2017-18 Predictions
May 12th, 2017| Written by: Editor



This is a fun page to write - in May, I mean.  The methodology used to predict how teams will do next season is 95% worthless, as it does not account for everything that can happen to a wrestler in the off-season, and it is based on the events of two days in February.  One needs to look at how wrestlers who will return next season fared during the previous state championships.  One needs to look at how those wrestlers placed and, for those who did not place in the top six of their weight class, how many will return with the experience of participating in a state championship.   

There are also some Division II and III wrestlers that will not let any Division I wrestler facing them let out a sigh of relief.  A list of some of those wrestlers may be found below under "Yeah, they got game."

But, re team prediction, here goes nothing:

Division I

Every so often parity rears its head during the wrestling season.  In the 2017-18 state championships, parity makes it very hard to estimate the top five teams.  Flawed estimation dictates the following:

1)    Jesuit is returning two state champions, five wrestlers who placed in the second through fourth spots, and two more who will have the experience of a state tournament "under their belt."  To win the tournament, Nathan Koenig and Perry Ganci must come close to the performances they had in Bossier City last February.  If the Larriviere brothers, Adam and Eli, stay healthy, they can place very high.  If just two out of Sam Dreuil, Luke Eccles, Paul Treuting or Thomas Arceneaux place one spot better than last season, Jesuit will be the team to beat.

2)    Brother Martin gets a slight edge over Holy Cross.  Coach Robert Dauterive will only have to use five wrestlers with no state tournament experience, as opposed to the 12 he put on the mats last season, and he will have eight returning state placers.  Daniel Croy, Luke Cotton, Lane Boudreaux, Patrick Evans and Mack Brown should build a nice "base" upon which the other Crusaders can build.

3)    Not far behind the Crusaders are the Holy Cross Tigers.  They are losing six placers to graduation: Cole Clement, Jake Rando, Jeffrey Argrave, Joey Foret, Michael Benton and Randy Amos.  However, they are returning seven placers, including four who placed second through fourth.

4)    St. Paul's has 13 wrestlers returning, but only five of them placed last year.  Two, however, Cole Houser ad Jared Thieler, will be returning state champions.  Third-place winners Brandon Stein and Grant Hughes, and fourth-place winner Connor Oviedo, are capable of besting their placement in 2017.  The Wolves will have to get a lot from the remaining nine wrestlers they put on the mat to make a serious run for a trophy.

5)    Airline, St. Amant, Comeaux and Catholic should provide a battle for 5th place.  Only 14 points separated 5th-place Airline from 8th-place Catholic.  Airline has a state champion Matt Salinas.  St. Amant appears to have a solid team returning, and a potential state champion in Hunter Hawkins.  Dyllon Bernard and Hadley Trahan are prospects for Comeaux.  Catholic is graduating six very good wrestlers, but Jacob Fereday should find himself among the sport's elite, and Luke Romano should have a successful season.

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Division II

1)    Rummel will have 10 returning wrestlers including state champions Blake Mateu and Dawson Mire.  They have four 2nd through 4th placers, including Chris Montalbano and Dylan Hezeau, who were seeded first last year and finished 2nd and 3rd.  The will find tough competition, though, from Parkway.

2)    Parkway also has two state champions, Trey Fontenot and Trevor Tamburo, returning for the Panthers.  Matching Rummel they have three 3rd-placers and one 4th-placer.  The difference between these two teams may come down to a finals match between the two schools, should one occur.

3)    It is hard to not place Teurlings Catholic in the slot for another Division II team title.  It is even harder to place the Rebels in a spot in which they do not even get a trophy, but in the 2018 state championships have a lot to do to win their third consecutive Division II team title.  Eight of the nine returning Teurlings Catholic Rebels placed 2nd through 6th, but they have no returning state champions.  They have won tournaments without state champions before, and they may win some next year, but they will need very good performances by their three 6th-place and one 5th-place finishers, as well as a lot of help from the five new Rebels they put on the mats.

4)    Live Oak lost six to graduation, and they will need the new six, as well as four others with experience, to do well for a legitimate shot of taking a trophy back to Watson.  Camdyn Ingram and Jordan Chenevert each placed second, and Anthony Ingram place first.  Those three will have to provide a lot of points to start, and then it will be up to the new wrestlers as to how high they place. 

5)     The Belle Chasse Cardinals took fifth-place by 18.5 points over Rayne.  Eight wrestlers are returning for the Cardinals, but only two finished in the 2nd-4th positions: Hayden Hess was a finals runner-up and Bryson Falcon placed fourth.  The Cardinals will probably make their mark by upsetting some of the wrestlers on teams favored to compete for the Division II team championship.

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Division III

1)    The Cavaliers should present another hard team to beat in 2018.  Ten wrestlers from last season's championships are returning, including state champions Eric Hamrick and Jeremiah James,  Of the remaining eight, the Cavaliers have two state runners-up, two who finished third and two who finished fourth.  Only two returning De LaSalle returners did not place at the 2017 state championships, but each won a match in the event.

2)    Brusly may have graduated too much to have a strangle-hold on just the runner-up position in 2018.  St. Louis will return 10 wrestlers from last season, and two of them, Alex Yokubaitis and Robert Christman, will be defending state champions.  Of their eight other wrestlers, six placed, and two of those were in the top four.  They may not be able to challenge De LaSalle, but they will make the runner-up team competition very tight with Brusly.

3)    Brusly only had 12 members at the 2017 state championships, and they lost three to graduation.  Those three, however, won nine state championships in their Panther careers (Austin Franklin - 4, Richard Hunter - 3, and Owen Mabile - 2).  Five of the nine returners placed 2nd through 4th, and one, Brandon Young, was a state champion in 2016.  They will need some state championships if they are going to challenge St. Louis and De LaSalle.  But they have the material to do so.  David Kent, Calep Balcuns and Brandon Young were runners-up in 2017, and Hunter Richey and Ethan Cascio placed third.

4)        North Vermillion placed fourth in 2017, but they are returning 11 wrestlers from the 2017 tournament.  They are only returning four placers, but one, Jordan Theall, won a title in 2017, as well as the Division III Outstanding Wrestler award.  That they have Theall and 10 other returning wrestlers is why they get a small nod over John Curtis for four place.

5)    John Curtis placed fourth this season, their best finish since 2013.  The Patriots will lose six due to graduation, but of the eight returning wrestlers, four placed 2nd through 4th.  They will need some strong performances by Colton Kendrick, Brendon Wilcox, Joha Anderson and Eric Bumgarden, but another year of practice should put a couple of those kids on top of the podium.  In another year, the Patriots might challenge for a championship or runner-up position.  This year, however, they need to concentrate on getting past North Vermillion and perhaps Brusly.

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Yeah, they got game

Basically, this is a list of Division II and III Wrestlers who placed 4th or better at the Trey Culotta, Louisiana Classic and the Ken Cole Memorial tournaments.

Wrestler School Division Place in 2017 state Other Notable Finishes
Chris Montalbano Rummel II 2nd 3rd at LA Classic
Blake Mateu Rummel II 1st 1st at Everything
Cooper Simon Rayne II 1st 1st at Culotta, 1st at Ken Cole, 2nd at LA Classic
Morgan Manuel Rayne II 2nd 4th at Culotta, LA Classic and Ken Cole
Tyler Carriere Rayne II 1st 2nd at Culotta, 4th at Louisiana Classic, 3rd at Ken Cole
Colton Sonnier Teurlings Catholic II 3rd 2nd at Culotta, 1st at Ken Cole
Miles Santiago Teurlings Catholic II 4th 4th at Culotta
Camdyn Ingram Live Oak II 2nd 3rd at LA Classic
Anthony Ingram Live Oak II 1st 2nd at LA Classic
Dalton Driggers Parkway II 2nd 2nd at Ken Cole
Hayden Hess Belle Chasse II 2nd 4th at Culotta
Brice Fisher Belle Chasse II 5th 2nd at Culotta
Alex Yokubaitis St. Louis III 1st 2nd at Ken Cole
Gavin Christ Basile III 1st 2nd at LA Classic, 1st at Ken Cole, 
Matthew Webre Ouachita Christian III 2nd 3rd at Ken Cole
Matthew Matherne Ouachita Christian III 2nd 1st at Ken Cole
(Nobody will want to be in Matherne's weight class after four runner-up finishes in the Division III finals) 
Ryan Hamrick De La Salle III 2nd 3rd at Ken Cole
Jeffrey Hefner De LaSalle III 2nd 2nd at Ken Cole
Eric Hamrick De LaSalle III 1st 2nd at Ken Cole
Jeremiah James De LaSalle III 1st 2nd at LA Classic

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