A younger – yet experienced – group of competitors join a few seasoned veterans on the 2012 Brusly wrestling team.
The Panthers enter the 2012-13 season as defending Division III champions after they regained the title at the state meet last February.
BHS must fill the void left by multi-time state champs Austin Schermer and Jacob Haydel.
The Panthers bring only two seniors – Quentin Berthelot and Don Stufflebeam – to action this season.
The success of this year’s team will depend largely on the younger grapplers, coach Jimmy Bible said.
“We only have two seniors, and this one class has always been really small,” he said. “The junior and sophomore class really needs to pick up the slack.”
Top competitors this year will include junior Trevor Schemer, a two-time state champion; junior Barrett Sanchez, who won his first state title last season; junior Wyatt LeJeune, a 2012 state runner-up and sophomore Koby Mancuso, who finished sixth in last year’s state tourney.
“I look forward to this season,” Bible said. “We’ll be young and we have a lot of younger kids coming out.
“Hopefully, we can build numbers back to where we were,” he said. “We’ve been down the last couple of years, but I look forward to seeing how juniors and sophomores react to the younger guys.”
Sophomore Dillon Prejean, who placed first in the seventh annual Warrior Open Nov. 3 at St. Michael, ranks as one of the top young prospects this season.
Other potential standouts include juniors Toby Hebert and Nick Orcino, as well as freshmen Christian Free and Blayze Olano.
The varsity squad gets a lot of mileage from young wrestlers, thanks largely to a strong middle school feeder program, Bible said.
“Those guys are going to help us a lot this year,” he said.
The Panthers will also get a boost from the influx of wrestlers who were still in football at the start of the mat season.
Among those coming from the football team are Mancuso, heavyweight grappler Javante Wheeler and Jacob McGee.
BHS placed sixth in a 30-team tournament during the weekend at Dutchtown High School.
Schermer and Barrett placed first, while LeJeune took third.
UPCOMING MEETS … Brusly competes Dec. 1 in the Catholic Duals, while the junior varsity travels to Rayne the same day.
The Panthers will also battle in the Sam Sara Invitational Dec. 7 and 8 and the Plaquemine Tri-Meet Dec. 12.
Brusly is among the schools that will host the Deep South Bayou Duals, set for Dec. 28 and 29 at the River Center.
The event will feature 48 teams across 16 mats. Competitors will come from Oklahoma, New York, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and other states.
Gene Mills, a national titlist from University of Syracuse, will bring two New York teams to the event.
Brusly holds its annual invitational Jan. 12.
The Baton Rouge City Tournament runs Feb. 1-3 at Catholic High School.
The state meet is set for Feb. 16 and 17 in Kenner.