January 2nd, 2013


Football prowess took a toll on a few teams in the early part of the season.   Rummel and Barbe, and John Curtis and Evangel, faced each other in state championship games on December 7th.  Division II's Holy Cross' full contingent was not available until November 30th, and returning Division II state champion Teurlings Catholic's season ended the week before.  (St. Martin's' football team did not fare well in 2012, so the Saints' wrestling program was not hindered by playoff frivolity.)

State favorites for Division I have emerged.  Christopher Marson from Denham Springs went undefeated at 106.  Jesuit's Mitch Capella, at 113, has lost to out-of-state wrestlers only.  Returning state champion Paul Klein of Brother Martin has also only lost to two opponents from out-of-state and has defeated fellow returning state champion Jacob Dale of Comeaux.  Matt Calcote of Rummel has only one loss this season, and it was not to a Division I opponent.  Connor Campo of St. Paul's shows no inclination to lose a match anywhere at 132.  Dominic Casadaban of Brother Martin is undefeated at 138 but James Claitor of Catholic has only lost to out-of-state competition. St. Paul's David Englehardt is undefeated against Louisiana competition.  Comeaux's Tyrek Malveaux's only loss of the season was to Ricky Regas of St. Thomas in Houston at 152.  At. 160, Catholic's Brandon Luckett's only loss was to Malveaux, and Luckett beat Regas at the Trey Culotta.  Daniel Albrecht stands out for the Crusaders at 170, as does Kyle Delaune at 182.  Manny Armour of Jesuit has dominated his Louisiana competition at 195.  Josh Tapia at 220 and Ross Brister at 285 add two more favorites for Brother Martin.

126 was "nuts" with Calcote, Catholic's Brennan Taylor, Dale, Austin Meyn of Brother Martin, Stefon Jefferson of Ehret and recently Jorge Sanchez of Helen Cox all qualifying at that weight. Yet Live Oak's Cody Hill has been the best, and Hill has qualified for 120.  Dale is there, as is Alex Nicosia of Holy Cross, and so is Klein.


(This plus about $3.20 will get you a large iced-coffee at Starbuck's)

January means the LA Classic and the Ken Cole Invitational.  While the Classic may boast the most competitive field in the state, the Ken Cole is a close second and offers a chance of redemption for wrestlers who do not meet their state seeding expectations at the Classic.  The Ken Cole also gives a better look at teams from north and west Louisiana.

Look for Brother Martin to dominate the Classic and win perhaps five weight classes, somewhat atoning for an eight point loss to Catholic last year after a Crusader wrestler failed to "make weight.."  Capella should finally meet Brother Martin's freshman Taylor Gambill, whose only loss this season was in the finals of the Blackhorse Invitational in Tennessee.  Klein should be at 120, but it remains to see if Dale and/or Hill are there also.  If Hill goes 120 then top-seeding presents a quandary due to Klein.  Hill should "get the nod" for doing so well in a heavier weight class.  If Hill wrestles at 126 he will be seeded over Calcote, Taylor and Dale, if that is where Dale is entered.  138 will be tough to seed, but Claitor has wrestled a lot more this season than the Crusaders' undefeated Tyler Robertson.  At 145 Englehardt should be seeded first, as Rummel's Tyler Frame and Grant Godso of Redemptorist each have a loss in Louisiana.  (Frame's loss occurred due to an injury, but his matches have been limited due to it.)  132, 152, 160, 170, 182 and 195 are weight classes in search of a 2nd seed (Brother Martin's Devin LeBlanc should fill one spot at 152 or 160).  Holy Cross's Michael Yeatman should be the top seed at 220 and Ross Brister at 285.  Catholic's team should place second by a fairly wide margin.

The Ken Cole should go to Jesuit (Brother Martin will not be there), and that should bolster the confidence of a team that has successfully resolved unexpected line-up issues and should have been in the finals of the Deep South Bayou Duals.  Comeaux and Rummel should challenge them, though, as those two should finish behind the Blue Jays for third and fourth by only a few points.  Calcote and Dale may meet again, unless Dale goes 120.  Hill will not be there to make the choices more difficult.

After the LA Classic expect Brother Martin to win the GNO, Catholic to win the GBR and Comeaux to win the Lafayette Metro Area tournaments.

Responses to this editorial may be sent to editor@lawrestlingnews.com.

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© 2012 by Martin Muller

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