Host Brusly sharp in securing wrestling victory

BRUSLY — Just another day at the office — make that the gym — for the Brusly High wrestling team.

The Panthers won their 2014 Brusly Invitational in convincing fashion Saturday night at BHS. Though the tourney that features the state’s top Division III teams evolved into a marathon that lasted 12 hours, those on hand, including Brusly coach Jimmy Bible, said it was worth it.

“I say I’m going to tone it down every year,” Bible said. “But it keeps getting bigger and bigger. It was long, but it ran smooth. I have to thank our parents and supporters for that.

“As far as our team goes, I thought they wrestled well, but we still have some things to do as we build toward the city and state tournaments.”

The Panthers finished with 250 points.

North Vermilion, last year’s Division III runner-up to Brusly, surged in the final rounds to take second at 142. De La Salle (125), Ocean Springs, Miss., (112) and John Curtis (81) complete dthe top five in the 29-team event.

“I don’t think any super surprising things happened,” North Vermilion coach Mike Stelly said.

“Our goal is to give Brusly a run for it (state title). We weren’t at full strength this weekend, but this still gives us an idea where we are.”

De La Salle coach Jay Karl was all smiles after his team’s finish and noted, “This is an important tournament for us because it gives us a chance to see the other (Division III teams). We were in second for a while, and I thought we competed very well.”

History was made not long after the finals began. Doyline’s Brittany Bates became the first girl to win an individual title in tournament history. Bates, a sophomore, pinned Ryan Monaghan of Ocean Springs in 1 minute, 43 seconds in the 113-pound final.

Competitors from other teams came to find Bates afterwards to offer their congratulations.

“It is the biggest win I’ve had,” Bates said. “This tournament is 28 years old, and there’s never been a girl win. That means so much. I finished third last year, and I wanted it.”

Brusly’s Trevor Schermer made his own history by winning at 145 to become a four-time Brusly Invitational champion.

Schermer pinned Evangel’s Benjamin Kirkikas in 2:00.

“It was something I wanted to do since my freshman,” Schermer said. “Not many guys get to be a four-time Brusly champion. And I think we did really good as a team. They (team members) are all starting to believe in themselves and that’s what it takes.”

Schermer garnered the Seth Daniel Outstanding Wrestler award in the lower weight classes.

De La Salle’s Alex Martin, who pinned Brusly’s Diondre Dorsey in 3:22 to win at 160, got the Daniel award in the upper weight classes.

Seeing Brusly wrestlers on the award stand’s top spots was common. Kendon Lee (120), Baret Sanchez (126), Wyatt LeJeune (132) and Noah Landry (138) also were winners for the Panthers.

Two BHS wrestlers squared off in one final as Landry decisioned Toby Hebert at 138. Brothers Brandon (195) and Brian Arnett (220) of Centerville Academy helped close out the action with victories.

Parkview Baptist’s Marshall Hill (152), John Curtis’ G’Corey Fullilove (170) and North Vermilion’s Colin Vaughn (182) were other notable winners.