2014 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships: 132 Pounds
Editor: March 39th, 2014

132 Pounds

Brother Martin's Paul Klein attempts to escape from Holy Cross' George Benoit.

Division I
1st (2) Paul Klein Brother Martin
2nd (1) George Benoit Holy Cross
3rd (3) Brennan Taylor Sulphur
4th (5) Kalik Battle C.E. Byrd
5th (8) Chris Meraux St. Paul's
6th (6) Jacob Rovira Jesuit
Division II
1st (2) Sterling Saylor Plaquemine
2nd (1) Tristan Lee Teurlings Catholic
3rd (4) Nathan Pitts Parkway
4th (5) Timothy Hillard Pearl River
5th (3) Brandon Webb Live Oak
6th (6) Cameron Gafford Riverdale
Division III
1st (1) Noah Landry Brusly
2nd (3) Devin Bazinet Basile
3rd (2) James Graham South Plaquemines
4th (5) Raekwon Thomas De la Salle
5th (4) Tyrone Broussard Kaplan
6th (6) Roderick Ward Evangel

Division I

Seeded Wrestlers
Seed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Wrestler George Benoit Paul Klein Brennan Taylor Antonio Lococo Kalik Battle Jacob Rovira Tristyn Wheeler Chris Meraux Nicholas Richard
School Holy Cross Brother Martin Sulphur Parkway C.E. Byrd Jesuit St. Amant St. Paul's East Ascension
Place 2 1 3 DNP 4 6 DNP 5 DNP

Twenty-nine wrestlers competed in the Division I 132 lbs. state championships.


The seeding at 132 lbs. in Division I confused many people at first.  On the one hand there was Brother Martin's two-time defending Division I state champion Paul Klein.  Klein was 26-1 on the year and won the Mandeville Open, the Trygg Memorial and the Spartan Open (against Live Oak's Cody Hilly), and he won Outstanding Wrestler awards in all three of those events.  He won the Trey Culotta (also against Hill), and the Soddy Daisy Showdown in Tennessee (adding another OW to his credit).  He was undefeated at the Deep South Bayou Duals and won an OW there.  His only loss all year was a 3-1 Sudden Victory one to Holy Cross' George Benoit in the Ken Cole finals, and Klein came back and beat Benoit 3-2 in the Holy Cross Brother Martin dual meet on February 10th.

Benoit's record was not bad, but it was not Klein's.  He was 31-4 in Louisiana, with losses to Rick LaCava of Rummel, Brennan Taylor of Catholic and Austin Meyn of Brother Martin to go with his one against Klein in their rematch from the Ken Cole.  He did win the Louisiana Classic but Brother Martin was not able to compete in that this year.  He also won the Ken Cole and the Greater New Orleans Championships.

A lot of people were really surprised that Benoit went down to 132 lbs. from the 138 lbs. in which he competed last season as well as for the majority of this season.  But the 138 lbs. weight class already had the defending state champion in Taylor, and the 2013 runner-up in Meyn, and Benoit had split matches with Rummel's LaCava.  Those were all very close matches, but perhaps for personal reasons or for the benefit of the Tigers as a whole, Benoit ventured into "Klein Territory?"  In his first match at 132 lbs. he scored a major 14-4 decision over Sulphur's awesome young sophomore Brennan Taylor, and he did it again 12-1 in the Louisiana Classic finals.  Certainly, there was no doubt he won the Ken Cole finals over Klein, but as that was in a sudden victory match, did that outweigh Klein's 3-2 later win in regulation at the dual meet?

It did.  Despite the scores (and they were both very close matches), the two were 1-1 against each other.  The next criteria used was how they fared in tournaments in which they both competed in the same weight class.  That only happened once, at the Ken Cole, and Benoit won that event.  So the top seed at 132 lbs. went to Benoit and Klein was relegated to the #2 spot.

Taylor's only losses all year were to Benoit and Comeaux's Connor Stampley (at 126 lbs.), and he brought a 31-3 record into the tournament with victories at the Ronnie Suarez, the Jacob McMillan and the southwest Louisiana Shootout.  With a record of 37-9 and a Northwest Louisiana Regionals championship Airline freshman Antonio Lococo was seeded fourth.

Rounds 1 and 2

All eight of the top seeds advanced through the first two rounds and into the quarterfinals.


The quarterfinals feature two close matches and two blowouts.  The Top-seeded Benoit handled St. Paul's #8 Chris Meraux 12-5 (photos left) and Klein scored a major decision over #7 Tristyn Wheeler of St. Amant 17-4.  Third-seeded Brannan Taylor had a much harder time getting past Jesuit junior Jacob Rovira, eking through a 4-3 match.  That was the same score #5 Kalik Battle of C.E. Byrd used to defeat #4 Antonio Lococo of Parkway, who previously had beaten the Byrd senior three times by one point each.

Semifinal #1

(1) George Benoit (Holy Cross) vs. (5) Kalik Battle (C.E. Byrd)

This was the third match between Benoit and Battle. Benoit won the first at the Spartan Open 3-0.  At the Louisiana Classic Benoit had a harder time in a 1-0 victory.  But this match was all Benoit who scored on a double-leg shot for the first takedown and did not look back in a 7-0 win.  Benoit, a Division III finalist in 2012 and a Division II finalist in 2013, had made it this time into the Division I state championship match.

Semifinal #2

(2) Paul Klein (Brother Martin) vs. (3) Brennan Taylor (Sulphur)

Klein had little problem with the Sulphur sophomore Brennan Taylor.  Using a double-leg attack Klein lifted Taylor off the mat for one of his takedowns and amassed 13 points to Taylor's four to reach his third consecutive Division I finals and a seasonal tie-breaking match with Benoit.

Consolation Rounds

St. Paul's #6 Chris Meraux battled back to the consolation semifinals against Taylor with a fall in 1:50 and a 9-1 upset of #4 Lococo.  Taylor, though, had defeated Meraux 6-2 in the Louisiana Classic and this time scored a fall in 2:40 to advance to the consolation finals.  Jacob Rovira of Jesuit used two point decisions, 4-2 and 6-4, to meet Byrd's Battle in the other consolation semifinals.  This was another two point match, but it was the #5 seed advancing 3-1.

In the St. Paul's Invitational Rovira had pinned Meraux in 2:55, but the Wolves' senior was having none of that this time and upset the #4 seed 5-3 to take fifth place.

Taylor and Battle had not met previously and they both wanted that third place spot badly enough to force a Sudden Victory period.  Taylor emerged victorious in a 3-1 match to take third for the Golden Tornadoes of Sulphur. 


#1 George Benoit (Holy Cross) versus #2 Paul Klein (Brother Martin)

The third match between Benoit and Klein lived up to its expectations.  Klein scored a takedown in the first period for a 2-0 lead.  Eighteen seconds into the second round he scored an escape to take a 3-0 lead, a score which was often deemed insurmountable against Klein.  But neither wrestler could convert a takedown in the remaining portion of the second period.  In the third it was Benoit scoring the escape point after 30 seconds had elapsed, so it was down to the next takedown to "ice" the win for Klein or to force another Sudden Victory round.  With time running out Benoit was able to get in on Klein's legs and take him down to the mat in a sitting position.  Many viewers thought Benoit had scored a takedown at the end, while others had him scoring a takedown and nearfall points that would have won the match for him, but the officials were right on top of the wrestlers and they did not see Klein cede any control before the time ran out.  Klein persevered 3-1 and had his third Division I state championship as a junior.  Always a gentleman and well trained in the fact that a close match is a result of how he wrestled it, Benoit congratulated Klein on the podium with the class befitting a Melchior Man¹.

 ¹    The same could not be said of some fans who deemed they had better views of the waning moments of the match from the Pontchartrain Center seats than the officials who were actually on the mat, and let their frustration be known on Facebook posts.

Back to Top

Division II

Seeded Wrestlers
Seed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Wrestler Tristan Lee Sterling Saylor Brandon Webb Nathan Pitts Timothy Hillard Cameron Gafford Josh Caskey Jesse Zeringue Perry J. Hawxhurst
School Teurlings Catholic Plaquemine Live Oak Parkway Pearl River Riverdale Benton St. Michael Grace King
Place 2 1 5 3 4 6 DNP DNP DNP

Fourteen wrestlers competed in the Division II 132 lbs. state championships.


Junior Tristan Lee of Teurlings Catholic had a 27-12 record and no losses to Division II opponents aside from Live Oak's Cody Hill, who remained at 126 lbs.  He won the Teurlings Catholic Open, placed third at the Louisiana Classic and second at the Jacob McMillan.  Lee was the top seed in the Division II 138 lbs. state championships.  Plaquemine's Sterling Saylor was 11-5 and had no losses to Division II competition.  He had a win over Live Oak's Brandon Webb (36-17), so Saylor was seeded second and Webb third.  Parkway's Nathan Pitts was 24-9 and had split with Webb during the season.  Pitts beat Webb at the Ken Cole but neither of the finished in the top six.  Webb beat Pitts and won the Parkway Division II Lone Survivor Tournament, and due to the tournament win was seeded over Pitts in the 3rd position while Pitts was 4th.

Round 1 and Quarterfinals

The top four seeds advanced through the semifinals without incident, but one match was close.  Fourth seed Nathan Pitts of Parkway was taken the distance by #5 Tim Hillard of Pear River, losing 6-4.  Lee had little problem with #8 Jesse Zeringue of St. Michael, scoring a fall in 3:18 (photos left).  Saylor only required 1:41 to advance past #7 Josh Caskey of Benton, and Webb, while not scoring a fall, scored a 17-2 technical fall over Riverdale's Cameron Gafford in 3:37.

Semifinal #1

(1) Tristan Lee (Teurlings Catholic) vs. (4) Nathan Pitts (Parkway)

Lee and Pitts had not met before and neither one wanted to miss an opportunity to make the finals.  But it was the top seed who advanced in a very close 4-2 match.

Semifinal #2

(2) Sterling Saylor (Plaquemine) vs. (3) Brandon Webb (Live Oak)

Saylor had scored a fall over Webb in the Greater Baton Rouge Championships in 1:36.  In this match Saylor could not pin his Live Oak opponent, but using tilts and cradles he continuously put Webb on his back, and when only 3:03 had elapsed in the match had a 15-0 lead and a technical fall.  Saylor became the first wrestler from Plaquemine to make it to a state championship match.

Consolation Rounds

Sixth-seeded Cameron Gafford completed the long trip to the consolation semifinals with a 9-7 decision and a fall in 2:34.  There he met Pitts, though, and the sophomore Panther was able to score a fall in 3:34.  Pearl River's #5 Hillard made the trip on the bottom side of the consolation bracket with a major 13-3 decision followed by a major 15-4 decision.  He did not stop there as he scored a fall over Live Oak's Webb in 4:33 to advance to a third place match against Pitts.

Webb, who beat Gafford by a technical fall in the quarterfinals, scored a major 8-0 decision in their match to place fifth for the Eagles.

Hillard did not want to be knocked out easily and he provided a tough test for Pitts in the consolation finals.  But it was Pitts coming away with a 6-3 victory to take third for Parkway.

Finals: #1 Tristan Lee (Teurlings Catholic) versus #2 Sterling Saylor (Plaquemine)

Lee and Saylor had not met before, and it looked like Lee was going to dominate his Plaquemine opponent early.  Lee took him down in the first 40 seconds of the match, allowed Saylor to escape, and then Lee took Saylor down and to his back for an additional two nearfall points.  The first period ended with Lee healthily ahead 6-1.  In the second period, though, things changed.  Saylor rode Lee well and would not allow the Rebel wrestler to score an escape.  Defending a stand-up, Saylor lifted Lee off of and back onto the mat and then set in place a cross-face cradle which he used to turn Lee to his back.  Saylor scored a fall in 2:37 to become Plaquemine's first state championship.  With a technical fall and two pins (one over the top seed in the weight class), Saylor was later recognized as the Outstanding Wrestler in Division II.


Back to Top

Division III

Seeded Wrestlers
Seed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Wrestler Noah Landry James Graham Devin Bazinet Tyrone Broussard Raekwon Thomas Roderick Ward J. Grant Camera Kenneth Vidalier
School Brusly South Plaquemines Basile Kaplan De la Salle Evangel St. Louis North Vermillion
Place 1 3 2 5 4 6 DNP DNP

Fourteen wrestlers competed in the Division III 132 lbs. state championships.


Brusly senior Noah Landry, a Mandeville High School transfer two years ago, had a 31-8 record and all of his losses were to top caliber Division I opponents.  It was Landry who, during a loss to Paul Klein of Brother Martin at the Ken Cole, scored the first offensive points against Klein all season (Klein had allowed a lot of his opponents to escape so he could take them down again).  Landry won the South Walton Border Wars, the Brusly Invitational and the Greater Baton Rouge Championships and thus was an obvious first seed.  Seeded second was South Plaquemines' James Graham, a senior with a 26-8 record, a win at the John Curtis tournament and a runner-up spot at the Brusly Invitational.  Bringing a record of 14-3 into the tournament was Basile sophomore Devin Bazinet, a state runner-up as an eighth-grader in 2012 and a fourth place finisher in 2013.  Bazinet had a loss to James and hence received the third seed.  Kaplan sophomore Tyrone Broussard, at 15-9, was seeded fourth due to a loss to Bazinet.

Round 1 and Quarterfinals

All of the top eight seeds advanced to the quarterfinals.

All of the quarterfinal matches ended in falls, but one was a minor upset when #5 Raekwon Thomas of De la Salle defeated #4 Tyrone Broussard of Kaplan in 1:50.  Otherwise Landry only required 44 seconds to get by #8 Kenneth Vidalier of North Vermillion, James needed 48 seconds to get past St. Louis' Johnathan Carrera and Bazinet needed 4:26 to score a fall over #6 Roderick Ward of Evangel in 4:26.

Semifinal #1

(1) Noah Landry (Brusly) vs. (5) Raekwon Thomas (De la Salle)

This was the first meeting between Landry and Thomas and the Brusly wrestler was just faster and stronger than his Cavalier opponent. Thomas put up a good fight, but at the end Landry scored a fall in 5:25 to advance to the finals.

Semifinal #2

(2) James Graham (South Plaquemines) vs. (3) Devin Bazinet (Basile)

At the Brusly Invitational James scored a fall over Bazinet in 2:58.  But that was Bazinet's first tournament of the year (he had his first match two days earlier) as the sophomore needed a little coaxing to get back on the mat in 2014.  It proved worthwhile.  In their second meeting Bazinet befuddled the Hurricanes' senior, winning by a major 14-5 decision and advancing to his second Division III finals match in three years.

Consolation Rounds

Evangel freshman Roderick Ward came back and advanced to the consolation semifinals with falls in 2:21 and 2:12 to meet De la Salle's Thomas.  But the Cavalier put an end to the freshman's hopes of a third place match berth by pinning him in 4:54.  The fourth-seeded Broussard made to trip to meet Graham with a fall in 2:08 and a major 9-1 decision.  But James had a major decision of his own left, and used it on Broussard for a 17-9 win.

Broussard got the best of Ward, winning 7-2 and taking fifth place honors for Kaplan.

Graham finished the tournament strong with a fall in 1:27 over Thomas and a third place finish for the Hurricanes.

Finals: #1 Noah Landry (Brusly) versus #3 Devin Bazinet (Basile)

Landry, when he does not score a lot of points, knows how to protect the ones he does score.  The first round was scoreless but in the second Landry escaped and scored a takedown to take a 3-0 lead into the third period.  On top to start the third, Bazinet managed and escape point but Landry took him down for a 5-1 lead, once putting his Bearkat opponent on his back but coming short of nearfall points.  Bazinet managed an escape near the end of the match, but as time ran out Landry had a 5-2 win and a Division III state championship.

Back to Top

© 2014 by Louisiana Wrestling News

You may not make electronic copies of these copyrighted materials nor redistribute them to 3rd parties in any form without written permission