Division I - 160 pounds: Airline's Walden repeats in front of home town fans
March 25th, 2016 | Written by: Editor

Some might think Airline junior Christian Walden had a "home field" advantage at the CenturyLink Center, as it is only a few miles away from Airline High School.  If so, then it is a portable advantage that he has taken with him to New Orleans, Baton Rouge and even Oklahoma City.  Still, it must have been special to win his second Division I title in front of a home town crowd, which he did via a 9-5 win over Catholic sophomore Jacob Fereday.  And next year, he will have the chance to do it there again.


Walden, like Jesuit's Guy Patron, Jr., Rummel's Blake Mateu and Josh Ramirez, and Jake Rando of Holy Cross, did not lose to a Louisiana wrestler all season.  The junior only lost once all season, at the Texas Outlaw Open, in which he was the runner-up.  He started the season winning the State Games of Oklahoma, and then the Evangel Eagle Open.  After a couple of close matches at the Trey Culotta, he pinned Vestavia Hills' Hayden Hill, who would later win an Alabama Class 7A state championship, in the finals.  He won the Louisiana Classic as well as the North Louisiana Regionals.  In his 42 wins during the regular season, Walden pinned 34 opponents.  Four out-of-state opponents made Walden go the entire six minutes, as did Brother Martin's Brad Guidry once, Sam Dufour of St. Paul's once, and twice by Catholic's Jacob Fereday.

Fereday, the second-seeded sophomore from Catholic, stayed a tad under the radar early in the season as he started at 170 lbs. and had a loss to Sage Nugent of St. Amant and two to Comeaux's Kole Miller.  He dropped to 160 lbs. for the Cy Ridge Classic in Texas, but finished fourth.  After that he did have a nice seven-win streak in dual meets which included wins over Dufour, Jesuit's Brandon Greer and Owen Mabile of Brusly.  At the Trey Culotta he lost for the first time to Walden in the pool rounds, and then to Hill in the bracket tournament, and finished fourth after falling to Dufour in the consolation finals.  A runner-up finish at the Hoover Invitational in Alabama, was, after all, in Alabama, but a week later he solidified himself as a #2 state seed with a 7-5 SV win over Dufour in the Louisiana Classic before losing to Walden for the second time.  Fereday responded well by winning the Greater Baton Rouge Championships.  In the state tournament he started with a 15-0 technical fall, a 9-0 major decision, and a 5:25 semifinals fall over Dufour  prior to his third match with Walden in the finals.

Fifth-seeded Michael Benton of Holy Cross took third place honors over Jesuit's Brandon Wolff, who advanced as the sixth seed to the consolation finals with a 5-1 win, and seasonal series tie-breaker, over #4 Brad Guidry of Brother Martin in the consolation finals.  Things were sweeter for Benton not only placing third but in defeating the third-seeded Dufour in the consolation semifinals.  The two had met four times previously with Dufour winning each time.  Dufour had aggravated an early season injury and decide to to wrestle the match for fifth place.  Hence, fifth place went to Guidry via a forfeit by Dufour.

Place Name School Seed Year
1st Christian Walden Airline 1 11
2nd Jacob Fereday Catholic 2 10
3rd Michael Benton Holy Cross 5 11
4th Brandon Wolff Jesuit 6 12
5th Brad Guidry Brother Martin 4 12
6th Sam Dufour St. Paul's 3 12

1st 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Christian Walden Christian Walden Jacob Fereday Michael Benton Brandon Wolff Brad Guidry Sam Dufour

Friday Early and Consolation Rounds

R1: Bonilla (McK) over LeBlanc (FNT) in 5:14.

R2: Toups (COM) over Jones (HNV) in 1:30.

R2: Wolff (JES) over Francois (DUT) in 2:55.

C2: Guillory (ACA) over LeBlanc (FNT) in 4:39.

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(1) Christian Walden (AIR) pinned (8) Kaelin Lambert (StA) in 5:52.
(4) Brad Guidry (BM) defeated (5) Michael Benton (HC) 9-5.
(3) Sam Dufour (StP) pinned (6) Brandon Wolff (JES) in 1:46.
(2) Jacob Fereday (CAT) defeated Kasey Toups (COM) 9-0

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(1) Christian Walden (AIR) pinned (4) Brad Guidry (BM) in 0:48.
(2) Jacob Fereday (CAT) pinned (4) Sam Dufour (StP) in 5:25.

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Championship Consolation Rounds

(5) Michael Benton (HC) defeated (6) Brandon Wolff (JES) win 3rd place.
(4) Brad Guidry (BM) received a forfeit from (3) Sam Dufour (StP) to win 5th place.

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(1) Christian Walden of Airline defeated (2) Jacob Fereday of Catholic 9-5.

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