By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published February 5, 2016
ATLANTA—After each team’s preliminary weigh-in, wrestlers from Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell, and Atlanta’s Marist School and St. Pius X High School took to the mat wearing singlets in their school colors of green, blue and white, respectively.
Over 50 wrestlers, competing in weight classes ranging from 106 to 285 pounds, participated in the 12th annual Catholic Duals at Marist’s Centennial Center Jan. 20.
Once the bodies were untangled and the scores were tallied, Blessed Trinity was declared this year’s winner, defeating St. Pius 45-18 in the first match and three-time defending champion Marist 43-24 in the following match. The victory also marked the 400th career win for Blessed Trinity head wrestling coach Richard Barden.
“Any time you reach milestones in your career they are great moments,” said Barden. “I have been blessed during my tenure here at Blessed Trinity to have great assistant coaches and wrestlers who believe in my system and carrying it out in practices and competition.”
In an effort to foster brotherhood among the schools, Barden launched the good-natured competition of the Catholic Duals in 2005. Blessed Trinity hosted the first Catholic Duals and Marist won it two consecutive years. Blessed Trinity won its first Catholic Duals trophy in 2007. Since competition can be so intense in other settings, Barden wanted to bring the wrestlers, coaches and parents together in an environment grounded in their Catholic faith.
Marist finished in second place with a 49-25 victory over St. Pius. As the first place team, Blessed Trinity will host the 2017 Catholic Duals at its gymnasium.