Spartan Open fields supreme talent

November 26th, 2013 | Editor

Wednesday's Spartan Open at East Ascension High School in Gonzales will provide an early season look at some of the state's best grapplers and perhaps a preview of some Louisiana Classic and state championships matches.  Below is a preview of wrestlers to keep an eye on at the event:

[Please note that in previewing the match-ups the editor was not privy to the entry forms and thus may have left out some potential contenders.]

Weight Class Possible Matches
Last year's Division II runner-up, junior Colt Olinde of Live Oak, will face some stiff, if younger, competition.  Also entered is freshman Joseph Foret, who won the Mandeville Open, in which he defeated Rummel sophomore Robert Fairchild (also scheduled to compete) and Brother Martin freshman Seth Gambill.  Stephen Shields (yes, of that family!), another Brother Martin freshman, who placed second at the St. Michael Warrior Open, will represent the Crusaders in this event..
Colt Olinde Joseph Foret Robert Fairchild Seth Gambill
The 113 pound weight class could entail a rematch of the 2013 state championship at 106 pounds.  Brother Martin's Mason Mauro won that finals match against Rummel's Devyn Breaud 10-5.  Not to be overlooked, however, is returning Division II state champion Jacob Chenevert of Live Oak, who is 11-1 this season.
Mason Mauro Devyn Breaud Jacob Chenevert
This weight class should prove very entertaining.  Holy Cross' Dylan Soileau, who was forced to withdraw from the 2013 state championships due to an illness, was unstoppable at the Mandeville Open and is undefeated in his five matches this season.  East Ascension's Jacob Bernard is fresh off of a victory at the Griffin Open in which he defeated Brother Martin's Ryan Genco in the finals, avenging a loss to the Brother Martin junior three days earlier.  Two-time Division III state champion Raymond Bushnell, a Basile sophomore, is 12-2 with a Central Wildcat Open championship.
Dylan Soileau Raymond Bushnell
Brother Martin sophomore Taylor Gambill is 5-0, and three of those wins are against competitors he may see on Wednesday.  Those include Tyler Mire of Rummel (5th in 2013 Division I), Collin Guerra of Holy Cross (2nd in 2013 Division II) and Matt Ashford of East Ascension.
Taylor Gambill Tyler Mire Collin Guerra Matthew Ashford
It is very possible 132 pounds could provide the best match never wrestled last season: a twice Division I state champion vs. a twice Division II one.  Paul Klein of Brother Martin and Cody Hill of Live Oak should find themselves on the opposite side of the bracket which could make for a fascinating final.  Klein looked fantastic on his way to an Outstanding Wrestler award at the Mandeville Open and enters with a 4-0 record.  Live Oak's Cody Hill had an early disappointment in the St. Michael Warrior Open but has come back to win ten straight matches, including tournament wins at the Central Wildcat Open and the Dutchtown Griffin Open.  Last year's most noted common opponent of the two was Comeaux's Jacob Dale.  Hill beat him 3-1 at the Griffin and Klein beat him twice: 4-3 at the Deep South Bayou Duals and then in a shocking round one pin in the Division I state finals.  This could very well be a preview of the Louisiana Classic finals, a tournament that both wrestlers won in 2012 and in which case both suffered injuries during 2013.  Tristan Lee of Teurlings Catholic and Tristan Wheeler of St. Amant will give Klein and Cody their toughest opposition.
Paul Klein Cody Hill
If 132 pounds potentially has the best match of the day, 138 could be the best weight class.  Brennan Taylor is a defending Division I state champion from Catholic and is undefeated this year.  Brother Martin's Austin Meyn defeated Taylor three times in the 2012-13 season, except in the state championship finals.  Meyn is undefeated this year.  Rummel's Rick Lacava placed 2nd in Division I last year and Holy Cross junior George Benoit is a two-time Division II runner-up.  Lacava and Benoit have one loss each on the season.
Brennan Taylor Austin Meyn Rick Lacava George Benoit
Dutchtown junior Brandon Cowell has only one setback in his seven matches this year, a 4-2 loss to Brother Martin's Daniel Evans in the finals of the Griffin Open. and he won the Central Wildcat Open  His noted competition will include Mandeville runner-up Pierce Williams of Brother Martin and Andrew Poussan of St. Louis.
Brandon Cowell Pierce Williams
Catholic junior Matthew Mire is 7-2, with losses only to Brusly's Trevor Schermer and Jesuit's Efosa Eboigbe - neither of which will be in Wednesday's field.  Returning Division III state champion Marshall Hill of Parkview Baptist is entered, but he happens to be one of Mire's wins.  Division II state champion Lehrue Stevens, IV, will also be there, as will Mason Williams, a Brother Martin junior who placed 4th in 2013 and is making his 2013-14 season debut.
Matthew Mire Mason Williams Lehrue Stevens, IV
This weight class is "up for grabs," so to speak.  Zachary's David Rittel is 5-2 with a runner-up finishes at the Griffin and Warrior opens.  East Ascension's Dequan Jackson was a runner-up at the Griffin and placed fourth at the Warrior Open.  Alexander Kellar of Teurlings Catholic and Morgan Root of Catholic will be looking for their first titles of the season.
Dequan Jackson
Holy Cross has a chance to score a lot of points in the last matches of the 2014 state championships.  If that happens, the late points should start with junior Brice Duhe.  A Division II runner-up as a sophomore, Duhe has wrestled excellently so far this year.  His 4-0 record includes a Mandeville Open championship and a dual meet victory over former Division II rival Kody Woodson of Shaw.  Duhe also tainted the debut of Brother Martin's Texas transfer Travis Quarterman (7-1) via a fall in the Mandeville finals.  Quarterman does two victories over Woodson, though.  Live Oak's Brody Bonura is having a fine season, though, with championships at the Wildcat and Griffin opens and a runner-up finish at the Warrior.
Brice Duhe Brody Bonura Travis Quarterman
Holy Cross' Porter Dazet was an unexpected finalist for the Tigers in the 2013 state championships.  This season he made it to the finals of the Mandeville Open.  Brother Martin's Nick Comardelle placed third at the Warrior Open and has a record of 6-2.
Porter Dazet
Daniel Relayson could continue Holy Cross' points run, but to do so he will have to get past Brother Martin Yehia Riles.  Riles, a 2013 Division I finalist, defeated Relayson in a "Sudden Victory" period in the Mandeville Open finals, and is 5-0 on the season.  Live Oak junior Nick Simoneaux should not be overlooked.  Simoneaux is 6-1 this year and is fresh off a Griffin Open championship.
Yehia Riles vs. Daniel Relayson
Michael Yeatman was another Holy Cross finalist in 2013.  He won at Mandeville and his 4-0 record consists of a whole 8:51 seconds worth of wrestling.  But he should be tested by a few entrants.  Belle Chasse's Logan Thompson was also a 2013 Division II finalist.  And Brother Martin's Josh Tapia, who placed fourth in 2013, is expected to have a very strong season.  Quin Gillian of Byrd and St. Louis' Robert McPherson should also fare well.
Michael Yeatman Logan Thompson Quin Gilliam
At 13-0, East Ascension's Conor Karwath has won the Warrior Open, the South Walton "Border Wars" and the Griffin Open.  He has beaten Jesuit's Dominic Carmello and Catholic's Nicholas Cashio.  But expect him to be challenged by Belle Chasse senior Robert Kennedy, who placed 3rd in Division II in 2013, and Holy Cross' Travis Gardner, who is 4-0 with a Mandeville Open title.  
Conor Karwath Robert Kennedy Travis Gardner

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