Brother Martin places 10 of 13 entrants to win Spartan Invitational championship
St. Amant's Brownell earns second Outstanding Wrestler award
November 28th, 2015 | Written by: Editor



Twenty-four varsity teams competed in the 13th annual Spartan Invitational last Tuesday at East Ascension High School.  The Spartan is considered the hardest tournament to win in the month of November.  Last season four Spartan champions and four runners-up won 2015 state championships.

First Round and Quarterfinals Consolation Photos Semifinals, Consolation Finals and Finals

The Brother Martin Crusaders, in their first Louisiana tournament of the year, placed 10 wrestlers out of 13 and garnered five individual championships at the 13th annual Spartan Invitational to win the team title with 228.5 points.  Champions for the Crusaders were Steven Shields, Stephen Rumney, Brad Guidry, Pierce Williams and Travis Viener.  Patrick Evans placed second.

2015 Spartan Invitational Champions - Brother Martin Crusaders Seniors Travis Viener and Brad Guidry accepted the team championship trophy
Holy Cross Tigers - Runner-up A young Tiger snares the second place trophy St. Amant Gators - 3rd Place

Holy Cross finished 54 points behind the Crusaders with 174.5 points.  Tiger champions were Michael Lundin, Cole Clement and Jake Rando.  Placing second were Jacob Spahn, Beau Bush and Joey Foret.  The Tigers, with the exception of Bush, needed their lighter wrestlers to "step up" if they were to challenge for team honors in Division I.  They did just that.

Third place went to St. Amant with 148 points.  Clint Brownell and Joe Baluch, Jr. won titles for the Gators while Sage Nugent and Jordan Averett placed second.

Comeaux proved to some to be the biggest surprise team of the day.   The Spartans placed fourth with 138.5 points and had runners-up in Pierce Richard and Jon Hebert, neither of whom were seeded.

Remaining undefeated for the season (minimum of three events) were Shields, Rumney, Rando, Brownell, Viener, Baluch, Jr., Live Oak's Ethan Alphonso and Shaw's Matthew Blair.

First Round and Quarterfinals

1 106 QTR: Gouedy (CEN) over Bowen (SH)
2 106 QTR: Lundin (HC) over Bernard (DUT)
3 113 QTR: Simon (RAY) over Gremillion (DUT)
4 120 QTR: Manuel (RAY) over Lebouef (SPL)
5 120 QTR: Shields (BM) over Middleton (LO)
6 126 QTR: Rumney (BM) over Gonzales (EA)
7 132 QTR: Clement (HC) over Hazlet (DUT)
8 132 QTR: Evans (BM) over Hill (LO)
132 QTR: Wheat (EA) over Compton (CEN)

1 145 R1: Elmer (BM) over Cosse (ZAC)
2 145 R1: Webb (LO) over Hawkins (EA)
3 145 QTR: Rando (HC) over Winfrey (CEN)
4 145 QTR: Richard (COM) over Ballas (SHW)
5 145 QTR: Webb (LO) over (Smith (EA)
6 160 QTR: Guidry (BM) over Edwards (BC)
7 160 QTR: Lambert (StA) over Green (EA)
8 220 QTR: Baluch, Jr. (StA) over Benoit (RAY)
285 QTR: Blair (SHW) over Vallot (COM)

Consolation Photos

1 120 C2: Macaluso (HC) over Bennett (JC)
2 120 C2: Middleton (LO) over Thang (LAF)
3 138 C2: Flieg (CAT) over Phea (SPL)
4 138 C2: Gambill (BM) over Hodges (StM)
5 145 C1: Werner (DUT) over Henry (RAY)
6 145 C1: Werner (DUT) over Henry (RAY)
7 195 C2: Davenport (EA) over Edwards (McK)


Semifinals, Consolation Finals and Finals

106 113 120 126 132 138 145 152 160 170 182 195 220 285


Notes: Holy Cross freshman Michael Lundin cruised past the top two seeds to win his first title of the season.  In the semifinals he gave Brother Martin junior Daniel Varnado his first loss of the season, and in the finals he stymied Central's 2015 Division II state champion Austin Gouedy of Central.

One should be very wary of McKinley junior Jerimiah Johnson, who lost a finals bid and a third-place finish by the smallest of margins.  Gouedy survived a semifinals slugfest 12-11against him, and in the consolation finals he again only lost by one point, 4-3, to Varnado.
Austin Gouedy (CEN) defeated Jerimiah Johnson (McKinley) 12-11
Michael Lundin (HC) defeated Daniel Varnado (BM) 11-5
Consolation Finals
Daniel Varnado (BM) defeated Jerimiah Johnson (McK) 4-3
Michael Lundin (HC) defeated Austin Gouedy (CEN) 9-2

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Notes: The Rayne sophomore ventured into the 113 lbs. weight class after 1st and 2nd place finishes at the Warrior and Wildcat events at 106 lbs., both involving matches against Austin Gouedy of Central (semifinals win at the Warrior, finals loss at the Wildcat).  The experiment worked flawlessly.  Simon, the top seed, recorded two falls and scored a major decision over unseeded Holy Cross sophomore Jacob Spahn in the final.  Spahn reached the finals with an unexpected five-point move as seconds ran out in the third period of his semifinals match with second-seeded Ruben Lorenzo of McKinley.
Cooper Simon (RAY) pinned Seth Wyble (StA) in 2:46
Jacob Spahn (HC) defeated Ruben Lorenzo (McK) 13-11
Consolation Finals
Ruben Lorenzo (McK) pinned Bryce Falcon (BC) in 2:06
Cooper Simon (RAY) defeated Jacob Spahn (HC) via a 12-3 MD

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Notes: Shields picked up his second title of the season and remained undefeated with a fall in the finals at 1:19 over Rayne freshman Morgan Manuel.  Looking for a rematch to a close dual meet loss to Shields on December 18th, second seed Brier Babin of St. Amant may have overlooked the third-seeded Manuel.  That mistake should not happen again as Babin paid for it with an 8-2 loss.

Babin came back to defeat Ascension Parish rival Troy Detweiler of Dutchtown 6-5.  Detweiler, although he lost to Shields by a 13-1 major decision, was the only opponent Shields did not pin in his tournament run.
Steven Shields (BM) defeated Troy Detweiler (DUT) via a 13-1 MD
Morgan Manuel (RAY) defeated Brier Babin (StA) 8-2
Consolation Finals
Brier Babin (StA) defeated Troy Detweiler (DUT) 6-5
Steven Shields (BM) pinned Morgan Manuel (RAY) in 1:19

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Notes: This weight class has three 2015 Division I runners-up in it, and two of them made it to the finals in this event.  (The third, Joseph Dupre of Jesuit, was not entered.)  Stephen Shields of Brother Martin used less than two minutes to advance to the finals.  Beau Bush, it turns out, may have had the toughest draw in the tournament.  His first match was against Comeaux's Seth Oubre, who placed third.  His semifinals match was against third-seeded Tyler Fontenot of Central who placed fourth.  Yet beating those two only meant a tougher match against Rumney in the finals.  After outscoring his other two opponents 22-8, Bush found scoring much harder against the Crusader, who won 7-4.
Steven Rumney (BM) pinned Grant Martin (LO) in 1:04
Beau Bush (HC) defeated Tyler Fontenot (CEN) 11-5
Consolation Finals
Seth Oubre (COM) pinned Tyler Fontenot (CEN) in 2:51
Steven Rumney (BM) defeated Beau Bush (HC) 7-4

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Notes: The top two seeds were both beaten by the third-seeded Holy Cross junior Clement, but it is tough to call the Tiger's wins upsets.  Clement was 9-1 prior to the Spartan, with his only loss coming at the hands of Jesuit's Eli Larriviere, who, despite his disappointing finish at the Mandeville Open, arguably still is the one to beat at 132 lbs.  The Blue Jay, however, was not a factor and Clement cruised to the title with an 0:51 pin and successive five-point wins in the semifinals and finals.  Clement handed East Ascension's Landon Wheat his third loss (against 16 wins in what has been a busy early season for the Spartan senior) and Evans his first loss to Louisiana competition.
Patrick Evans (BM) defeated Jake Verret (COM) 3-2
Cole Clement (HC) defeated Landon Wheat (EA) 9-4
Consolation Finals
Landon Wheat (EA) defeated Jake Verret (COM) 6-4
Cole Clement (HC) defeated Patrick Evans (BM) 6-1

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Notes: Live Oak junior Ethan Alphonso is having a stellar year so far for the Eagles.  The Spartan was his second tournament title in a so far undefeated season.  Pierce Richard was an unexpected finalist for Comeaux.  Suffering two losses at the Brusly 8, Richard was not seeded in this weight class.  He did not seem to mind.  In his first match he gave top-seeded Seth Gambill of Brother Martin his first loss of the year 8-3.  A fall in the quarterfinals and a 9-2 semifinals win vaulted Richard into the finals, but there he was soundly stopped by Alphonso via a 13-5 major decision.

Gambill proceeded to take third place over David Clement of Holy Cross.  Gambill was awarded a fall in 0:53 after throwing opponent David Clement to his back.  It was not known until a little later that Clement, though fine soon afterward, had been rendered unconscious by the throw.
Pierce Richard (COM) defeated Mason Fereday (DUT) 9-2
Ethan Alphonso (LO) pinned David Clement (HC) in 3:57
Consolation Finals
Seth Gambill (BM) pinned David Clement (HC)  in 0:53
Ethan Alphonso (LO) defeated Pierce Richard (COM) via a 13-5 major decision

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Notes: An oddity occurred in the quarterfinals of this bracket as Holy Cross junior Jake Rando, for only the second time this season, did not win via a first period fall.  Instead, he settled for a 22-7 technical fall.  Rando was to face more woes in the finals, as he required a second period before scoring a fall over Live Oak's Brennan Webb.  Rando, the 2015 Division I state champion, is undefeated on the season at 11-0.  One of those wins was a 5-0 decision over 2015 Division I runner-up Hunter Bourgeois of St. Paul's.  In 16 matches, the loss was only Webb's second of the year. 
Jake Rando (HC) pinned Evan Richards (COM) in 1:46
Brennan Webb (LO) defeated Paul Elmer (BM) 12-8
Consolation Finals
Evan Richards (LO) placed third due to the 5-match rule disqualifying Shaw's Collin Ballas
Jake Rando (HC) pinned Brennan Webb (LO) in 3:15

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Notes: The most anticipated finals match of the tournament was at 152 lbs., assuming the favorites advanced that far.  Top seed Clint Brownell was expected to make the finals as the St. Amant senior brought a 13-0 record into the event.  That record included championships at the Warrior Open (complete with OW award) and Wildcat Open, and included "quality wins" over the likes of two-time Division II runner-up Andrew Aucoin of Sam Houston (fall in 2:59) and Jesuit's starting 152 lbs. wrestler, Griffin Mason (6-0).

His opponent was, as expected, the semifinal winner between Joey Foret of Holy Cross and Brad Albarado of Shaw, 2015 Division I and Division II runners-up respectively.  Foret and Albarado were 1-1 versus each other prior to their semifinals match.  It was Foret successfully breaking the tie with a 7-2 win.

Brownell, however, seemed not to care who his opponent was.  From the start he methodically scored on Foret, and the 9-6 final score was not indicative of Brownell's domination.  Foret knows how to avenge losses, but, for the moment at least, the possibility of losing has yet to appear on Brownell's RADAR.  It is very likely fans will see these two in later finals matches.  For his performance Brownell was chosen the tournament's Outstanding Record, his second such honor this season.
Clint Brownell (StA) pinned Hunter Fitch (COM) in 1:18
Joey Foret (HC) defeated Brad Albarado (SHW) 7-2
Consolation Finals
Brad Albarado (SHW) pinned Hunter Fitch (COM) in 4:00
Clint Brownell (StA) defeated Joey Foret (HC) 9-6

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Notes:  The 160 lbs. weight class is still looking for an identity.  In the six Louisiana tournaments no one has repeated as champion in the weight class.   Brother Martin's Brad Guidry certainly has as much claim on the weight class as anyone else.  Guidry only has one loss (in Texas) in his nine matches this season.  St. Paul's Sam Dufour is another one to be considered as he is 13-0 with two wins against Michael Benton of Holy Cross.  Yet to compete in Louisiana, but a winner in the State Games of Oklahoma tournament on Saturday at 160 lbs., looms Airline's 2015 Division I state champion Christian Walden.

However, one wrestles who is there, and the top-seeded Guidry won a tough 8-6 match over Benton to advance to the finals.  On the other side of the bracket Sam Houston sophomore Aaron John, a 2015 Division II state third-place finisher, avenged a Wildcat Open loss to St. Amant's Kaelin Lambert 7-4 for the right to face Guidry.
Brad Guidry (BM) defeated Michael Benton (HC) 8-6
Aaron John (SH) defeated Kaelin Lambert (StA) 7-4
Consolation Finals
Michael Benton (HC) defeated Kaelin Lambert (StA) via a 14-5 major decision
Brad Guidry (BM) pinned Aaron John (SH) in 5:00

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Notes:  This was probably the second most anticipated finals match of the event, even though it almost did not occur.  St. Amant's Sage Nugent defeated Brother Martin's 2015 Division I runner-up Pierce Williams 3-2 in a dual meet on November 18th.  Nugent and Williams were seeded first and second, and while Nugent advanced to the finals with pins in 3:00, 0:30 and an 18-1 technical fall, Williams had to eke out a semifinal win 3-2 over Comeaux's Kole Miller.

In the rematch Nugent looked dominant.  Williams, however, is very difficult to score upon and knows every little nuance that will save points from being scored on him. Nugent seemed in control as he started on the bottom leading 5-4 to start the third period.  Then, what looked at first to be an accident turned into a match-changing strategy for Williams.  Williams threw in a crab ride on the whistle and tried to crank a forced-nelson.  He went too far, though, and the move was deemed "potentially dangerous" by the officials.  Williams did it again on the restart and again the match was stopped.  Undiscouraged by the stoppages, Williams did the same thing on the second restart and this time hurt Nugent enough for him to use injury time. On the third restart Williams repeated the move and Nugent was forced to use a second instance of injury time.  Per Rule 8, Section 2, Article 1, Williams was awarded the choice of position for the restart.  Williams chose the bottom position and scored an escape and a takedown.  Nugent managed an escape and almost a takedown, but time ran out with Williams ahead 7-6.
Sage Nugent (StA) defeated Spencer Rayes (HC) via an 18-1 technical fall
Pierce Williams (BM) defeated Kole Miller (COM) 3-2
Consolation Finals
Kole Miller (COM) defeated Spencer Rayes (HC) 7-4
Pierce Williams (BM) defeated Sage Nugent (StA) 7-6

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Notes: For all of last season Brother Martin's Travis Viener has had to compete in a higher weight class, probably due to the presence of two-time Crusader state champion Yehia Riles.  Yet Viener did just fine, placing third in the Division I state championships in a weight class dominated by Hahnville's Kendrick Jones and Jesuit's Guy Patron, Jr.  Now, at 182 lbs., Viener gets to do the dominating, for a while, at least.  The Crusader won the Cinco Ranch Big 12 and was undefeated entering the Spartan, sporting an 8-0 record that included seven fall.

Viener's finals opponent was also undefeated, but only because, due to football, Jordan Averette had yet to step onto a wrestling mat competitively this year.  The St. Amant senior, though, who placed fifth in the 2015 Division I state championships, was able to get past Dutchtown's Luther Jones, whose only loss was a 10-8 affair in the Warrior Open finals.  One might think an 11-9 semifinals win would have exhausted Averette, but he had enough left to give Viener a challenge for the title.
Travis Viener (BM) defeated Chris Reaux (EA) via a 15-3 major decision
Jordan Averette (StA) defeated Luther Jones (DUT) 11-9
Consolation Finals
Chris Reaux (EA) pinned Luther Jones (DUT) in 2:36
Travis Viener (BM) defeated Jordan Averette (StA) 12-8

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Notes: This is another weight class in which the first month of competition has yet to define an early cadre of contenders.  Cole Alfonso, the top seed, was the only entrant to have won a tournament, the Raider Open, although two entrants, Benson Davenport of East Ascension and Cameron Bertot of Shaw, did have runner-up finishes.

Peyton Wicker of Zachary certainly put his name on the list of favorites by winning the event, but a 6-5 semifinals victory over Alfonso certainly keeps the Crusader in his league.
Peyton Wicker (ZCH) defeated Cole Alfonso (BM) 6-5
Cameron Bertot (SHW) pinned Trevor Carriere (RAY) in 4:38
Consolation Finals
Cole Alfonso (BM) defeated Trevor Carriere (RAY) via a 9-1 major decision
Payton Wicker (ZCH) pinned Cameron Bertot (SHW) in 0:45

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Notes: St. Amant's Joseph Baluch, Jr. was probably seeded second to Baton Rouge's Chase Stuckey because Stuckey won the Warrior Open and Baluch, Jr. only had three matches under his belt.  One match, however, was against a common opponent.  Stuckey defeated that opponent 5-3 whereas Baluch, Jr. pinned him in 3:47.  Yet none of that really mattered as Stuckey, as well as the fourth seed, both lost their first matches, which paved the way for Comeaux's Jon Hebert to advance to the finals.  Baluch, Jr., pinned two opponents before gutting out a 4-3 decision over Brother Martin's Nathaniel Perdue to advance to the championship match.
Jon Hebert (COM) defeated Dylan Sweeney (BC) 11-5
Joe Baluch, Jr. defeated Nathaniel Perdue (BM) 4-3
Consolation Finals
Nathaniel Perdue (BM) defeated Dylan Sweeney (BC) via disqualification
Joe Baluch, Jr. pinned Jon Hebert (COM) in 0:56

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Notes: Shaw's Matthew Blair has firmly ensconced himself as a favorite in the 285 lbs. weight class.  The senior is 13-0 and has won all four tournaments he has entered this year.  In fact, no opponent has lasted as much as 2:30 on the mat with Blair.

Cameron Borne, the second seed, won the Warrior Open and placed third at the Central Wildcat.  Borne, however, faced Johnathan Wilson of South Plaquemines who appeared to be much larger than the 260 lbs. listed as his football weight. In his first match of the season Williams scored a fall in a mere seven seconds.  He followed that with a fall over Borne in 2:47.  In the semifinals Wilson either showed he had some stamina, or that he simply had not expended a lot of energy in his first two matches.  He did in this match, posting a 13-4 major decision.  Wilson's 2015-16 debut, however, was stalled by Blair in 2:24.
Matthew Blair (SHW) pinned Anthony Ingram (LO) in 0:59
Johnathan Wilson (SPL) defeated Dominique Williams (LAF) via a 13-4 major decision
Consolation Finals
Dominique Williams (LAF) pinned Anthony Ingram (LO) in 2:54
Matthew Blair (SHW) pinned Johnathan Wilson (SPL) in 2:24

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