Brusly wrestling coach Jimmy Bible knows a good thing when he sees it; and he liked plenty of what he saw Friday and Saturday.
The defending Division III State Champion Panthers breezed through competition in the annual Brusly Invitational, scoring 250 points to claim the championship. The final tally smoked runner-up North Vermillion, which finished with 142.
“We wrestled like I thought we would,” Bible said. “Judging by the way we did today, I think we’re in a good spot to do some great things the rest of this season.”
Rounding out the top 10 were Ocean Springs, Miss. (112), John Curtis (81), Basile (75.5), Evangel (72), South Plaquemines (72), Sam Houston (58) and Centreville Academy (58).
Plenty of grapplers vied for the spotlight, including two who made history.
Brusly senior Trevor Schermer became the first-ever four-time Brusly Invitational champion when he pinned Brandon Kirkkis of Evangel at the two-minute mark in the 145-lb. weight class.
“It feels great … it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a freshman,” Schermer said. “I have to keep going from here ... we still have a long road to go before we get to the end, but the way the team is looking, things are going pretty good and I think we’ll finish pretty good.”
Schermer won the Seth Daniel Outstanding Award in the lower weight class.
Alex Martin of De La Salle claimed the Daniel trophy for the upper weight class when he pinned Brusly’s Diondre Dorsey in 3:22 for a win in the 160-class.
Four other Brusly grapplers claimed tournament championships – Kendon Lee (120-lb. class), Baret Sanchez (126), Wyatt LeJeune (132) and Noah Landry (138).
Five additional Panthers finished runner-up – Toby Hebert (138), Diondre Dorsey (160), Blayze Olano (170), Dillon Prejean (182) and Donald Johnson (220).
It marked the first championship for Lee, a freshman who improved to 39-1 with a win on a 4-3 decision over Tristan Rupport of Ocean Springs.
The Missouri native has been wrestling since fourth grade.
“I’ve been coming to the tournaments here since I was in sixth grade,” he said. “It just felt good to finally be in the tournament and not be so nervous.”
Another milestone came courtesy of Doyline sophomore Brittany Bates, who became first-ever female champ in tournament’s 28-year history.
“It means a whole lot to me and this team,” she said. “God has guided me to this.”
Bates pinned Ryan Monghan of Ocean Springs, Miss., for the top spot in the 113-lb. weight class.
She started wrestling in seventh grade.
“The first day of practice, my coach (John Smith) slammed me on my back,” Bates said. “It was that day that I decided I loved the sport and that I’d keep on doing it.”
In a rare championship battle in the 138-lb. class, BHS teammates Noah Landry and Toby Hebert battled for first - Landry won on a 5-1 decision over Hebert.
“It’s just as hard as wrestling anyone else, but it adds something to it when you go against someone who works out with you day-in and day-out,” Landry said. “I’d have to say that Toby and I gave each other the best matches we’ve ever had.”
Hebert agreed, saying that the task of facing a teammate added to the challenge.
“It threw a little bit more into it, but just being in a tournament setting adds that much more to it and gives you that much more drive to work hard,” he said. “Wrestling your teammate makes the match much more difficult, but I can say after all these years that was probably the best match I ever wrestled.”
Several BHS tournaments have featured same-team pairings, but such bouts have become a rarity at other events.
“It’s happened before, especially in this tournament when they tell other schools to bring their backups who have every fights,” said assistant coach Kirk Mancuso, a former champ from BHS. “There aren’t many tournaments like this anymore where you can bring the same wrestlers back the next day.”
Brusly’s next stop in its quest for a 10th state title over an 11-year period comes Friday and Saturday when the Panthers compete with approximately 50 other teams in the Louisiana Classic at Ketchum Fitness Center in Baton Rouge.
“That’s one of the biggest meets of the season for us,” Bible said. “It puts us up against top teams from around the state and gives us a very good idea of where we stand for the state meet.
“We have some things we can work on, but overall I think we’re in good shape,” he said.
TOTALS: 1, Brusly 250. 2, North Vermilion 142. 3, De La Salle 125. 4, Ocean Springs 112. 5, John Curtis 81. 6, Basile 75.5. 7, Evangel Christian 72, South Plaquemines 72. 9, Sam Houston 61. 10, Centreville Academy 58. 11, Lakeside 52. 12, St. Michael 43. 13, Grand Lake 40. 14, The Dunham School 39, Episcopal 39. 16, Rayne 37. 17, Doyline 29. 18, Loyola Prep 26. 19, Parkview Baptist 25. 20, Calvary Baptist 21. 21, Plaquemine 20. 22, Baker 17. 23, Church Point 11, Holy Rosary 11. 25, Istrouma 10. 26, Kaplan 9. 27, Redemptorist 7, South Cameron 7.
106 pounds: Armand Zachary, Loyola, pinned Austin Franklin, Brusly, 1:07.
113: Brittany Bates, Doyline, pinned Ryan Monghan, Ocean Springs, 1:43.
120: Kendon Lee, Brusly, dec. Tristan Rupport, Ocean Springs, 4-3.
126: Baret Sanchez, Brusly, dec. Brice Cortez, Curtis, 7-1.
132: Wyatt LeJeune, Brusly, dec. Sterling Saylor, Plaquemine, 10-7.
138: Noah Landry, Brusly, dec. Toby Hebert, Brusly, 5-1.
145: Trevor Schermer, Brusly, pinned Benjamin Kirkikis, Evangel, 2:00.
152: Marshall Hill, Parkview, dec. Colin Laird, North Vermilion, 4-3.
160: Alex Martin, De La Salle, pinned Diondre Dorsey, Brusly, 3:22.
170: G’Corey Fullilove, Curtis, dec. Blayze Olano, Brusly, 9-3.
182: Colin Vaughn, North Vermilion, dec. Dillon Prejean, Brusly, 4-3.
195: Brandon Arnett, Centreville Academy, dec. Ian Harter, St. Michael, 7-4.
220: Brian Arnett, Centreville, dec. Donald Johnson, Brusly, 3-2.
285: Logan Williams, Evangel, pinned Kirk Wilson, Dunhan, 3:33.
106: Joey Cavolaski, Grand Lake, dec. Brendon Wilcox, Curtis, 5-0.
113: Alex Beraud, North Vermilion dec. Gavin Christ, Basile, 6-0.
120: Raymond Bushnell, Basile, dec. Rhett Maturin, North Vermilion, 9-3.
126: Anthony Seaux, Rayne, dec. Owen Mongahanm Ocean Springs, 8-6.
132: James Graham, South Plaquemines, pinned Jarrett Ruppert, Ocean Springs, 1:24.
138: Drew Tortorich, De La Salle, and Deiontae James, South Plaquemines tied for third.145: Dominick Bioc, De La Salle, won by forfeit.
152: Koby Mancuso, Brusly, won by forfeit.
160: Brody LeMaire, North Vermilion, won by forfeit.
170: Caleb Thompson, Ocean Springs, won by forfeit.
182: Mason Ramirez, Sam Houston, major dec. Kevin Drury Jr., South Plaquemines, 20-10.
195: Jonathan Thompson, North Vermilion, dec. James Phillips, Grand Lake, 10-6.
220: Luke Griffith Lakeside, and Blake Bernard, North Vermilion, tied for third.
285: Tommy Harvey, Ocean Springs, pinned Jalen Haydel, De La Salle, 1:49.