Status: Fini

"I can seed clearly now" is not a song...Brother Martin @ Jesuit Preview


The only flaw with the Louisiana Classic is, in essence, one that helps makes it such a great tournament.  It is scheduled just a little too early to be the de facto seeding guide to use for the LHSAA State Championships.  A few more events need to be held in order for State seeding to become concrete.

One of those events is the dual meet tonight at 6:30 in which the Blue Jays will host the rival Crusaders of Brother Martin.  This should feature the best both programs can muster, which did not occur in the consolation finals of the Deep South Bayou Duals.  Jesuit's roster changes served the Blue Jays well at the Louisiana Classic, in which they only trailed Catholic by four points for second place.  But a dual meet versus the Crusaders is another story.  Brother Martin has lost only one dual meet all year, and that was a close one with an elite MacArthur High School team from Oklahoma in the Deep South Bayou Duals.

This weekend has the Ken Cole and St. Paul tournaments.  The results of the Ken Cole could have seeding implications.  The results of the St. Paul's tournament should.

The City Championships may not feature the best from a few teams.  That is understandable   It is two weeks before the state championships, which is close enough for some coaches to realistically want to keep their wrestlers away from potential injuries.  Other teams may still have wrestlers who need to compete in it.  But some of the programs have wrestlers who have spent all year helping to make the starters better.  They deserve a chance to participate in such a tournament

That being said, a premature guess at how the Division I seeding looks right now, before those events occur, is provided below.  Hence, disregard the following:

(Closed locks indicate that the top seed in Division I should be set.  And open lock indicates more results need to be determined.)

Weight Who, who not and why Brother Martin @ Jesuit Implications

(The Terminator and Eddie Murphy were available, but I went back a few more years.)
Ben D'antonio, Sophomore - Jesuit; Mason Mauro, sophomore - Brother Martin; Brock Bonin¹; Freshman - Teurlings Catholic

There's a new sheriff in town, and his name is Ben D'Antonio. 
,ike many new sheriffs in "the old west," if Louis L'Amour is one's historian, the Jesuit sophomore still has to earn the respect of the townspeople.  He did great in his first outing at 106 lbs. by winning the Louisiana Classic.  And his seeding prospects were helped tremendously by other matches at the Classic.

Previously undefeated Christopher Marson of Denham Springs saw his chances of being a top seed evaporate in his 12-10 loss to Bonin.  Marson, East Ascension's Alex Betteridge and Catholic's Mitch Napoli, D'Antonio's victim in the LA Classic finals, will have the Greater Baton Rouge championships to determine who will be the third seed.
If he is well-enough, Brother Martin's Mason Mauro, who is unbeaten in Louisiana this season, should face D'Antonio this evening.  A win by Mauro should garner him the top seed at State.

A win by D'Antonio should be enough to satisfy any naysayers about D'Antonio being the top seed.  But D'Antonio should still want experience against competition at 106 lbs., and he should get that at the Ken Cole.  Only Bonin stands in his way.  An unexpected loss to Bonin may jeopardize a top-seeding placement for D'Antonio.  It might for Mauro as well.

Advantage: Toss-up
Mitch Capella, Senior - Jesuit

Jesuit senior Mitch Capella's smallest margin of victory was an 8-5 win over East Ascension's Jacob Bernard in his first match of the seasons.  The anticipated match between Capella and Crusader freshman sensation Taylor Gambill did not come to be at the Classic as Gambill lost to  Catholic's Mitch Napoli in the semifinals and then again to Comeaux's Connor Stampley.  Capella has defeated Bernard twice, and defeated Stampley in the semifinals of the Classic and Napoli in the finals. Gambill lost to both of those wrestlers.  
Capella and Gambill should meet tonight.  Gambill needs a win to improve his seeding after his fifth-place finish at the Classic.  Capella should want the match in the event Gambill's performance at the Classic was a fluke.  If it was, Capella would rather know that now rather than at State.  A loss should not diminish Capella's standing.  If it does, it will not matter.  Capella's eyes are on the top spot of the podium on the night of February 16th.

Advantage: Jesuit
Jacob Dale, Senior - Comeaux

Brother Martin's Paul Klein might have locked-up a top seed before the Classic, but he was derailed by Holy Cross' returning Division II state champion Alex Nicosia.  An injury cost him a match against Brusly's Wyatt LeJeune.  Klein did beat Dale 4-3 at the Deep South Bayou Duals, but Dale has not lost since that match.  Dale has now pinned the only Louisiana wrestler to have defeated Klein - twice.
Depending on how bad Klein's injury was, or just because he has nothing to gain in this particular match, do not be surprised to see Austin Schiro dress out for the Crusaders against Jesuit's Max Grosch.  Shciro's no typical second-stringer.  Last week he beat King's Angello Medina-Perez.

Advantage: Brother Martin
Austin Meyn, Junior - Brother Martin

Brother Martin junior Austin Meyn now has two victories each over Catholic's Brennan Taylor and Rummel's Matt Calcote.  He won the Cinco Ranch Invitational in Texas and the Blackhorse in Tennessee.  He won the Trey Culotta and Louisiana Classic.  His only losses have been to Live Oak's Cody Hill by two points and to a wrestler from Katy, Texas by one point.
Meyn should wrestle against Jesuit as, if the Crusaders do take out Klein, they may not want to reduce their chances of winning the dual meet.

Meyn should meet Will LaFranca and the Blue Jay may prove difficult.  But Meyn should acquit himself just fine.

Advantage:  Brother Martin
Connor Campo, Senior - St. Paul's

Connor Campo is all powerful and has nothing threatening his being the top seed at State.  He may see Rick Lacava of Rummel at St. Paul's this weekend, but a loss there is doubtful, and would not affect Campo's seeding anyway.
Sophomore Mason Williams of Brother Martin should meet Jackie Robinson of Jesuit.  This could very well determine the fourth seed placement at state.  Then the winner will have to hope Catholic's Matthew Mire has a late season breakdown.  Barring that, Mire will be seeded third.  It is almost disadvantageous to want to win this match!  The next available seed not in Campo's half of the State bracket is sixth.  And LaCava, as Williams know first-hand, is fallible.  This should make for an interesting segment of the State seeding meeting.

Advantage: Brother Martin
James Claitor, Junior - Catholic

Catholic's James Claitor proved one savvy seeder correct at the Louisiana Classic.  Were St. Paul's David Englehardt to remain at 138 lbs., Claitor has the semifinals win over him and the two will not see each other until State.  Claitor's victim in the Classic finals was Brother Martin's top-seed Dominic Casadaban.  If David Englehardt remains at 138 lbs., he might be seeded second as Claitor only defeated him by one point, whereas Claitor defeated Casadaban 11-6. 
Casadaban will need a few very good matches to lock-up a second seed spot if Englehardt remains at 138.  A rematch of the Classic semifinals against Jesuit's Gaston Eymard would certainly help.  The unseeded Eymard defeated Holy Cross' George Benoit, Thomas Jefferson's Brent Matherne and East Ascension's Michael Bernard en route to a fourth-place seeding.  Casadaban defeated Eymard in the Classic's semifinal.  This writer does not know whether that was a close match.  Regardless, Eymard has earned a seeding at State and those are the wrestlers Casadaban should want to face after his loss at the Classic.

Advantage: Brother Martin
David Englehardt, Senior - St. Paul's; Tyler Frame, Junior - Rummel

If Englehardt goes back to 145 lbs. he should be the top-seed now as he has not lost to a Louisiana wrestler at 145. 

But if Rummel's Tyler Frame returns from an injury and defeats Englehardt, he will most likely be the top seed as he has already defeated Brother Martin's Tyler Robinson.  (TrackWrestling for Rummel has Frame winning 6-4.  For Brother Martin it has the same score but in an overtime match.  The Archives and its associated Mandeville Open bracket have Frame winning 6-0.  But an Archives video has the entire match, and it was a 6-4 SV win.  Someone needs to change the Archives page.
Also in the equation for the second spot is Jesuit's Efosa Eboigbe, who won the Louisiana Classic at 145 lbs.  Robertson did beat Eboigbe in the Mandeville Open.  But that was in November.

If Robertson is healthy, he needs to wrestle Eboigbe again.  Even with a win his credibility as a second or third seed is still dependent on matches over which he has no control.  Injuries and a lack of matches will hurt a wrestler's seeding, as it did to Mandeville's Caleb Levee in 2005.  (He treated his fifth-place seeding as a minor nuisance, of course.)

If Robertson is not ready yet, Eboigbe should see Patrick Hoppe for the Crusaders.  Hoppe placed fifth at the Classic and has done very well for the Crusaders in Robertson's absence.

Advantage: Jesuit if Hoppe; Brother Martin if Robertson
Tyrek Malveaux, Senior - Comeaux

It just does not matter if a match is slow and boring or if one is very energetic.  The two-time returning state champion from Comeaux, Tyrek Malveaux, finds a way to win. Malveaux's only loss this season came in OT to a wrestler from Texas.  All he has left is the Ken Cole, and he will be after that one, as it will be his third.
Devin Leblanc of Brother Martin should face Steven Queyrouze tonight.  Leblanc needs to add a little work before State and Queyrouze is strong enough to provide that.

Advantage: Brother Martin

Brandon Luckett, Senior - Catholic

Catholic's Brandon Luckett has sailed through the year with his only defeat in Louisiana coming in a 10-8 loss to Malveaux.
If he is not injured, look for Brother Martin's Jordan Giroir to wrestle Robert Lobrano of Jesuit.  This is another match Brother Martin will want to win to make sure they walk out of the gym victorious.  If GIroir cannot suit-up, look for Anthony Quijano for the Crusaders.  Quijano won twice for the Crusaders at the Lone Star Duals and won against Grace King last week.

Advantage: Brother Martin
David Albrecht, Senior - Brother Martin

Quality opponents have come awfully close to beating him Albrecht of late.  His 4-3 win over Brown in the LA Classic finals took less time that his OT victory over Rummel's Michael Darwin a couple of weeks ago.
Daniel Albrecht should want another chance at Jesuit's Jimmy Brown.  After Brown's showing at the Louisiana Classic, Brother Martin will want their best option against him.

Advantage: Brother Martin
Kyle Delaune, Senior - Brother Martin

Delaune has lost one match all season, to an out-of-state wrestler in the Blackhorse Invitational finals in Tennessee.  All of his wins have come by four points or more, unless a pin got in the way.
Brother Martin's Kyle Delaune should face-off against Jesuit's Gage Grush, whom he beat 6-2 in the Trey Culotta finals.

Grush is tough, but even if he wins it should not be enough to unseat Delaune.  Those two will be tied, but Grush has lost to Teurlings Catholic's Nick Schneider whereas Delaune defeated Schneider twice by a combined score of 26-5.  Delaune will remain the top seed.

Advantage: Brother Martin
Manny Armour, Senior - Jesuit

Manny Armour has owned this weight class all year.  His only two losses have only come against non-Louisiana wrestlers in the Tulsa Mid-American tournament.
Armour should face Yehia Riles of Brother Martin.  Riles placed third at the Louisiana Classic, but needed every bit of overtime to do that against Catholic's Caleb Sutton.  At the Trey Culotta, Armour won in a technical fall 20-1.

Advantage: Jesuit
Daniel Kincade, Senior - Northside¹; Miles Nash, Junior - Catholic; Josh Tapia, Junior - Brother Martin

Kincade's improbable win as a non-seeded wrestler at the Classic may have solved the problem of a weight class looking for a favorite.  Victories over Teurlings Catholic's Adam Garza and Comeaux's Matthew Tillman at the Ken Cole should solve that altogether.

Catholic's Mile Nash and Tapia have split close matches, but Nash won their last one.  Carmello has a victory over Nash.  The caliber of their remaining matches will hopefully clear up the problem.
Tonight's expected match between Brother Martin's Josh Tapia and Jesuit's Dominic Carmello will have implications re state seeding.  Tapia still has a shot at the top seed spot if Kincade stumbles hard at the Ken Cole and Nash does the same in his last few events, including the Greater Baton Rouge Championships.  Carmello has three losses to Tapia this season, so, while a win will not earn him a higher seed than Tapia at State it should certainly improve his seeding as it may now stand.

Advantage: Brother Martin
Ross Brister, Senior - Brother Martin

Brister has not lost in Louisiana and just dominated his opponents at the LA Classic with pins of 0:42. 1:13, 3:47 and a 5-0 win in the finals.
Brister has no reason not to wrestle and his opponent, probably Zachary Creel, could use a good match to bolster his seeding status for State after not placing in the top six at the Louisiana Classic.

Advantage: Brother Martin

¹  Yes, I know.

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