The state wrestling tournament this weekend means far more than another gold medal for Brusly senior Trevor Schermer.
This year, it’s a chance to make history.
A fourth state title for Trevor Schermer (177-28) would establish him and his older brother Austin (196-47) as the only brother combination in the history of Louisiana high school wrestling ever to win a combined eight state championships.
“To the best of my knowledge – and we’ve done a lot of research – there’s no brother combination in the state that has ever done the clean sweep,” Brusly coach Jimmy Bible said. “It’s also an extreme rarity across the nation.”
Trevor will vie for that milestone this weekend at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Wrestling Tournament at the Ponchartrain Center in Kenner.
The precedent does little to faze Schermer, who quietly went about his business in a workout last week in the wrestling team’s training facility.
“Right now, my mind is on going there to do like I’ve done all year – work on moves and just have fun,” he said. “I’m treating it like another day at the office.”
Behind the calm demeanor lies a lifelong rivalry with his older brother, one that has fueled success for both of them.
“The rivalry is what made things so good for us,” Austin said. “As kids, we’d fight even when he beat me at chess.”
Their fierce competitive nature fit nicely when both became involved in wrestling. They joined the Brusly Middle School wrestling program the same year, not long after they moved to Louisiana from their native Grand Rapids, Mich.
Kim Schermer, mother of Austin and Trevor, admits their sparring sessions did not resemble a Norman Rockwell illustration of harmony and idealism.
“Honestly, I hated watching them wrestle each other,” she said. It always ended with them going fisticuffs, and I had to put myself in the middle to break them up.”
The refusal to lose always sparked tension, Austin said.
I’d get a takedown and he’d get mad and he’d get an escape and I’d get mad,” he said. “We just hate to lose. It’s not an option, and we both like it that way.”
The two trained under Kirk Mancuso, who won a state title during his days on the BHS mat squad.
Mancuso saw that competitive nature even in their early stages.
“There was no hiding from the first time that they hated to lose,” he said. “It made them work that much harder the next day.”
Mancuso said both of them are perfectionists, but go about their success in different ways.
“Trevor is a little more orthodox and Austin more methodical,” he said. “Austin may be more aggressive, but both have that trait that means they’ll put in the extra effort to do things 100 percent right.”
Both say they’ve moved past the pull-aparts of their younger days.
The rivalry fostered a deep respect between the two brothers.
“We know each other’s styles very well because we’ve always trained together,” Trevor said. “In fact, he knows my moves so well I asked for him to work with me rather than my coaches.”
The groundwork for success his brother put into place initially intimidated Trevor.
“It was scary because I didn’t want to go into my freshman year and choke and not win the state title that Austin was able to win his freshman year,” he said. “But after I won the Brusly Invitational my freshman year, I knew I could do it. Since then, it’s just been about going out there and getting it.”
Austin understands that pressure very well.
“You worry about letting everyone down, particularly the fourth year,” he said. “Once you win your first title, the pressure is on for you to do it all four years.”
He also feels the same pain his brother endures after a loss.
Austin said Trevor’s loss at the Baton Rouge City Tournament hurt him as much as his younger brother.
“I didn’t want to be out there after that,” Austin said. “I walked to the back and started crying – seeing him lose devastates me.”
The tournament leaves Kim Schermer with feelings of mixed emotion.
“It will be emotional, with plenty of tears – both joy and sadness,” she said. “A part of my world will be ending because wrestling has been a part of our family the last eight years.”
Trevor hopes to put the Schermer name in the state record books this weekend. But he said a win would leave intact the debate on the better of the two wrestlers.
“I guess at that point we’ll just settle that we’re both good wrestlers and declare it a draw,” he said.