The Comeaux Spartans’ wrestling program has been in this position before.
Most recently, it was after David Bonin left the program after being the second Spartan ever to win three straight state championships.
This time around, the 2013-14 version is still attempting to move on without three-time state champion Tyrek Malveaux.
To make matters worse, however, Comeaux also lost two other stars in Jacob Dale and Abram Sellers.
Consequently, it’s been a season of transition thus far and the Spartans hope to kick it into overdrive now that the calendar has flipped.
That process starts this weekend when the Spartans try to make it 13 straight parish championships at the Greg Lavergne Parish Dual Championships on Friday and Saturday at Carencro High.
“It’s been a growing process,” Comeaux coach Keith Bergeron said.
“When you lose kids like that, it is tough. We have a good group of seniors and they’ve been working with the younger kids to help them get better. We’ve been working hard on our depth.”
That depth is a huge reason why the Spartans have won so many parish titles in a row, but Bergeron warns that the threat from Teurlings Catholic has only gotten stronger after barely holding off the Rebels last season.
“Right now, I really believe that Teurlings should be the favorite,” Bergeron said. “They’ve returned a lot of experienced wrestlers.”
While the Spartans may not have Malveaux or Dale any longer, Comeaux isn’t exactly without weapons.
Returning state runner-up Connor Stampley has moved up to 126 and already has two tournament wins under his belt.
“He’s (Stampley) definitely determined to improve,” Bergeron said. “He’s got a lot of motivation to try to win a state championship.”
The waiting game, though, was enhanced by the transition of football standouts Cabot Bellard at 170 and Aaron Langlinais at 195.
The Spartans also have high hopes for junior Calvin Griffin at 195 pounds.
“He’s got a lot of experience,” Bergeron said. “He’s really been doing a good job for us.”
At 113, sophomore Hunter Fitch “has been getting better and better” and could also be a big Spartan threat this weekend.
At 152, junior Jacque Girouard “is having a good year,” while junior Nicholas Malveaux is a threat at 160 as the cousin of the departing Tyrek Malveaux.
“Nick has handled it well,” Bergeron said. “He realizes that they’re two different people. He’s one of the hardest workers on the team.”