East Ascension wrestlers will compete in North Dakota

Staff reports

Three East Ascension High School wrestlers will be competing July 15 through July 23 at North Dakota State University in the USA Greco-Roman / Freestyle Wrestling Championships for All-American Honors as members of Louisiana’s National Team.

Alex Betteridge, Taibe Coleman and Graham Karwath were asked to join the team after placing in The Louisiana Greco-Roman / Freestyle Championships.

Betteridge will be competing in the 85 pound Cadet Division, or the 14-15 year old division. He competed this past high school season in the 103 pound weight class, the lowest weight class allowed in high school wrestling. Despite the fact that he was giving up 20 pounds to almost every opponent he faced, he  finished with a 500 record and went 2-2 at The LHSAA High State Championship Tournament. He has quickly become known throughout the wrestling community for his fiery red hair and relentless wrestling style.

Given the opportunity to wrestle at the folk style national championships in Iowa, the type of wrestling done at the high school level, Betteridge became East Ascension’s first All-American by placing 8th.

Coleman who wrestled his sophomore season at 125 pounds will also be competing in the Cadet Division at Nationals. Taibe was placing in the top three of every tournament in the first half of the season and was expected to be one of the top contenders in February to win the high school state championships. Unfortunately, a broken arm sidelined Taibe for the rest of the season.

Once cleared to wrestle, Taibe picked up where he left off. He won every Greco-roman and Freestyle tournament he entered. He was one of the few Louisiana wrestlers to place in the Southeast Regional Tournament held in Georgia in April. He has high expectations of becoming an All-American at Fargo.

Karwath was one of only two Spartan wrestlers who place at this past season’s high state championships. He placed fifth at heavyweight or 285 pound weight class. And while the East Ascension coaches were proud of Graham, he was disappointed having beat two of the wrestlers that placed ahead of him. It is that standard of excellence that garnered an invitation to compete for Louisiana’s traveling team. Graham competed nationally in Alabama and Georgia. Graham is, at this moment, in Pennsylvania, training and competing with the best heavyweights in the country. Graham was elected by his teammates as a Captain of the Spartan Wrestling team and has earned praises from the Team Louisiana Coaching staff.

Being a member of Team Louisiana does not come without costs. The boys are in need of financial assistance. While they have done fundraisers and Gonzales, as it always has, has given support, they are just short of their goal. If anyone would be interested in helping them reach their dream of competing at the national tournament, contact East Ascension’s head coach, Pat Mahoney, at 225-954-7804 or through email at spartanwrestlingcoach@yahoo.com.