LAFAYETTE – Brusly got yet another indication of how it stands among the state’s elite in high school wrestling.
The Panthers tallied 188 points to finish third among 60 squads Friday and Saturday at the 38th annual Ken Cole Invitational at Comeaux High School.
BHS finished behind Division I powerhouse Brother Martin, which dominated the event with 323 points, while fellow Crescent City squad Holy Cross placed second (263).
The win comes as Brusly gears up for the Baton Rouge City Tournament set for Saturday at Catholic High. The Panthers head to the LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament Feb. 21 and 22 at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, where the Panthers will seek their 10th state title in the last 11 years.
Despite the strong finish, Panther wrestling coach Jimmy Bible believes the Panthers could’ve brought a little more to the table.
“We wish we could’ve done better in some spots at Ken Cole, and we still have some work to do, but we’re going to get ready this week and see what happens,” Bible said.
Trevor Schermer claimed Brusly’s sole championship of the Ken Cole with an 8-3 decision win over Austin Meyn of Brother Martin in the 138-lb. classification.
Koby Mancuso grabbed third place in the 152-lb. bracket on a 3-2 decision over Ashton Queyrouze of Jesuit.
Wyatt LeJeune landed fourth in the 126-lb. division, while Dillon Prejean placed fourth for Brusly in the 195-lb. bracket, while Noah Landry took fifth in the 132-lb. class.
Freshmen Kendon Lee – who has taken first place finishes throughout the season – was unable to compete due to illness.
Bible believes the huge crop of competitors – the largest ever – in the Ken Cole gave the Panthers great preparation for what awaits them.
“We wait for these tournaments all year long, starting with the Brusly Tournament, the Louisiana Classic, and then going from Ken Cole and City to State,” he said. “The City meet is always big for us, so we’re going to put our best foot forward.”
Bible sees Catholic, East Ascension and Live Oak as the top teams in the mix for the state tournament. CHS has maintained a strong presence for decades in Baton Rouge wrestling, but EAHS and LOHS have gained significant ground the last several years.
East Ascension placed fifth (168) behind Jesuit (163) at the Ken Cole Invitational, while rapidly growing Live Oak took sixth (158).