2014 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships: 285 Pounds
Editor: March 39th, 2014

285 Pounds

Northside's O'Shea Dugas gains control over Robert Kennedy of Belle Chasse.
Division I
1st (3) Conor Karwath East Ascension
2nd (1) Christian Ponson Fontainebleau
3rd (4) Dominic Carmello Jesuit
4th (2) Ryan Hanley Rummel
5th (8) Matt Montalbano Brother Martin
6th (5) K.J. Wilson Catholic
Division II
1st (2) O'Shea Dugas Northside
2nd (1) Robert Kennedy Belle Chasse
3rd (3) Travis Santiago Teurlings Catholic
4th (5) Matthew Blair Shaw
5th Micah Lacy Parkway
6th (8) Kenderick Washington Bossier
Division III
1st (1) Logan Williams Evangel
2nd (2) Kirk Wilson Dunham
3rd (4) Jo'Vonte Wheeler Brusly
4th (5) Taylor McKay Episcopal
5th (7) Brent Ruiz John Curtis
6th (6) Jalen Haydel De la Salle

Division I

Seeded Wrestlers
Seed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Wrestler Christian Ponson Ryan Hanley Conor Karwath Dominic Carmello K.J. Wilson Blake Pacheco Travis Gardner Matt Montalbano Jamal Campbell
School Fontainebleau Rummel East Ascension Jesuit Catholic Dutchtown Holy Cross Brother Martin Comeaux
Place 2 4 1 3 6 DNP DNP 5 DNP

Twenty-three wrestlers competed in the Division I 285 lbs. state championships.


East Ascension's Conor Karwath started the season very strong with 45 straight victories, including championships at the Warrior Open, South Walton Border Wars, Griffin Open, Spartan Open, Istrouma Tournament and the Trey Culotta.  At the Louisiana Classic, however, for lack of a better word, Karwath hiccupped.  Rummel's Ryan Hanley presented Karwath with his first defeat of the season.  Hanley was then defeated by Fontainebleau's Christian Ponson in the finals, 5-2, while Karwath lost the consolation finals to Belle Chasse's Robert Kennedy.  Things did not improve for Karwath at the Ken Cole when he was defeated by Northside's O'Shea Dugas as well as Dunham's Kirk Wilson, placing fourth again.  Karwath regained his composure in winning the Greater Baton Rouge Championships for the second time, but it was not enough to merit better than a third seed.  Ponson, despite having lost to Karwath twice (his only other loss being one he avenged later against Jesuit's Dominic Carmello), gained the top seed by virtue of his Louisiana Classic finals win over Hanley, who's 1-0 record against Karwath placed him in the #2 spot.  Carmello was the fourth seed.

Rounds 1 and 2

No upsets were had in the first round and only one minor one was recorded in Round 2 when Comeaux's Jamal Campbell defeated Brother Martin's #8 Matt Montalbano in 3:14.


Only Carmello had a rough time in the quarterfinals, just edging out Catholic's K.J. Wilson 3-1.  Ponson pinned Campbell in 3:24, Karwath pinned Dutchtown's Blake Pacheco in 4:48 and Hanley scored a fall over Holy Cross' Travis Gardner in 4:50.

Semifinal #1

(1) Christian Ponson (Fontainebleau) vs. (4) Zach Carmello (Jesuit)
Early in the season Dominic Carmello defeated Christian Ponson 4-3, but Ponson won their next two matches via a fall in 4:58 and a 6-2 decision.  Both were more aggressive in this match, but it was Ponson advancing to the finals with a 7-5 win.

Semifinal #2

(2) Ryan Hanley (Rummel) vs. (3) Conor Karwath (East Ascension)

Karwath had been aching for a rematch against Hanley, the Rummel Raider who spoiled his undefeated season at the Louisiana Classic, and who only started his season on the 27th of December.  And Karwath delivered, controlling Hanley with his legs and maintaining control throughout, winning the match 8-4. 

Consolation Rounds

Wilson advanced to the consolation semifinals with a close 2-1 decision over Hahnville's Blade Rager, followed by a fall in 3:45.  But Hanley proved too much for Wilson and scored a fall over the Bear in 4:51.  On the other side of the bracket Montalbano of Brother Martin had to win four matches to reach the consolation semifinals against Carmello.  He accomplished that with falls in 0:21 and 1:31, a tough 2-1 decision over Pacheco and another fall in 3:57.   Carmello had previously pinned Montalbano in 2:26 but this time the Crusader gave Carmello all the Blue Jay wanted.  Carmello survived with a 3-2 victory.

Montalbano salvaged fifth place by beating Wilson 4-1.

In the consolation finals Carmello, who had not met Hanley during the regular season, prevailed via a fall in 1:23.

Finals: #1 Christian Ponson (Fontainebleau) versus #3 Conor Karwath (East Ascension)

The big guys do not often give up points easily, and this match was no different.  The first period ended on a scoreless tie.  Opting to take the bottom position to start the second period, Ponson scored the first points of the match with an escape after 45 seconds had elapsed.  But Karwath came back with a single-leg takedown for a 2-1 lead.  Karwath gained another point when Ponson was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for grabbing Karwath's face, increasing his lead to 3-1 as the second period ended.  In the third period it was Karwath scoring an escape, only to be taken down by Ponson, reducing Karwath's lead to 4-3. Not wanting to risk having to take Karwath down again, Ponson tried but was unable to put the Spartan on his back.  Karwath prevailed 4-3, winning East Ascension's fourth state championship and first since Michael Wascomb in 2007. 

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Division II

Seeded Wrestlers
(Seeds 6-7 adjusted as the original #6 seed, Darius Revolta of Pearl River, did not participate)
Seed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Wrestler Robert Kennedy O'Shea Dugas Travis Santiago Chauncey Taylor Matthew Blair Blake Villard Kenderick Washington
School Belle Chasse Northside Teurlings Catholic Benton Shaw Carencro Bossier
Place 2 1 3 DNP 4 DNP 6

Fifteen wrestlers competed in the Division II 285 lbs. state championships.


The seeding in Division II was a "no brainer."  Belle Chasse's Robert Kennedy was 23-1, his only loss being to Ryan Hanley of Rummel at the Louisiana Classic.  Kennedy won the Trygg, the Jefferson Invitational, the Zachary Big Horse and the Ken Cole.  In the Ken Cole finals he barely edged another one of those big Northside kids that just seem to appear mid-season, O'Shea Dugas, 4-3.  (Last season it was Daniel Kincade in that role, who went on to win the Louisiana Classic, Ken Cole and a Division II state title.)  Dugas won the Rayne, Jacob McMillan and Lafayette Metro tournaments and was seeded second behind Kennedy.  Teurlings Catholic junior Travis Santiago had lost to both Kennedy and Dugas and was seeded third.  Chauncey Taylor of Benton, with a 13-2 record but little experience against the elite 285 lb. opponents, was seeded fourth.

Round 1 and Quarterfinals

Only one quarterfinal yielded an upset as Shaw sophomore and fifth seed Matthew Blair defeated #4 Taylor in 1:13.

Semifinal #1

(1) Robert Kennedy (Belle Chasse) vs. (5) Matthew Blair (Shaw)

Oddly enough the two wrestlers from the GNO Westbank, Blair and Kennedy, had not faced each other during the regular season.  But Kennedy's experienced proved too much for the Eagle sophomore, and the match ended in a fall in 4:08.

Semifinal #2

(2) O'Shea Dugas (Northside) vs. (3) Travis Santiago (Teurlings Catholic)

Dugas was wasting no time on the mat whatsoever.  He pinned his first opponent, Micah Lacy of Baton Rouge, in 1:08.  Kenderick Washington of Bossier took even less time at 0:50.  In the second semifinals it was Travis Santiago of Teurlings Catholic's turn to face the Viking big man.  Santiago had the pleasure three prior times, all resulting in first or second round falls.  This match's outcome was similar as Dugas scored a fall in 1:28 to make the finals.

Consolation Rounds

Bossier's Washing made it to the consolation semifinals with falls in 0:19 and 4:55.  But there he ran into Blair, who dominated an 8-1 match.  Baton Rouge's Lacy advanced in the bottom half of the consolation rounds with falls in 2:35 and 1:30, and he put forth a good effort against the third-seeded Santiago, falling only 8-5.

Lacy and Washington wrestled a tough match for fifth place, with Lacy prevailing 2-0.

The Teurlings Catholic junior proved the seeding committee accurate by placing third with a fall over Blair of Shaw in 2:32.

Finals: #1 Robert Kennedy (Belle Chasse) versus #2 O'Shea Dugas (Northside)

As in the Division I finals the first period of the Division II finals also ended scoreless.  The scoring started early and fast in the second period as Kennedy, on the bottom, escaped, but was immediately taken town with a Dugas single-leg in the first six seconds, giving Dugas a 2-1 lead.  Dugas added two nearfall points to take a 4-1 lead, but then Kennedy caught him over-riding and pulled him to his back, scoring two reversal and two nearfall points for a brief 5-4 lead.  Dugas, though, with four seconds left, managed a reversal to retake the lead 6-5.  Dugas escaped in the third period to acquire a 7-5 lead, and then got behind Kennedy and pulled the Cardinal to the mat for another takedown and a 9-5 lead.  Kennedy managed another escape, but only 16 seconds remained and he was unable to score again.  Northside had another state champion.

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Division III

Seeded Wrestlers
Seed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Wrestler Logan Williams Kirk Wilson Christopher Banks Jo'Vonte Wheeler Taylor McKay Jalen Haydel Brent Ruiz Aaron Tanner
School Evangel Dunham Baker Brusly Episcopal De la Salle John Curtis St. Louis
Place 1 2 DNP 3 4 6 5 DNP

Fourteen wrestlers competed in the Division III 285 lbs. state championships.


Evangel's Logan Williams lost one match all year, a 1-0 decision against C.E. Byrd's Quin Gilliam, whom nobody was able to defeat this season.  He won the Teurlings Catholic tournament, the Brusly Invitational, the Tri-State Regional and the Northwest Louisiana Championships.  He was an obvious #1 seed, and had defeated Dunham's Kirk Wilson in 3:30 at the Brusly Invitational.  Wilson was 19-6, but had the loss to Williams and hence was seeded second.  Baker sophomore Christopher Blake was 10-4 with a loss to Williams and a 1-1 record against Brusly's Javonte Wheeler.  But the last Banks-Wheeler match was at the Greater Baton Rouge Championships, and Banks placed better than Wheeler and hence was the third seed, while Wheeler was fourth.

Round 1 and Quarterfinals

The first round went as seeded but an upset was registered in the quarterfinals.  De la Salle's Jalen Haydel upset the third-seeded Banks in a high scoring 17-12 affair.  Wheeler came close to being upset by #5 Taylor McKay of Episcopal, and required a Sudden Victory period and a first tie-breaker round to win 7-6.  Williams advanced with a 6-1 win and Wilson scored a fall in 5:45.

Semifinal #1

(1) Logan Williams (Evangel) vs. (4) Jo'Vonte Wheeler (Brusly)

Williams and Wheeler did not wrestle each other during the regular season (Wheeler did not participate in the Brusly Invitational), and Wheeler gave Williams all he could in a 2-1 loss.  Williams advanced to his second Division III finals match (he was a runner-up in 2013).

Semifinal #2

(2) Kirk Wilson (Dunham) vs. (6) Jalen Haydel (De la Salle)

As hard to believe as it may be, the match between #2 Kirk Wilson of Dunham and #6 Jalen Haydel of De la Salle was even closer than the first semifinals.  These two also had not met before this tournament, and it was an escape by Wilson that proved the difference in a 1-0 match.

Consolation Rounds

John Curtis's Brent Ruiz took advantage of a bye and a fall in 1:30 to reach the consolation semifinals against Wheeler.  Wheeler, though, was more than up for the Curtis junior's challenge and advanced with a 6-1 win.  Episcopal's #5 Taylor McKay reached the consolation semifinals with a major 13-3 decision and a fall in 4:23.   And he did not stop there as he defeated the Cavalier Haydel in 3:41.

Ruiz prevailed against Haydel in a 6-2 match to place fifth.

Wheeler and McKay had another close match, but this time Wheeler avoided the extra periods by holding on to a two-point 7-5 lead to place third for the Panthers.

Finals: #1 Logan Williams (Evangel) versus #2 Kirk Wilson (Dunham)

Not surprisingly the first period of the Division III 285 lbs. finals also ended scoreless.  That ended 23 seconds into the second round when Williams managed an escape and took a 1-0 lead, which is how the second period ended.  Wilson tied the match at 1-1 with an escape after a minute elapsed in the third round, but using a bear hug Williams was able to force Wilson to the mat for the winning takedown.  Evangel had their third state championship and first since 2010 (Matthew Kimmel won for the Eagles in 2009 and 2010).

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