Brusly won’t need to look far to see how it measures against other Division III wrestling programs.
A 20-team slate consisting solely of Division III squads comprises the competition slated for action Saturday in the Brusly Invitational Tournament.
Opening-round matches start at 9 a.m. The championship round kicks off at approximately 5 p.m.
North Vermillion, the 2013 Division III state runner-up, tops the list of competitors who hope to take down the Panthers, the defending Division III state titlist nine of the last 10 years.
“North Vermillion will definitely be one of the top teams we’ll face in the tournament,” Brusly coach Jimmy Bible said. “That meet will definitely say a lot about what we’re made of.”
Division strongholds John Curtis, Rayne, Basile and Evangel also look to gain ground in the tournament.
Brusly won the championship in last year’s tournament.
Three-time state champ Trevor Schermer (31-2) leads the Panther pack going into the tournament. Additional standouts include defending titlists Barrett Sanchez and Wyatt LeJeune, as well as Kendon Lee, Noah Landry and Koby Mancuso.
“All those guys are doing well right now,” Bible said. “We’ve had a few nagging injuries, but other than that, the kids are wrestling well.
“Right now, we just need to stay consistent and wrestle well,” he said. “It’s all a matter of getting everyone to stay in the right frame of mind.”
The meet marks a pivotal stop on the road to the state tournament in Kenner next month.
The Panthers will follow with the Louisiana Classic Jan. 18 at Ketchum Fitness Center in Baton Rouge, and two weeks later in the Ken Cole Tournament at Comeaux High School in Lafayette.
Brusly will compete in the Baton Rouge city tournament a week before the state tournament.