took home. Sophomore Jacob Frost won the tourney’s coveted Outstanding Wrestler award. Frost won the 120-pound title, claiming a tight 6-5 decision over Houston Westside’s Christian Lopez in the final.
The bout was stopped multiple times because of a gash on Lopez’s forehead that had to be covered and taped up more than once. Frost never lost his focus.
“Getting this (award) is very exciting because you have everybody in the state here, and we’re not separated into different divisions like we are at state,” Frost said. “Probably hand-fighting was the thing I was best at this weekend, and that is something I’ve been working on since last year. My goal now it to go for a state title, and it’s the same for the team. We finished second and have to keep going for first.”
Ethan Castex '21 at 126 and Alex Duncan '20 at 145 were Brother Martin’s individual champions. Frost and his twin, Evan (113) won individual titles for Holy Cross. St. Paul’s Ben Davidson (160) and Cole Ulfers (220) also were individual champions.
“We preached all week and told the guys if there was a single class championship for Louisiana this would be it,” Brother Martin’s Nicola said. “So the boys knew how important this was going to be. Losing that dual to St. Paul’s lite a fire under them. They performed.”
At Lamar Dixon Expo Center
Team totals: 1, Brother Martin 235. 2, Holy Cross 194. 3, St. Paul’s 179.5. 4, Catholic 171.5. 5, East Ascension 165.5. 6, North DeSoto 151.5. 7, Teurlings Catholic 128. 8, Parkway 125. 9, Live Oak 123.5. 10, Shaw 100. 11, Jesuit 98.5. 12, St. Amant 90.5. 13, Chalmette 85.5. 14, Airline 76, Zachary 76. 16, Baton Rouge High 71. 17, Comeaux 65. 18, Belle Chasse 58. 19, Fontainebleau 55. 20, Rummel 20, Houston Westside 52.
106 pounds: Ernie Perry III, Airline, dec. Mason Elsensohn '22, Brother Martin, 7-2.
113: Evan Frost, Holy Cross, tech. fall Glenn Price, Shaw, 5:14.
120: Jacob Frost, Holy Cross, dec. Christian Lopez, Houston Westside, 6-5.
126: Ethan Castex '21, Brother Martin, dec. Clayton Hill, Live Oak, 14-8.
132: Peter Kelly, Catholic, dec. Austin Surrency, Shaw, 6-2.
138: Jacob Ramirez, Rummel, def. Corey Brownell, St. Amant, 6-4.
145: Alex Duncan '20, Brother Martin, dec. Luke Battaglia, Jesuit, 5-1.
152: Richard Mack, North DeSoto, dec. Peyton Ward, St. Paul’s, 4-3.
160: Ben Davidson, St. Paul’s, dec. Ian Wyble, Catholic, 12-6.
170: Trent Mahoney, East Ascension, tech fall Vaughn Romero, Teurlings, 5:14 (17-1).
182: Jarin Meyer, Baton Rouge High, fall Macullen Mire, Catholic, 5:20.
195: Chase Spooner, South Beauregard, fall Christopher Allen, Covington, 3:30.
220: Cole Ulfers, St. Paul’s, fall Ashton Freeman, Zachary, 3:49.
285: Donald Paul, Comeaux, fall Gavin Soniat, East Ascension, 3:19.