It may have been exactly a week before Groundhog Day, but if Punxsutawney Phil was in Boutte on January 26, he would have seen Hahnville hoisting another District 7-8 5A Title instead of his shadow.
Powered by six first-place finishes and five second-place finishes, Hahnville tallied 223 team points, 60 points better than second place Chalmette. The district championship was the 10th straight for Hahnville and head coach Dan Erwin.
“This year was really special because we started off the year with 10 freshmen, about four new sophomores. So we’re talking about 14-15 new kids on the team. We had a great core coming back, and those older guys took the younger guys under their wing and made them understand what Hahnville wrestling was.
“Winning another district title was pretty awesome, to put it at 10 years was pretty nice to know that we’re actually making something happen here and that we’re setting records,” said Allen Mire.
It was extra sweet for Mire, who missed all of last year after tearing the meniscus in his right knee just before the season. After just missing placing at the LHSAA State Championships as a sophomore, Mire has high hopes this year. After a 34-6 regular season, Mire is the No.3 seed in the 160-pound weight class at this year’s State Meet in Bossier City which starts on Friday.
“Definitely hoping to go win state,” said Mire. “Coming in with a few people I know that are high-level guys I’m going to have to beat and just wrestling my matches knowing what I’ve got to do when I wrestle who, and wrestling smart and wrestling hard. Same thing I’ve been doing all season and just making sure that goes my way that day.”
Junior Logan Brimmer is the No. 4 seed at the 22- pound class after a sensational 37-4 season.
“It’s a great opportunity for me being at the No.4 spot,” said Brimmer. “Being at Hahnville, which is a good school but not really known for wrestling. I’m going to do my job. I’m just more focused on the team. I just want them to experience (the state tournament) and do the best they can.”
The more you’re around Hahnville wrestling, the more you hear the word “team.”
One such wrestler who personifies the term “team guy” is Shannon Summers. The junior is wrapping up a 30-9 season after adjusting weight classes for a third-straight year to allow Erwin to field the best possible team.
“It’s not just about myself, there’s other things more important than just wrestling at a weight class that I would rather wrestle when there’s one that’s open and I can do the same at another weight class,” said Summers.
“I think one of the things that makes this team so special is that we’ve got a lot of young people that are excelling at their weight class doing really good and I think that is going to carry over into the next generation of Hahnville wrestlers,” said Eli Chatham. One of 14 wrestlers preparing for State, Chatham takes a 23-21 record into the Division I 170-pound weight class.
“I don’t like to talk a lot, I lead more by example rather than vocally,” said Chatham. “I just show what needs to be done and I think the freshmen and the newer guys really take an example from that.”
One wrestler who has learned firsthand about the tradition and the success of Hahnville is Clayton Cambre. The senior, who wrestles at 120, has a record of 27-15. Cambre has two older brothers who wrestled at Hahnville Cameron (’13) and Aaron (’15).
“What I learned from my brothers is how to be faster at wrestling and how to be more aggressive,” said Cambre. “It’s been a great pleasure wrestling at Hahnville. It’s become a part of my life and it’s taught me many life lessons.”
One Hahnville wrestler who has experienced success at the State Tournament is O’Quinn “Smoke” Butler. Butler finished 6th in the heavyweight division last season and after a 30-11 season, has big expectations at State this weekend.
“Me placing at State last year was an amazing experience,” said Butler. “I have to work hard (this year) and really wrestle at my full potential because they have a lot of new people that I don’t know and that I haven’t wrestled yet so I just have to work hard, work my moves, fight as hard as I can, to win each match and go all the way to the finals.”
“We have a little saying here, it’s called ‘Ambush,’” said Erwin. “It’s not what you think it means. It’s not ‘we’re going to ambush you.’ Ambush is a term for a group of Tigers together. These kids believe in that, they believe in being together, they believe in being a team.”
A team full of quality AND quantity, Hahnville will be a team to watch for this weekend in Bossier City.