Only STATE remains
February 4th, 2018 | Written by: Editor | Photos pilfered from Facebook





Catholic League
Greater Baton Rouge
Mahoney set season win record
Lafayette Metro NW LA Regionals Jesse James Shootout District 7 & 8

Yesterday, Saturday, February 3rd, marked the end of the regular varsity season for Louisiana wrestlers.  They now have a tad less than a fortnight left to prepare for the 2018 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships in Bossier City on February 16th and 17th.  Some may think this may be tough for wrestlers in the greater New Orleans area due to the Mardi Gras season, but wrestlers statewide will be facing a much dastardly diversion: the 2018 Winter Olympics from PyeongChang, South Korea.  As they practice, students surely will be utilizing all of their media devices to not miss a minute of the ice dancing, Nordic combined skiing or, of course, curling.

Division I Thoughts

Brother Martin has become the clear favorite in Division I, dominating every tournament in which they entered their first team, including the Louisiana Classic, and the Crusaders won a few tournaments with mostly non-starters.  Some may be tempted to say "So what?  Brother Martin won the Louisiana Classic in 2017 and placed third in the state championships."  In 2017, though, the Crusaders placed over Jesuit by only 32 points and Holy Cross by 58 points.  This season Brother Martin won by 92 and 120 points respectively over those opponents.  For Jesuit or Holy Cross to have a chance to defeat the Crusaders, a number of things must happen.  Top-seeds from other schools - St. Paul's Cole Houser at 138 lbs. and Grant Hughes at 152 lbs., Jacob Fereday of Catholic at 170 lbs., Airline's D.J. Evans at 182 lbs. and Matt Salinas at 195 lbs., need to win, or at least knock a Crusader into the consolation brackets.  Airline, Catholic, Comeaux, East Ascension and St. Paul's have the highest chances of recording upsets which might hurt the chances for the Crusaders.  Without such results, the Crusaders should cruise to their sixth Division I championship in the last seven years, and Jesuit, if they can enter a 90% healthy team, and Holy Cross will be battling for the runner-up spot.  One can also put the St. Paul Wolves in that race, particularly if defending state champion Jared Thieler returns to the mat.

Division II Thoughts

The battle for the Division II team title remains between Parkway and Teurlings Catholic, although it may have swung a little in the favor of the Panthers.  The two schools started the season beating each other on their "home turf," with Parkway winning the Jacob McMillan in Lafayette and Teurlings Catholic defeating the Panthers in the Lone Survivor at Parkway.  The Rebels placed sixth to the Panthers' 11th at the Louisiana Classic, but the Panthers came back strong again to win the Ken Cole, where Teurlings finished fifth.  In the Division II Dual Championships, Parkway defeated Teurlings Catholic 42-26.

Division III Thoughts

De la Salle may find it difficult to win a third consecutive Division III team championship.  The Cavaliers placed third in the Brusly Division III tournament to champion Basile and runner-up Ouachita Christian.  Four-and-one-half points behind the Cavaliers were the St. Louis Saints.  The Cavaliers placed eighth at the Louisiana Classic, which was significantly better than Ouachita Christian (13th), Brusly (18th), St. Louis (24th) and Basile (34th).  St. Louis, however, won the Division III Duals Championships 37-27 over De la Salle, and Basile defeated Brusly 42-27 to place third.  St. Louis also won the 2018 Jesse James SW LA Shootout over Division I teams Sulphur and Barbe, and Division II's Sam Houston.  It should be noted that while the Basile Bearcats have predominantly entered only seven wrestlers in tournaments, for the Brusly Invitational and the Division III Dual Championships they entered 12.  Should they enter 12 again at the state championships, they will be vying for the title. 

A recap of last weekend's tournaments follows.  Photographs were pilfered from Facebook or were sent to the editor via email on Saturday and Sunday.

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Catholic League Championships

Brother Martin won the long-overdue return of the Greater New Orleans Catholic League Championships.  The Crusaders scored 252 points, 45.5 more than Holy Cross' 206.5 points.  Jesuit was third with 130 points.

A nice surprise at this event was that the participating teams, as much as the flu and nagging injuries allowed them, put forth their best wrestlers.  Often such later tournaments are manned by second-teamers so as not to put any high seeding spots for the state championships in jeopardy.

The Crusaders put 12 wrestlers in the finals and came away with eight titles.  The other two Crusaders placed third. 

Connor Hoffman broke a 1-1 head-to-head season tie with Holy Cross' Jacob Frost in a 12-2 major decision which guaranteed a number-one state seed for Hoffman.  Starters Ethan Castex (BM) and Caruso Signorelli (BM) did not compete, but their replacements made it to the finals.  The Tigers' Stafford Agee, IV, defeated Brother Martin's Jake Spellman via an 11-2 major decision.  Michael Lundin won the second and last title for the Tigers with a second-period fall over Rummel's Chris Montalbano.  Next, defending Crusader Daniel Croy had little problem with Shaw's Raheem Bonnet, scoring a first-period fall.  Bonnet had earlier upset Holy Cross' Jacob Spahn with a second-period fall.  Riley Horvath of the Crusaders defeated Holy Cross' Logan LaCoste 6-2, followed by Luke Cotton, who pinned Mason Macaluso in 1:04.  Cotton competed at 138 lbs. as Alex Duncan was rested for the tournament.  Cotton should return to and be the number-one seed at 132 lbs. come the state championships.  The Crusader's Patrick Evans may have had a tougher time than expected in the finals defeating Brady Butler of Holy Cross 7-1.  Butler just recently dropped to 145 lbs. 

Catholic League champions Brother Martin in serious and goofy team photos; two photos of Crusader Luke Cotton against Jesuit's Jack Ehrhardt.

Holy Cross' Michael Lundin pins Rummel's Chris Montalbano in the finals;  Official Paul Ulfers avows Lundin's win;  Jesuit's Paul Treuting on top of the podium for the 160 lbs. weight class.  At right is John Curtis' new sophomore Deven Durham.  Having just recently been LHSAA-approved to compete in the 2017-18 season, his first Louisiana match was against Brother Martin's Danny Evans.  Welcome to Louisiana wrestling, Master Durham!  Durham is expected to compete at 138 lbs. at the state championships.

Jesuit's Nathan Koenig looked much more like a defending state champion in defeating Brother Martin's Seth Alfonso 5-1.  Paul Treuting, at 160, continued the Jesuit run with a 9-3 win over Holy Cross' Caden Mumme.  Shaw won their only championship as Eduardo Garcia defeated Mason Massicot 3-1.  Jesuit looked to have another championship "in hand" at 182 lbs. until only ten seconds remained.  Leading the entire match, the Blue Jays' Thomas Arseneaux found himself only one-point ahead of Crusader Michael Clapp, with the wrestlers on their feet.  At the 10-second point Clapp shot and completed a great double-leg takedown to take a 4-3 lead.  Arseneaux had two chances in eight seconds to escape and send the match into overtime, but Clapp was able to hang-on for the win.  At 195 lbs. Cameron Frederick may have secured a starting spot on the Crusaders' state roster with a 6-3 win over Holy Cross' Logan Heffner.  Frederick also defeated Hefner in the finals of the Division I Duals championships.  At 220 lbs. Perry Ganci recorded the third championship for Jesuit with a first-round fall over the Crusaders' Kyle West.  At 285 lbs., the Crusaders ended the finals as they began them, with a championship.  Mack Brown pinned Holy Cross' Brady Maillet in 1:19.

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Greater Baton Rouge Championships

Catholic won their 16th Greater Baton Rouge City Championship in 17 years, albeit in a close one over East Ascension, 250 points to 238.5 points.  St. Amant was third with 181.5 points.

Luke Romano, Peter Kelly, Martin Helouin, Kade Fouts and Jacob Fereday won titles for the Bears.  Trent Mahoney and Jordan Campbell won for the Spartans, and Hunter Hawkins won for the Gators of St. Amant.  For the fourth-place Live Oak Eagles, Clayton Hill and Camdyn Ingram won titles.  Wes Brady won for the Zachary Broncos, and Robert Rabel of Dunham defeated McKinley's Gavin Bonilla 2-1.  St. Michael filled the two remaining champion spots with Lance Robinson at 145 lbs. and Dane Harter at 182 lbs.

The story of the tournament could have been Rabel's win over Bonilla, the Catholic-East Ascension race or number of people who wanted photos with Clayton Hill.  But none of those matched the story of St. Michael's Lance Robinson.  In his semifinals match, an 11-7 win over Catholic's Canon Hunt, one of Robinson's front teeth was obliterated.  Between that match and the finals, a dentist was found to mitigate the bleeding enough to let Robinson wrestle in the finals.  He did so, defeating St. Amant's Nakie Brown 6-3, and was named the tournament's lower weight classes Outstanding Wrestler (Outstanding Whistler awards may well be in his future.)  In the heavier weight classes, Camdyn Ingram of Live Oak received the Outstanding Wrestler award.

Mahoney sets new single-season wins record

At the start of the tournament, East Ascension's Trent Mahoney was two wins behind with Live Oak legend Cody Hill for the most wins in a season - 76.  Mahoney broke that record twice upon winning his semifinals match in the GBRCs, and will likely break it several more times in Bossier City.  After winning his finals match, Mahoney now has 79 wins this season, vs. only five losses.  Four of those losses were at 138 lbs. and later in the season he avenged two of them.  He only has one loss at 132 lbs., to Basile's Gavin Christ in the Ken Cole finals. 

Individual GBR champions; East Ascension full team; East Ascension placers, St. Amant team; St. Amant coaches.

Members of the Clayton Hill Fan Club

St. Michael winners Lance (THE GAP) Robinson and Dane Harter with their coaches; the full St. Michael team, East Ascension champions Trent Mahoney and Jordan Campbell; Mahoney "Generations"); Champion Trent Mahoney with third-place winner Anthony Krass.

Runner-up Corey Brownell with former Gator Sage Nugent; Live Oak runner-up Anthony Dodson; Corey Brownell and Tyree Morris after close finals losses (Brownell - 11-9 in SV; Morris - 2-1); South Lab's first GBR place-winner - Victory Tory, who placed at 120 lbs.

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Lafayette Metro Championships

Teurlings Catholic fought off a tough challenge from Rayne to win the Lafayette Metro tournament.  The Rebels scored 194.5 points to 178.5 for the Wolves.  Basile placed third with 157.5 points, which was 46 points higher than North Vermillion, the closest Division III team to the Bearcats.  This time, Basile brought 11 wrestlers.

Teurlings Catholic's started with back-to-back titles by Matthew Carrier (106 lbs.) and Colten Sonnier (113 lbs.).  Then they had to wait until the last match for their next title, the 285 lbs. championship won by Miles Santiago.  The Rebels are no stranger to winning events while not winning a lot of individual championships.  Four Rebels place second, one place third and one fourth, for a total of nine wrestlers in the top-four.  Consolation rounds win championships!

Rayne also had three champions in Cooper Simon (120 lbs.), Morgan Manuel (132 lbs.) and Tyler Carriere (195 lbs.).  Gavin Christ and Logan David won titles for Basile at 138 lbs. and 160 lbs.  Jordan Theall remained undefeated for North Vermillion by taking the 120 lbs. title and Taylor Clay won for Carencro at 145 lbs.  Church Point had a champion in Bruce Arseneaux at 152 lbs., as did Comeaux with Shelby Savoie at 170 lbs.  Taylor Clay was joined by his brother Billy, who won the 182 lbs. title for Carencro.  At 220 lbs., unseeded Cameron Cormier of Acadiana pinned his first opponent in 1:20, second-seeded Cameron Weber of Teurlings Catholic in 2:58, and, in the finals, top-seeded Christian Svendsen of Rayne in 4:22.  Cormier was an easy choice for the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler award.

Third-place team winner Basile; Gavin Christ in Quarterfinals (2); Gavin Christ with Cassie Christ.

Lafayette runners-up Dylan Dauphiney and Brandon Revere, with coach Brandon Billeaud, Acadiana's 220 lbs. champion and Outstanding Wrestler winner Cameron Cormier; Acadiana's Noah King - 3rd-place at 138 lbs.; Acadiana's Noah King and Cameron Cormier; Coach Patrick Manuel and 132 lbs. champion son Morgan; 145 lbs. champion Taylor Clay of Carencro with runner-up Dalton Ashford of Basile.

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Northwest Louisiana Regionals

Parkway won a close race with Airline to capture the Northwest Louisiana Regionals championship.  The Panthers' 181 points was a mere five points more than the 176 of the Vikings.  Each team had four champions, two runners-up and two thirds.  Parkway had a fourth-placer, though, and their non-placers outscored Airline's non-placers 14 points to 11 points.  Airline's biggest deficit, however, was in their team, which only consisted of 12 entrants. Ouachita Christian, stretching "Northwest" a tad, place third with 140 points.

Parkway had four champions: Joshua Keeler at 106 lbs., Zachary Harper at 120 lbs., Trey Fontenot at 132 lbs. and Trevor Tamburo at 138 lbs.  Airline also had four champions: Dakota Brace at 113 lbs., Peyton Bass at 126 lbs., D.J. Evans at 182 lbs. and Matt Salinas at 195 lbs.  Matthew Matherne (145 lbs.) and Matthew Webre (160 lbs.) won titles for the Eagles of Ouachita Christian.  Winning the sole titles for their teams were Loyola College Prep's Donnie Scott at 152 lbs., North Desoto's Hunter Brooks at 170 lbs., Daniel Monroe of Haughton at 220 lbs. and Evangel's Trey White at 285 lbs.

Northwest Louisiana Regionals champion Parkway Panthers; 132 lbs. Parkway champion Trey Fontenot; 285 lbs. champion Trey White of Evangel; JV 126 lbs. runner-up Thomas Bean of Evangel.

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Jesse James SW LA Shootout

St. Louis Catholic surprised some people by winning the Jesse James Southwest Louisiana Shootout.  The event only hosted four teams, but two of those were Division I teams, and the other a Division II team.  And St. Louis only entered 10 wrestlers, none of whom were Alex Yokubaitis.

The Saints scored 175.5 points to runner-up Sulphur's 146 points.  Barbe was third with 108.5, followed by Sam Houston with 86 points.

St. Louis won championships in half of the 14 weight classes.  Saints champions were Cameron Witherwax, John-Patrick Broussard, Adam Verrett, John Reind, William Gage, Wesley Maze and William Jicks.  Colten Marris, Dylan Savant and Chandler Crawford won titles for the Pirates of Barbe and Michael Marshall and Dustin Doucet won titles for host Sulphur High School.  Sam Houston also won two championships via Christian Satchell and Kanyn Barton.

District 7-8

Hahnville won the District 7-8 Championships, scoring 174 points to runner-up Chalmette's 121.  Bonnabel placed third with 121 points.

Winners for the Tigers were Laine McCully, Tyrique Guidry and Logan Brimmer.  Nathan Roach, Jackson Hoyte and Devin Ruiz won championships for the Owls.  Bonnabel champions were Chad Baradell. Sergio Maldonado and Henry White.  Christian Ledet and Roberto Rivero took home titles for the Grace King Irish and Gage Sonnier and Jeff Fisackerly won for the John Ehret Patriots.  Denzel Riley won the lone championship for Destrehan

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