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Louisiana wrestlers garner four Brute Nationals titles
April 14th, 2014 | Written by: Editor | Contributor: Dustin Burton, Joey Burton, Raymond Bushnell, Rodrigo Diaz

Airline's Christian Walden, Dutchtown's Brandon Cowell and Lafayette's Rodrigo Diaz are high School 2014 Brute National champions.  The Northwest Louisiana Warriors' Darrius Evans, a third-grader, placed first at 100 lbs.  In all, 25 Louisiana grapplers placed in the top-eight to earn All-American honors.

Walden, a, 2014 Division I third place finisher at 126 lbs., won his first match 12-4, pinned his second opponent in 3:04 and advanced to the finals with a 5-3 score.  His finals opponent was slated to be Basile's Gavin Cortez, who won via falls in 1:23 and 1:20 to reach the finals.  Cortez, however, did not wrestle the all Louisiana finals match due to an illness.  Walden was declared the winner by a forfeit.

[NOTE: The 11th grade 138 lbs. brackets incorrectly list Cortez as winning the finals match due to a Walden forfeit.]

Dutchtown's Division I runner-up at 145 lbs., Brandon Cowell, scored a first round fall in 1:54 and followed that with decisions of 7-2 and 4-2 to reach the finals.  He was scheduled to meet Georgia's Jordan Germany in the finals, but Germany forfeited the match, giving Cowell the championship.

Diaz, who finished in third place at the Division I 220 lbs. state championships, scored a major 11-3 in his first match, eked by his second match 5-4 and then dominated his finals opponent by scoring a fall in 0:49.

[Photos left] Diaz atop the podium; Diaz with his 1st place medal and coaches Adam Porche and Jeremy Spizak; Diaz with Ozias Gray.
The NWLA Warriors contingent

Darrius Evans won his two round-robin matches via falls in 1:30 and 0:37 to place 1st.

[Photos L-R] (1 & 2) Thaquan Priestly - 7th at 148 lbs. (10th grade); Brennen Landry - 4th at 128 lbs. (9th grade); Avery Porche

Sixth-grader Landon Reaux of the Comeaux Junior Spartans placed second in the third grade 50 lbs. weight class.  Hahnville's Nicholas Lirette, the 2014 Division I runner-up at 106 lbs., lost a tight 2-1 match in the finals to place second.

Louisiana wrestlers who won at least two matches (not counting byes) and placed in the top-eight in their weight classes are listed below: 

Alex Rojas Comeaux Jr. Spartans 1 43 3 3rd
Michael McCarty Northwest Louisiana Warriors 1 43 2 4th
Brandt Babineaux Comeaux Jr. Spartans 1 55 2 5th
Kelby Bernard Team Louisiana 2 49 2 3rd
Landon Reaux Comeaux Jr. Spartans 3 50 2 2nd
Darrius Evans Northwest Louisiana Warriors 3 100 2 1st
Iann Cullisson A & E Wrestling Club 6 85 2 4th
Isaac Cortez Bearcat Wrestling Club 6 119 2 3rd
Reese Ebarbe Northwest Louisiana Warriors 6 HW1 2 3rd
D.J. Evans Northwest Louisiana Warriors 8 148 2 4th
Matt Salinas Northwest Louisiana Warriors 8 158 2 4th
Joshua Johnson Allstar Wrestling Club 9 106 2 8th
Brennen Landry Team Louisiana 9 128 3 4th
Gavin Cortez Bearcat Wrestling Club 9 138 2 2nd
Christian Walden Northwest Louisiana Warriors 9 138 3 1st
Nicholas Lirette River Parishes Wrestling 10 115 3 2nd
Javarious Jones Northwest Louisiana Warriors 10 115 3 7th
Antonio Lococo Northwest Louisiana Warriors 10 133 3 4th
Thaquan Priestley Team Louisiana 10 148 2 7th
Ellis Herring, III Allstar Wrestling Club 10 163 2 3rd
The`Anthony Taylor Team Louisiana 10 163 2 5th
Keegan Gilligan Northwest Louisiana Warriors 10 192 3 6th
Rodrigo Diaz Team Louisiana 10 218 3 1st
Brandon Cowell Elite Wrestling Academy 11 148 3 1st
Nicholas Malveaux Comeaux Jr. Spartans 11 174 2 7th

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