Spartan Invitational again attracts the toughest competition of the young season
November 23rd, 2015 | Written by: Editor



The 13th annual Spartan Invitational is scheduled to host 28 teams, including four that have already won tournament titles this year.  Brother Martin and Catholic both won titles in Texas (and a Crusader B team won the Bulldog Brawl), while St. Amant won the Central Open and Comeaux won the Brusly 8.  Missing from the event will be St. Paul's, which won the Raider Open and unofficially the Mandeville Open, and Jesuit, the unofficial winner of the Warrior Open.  Holy Cross, Teurlings Catholic and a slew of others will have individuals with legitimate shots at titles.

Granted is it early, but if one has the audacity to do so, one can make an argument as to how the tournament might be seeded.  (No doubt some wrestlers were unintentionally missed.)

Who to watch and why:

Weight #1 #2 #3 Notes
106 Austin Gouedy (CEN) Cooper Simon (RAY) Daniel Varnado (BM) Gouedy and Simon are 1-1, but Gouedy won their last match convincingly 12-4. Varnado is undefeated, has a Cinco Ranch Big 12 title and a dual meet win.
113 Luke Cotton (BM) Brennan Langley (BAS) John Rollins (EPI) Cotton gets the nod over the two Division III state champions due to his 2015 4th-place Division I finish and his OW at the Cinco Ranch Big 12.
120 Steven Shields (BM) Cameron Carpenter (CAT) Briar Babin (StA) Two-time defending Division I state champions will usually get "the nod" when they are undefeated.  Carpenter is also undefeated and has two tournament wins.  Babin, no doubt, wants another shot at Shields who defeated him 9-4 last Wednesday.
126 Steven Rumney (BM) Daniel Gunn (CAT) Beau Bush (HC) The undefeated Rumney could feasibly lose the top seed due to inexperience.  His five pins on the year have only taken a combined 3:44.  He does have one six minute match under his belt, though - a 13-0 shellacking in the Cinco Ranch semifinals.  Gunn and Bush each suffered their only defeats to Jesuit's Joseph Dupre, but Gunn faired better, won the Brusly 8 title, placed second at the Warrior Open, and has 17 matches under his belt (14-3 with two losses in Texas).  Bush only has three matches this season and is 2-1.
132 Patrick Evans (BM) Landon Wheat (EA) Tyler Fontenot (CEN) Evans' two losses came from the same opponent in Texas.  One of his six wins was a 7-4 decision over Wheat, who has a Central Wildcat title and a runner-up finish at the Warrior Open.  Fontenot, only losses have been to Wheat (twice) and North Desoto's Chase Bates, who is not scheduled to participate.  Fontenot placed second at the Wildcat and fourth at the Warrior.
138 Seth Gambill (BM) Ethan Alphonso (LO) Jeremy Flieg (CAT) Seth Gambill is 7-0 and gave Jesuit's Eli Larriviere his first loss of the season while winning the Mandeville Open.  Alphonso is 6-0 and won the Warrior Open.  Flieg is 3-1 and was a runner-up at the Wildcat Open.
145 Jake Rando (HC) Brennan Webb (LO) Leaf Ballast (FNT) According to TrackWrestling three of Rando's six pins occurred before the clock even started.  His 7-0 record also includes a 5-0 victory over St. Paul's 2015 Division I runner-up Hunter Bourgeois.  Webb is 11-1 with wins over Brent Torres of Catholic and Kaleb Warner of Dutchtown.  Shaw's Collin Ballas placed 2nd to Ballast's 3rd at the Bulldog Brawl, but Ballast fared better against champion Conrad Wyre of De la Salle.
152 Clint Brownell (StA) Joey Foret (HC) Brad Albarado (SHW) Brownell is 13-0 with 10 falls, a technical fall, a major decision and a dominating 6-0 win over Jesuit's Griffin Mason in the Warrior finals.  Brownell gets the nod over Foret for that, as Foret only beat Mason by two points (8-6) in the Mandeville Open finals.  Foret and Albarado are 1-1 versus each other.  Albarado won their last match, but as it was a dual meet as opposed to a tournament match, Foret may get the second spot. 
160 Thaquan Priestly (LAF) Andrew Messina (CAT) Brad Guidry (Brother Martin) Priestley's four wins in his Wildcat Open championship included a major decision over Messina and a fall in 3:55 over St. Amant's Kaelin Lambert.  Messina defeated Lambert in 5:15 at the Warrior Open while Guidry defeated Lambert last Wednesday, but only by a 5-2 decision.
170 Richard Hunter (BRU) Sage Nugent (StA) Pierce Williams (BM) The 2015 Division III state champion Hunter gave Nugent his first loss of the season last Saturday, and Nugent did the same to Williams last Wednesday.  Hunter's two losses were at 182 lbs. to Rummel's 2015 Division I state champion Josh Ramirez.
182 Travis Viener (BM) Luther Jones (DUT) Chris Reaux (EA) Viener is 8-0 with a fall over Reaux.  Jones won the Wildcat and placed second at the Warrior to Airline's Keegan Gilligan for his only loss of the year.
195 Nick Danna (CAT) Cole Alfonso (BM) Benson Davenport (EA) Danna is undefeated in Louisiana (he has one finals loss in Texas) and pinned Davenport in 3:30.  Alfonso is also undefeated in Louisiana but needed 30 more seconds for his victory over Davenport.
220 Chase Stuckey (BR) Joe Baluch, Jr. (StA) Hamza Ott (McK) The Baton Rouge junior Stuckey is 9-0 with championships at the Warrior Open and Brusly 8.  Baluch, Jr. is 3-0 but with quality wins over Mandeville's Ridge Morales and Brother Martin's Garrett Legendre.  Ott is 3-1 with his only loss coming from the Wildcat Open Outstanding Wrestler Dylan Sweeney of Belle Chasse.
285 Matthew Blair (SHW) John Sinegal (LAF) Cameron Borne (StA) Blair is 6-0 and has championships from the Raider and Mandeville Opens and the Bulldog Brawl.  He has also defeated many of the starters from top-notch programs, including Christian Fortner of St. Paul's and Mohammed Mohammed of Brother Martin.  Sinegal is undefeated, but only 3-0 with a win at the Warrior Open.  That win was over, and was the only loss for, St. Amant's Borne.

NOTE: The above potential seeds are weighted based on Louisiana competition, which may hinder some Brother Martin entries, as their only tournament was against Texas teams.  Should some Crusaders merit higher seeds, no doubt they can prove that on Tuesday.

There is no information re at what weight classes Teurlings Catholic wrestlers will compete.  Three-time Division II state champion Brock Bonin may get the nod over Evans if he goes 132 or Gambill if he goes 138.  If he goes 145 he should be second to Rando.

The Rummel Raiders may decide to enter the event, if allowed, due to the cancellation of the TC Rebel Open on Saturday.  If they do, look for Blake Mateu (6-0 at 113 lbs.), Robert Fairchild (9-0 at 120) and Josh Ramirez (8-0 at 182 lbs.) to be #1 or #2 seeds in those weight classes.

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