Jesuit wrestling champion Perry Ganci named February Athlete of the Month
NEW ORLEANS – Senior Perry Ganci, state champion wrestler from Jesuit High School, has been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for February. Monthly award-winners are chosen in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Award Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Ganci completed a perfect 40-0 season by winning the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA state heavyweight (285-pound) championship, pinning the defending state heavyweight champion Mack Brown of Brother Martin in the title match. Ganci, who weighs just 245 pounds, stepped up in class this year and still won his third consecutive individual state title. He became just the ninth wrestler in the storied history of the Jesuit program to win three state championships. Ganci has signed a football scholarship offer to play at Nicholls.
Ganci earned the honor over four basketball stars who also turned in impressive February performances. Xavier University’s Essence Wells led the Gold Nuggets to a 7-1 record and their first Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship in six seasons by averaging 16.7 points per game. Country Day standout Justin Ibieta averaged 13.0 points and six rebounds per game as he keyed the Cajuns’ on-going quest for a state championship. The other two New Orleans products who were nominated are both starring at Baylor University. Kalani Brown, a prep All-American from Salmen High School, averaged 15.5 points per game as the top-ranked Bears posted an 8-0 mark. Former Riverside Academy star Jared Butler was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 25 after he hit five 3-pointers and scored a team-high 17 points with six rebounds and five assists in Baylor’s upset win over then-No. 19 Iowa State (Feb. 19).
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1957. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible. Each of the monthly award winners will be honored in the summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
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