A fortnight's review, at least
December 16, 2016| Written by: Editor



Some interesting matches have been held since December 3rd.  Meaning no disrespect to other programs and individuals, this section mainly deals with potential Louisiana Classic and state championship team and individual contenders.  Those that caught the editor's eye are summarized below.

Lafayette 47-Barbe 30 on December 6th

David Hudson of Lafayette is having a very good year so far.  At 285 lbs., he is 13-2.  His first loss was to Live Oak's Anthony Ingram at the Brusly 8, but he avenged that one with a win over Ingram in the Spartan Invitational finals.  His other loss was to Barbe junior Chandler Crawford.  It is tough to guess what that loss foretells, as Chandler has only participated in the Ronnie Suarez District 5 tournament on December 3rd, and returning state runner-up Darian Mitchell got the nod at 285 lbs. in the dual meet vs. the Lions.  That was the interesting match, though, as Hudson gave Mitchell his first loss of the season in a 4-2 Sudden Victory match.  The two may determine "Holiday Bragging Rights" should they meet in Saturday's Jacob McMillan Memorial at Lafayette or the Acadiana Duals on December 23rd. 

Jesuit 51-Rummel 24 on December 7th

The final score of this match is not surprising when one considers Rummel started down 18-0 when forfeits were counted, and the Raiders were without Josh Ramirez.  Two matches were particularly interesting as far as Louisiana Classic seeding may go.

Chris Montalbano, the Raiders' Border Wars runner-up at 106 lbs., defeated the third-place finisher Sam Drevil (the score was not posted on TrackWrestling) for the second time this season.  At the time Montalbano only had one blemish on his record via a 7-5 loss to Caruso Signorelli of Holy Cross on November 5th.  Eleven days later he avenged that loss via a fall.  He would not lose again until December 14th against Brother Martin's Daniel Varnado.

Jake Eccles, who lost in the first round of the Border Wars Saturday bracket, but then ran-off four wins in a row to place fifth for the Blue Jays, gave Blake Mateu a tough match, falling 4-2 to the Border Wars runner-up.  No one else from Louisiana has come even close to last six minutes with Mateu.  That streak would end against Brother Martin also on December 14th, but in special circumstances.

Holy Cross 63-St. Paul's 8 on December 7th

This match could have been a little closer, but not enough to discount the Tigers as a legitimate threat to Brother Martin's five-years-and-counting reign as the best team in the state. 

The Wolves scored four points via a 15-6 major decision by the now 15-0 Shane Ulfers at 138 lbs., who won the Border wars with a major decision over Adam Larriviere of Jesuit.

Defending Division I state champion Cole Houser added another four points with a 14-3 win over Colin Clement. 

Colin's older brother Cole, also a defending Division I state champion, had a much tougher time against Jared Thieler in a 4-3 win.  That was Thieler's first Louisiana loss, whereas Clement is undefeated against in-state competition.  Both wrestlers lost one match at the Border Wars.  Thieler lost in the first round on Saturday, but avenged that loss four matches later when he placed fifth.  Clement lost to the eventual champion, Avery Holder of Flagler, Florida, but placed third with a second period fall in the consolation finals.

The Tigers' Michael Lundin had a tough time with Brandon Stein in a 3-1 decision.  At the Border Wars Lundin lost a controversial 6-5 2-OT quarterfinal match against Pace, Florida's Leland Knoch, which limited him to a fifth-place finish.  Stein lost to the eventual champion in the semifinals, but defeated Knoch 7-2 to place third.  Lundin has the seeding advantage for the Louisiana Classic as of now, which he can only relinquish via a loss to Stein if the two meet in the Deep South Bayou Duals. 

Jefferson Invitational on December 10th

Holy Cross looks very strong and Jesuit seems to get better every week, but until another team defeats whomever Robert Dauterive enters in a tournament or dual meet, Brother Martin is still the favorite come February. 

The Jefferson Invitational was yet another example of the depth enjoyed by the Crusaders.  Without Daniel Varnado, Daniel Croy, Luke Cotton, Lane Boudreaux, Steven Shields, Patrick Evans, Matt Williams or Nathaniel Perdue (names from the Blackhorse Invitational championship team, aside from Shields who did not compete at that event), the Crusaders won six championships while scoring 110 points more than runner-up Belle Chasse at the Jefferson Invitational.  And they did that with only 13 entrants.

Winning championships for the Crusaders were Riley Horvath at 113 lbs., Alex Duncan at 126 lbs., Ben Wisniewski at 132 lbs., Fernando Diaz at 152 lbs., Paul Elmer at 160 lbs. and Mack Brown at 220 lbs.

Evangel Eagle Open on December 10th

North Louisiana bragging rights are a bit of a toss-up at the moment.  At the Riot on the Red, held on December 3rd, Parkway defeated Airline by 24 points for the team championship.  A week later at the Evangel Eagle Open, Airline won with a 44.5 margin over Parkway.  At the Eagle, Parkway entered 14 wrestlers, but were without Riot on the Red champions Matthew Pitts and Ryan Huckabee.  Airline was lacking Thomas Barringer at the Riot on the Red, and at the Eagle Barringer was a finalist.  Both teams made a few changes, either in personnel or weight classes, between the two events, so it may take a few more events for either team can lay claim to being the best in north Louisiana.  Airline should place well in the Division I state championships, and Parkway should be considered a contender for the Division II title. 

And one should not count out Ouachita Christian in Division III.  The Eagles from Monroe may not have enough wrestlers to challenge for a Division III team title at the state championships, or even in upcoming north Louisiana events, but the wrestlers they do have a faring very well this season.  Michael Gordy, Matthew Matherne and Matthew Webre won titles for Ouachita Christian.

Others competed as well.  At 126 lbs., Gavin Christ of Basile won an Outstanding Wrestler award (lower weights) for victories over Ouachita Christian's Sam Pitts and Airline's Thomas Barringer, both by falls.  Airline's Christian Walden, at 160 lbs., was the Outstanding Wrestler award winner (heavier weights), having spent less time (5:59) than one regulation match to score his three falls.

Brother Martin 72-Rummel 3 on December 14th

Looking at just the score of this dual meet, one might think Rummel's Blake Mateu got past Brother Martin's Luke Cotton.  (Rummel's Josh Ramirez would have been expected to win by a fall or a technical fall, so it was a safe guess to default to Mateu getting the three points in a tough match against Cotton.)  That match, however, is very possible at next week's Trey Culotta Invitational, less possible at the Deep South Bayou Duals near the end of December, and very possible again at the Louisiana Classic in mid-January.

The three points were scored by junior Dylan Hezeau, who defeated Noah Roux 6-3.  If one only knew the results of that match, Cotton defeating Mateu might come to mind.  That did not happen either.

At what had to be Mateu's request, the Raider junior went up to 126 lbs. to challenge three-time defending Division I state champion Steven Shields.  Assuming Shields does not compete at lower than 126 lbs. (which gives the Crusaders a stellar first four weight classes), this would be the only shot Mateu would have against the senior Shields. 

The decision was reminiscent of the beginning of the 2013-14 season, when senior Cody Hill of Live Oak started the season at 132 lbs. when he could have made 126 lbs.  Hill did that to compete against then two-time defending Division I state champion Paul Klein.

The results of the challenges made by Hill and Mateu ended similarly.  Klein defeated Hill 9-3 in the Spartan Invitational finals and 9-2 in the Trey Culotta finals, after which Hill went back to 126 lbs. 

Last Wednesday Shields defeated Mateu by a 5-2 score.  Mateu might easily have been undefeated in Louisiana this year, as he was last season, but evidently chose to challenge the best Louisiana wrestler within reach.

Mateu may have lost the match, but he certainly merits a lot of respect for the attempt versus Shields.

Now, this weekend and next week...

Holy Cross is currently competing in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic.  An update on that event will be published later this evening.

Jefferson Parish teams will battle for supremacy at Ehret on Saturday.  Also on Saturday the Jacob McMillan should have some very interesting matches, and St. Amant will be seeking their fourth consecutive Zachary Big Horse championship.

Perhaps the most watched event will be on Saturday night when Brother Martin hosts St. Paul's.  This match will provide the first dual meet common opponent for the Crusaders and Holy Cross.  Match-ups may include Brandon Stein vs. Daniel Croy at 113, Jared Thieler vs. Steven Shields and undefeated Paul Ulfers vs. Patrick Evans, among others.  It may also include a match between two defending junior Division I state champions in Cole Houser and Luke Cotton.

Back to Top

© 2016-7 by Louisiana Wrestling News

You may not make electronic copies of these copyrighted materials nor redistribute them to 3rd parties in any form without written permission.