Warrior Open full of once-a-season matches
November 1st, 2017 | Written by: Editor/Josh Galasso/Mark Harter



There are three things to know about the St. Michael the Archangel Warrior Open, which will be held this Saturday, November 4th, at St. Michael the Archangel School in Baton Rouge:

1)    It has a very strong field.  The 2016 Warrior Open had three 2016 state champions and 11 wrestlers who would win titles or runner-up spots in 2017. 

This weekend, Division I second and third place finishers Jesuit and Brother Martin are sending teams, and even if not their starters, they will have fine second and third strings.  If their starters do come, then Division I state champions Daniel Croy and Luke Cotton (2016) could compete for the Crusaders, while the Blue Jays could have Nathan Koenig, Perry Ganci* and Eli Larriviere (2016).  Catholic, Airline and East Ascension will also be there from Division I.  On the Airline roster should be Division I state champion Matt Salinas*, and for Catholic, after losing Division I finals matches to Christian Walden and Joey Foret, nobody wants to get on the mat with David Fereday.  And then there is the unpredictable Trent Mahoney of East Ascension, the freshman last year who pinned his way through a soon-to-be four-time Division I state champion to a Louisiana Classic championship and Outstanding Wrestler award. 

Division II teams with returning state champions include Rayne, with Cooper Simon and Tyler Carriere*, Live Oak with Anthony Ingram (and his runner-up younger brother Camdyn) and Shaw with Martin Garrett.  Dane Harter was a Division II runner-up in 2017, and he and Lance Robinson* of the host school should be considered dangerous.

Division III state champions to watch are Gavin Christ of Basile, Alex Yokubaitis and Robert Christman of St. Louis and Sam Pitts of Ouachita Christian.  The Eagles from Monroe also have Matthew Matherne, Matthew Webre and Mikey Gordey to keep an eye on.

2)    This may be the only time fans may see certain wrestlers meet each other.  Nobody knows what weight classes these kids will be at for the Louisiana Classic or Ken Cole, and often weight classes are changed after those events before the state championships.  Last year Christian Walden and Koenig were in the finals, as were Matherne and Christman.  In 2015 wrestlers in the same weight classes included Cooper Simon and Central's Austin Gouedy, Adam Larriviere, Sam Pitts and John Rollins of Episcopal, and, well, that year it was a big list of formidable wrestlers from different divisions in the same weight classes.  In 2014 Matthew Mire of Catholic, Christian Walden of Airline, Dutchtown's Brandon Cowell and Jesuit's Griffin Mason were in the same weight class.  A lot of these wrestlers, due to their divisions, may never meet again as they go to different events, aside from at the Louisiana Classic and for some the Ken Cole.

3)    Nothing one sees here should be expected to be a prelude to a state finals match.  The different weights, divisions and the fact that other schools like Holy Cross, St. Paul's, Parkway, Rummel, De la Salle and Brusly will not be there make repeats of these matches very unlikely.

Click here for a flyer: Flyer

*    May still be in football

The 25 teams scheduled to compete are listed in the following table, with asterisks denoting how many state champions may compete:

Division I Airline* Baton Rouge Brother Martin** Catholic Dutchtown East Ascension Jesuit*** John Ehret Mandeville Zachary
Division II Broadmoor Central Live Oak Rayne Saint Michael Shaw*        
Division III Basile* Church Point Episcopal Hannan John Curtis Ouachita Christian* St. Louis** Summerfield Thomas Jefferson  

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