Brother Martin fights off Holy Cross in thrilling wrestling dual meet
Last season, Holy Cross ended Brother Martin’s five-year stranglehold on the Division I state wrestling championship, capturing the title in Bossier City. It was the first Division I state championship for the Tigers since 1988. Brother Martin finished a disappointing third behind Jesuit.
That came after a controversial dual meet win by the Tigers over the Crusaders near the end of the season in which Brother Martin held out several of their top wrestlers.
This time around, the two powers squared off early in the season and were all in. The results did not disappoint and revealed what should be a very close, heated, spirited competition for the Division I state championship in 2018.
The Crusaders fought off the Tigers 29-24 in a dual meet Friday night at Bob Conlin Gymnasium.
Call it the luck off the draw.
Brother Martin got to open with one of its best wrestlers in 2015 state champion and 2016 finalist Luke Cotton at 138 pounds and Cotton got the Crusaders off to a great start, pinning Logan Lacoste in 1:07.
The Crusaders then built solid leads of 13-0, winning the first three matches and 20-9 before Holy Cross rallied. Though the Tigers never led, they won three straight matches to close to within 26-24.
Then, by luck of the draw, the dual closed at 126 pounds with 2016 state champion Daniel Croy on the mat for the Crusaders in the deciding match. He took care of business, downing Jacob Spahn 7-2 to provide the margin of victory. Croy remained unbeaten at 8-0 with the victory.
“It very much felt great to beat them,” Croy said. “It was the greatest feeling coming down to me, whether we won or lost. It was the best scenario at that time. I like being in that position. I knew I could pull it out. You saw what happened.”
Croy likes this year’s Crusader team.
“I feel like we’re more aggressive than last year,” Croy said. “We’re better on our feet and we just are all around better than last year. We feel we have a very good chance at winning state this year. I have not lost yet this year and I plan to keep it that way.”
Each team won seven matches in an evenly contested dual. The margin of victory was provided by a pair of pins by Brother Martin, along with a pair of major decisions while the Tigers scored one pin.
Also winning by fall for Brother Martin was junior heavyweight Mack Brown at 285 pounds. Brown pinned sophomore Brady Maillet in 1:26.
Scoring major decisions for the Crusaders were junior Patrick Evans at 145 pounds, who downed Cameron Frost 17-4 and junior Seth Alfonso at 160 pounds, who handled sophomore Matt Gerretts 11-3. Evans is 22-0 on the season while Alfonso improved to 8-2.
Winning by fall for the Tigers was freshman Ryan Doody at 220 pounds. Doody pinned Kyle West in 1:29 to improve to 11-6 on the season.
Also impressive for Holy Cross was super eighth-grader Jacob Frost at 106 pounds. Frost improved to 19-1 on the season with a 6-3 win over Connor Hoffman, handing the talented Brother Martin sophomore just his second loss (11-2).
In perhaps the most thrilling match of the dual, junior Caden Mumme of Holy Cross scored a takedown with just two seconds left to edge sophomore Mason Masicot of Brother Martin 3-1 at 170 pounds as Mumme improved to 10-2.. At 120 pounds, junior Michael Lundin of Holy Cross improved to 10-1, rallying from 2-0 down after two periods to defeat Logan Bertot 4-2.
Another outstanding match saw sophomore Alex Duncan of the Crusaders edge Mason Macaluso of the Tigers 4-3 at 138 pounds as Duncan improved to 15-3.
Brother Martin head coach Robbie Dauterive was happy with the result and credited Holy Cross.
“They are extremely well coached and they wrestled like that tonight,” Dauterive said. “It was a great high school dual meet. It was about as I expected. A couple of my guys cut weight the wrong way. That’s a problem that I need to fix. They drew 132 first. I was excited starting with Cotton and ending with Croy. It just happened to go that way. It worked out well for us.”
Dauterive was philosophical about last year’s controversy.
“It’s better to wrestle earlier in the year,” Dauterive said. “I told them that if Louisiana would fix wrestling and go back to a regional wrestling tournament where you had to compete two weeks before state, then things would be much better, much more competitive and you’d be able to have the state tournament in a smaller arena instead of running us up to Shreveport (Bossier City). I stand by what we did last year.”
Despite the loss, Holy Cross head coach Eric DesOrmeaux was pleased with what he saw.
“We competed very well,” DesOrmeaux said. “We went 7-7 against them. If we flipped a couple of matches, it goes the other way. Fortunately, it happened earlier in the year. We’ll see them again down the road, including at the district meet and in two or three tournaments. I was pretty proud of the young but my eighth-grader at 106 (Jacob Frost) is really good.
Brother Martin moved to 6-0 in dual meets on the season while Holy Cross fell to 3-1.
The Crusaders return to action next Friday and Saturday, hosting the annual Trey Culotta Invitational. Holy Cross takes time off before returning to action in the Prep Slam at Atlanta, GA Dec. 29 and 30.
“It is the first time we are going to the Prep Slam and we’re pretty excited about that,” DesOrmeaux said. “We are looking forward to competing against some of the best teams in the nation.”
Brother Martin 29, Holy Cross 24
106—Jacob Frost (HC) dec. Connor Hoffman (BM) 6-3
113—Caruso Signorelli (HC) dec. Ethan Castex (BM) 7-2
120—Michael Lundin (HC) dec. Logan Bertot (BM) 4-2
126—Daniel Croy (BM) dec. Jacob Spahn (HC) 7-3
132—Luke Cotton (BM) by fall over Logan LaCoste (HC) 1:07
138—Alex Duncan (BM) dec. Mason Macaluso (HC) 8-7
145—Patrick Evans (BM) MD over Cameron Frost 17-4
152—Brady Butler (HC) dec. Noah Roux (BM) 5-1
160—Seth Alfonso (BM) MD over Matt Gerrets (HC) 10-4
170—Caden Mumme (HC) dec. Mason Masicot (BM) 3-1
182—Spencer Rayes (HC) dec. Michael Clapp (BM) 11-5
195—Garrett Legendre (BM) dec. Logan Heffner (HC) 7-3
220—Ryan Doody (HC) by fall over Kyle West (BM) 1:29
285—Mack Brown (BM) by fall over Brady Maillet (HC) 1:26
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…