Louisiana High School State Wrestling Champions Belly-To-Belly Suplex Coach … Afterwards Win?

Footage of two Louisiana high school wrestlers who each body-slammed their coach after winning state on Feb. 11 has gone viral. Landon Reaux and Wiley Boudreaux each won their state matches and body-slammed coach Mike Stelly to celebrate.

Louisiana high school wrestlers body-slammed their coach after winning state on Feb. 11. (Photo: Twitter Screenshot/@EricRicheyVSN)

Why Did Wrestlers Body-Slam Coach?

Stelly, who coaches Southside High School, told his wrestlers that if they won their matches, they could body-slam him.

As a coach, when you make a promise to your athletes you have to deliver on it. Regardless of the stakes. That’s the basis of the coach-athlete relationship, trust.

Now you can question whether Stelly should’ve made such a promise, but he did and he honored what he said.

This is a combat sport

Wrestling is a combat sport, and there is a level of aggression that is obviously rewarded. Stelly looked so amped up to get slammed by his wrestlers. But anyone that engages in combat sports for fun has a certain kind of worldview.

Stelly was fired up after getting slammed. He hopped back up on his feet like a fire was lit under him, and you could see veins popping in his neck.

Those moves by Reaux and Boudreaux looked like something you might see on WWE or AEW. A belly-to-belly suplex.

Southside finished seventh overall in the competition as a team. But they’ll never forget those two big wins and the subsequent slams of their coach.

WWE Meets High School Wrestling

Boudreaux, a senior, finished with an 83-16 record in his high school career, and he recently explained how he is looking to make a name for himself at the next level:

“I am a 3x Louisiana state placer (6th, 3rd, 1st), an Adidas National Folkstyle Champion and a respected name in Louisiana wrestling.  Being that I’m from Louisiana and wrestling isn’t the most crazed sport, I’m more than ready to wrestle anywhere and everywhere in the country.  I aspire to be an All-American, to entertain, and dominate this sport. I can dig deeper and work harder than anyone you put in front of me. I love to compete, improve and I’m never afraid to put on a show.  As far as my academics go, I’ve averaged a 3.5 around GPA throughout my schooling career.  I know I’d be a great fit for any team that wants to elevate the intensity both in and out the wrestling room and thank you for your time and consideration.”

Reaux, also a senior, finished his career with a 59-11 record.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) 2021-2022 High School Participation Survey, participation in boys wrestling is down at the high school level from 2018-19.

“Given what has occurred in our country the past three years, we believe a decline of only four percent in participation totals from 2018-19 is pretty remarkable,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, CEO of the NFHS. “We know some states that were able to complete surveys in 2020-21 reported participation increases this past year. So, we are very optimistic that trend will continue in the years to come as schools fully recover from the effects of the 2020 shutdown.”

Of course, in the years in between the country was impacted on every level by the COVID-19 pandemic. Who knows what numbers would look like without the massive public health crisis?

According to the survey 231,874 boys participated in high school wrestling in the U.S. during 2021-22, and 31,654 girls during that same time period.

The most popular states for high school wrestling are California, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, Michigan, Georgia, and Florida.

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