Spartans win the Spartan
November 28th, 2023| Written by: Staff writer



Be honest and raise your hand if this applies to you:  “Until the Spartan Invitation I totally forgot about Southside’s Kael Reaux.” 

I did.  I saw Kael at the 2023 state championships but he was not competing in them.  Then there was seven months of pricing my 2023 state championships articles, and Kael was not mentioned in that, save once in a weight class webpage I wrote early in the process.

It was a very impressive 2023-24 debut for Master Reaux.  He gave Holy Cross’ Anthony Oubre his second loss of the season in an 8-2 MD match.  Oubre had only one other loss prior to meeting Reaux, a nail-biting 5-4 decision against De la Salle’s two-time Division III state champion Dylan Duvernay.

  The Spartan Invitational champion East Ascension Spartans; EA's Aiden Krass against Fontainebleau's Seth Grady; Krass after the finals

The Spartans pulled off a one-point victory over Dutchtown with only 10 wrestlers entered.  The Griffins, as well as the third-place Bulldogs of Fontainebleau, only had 11 wrestlers competing.  Actually, no school had a full contingent of 14 wrestlers.  The Spartans only had two champions, Aiden Krass (18-0) and Jacobi Clement (13-0).  Dutchtown had three champions and Holy Cross, Shaw and Sam Houston had two apiece.  St. Amant, Southside and Walker won the remaining titles.

Sam Houston’s Tyson Roach remained undefeated at 20-0 and won his third match versus Acadiana sophomore Ozias Gray.  For the second consecutive year Roach has found himself in the hardest weight class.  Josh Tapia’s November 27th power rankings at 126 lbs. has Roach first, followed by 2023 DI state champion Bodi Harris of Jesuit and 2023 DII state champion Kaiden Triche of Rummel.  Gray is 13-3 with wins over Walker’s Kye Karcher, 2023 DI state champion Samuel Favaza of Fontainebleau and 2023 DI third-place winner Vincent Vidacovich of Holy Cross.  At least Gray has made Roach go the full-six twice, once in a 7-5 SV match and then a 10-3 decision.  In their last match Roach scored a fall in 5:17 and was leading 9-4 prior to scoring the pin.  One does not get worse when competing against a better wrestler.  So, if Gray is getting better, yet losing to Roach by larger margins, the 132 lbs. wrestlers might want to stay there for a little while until wrestlers start competing in the weight classes they aim for at the 2024 state championship.

Sam Houston’s Caleb Lavine is 21-2, with his only losses coming from Brother Martin’s Richie Clementi.  Clementi is 13-0, but does that surprise anyone?)  At left Caleb celebrates his birthday with Tyson and Laila Roach at the Chile's in Crowley, obviously doing last minute shopping for presents.

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Cole Gros of Dutchtown is undefeated at 11-0, as is St. Amant’s Cole Didier at 9-0.  Normally I wait until one has 10 matches, but Didier has won the Brusly 8 and the Spartan, and has a win over Live Oak’s Kolton West, so he gets mentioned.  (Master West, mentioning your loss to Didier is a compliment.)

If anyone thought Holy Cross’s Gunner Guidry was finally abiding by the expectations of a seeding committee, they can think again.  After two losses to him, Guidry defeated Zachary’s Sergio West in the Spartan finals.  Houston is 11-1 while Guidry is 9-0, including a win over Chalmette’s Leeland Webb.  (Like Master West above, that is a compliment Master Webb.)

Sam Houston’s Caleb Lavine is 21-2, with his only losses coming from Brother Martin’s Richie Clementi.  Clementi is 13-0, but does that surprise anyone?)

After the Spartan Invitation was held the Crusader Duals.  Brother Martin ruled them, as expected, with wins and scores as follows:  70-12 over Sam Houston, 72-12 over Rummel, 73-3 over De la Salle, 57-16 over Ocean Springs, MS and 54-21 over Teurlings Catholic.  In those matches Dylan Duvernay tasted defeat for the first time in his match with Teurlings Catholic’s Alex Rozas, the 2022-23 undefeated Division II state champion.  Duvernay is 20-1 while Rozas is 13-0.  Twelve of Rozas' wins were via technical falls.

Crusader freshman Matthew Graffagnini is 13-0.  So is Teurlings Catholic junior Brandt Babineaux.  Jesuit’s Jackson Calderaro is 12-.

Kaiden Triche suffered his second loss of the season, but that was from Tyson Roach.  Triche’s first loss was to Jesuit’s Bodi Harris who, with his sole loss to Roach, is 7-1. 

So, what does all of this mean?  Absolutely nothing in the “Grand Scheme.”  It is still November.  (Criminy – I really am in the autumn of my life!)  Will Reaux stay at 120 lbs. and possibly face Roach or Bodi Harris of Jesuit or Alex Rozas of Teurlings Catholic in the Louisiana Classic finals.  Will he meet Harris at the state championships?  Can Harris, should he want to, drop to 113 lbs. and match-up with Brother Martin’s Matthew Graffagnini?

There are way too many “what ifs” right now.  Come this weekend, though, remember there are only eight weeks until the 2024 state championships. 



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