Fine-tuning time for N.O.-area wrestling teams

NEW ORLEANS — For area high school wrestling teams, Saturday’s New Orleans City Tournament at Holy Cross represents a final opportunity to fine tune their skills against top local competition before the state meet Feb. 15-16.

While some New Orleans-area teams have dual meets between the city and state tournaments, other wrestlers have just the city tourney to make the final adjustments for a run at the state tournament, which will be held at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

Such is the case for city tournament host Holy Cross, which is also one of the favorites to grab the city crown. Holy Cross coach Eric DesOrmeaux said Saturday’s event will also give squads a peak at the competition they will face next weekend.

“Traditionally, there are a lot of good teams at the New Orleans meet,” DesOrmeaux said. “We’ll get to see how some of our guys stack up.

“We know we’re going to see Brother Martin, Rummel, Jesuit and there are a lot of solid teams in Division II and III. But our boys are ready to wrestle. We’re working on the things we need to do well this weekend.

“It’ll be our last meet before the state tournament, and that’s the case for a lot of teams.”

Saturday’s action starts at 9 a.m. DesOrmeaux said Holy Cross will do its best to provide area wrestlers the feel of the state tourney. He said more than 20 local teams will be in participating.

“We’re hoping to run a clean tournament,” he said. “We’ll do the best we can to make it like the state meet as much as possible so the boys will get the experience they need for states.”

John Ehret coach Dean Tessitore said some local teams have kept their best wrestlers out of the city tournament in the past to prevent injuries. With luck, he said, that won’t be the case this time.

“I’m hoping that the best teams sent their No. 1 kids so it will be a competitive tournament,” said Tessitore, whose squad follows up cities with their district championships Feb. 9 at Thomas Jefferson.

Tessitore said that with city, district and state events on the horizon, his team is focusing on conditioning.

“We want to get in shape for the last few weeks of the season,” he said.

Tessitore said the Patriots are trying to get in the right frame of mind to face top competition over the next few weeks, a process that begins with the city tournament.

“I want to make sure we’re as mentally prepared as we can be for the state meet,” he said. “If we can do well at the city tournament, it will set us up for states.”