2013 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships: 120 Pounds
Editor: March 27th, 2013

120 Pounds

#1 Paul Klein of Brother Martin vs. #2 Jacob Dale of Comeaux in the Division I finals.
Division I
Bracket Con. Bracket
1st (1) Paul Klein (OW) Brother Martin
2nd (2) Jacob Dale Comeaux
3rd (4) Phillip Nauta Catholic
4th (5) Chris Meraux St. Paul
5th (3) Tyler Mire Rummel
6th (7) Brennan Taylor Sulphur
Division II
1st (1) Alex Nicosia Holy Cross
2nd (2) Tristan Lee Teurlings Catholic
3rd (5) Dean Roberts Live Oak
4th (4) Sterling Saylor Plaquemine
5th (6) Bryce Ballas Shaw
6th Angello Medina-Perez Grace King
Division III
1st (1) Wayne LeJeune Brusly
2nd (2) Kelby Comeaux South Cameron
3rd (3) Bryce Cortez John Curtis
4th (4) Christopher Hall North Vermillion
5th (5) Dom Ditcharo Fisher
6th Glenn Gebo De la Salle

Division I

Top Eight Seeds
Seed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Wrestler Paul Klein-10 Jacob Dale-12 Tyler Mire-11 Phillip Nauta-12 Chris Meraux-11 Dano Miller-11 Brennan Taylor-9 Matthew Ashford-11
School Brother Martin Comeaux Rummel Catholic St. Paul Chalmette Sulphur East Ascension
Place 1 2 5 3 4 DNP 6 DNP

Twenty-two wrestlers competed in the Division I 120 lbs. state championships.  Few had any doubts as to who would be the finalists.


Top-seeded Paul Klein of Brother Martin was a returning state champion, having won at 106 lbs. in 2012 as a mere freshman.  His only loss of the season was to Holy Cross' Alex Nicosia, in the Louisiana Classic, which resulted in an injury forcing his withdrawal from the tournament.  Prior to that Klein had won the Mandeville Open (6-5 over Nicosia), the Cinco Ranch Invitational in Texas, the Trey Culotta Invitational and placed second in the Blackhorse Open in Germantown, Tennessee.  Most importantly, though, Klein defeated Dale 4-3 in the Deep South Bayou Duals in Baton Rouge on December 28.

Senior Jacob Dale of Comeaux won the 120 lbs. championship in 2012 and was the Outstanding Wrestler in Division I.  Dale's 2012-3 campaign started well as he won the Warrior Open, but faltered in the Central Invitation with a loss to Catholic's Brennan Taylor and the next week in the Griffin Open with a loss to Live Oak's Cody Hill.  It was almost a month until he returned to the mat, and he convincingly won the Jacob McMillan Invitational over Division III state champion Raymond Bushnell of Basile.  He won three matches at the Deep South Bayou Duals but suffered his loss to Klein there as well.  Then he stopped losing.  With Klein out of it he easily won the Louisiana Classic.  A week later he won the Ken Cole.  Dale won 15 matches between his loss to Klein and the state tournament.

While he had not wrestled against #3 seed Tyler Mire of Rummel, Dale had defeated #7 Brennan Taylor of Sulphur 18-6.  Klein had defeated #4 seed Phillip Nauta of Catholic twice, 15-5 and 13-4.  For good measure he also pinned #8 Matthew Ashford of East Ascension in 2:29. 

Dale and Klein (W: 4-3) on December 28th at the Deep South Bayou duals.

That Klein and Dale would meet in the finals was all but a foregone conclusion.  But nobody expected what actually happened.

Rounds 1, 2 and Quarterfinals

The first and second rounds went pretty much according to plan.  Three of the four quarterfinals did as well.

Klein defeated East Ascension's Matthew Ashford, the 8th seed, 11-1.  Third-seeded Tyler Mire of Rummel defeated Chalmette's 6th seed Dano Miller 6-0 and Dale "teched" #7 Brennan Taylor of Sulphur 19-2.  But then the "5th-seed bug" struck again.

Catholic's 4th-seeded Phillip Nauta defeated 5th seed Chris Meraux of St. Paul's 9-7 to win 5th at the Trey Culotta Invitational on December 22nd.  Despite what the photo (left) implicates, Meraux was victorious over Nauta in the quarterfinals by a 6-4 score.  For that he won the right to face Klein in the semifinals.


The semifinals pitted Klein versus Meraux after the latter's upset of Nauta.  Dale faced Mire, as predicted by the seeding.  Neither top seed was seriously threatened.  Klein pinned St. Paul's' Chris Meraux in 2:29 at the Trey Culotta on December 21st.  Meraux did not let Klein pin him this time but still lost by a major decision 11-1.  Dale and Mire had not previously met and wasted little time, pinning the Raider in 1:11.

Klein scores nearfall points against Meraux. Klein's match ended in 2:29. Dale controls Mire's leg. Dale pinned Mire in 1:11.

Consolation Rounds

#4 Nauta defeated Austin Blades of Dutchtown in 2:21 and East Ascension's Matthew Ashford 12-1 to meet Mire in the consolation finals.  Avenging a 6-4 overtime loss at Catholic, Nauta edged Mire 2-1 to make the consolation finals.  The sixth-seeded freshman from Sulphur, Brennan Taylor, defeated St. Amant's Austin LeBouef 5-3 and Chalmette's Dano Miller in 1:39 to meet Meraux in the consolation semifinals.  But the St. Paul wrestler stopped him in 3:00 to advance.

The Rummel junior Mire had his hands full with Taylor and required a "Sudden Victory" period to take fifth place 7-5.

Nauta and Meraux had split matches 1-1 during the season so a "Sudden Victory" period came as no surprise.  Nauta was able to score a takedown and win 3-1, placing third for the Bears.

FINALS: #1 Paul Klein (Brother Martin) vs. #2 Jacob Dale (Comeaux)

In the six matches wrestled to set-up their finals match, Klein and Dale combined for three pins in a total of 6:02 and three decisions amounting to a 44-5 point total.

The match-up between the two everyone thought would be in the finals was set.  Since defeating Dale 4-3 in the Deep South Bayou Duals Klein had lost five matches - four in Texas and the one to Nicosia at the Louisiana Classic.  But he did return to win the Greater New Orleans Championships two weeks prior to the state tournament, albeit not against top-caliber competition.  Dale had been on a "tear" since his loss to Klein.  Including state tournament victories, of his next 18 opponents, those he did not pin (six) lost by a combined score of 94-29.  Of the 12 he pinned, he did so in an average time of 1:10.

Dale started off aggressively and used a head-fake to fool photographers as well as Klein to shoot deep for double-leg takedown and score two points.  But Klein stood up and fought out of it to face Dale, and wrestled into a double-leg attempt of his own.  Standing over Klein to fight off the attempt, Dale reached his right arm over and behind Klein in an effort to "rip" him back-first onto the mat.  That might have worked on Dale's average opponent, but Klein is not average.  He withstood Dale's "rip" which left Dale's arm exposed and out in the air over his head.  Klein pounced on it with a half-nelson and took Dale to his back.  Securing a leg, Klein scored a fall.  The match of the tournament, as exciting as it was, lasted all of 1:08.

Dale's initial takedown. Klein tries to escape.  Klein sinks a deep half-nelson. Dale resists the pin.
Klein tightens his combination. Klein scores the fall in 1:07.
 Klein and Dale on the awards podium.
Klein receives the Division I Outstanding Wrestler award.

If one has to lose to three wrestlers over the course of an entire season, one could not pick better one's than the one who defeated Dale.  Brennan Taylor of Catholic won the Division I state championship at 126 lbs.  Live Oak's Cody Hill was named the state's Most Valuable Wrestler by the Times-Picayune.  And Klein, after winning his second Division I state championship, was named the Outstanding Wrestler in Division I for his win over Dale.  Mr. Dale has the 2012 state championship and Division I Outstanding Wrestler award.  He is a two-time Louisiana Classic and Ken Cole champion (2012 OW).  Very few high school résumés look better than his.

As for Mr. Klein, any thoughts that his 2012 state championship win over Jesuit's Mitch Capella at 106 lbs. was a fluke have been erased.  He has shown the maturity necessary to move up two weight classes and still be as lethal as he was at 106 lbs.  He has very talented wrestlers just below and just above him in any weight class he chooses in the 2013-4 season.  He has the opportunity to be the first wrestler of the modern age (post 1981) to win four Division I state championships, feats only previously accomplished by Austin Vegas (1963-6) and Jack Hecker (1945-8) of Holy Cross back when the Tigers ruled the mats by sheer numbers as well as talent.

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Division II

Top Eight Seeds
Seed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Wrestler Alex Nicosia-12 Tristan Lee-10 Angello Medina-Perez-12 Sterling Saylor-12 Dean Roberts-12 Bryce Ballas-11 Corey Hantz-9 Micah Roby-10
School Holy Cross Teurlings Catholic Grace King Plaquemine Live Oak Shaw Sam Houston Baton Rouge
Place 1 2 6 4 3 5 DNP DNP

Fourteen wrestlers competed in the Division II 120 lbs. state championships.


The only Louisiana wrestler to defeat Klein was Holy Cross' Alex Nicosia.  Nicosia, a senior, was aiming for his third state title, having won the Division III 103 lbs. championship in 2011 and the Division II 113 lbs. championship in 2012.  Nicosia's only losses of the season were a pair to Dale, a November one to Klein and two via wrestlers from out-of-state at the Las Vegas Invitational.  He was the obvious #1 seed, having defeated #2 seed Tristan Lee of Teurlings Catholic 7-2, #3 seed Angello Medina-Perez of Grace King 10-3 and #4 seed Sterling Saylor of Plaquemine 12-0.  During the season he won the Sam Sara and placed second to Dale in the St. Michael Warrior Open, to Klein in the Mandeville Open and to Dale again in the Louisiana Classic.  All the while he amassed 31 victories.

Round 1 and Quarterfinals

#1 Nicosia did not need to worry about anyone until the semifinals as he had a first round bye and advanced to the semifinals via a quarterfinals forfeit.   

#3 Angello Medina-Perez defeated Shaw's #6 seed Bryce Ballas 6-3 in his quarterfinals match (photo left), and #2 seed Tristan Lee quickly dispatched of #7 Corey Hantz of Sam Houston in 1:10.

#4 Sterling Saylor of Catholic ran into #5 Dean Roberts of Live Oak.  In a battle of seniors Roberts won with a pin in 3:15.


Nicosia's first match of the tournament was against Dean Roberts of Live Oak, another #5 seed who a defeated #4 seed.  The two had not met during the season, and Roberts provided a good test, but Nicosia prevailed 6-1.

#3 Medina-Perez and #2 Lee had not previously met and they also provided a good match, with Lee winning 5-2.

Consolation Rounds

#4 Saylor had a long road to the consolation finals.  First he pinned St. Louis's Gabe Emerson in 2:40 and then Pearl River's Thomas Tucker in 0:46.  He had a hard time getting past the #3 seed Medina-Perez, but managed an 8-6 win.  Shaw's #6 Bryce Ballas pinned Northwood's Tyler Bryant in 0:42 and 2:11 to pin Sam Houston's #7 Corey Hantz before running into Roberts in the consolation semifinals.  The Shaw junior had been improving all season, but it was not enough against the senior Roberts, who won their match 8-6 and had another shot against Plaquemine's Saylor.  Ballas and Medina-Perez, who beat Ballas 6-3 in the quarterfinals, met in the match for fifth place, and this time it was Ballas placing for the Shaw Eagles with a fall in 4:19.  Dean proved his quarterfinals win over Saylor was not an accident by beating Saylor again in the consolation finals, in a 4:34 fall, to earn third place.

 #5 Seed Dean Roberts' Road to Third Place*

Round 1 Quarterfinals Semifinals Consolation Semifinals Consolation Finals
1:22 pin of DeAvante Cooper of East Jefferson 3:15 pin of #4 Sterling Saylor of Plaquemine 6-1 loss to #1 Alex Nicosia of Holy Cross 8-6 decision over # 6 Bryce Ballas of Shaw 4:34 pin of #4 Sterling Saylor of Plaquemine

FINALS: #1 Alex Nicosia (Holy Cross) vs. #2 Tristan Lee (Teurlings Catholic)

Nicosia did not disappoint the Tiger fans who did not know at the time that they were watching the only one of nine finalists from Holy Cross to win.  The Rebels' sophomore managed two points, but Nicosia was able to score nearfall points and prevailed by the same score he did in their match on January 4th, 7-2.  Nicosia joined Nick Michael, who graduated in 2012, and Ryan Hess (1993-95) as a recent three-time state champion.  Nicosia finished his senior season with a record of 29-3 (33-5).  Lee finished is sophomore year with a record of 32-15 (33-16).

Lee works a single-leg shot. Nicosia attempts a switch. Lee re-switches Nicosia.
Nicosia forces Lee to his back with a half-nelson. Lee congratulates Nicosia. Holy Cross coach Eric Desormeaux congratulates his three-time state champion.

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Division III

Top Eight Seeds
Seed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Wrestler Wyatt LeJeune-11 Kelby Comeaux-9 Bryce Cortez-11 Christopher Hall-11 Dom Ditcharo-12 Jacob Bailey-8 Riley Smith-11 Gerald Barthelemy-9
School Brusly South Cameron John Curtis North Desoto Fisher Evangel Lakeside South Plaquemines
Place 1 2 3 4 5 DNP DNP DNP

Fourteen wrestlers competed in the Division III 120 lbs. state championships


Brusly junior Wyatt LeJeune lost a heartbreaker in the 2012 state championship finals, falling 10-8 to Bossier's Koree Venus.   His 33 victories in the 2012-3 season were offset by 15 losses, but five of the 15 were to out-of-state wrestlers.  Eight were to Division I wrestlers who placed in the top-five at state.  Two were to Division II wrestlers - a 3-0 loss to Jacob Rees of Teurlings at 132 lbs., and to Division II champion Cody Hill at 126 lbs.  He placed second at the Ken Cole, the Sam Sara, the Brusly Invitational and the Greater Baton Rouge Championships, and fourth at the Louisiana Classic.  He had not lost to a Division III opponent and was the #1 seed.

South Cameron freshman Kelby Comeaux was seeded second over Bryce Cortez of John Curtis via two 7-4 victories against the Patriot.  He brought 10 victories with him against four losses.  One of the losses, however, was a 16-0 technical fall by LeJeune at the Brusly Invitational.

Round 1 and Quarterfinals

The top four seeds all advanced to and won their quarterfinals matches.  #4 Christopher Hall won a tough 7-3 match over #5 Dom Ditcharo of Fisher while the rest had relatively simple wins.  #1 LeJeune scored a technical fall 18-3 over #8 Gerald Barthelemy of South Plaquemines.  John Curtis' #3 Bryce Cortez pinned Evangel's Jacob Bailey in 3:15 and #2 Comeaux pinned North Vermillion 8th-grader Kenneth Vidallier in 1:35.

#1 LeJeune "teched" #8 Gerald Barthelemy of South Plaquemines 18-3.  #3 Cortez pinned Evangel's Jacob Bailey in 3:15.  #2 Comeaux pinned unseeded Kenneth Vidallier of North Vermillion in 1:35.


Comeaux had a hard time with Cortez in the semifinals but won 3-1.  LeJeune kept up his previous pace against Hall, though, scoring a 14-2 major decision for the Panthers.


Comeaux works to get behind Cortez. LeJeune puts Hall on his back. Hall gets out of the pinning combination.

Consolation Rounds

De la Salle's Glenn Gebo, a freshman, had a very busy consolation bracket experience.  He recorded a fall over Bossier's DaMarcus Craig in 3:59, edged Evangel's #6 Jacob Bailey 4-3 and then pinned North Vermillion's Kenneth Vidallier in 4:37.  But then he ran into #4 Hall from North Desoto, who beat Gebo 14-8 in Round 1.  This time Hall pinned the Cavalier in 2:32.  Dom Ditcharo, the #5 seed from Fisher, had a shorter route to a consolation semifinals match with #3 Cortez.  Ditcharo needed a 6-4 SV match to get past Tyrone Broussard of Kaplan and then got past Lakeside's Ricky Smith 8-5.  Cortez beat Ditcharo 7-5 in the finals of the District 9-2A Championships, and this time he beat Ditcharo again with a fall in 4:17.  Ditcharo defeated Gebo for fifth place, 13-6, while Cortez scored a 7-2 victory over Hall for third place for the John Curtis Patriots.

Finals: #1 Wyatt LeJeune (Brusly) vs. #2 Kelby Comeaux (South Cameron)

Comeaux knows the rich history behind the South Cameron wrestling program and was not going to submit to another technical fall by LeJeune in the finals.  But the experienced Panther still proved too good, and won his first state championship 7-2.  LeJeune, a junior, finished the season 27-10 (31-15) while the freshman Comeaux was 12-5.

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