Division I - 138 pounds: Lirette prevails in battle of 2015 third place finishers, 2014 runners-up
March 25th, 2016 | Written by: Editor


Hahnville's Nicholas Lirette and Brother Martin's Taylor Gambill were Division I runners-up in 2014, and in 2015 they each placed third.  Competing in the same weight class this season, Lirette won two of their three matches during the regular season but saved his best effort for the last, defeating the Crusader by a 14-4 major decision.


Hahnville's Nicholas Lirette was one amazing third-period comeback by Taylor Gambill away from being perfect.  Gambill accomplished that feat in a January 12th dual meet.  Prior to that Lirette had pinned Gambill in the Trey Culotta finals, and afterward Lirette also defeated the Crusader 11-5 in the Louisiana Classic finals.  Aside from the Trey Culotta and the Louisiana Classic, Lirette also won titles at the Pearl River Invitational, the Gulf Breeze Invitational in Florida, the Dale Ketelsen Memorial and the District 5A Tournament.  As for domination of the weight class, the match Lirette lost to Gambill, his 11-5 Louisiana Classic finals win and a 13-7 win over Jack Stoves of Vestavia Hills, Alabama, were the only matches all season in which the Tiger wrestler did not win by at least a major decision.

Gambill's season, which was delayed by not one, but two ankle injuries at the same time, was not one to which the Crusader was accustomed.  He dropped a last second Trey Culotta pool match to Stoves, and lost another one to Teurlings Catholic's Brock Bonin, albeit he avenged that in following day's bracketed event.  Last season it was Gambill who won the Trey Culotta and the Louisiana Classic, and he was undefeated against Louisiana competition until he was upset by Jesuit's Joseph Dupre in the state semifinals.  This season, however, Gambill could not get past the runner-up position, in which he also found himself at the Blackhorse in Tennessee.  His best tournament, actually, may have been the Prep Slam VII in Georgia, in which he placed third against very stern opposition.  Despite his disappointment this season he will no doubt be remembered by many as one of the absolute best wrestlers not to win a state title.

The rest of the 138 lbs. field in Division I was not without its stars even if they may have been a small step behind Lirette and Gambill.  St. Paul's senior Billy Harrison, who was seeded and placed third in Bossier City, won the Raider Invitational, the Mandeville Open, and the Trygg Memorial.  His opponent in the state consolation finals, 5th-seeded Hunter Fitch of Comeaux, started off at 152 lbs. and fared well with a runner-up finish at the Jacob McMillan and a third place finish in the Trey Culotta.  Dropping to 138 lbs. he placed fifth at the Louisiana Classic, and the following week he won the Ken Cole Invitational in front of a zealous Comeaux High School crowd.

Harrison took care of Fitch to place third in a 9-7 match.  Unseeded Nathan Koenig of Jesuit defeated Matthew Sheppard of Fontainebleau 3-2.

Place Name School Seed Year
1st Nicholas Lirette Hahnville 1 12
2nd Taylor Gambill Brother Martin 2 12
3rd Billy Harrison St. Paul's 3 12
4th Hunter Fitch Comeaux 5 12
5th Nathan Koenig Jesuit >8 10
6th Matthew Sheppard Fontainebleau 6 11

1st 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Nicholas Lirette Nicholas Lirette Taylor Gambill Billy Harrison Hunter Fitch Nathan Koenig Matthew Sheppard

Early and Consolation Rounds

C1: Brown (StA) over Bivin (EJ) via a 17-0 TF.

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(1) Nicholas Lirette (HNV) defeated David Clement (HC) via a 21-11 major decision.
(5) Hunter Fitch (COM) defeated (4) Davis Polito (CAT) 8-3.
(3) Billy Harrison (StP) defeated (6) Matthew Sheppard (FNT) 10-6.
(2) Taylor Gambill (BM) defeated (7) Joshua Bell (EHR) via a 20-5 technical fall.

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(1) Nicholas Lirette (HNV) defeated (5) Hunter Fitch (COM) via a 19-10 major decision.
(2) Taylor Gambill (BM) defeated (3) Billy Harrison (StP) 12-7.

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Championship Consolation Rounds

(3) Billy Harrison (StP) defeated (5) Hunter Fitch (COM) 9-7 to win 3rd place.
Nathan Koenig (JES) defeated (6) Matthew Sheppard (FNT) 3-2 to win 5th place.


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(1) Nicholas Lirette of Hahnville defeated (2) Taylor Gambill of Brother Martin via a 14-4 major decision.

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