The 2015-16 season has been a memorable one for the Titans: they brought home the Catholic Duals trophy, Coach Barden hit his 400th career win and the team is now getting ready to send six wrestlers to the State Championship.
After a four year dry spell, the BT varsity wrestling team claimed the Catholic Duals Championship trophy in late January. BT’s head wrestling coach, Richard Barden, started the Catholic Duals in 2005 in an effort to build both community and competition between the four metro-Atlanta Catholic high schools: Marist School, Our Lady of Mercy, St. Pius X and Blessed Trinity. To date, the Titans have captured the Catholic Duals title four times – in 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2016.
“Most people think of it as just another dual competition,” said Coach Barden. “Our wrestlers do not think that way! We have really wanted that trophy back here at BT where it originated. When I planned out this year’s schedule, I knew we needed to peak at the right time to have a chance to win the Catholic Dual Championship and bring the trophy home In order to accomplish this, I made sure we wrestled some very tough competition early in the season to make sure we could win the tough matches.”
The plan paid off when the Titans avenged the last few years by defeating St. Pius 45-18 in the first match. They then went on to thump Marist 43-24. “Can’t tell you how good that felt,” said a happy Coach Barden. “Our seniors have only seen that trophy in the hallway when they were freshman and they also saw it leave that year. To be able to place it back is pretty sweet.”
The Catholic Duals win not only brought home the Titan victory, it also brought Coach Richard Barden to his 400th- career win! “I thought I would reach 400 this year, but I hadn’t counted on State Duals that weekend, so I wasn’t even thinking about it at the Catholic Duals,” said Coach Barden. “Reaching 400 is a major milestone in any coaches’ career and I feel blessed that my 100th, 200th, 300th and now 400th win was here at BT. I hope to reach the next one, my half-millennium, here as well!”
This past weekend, the Titans went to sectionals to vie for state spots. The varsity wrestlers heading to State are: sophomore Noah Kile (126), junior Joey Brinsmaid (132), freshman Vince Baker (145), senior Daniel Fulcher (152), sophomore Ian Spitler (160), senior Jon Anderson (170) and senior Huiet Joseph (220).