Cooper Simon avenges sole loss with his second championship for Rayne
LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Division II, 126 Pounds
May 30th, 2018 | Written by: Editor


Weight Class Synopsis Early Championship Rounds Quarterfinals Semifinals 3rd and 5th Finals


Cooper Simon pins Rummel's Chris Montalbano with a spladle, avenging his only loss on the season for his section state title

Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Name Cooper Simon Chris Montalbano Bayley Hebert Raheem Bonnet Darryl Nicholas, Jr. Haydon Shankle
School Rayne Rummel Live Oak Shaw Parkway Benton
Seed 2 1 5 4 3 4
Class Senior Junior Junior Sophomore Junior Senior

Weight Class Synopsis

Rummel's Chris Montalbano's record was a very respectable 34-7, and his only losses were to very good Division I opponents including Brother Martin's Riley Horvath, Michael Lundin of Holy Cross and Brandon Stein of St. Paul's .  He posted wins over Division I runner-up Peyton Bass of Airline, John Ehret's Gage Sonnier, De la Salle's Jeffrey Hefner and split matches with Brother Martin's Lane Boudreaux.  Most importantly, Montalbano defeated Cooper Simon of Rayne 7-2 in the Jefferson Invitational.  Despite Simon's successes after that event, the 1-0 record in Montalbano's favor gave the Rummel wrestler the top seeding spot.  Montalbano's first round match ended in a fall in 1:27.  His quarterfinals match ended in 0:33.  Benton's Hayden Shankle gave Montalbano a tougher time than his first two opponents, but the Rummel wrestler easily advanced to his second finals match with an 8-1 score.

Rayne's Cooper Simon put up a remarkable 37-1 record prior to the state championships.  He was seeded second, however, because the "1" was a 7-2 loss to fellow Division II wrestler Chris Montalbano of Rummel in the first round of the Jefferson Invitational.  As the season progressed Simon made no more mistakes, and in the Louisiana Classic, at 120 lbs., he defeated each of the Division I 120 lbs. Division I state finalists.  Runner-up Justin Leal of Brother Martin gave Simon his toughest win of the year, a 4-3 victory, in the quarterfinals.  After a 5-3 semifinals win over Fontainebleau's Joshua FitzPatrick, Simon "bull-rushed" Holy Cross' Michael Lundin to a fall in 0:35.  Two weeks later he defeated the 126 lbs. Division III state champion Sam Pitts of Ouachita Christian via a fall in 5:13.  In this tournament Simon had byes into the semifinals, where he met third-seeded Darryl Nicholas, Jr. of Parkway, whom he previously defeated 10-1, 16-4 and 12-1.  This time Simon pinned the Panther in 3:06

In the 2016-17 Simon did not have a chance to avenge his only loss, which was against Brother Martin's Daniel Croy 4-3 in the Louisiana Classic finals.  Montalbano was not so lucky.  In the first period Simon executed an arm-drag to a single-leg, which he lifted and twisted to gain the first two points of the match.  He was content to let the first period end at 2-0.  In the second period, Simon, on bottom to start, sat-out and did a Granby roll which enabled him to stand-up, although Montalbano steadfastly stayed behind him.  A strong hip-heist from Simon allowed him to turn and face the Raider wrestler, and he sprawled on top of Montalbano and spun around for a reversal.  Montalbano got one leg up, but Simon caught the other leg, controlled the first leg with his, flipped over and spladled Montalbano to a fall in 2:34 for his second Division II championship.

Fifth-seeded Bayley Hebert of Live Oak and seventh-seeded Raheem Bonnet of Shaw each took the three-match route to the consolation finals after losing in the quarterfinals of the championship side of the bracket.  Hebert won via three falls, while after one fall, Bonnet survived matches of 5-4 and 10-8 SV.  He had no such luck in the match for third-place, as Hebert pinned him in 2:29. 

The third and fourth seeds, Darryl Nicholas, Jr. of Parkway and Hayden Shankle of Benton were scheduled to meet to compete for fifth-place.  Shankle, however, forfeited, conceding fifth-place to Nicholas.

Early Championship Rounds

R1: (7) Raheem Bonnet (SHW) over Kevin Montero (STMO) in 3:07
R1: (1) Chris Montalbano (RUM) over Andrea Puerta (SH) in 1:27
R1: (4) Haydon Shankle (BNT) over Gabriel Trigero (BC) 22-7 TF

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(1) Chris Montalbano (RUM) over (8) Tyler Sproles (HAU) in 0:33
(4) Haydon Shankle (BNT) over (5) Bayley Hebert (LO) 7-3
(3) Darryl Nicholas, Jr. (PKY) over (6) Jackson LeBlanc (TC) 6-3
(2) Cooper Simon (RAY) over (7) Raheem Bonnet (SHW) in 3:55

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(1) Chris Montalbano (RUM) over (4) Haydon Shankle (BNT) 8-1
(2) Cooper Simon (RAY) over (3) Darryl Nicholas, Jr. (PKY) in 3:05

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Championship Consolation Rounds

(5) Bayley Hebert (LO) pinned (7) Raheem Bonnet (SHW) in 2:29 to place 3rd
 (3) Darryl Nicholas, Jr. (PKY) received a forfeit from (4) Haydon Shankle (BNT) and placed 5th

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(2) Cooper Simon of Rayne pinned (1) Chris Montalbano of Rummel in 2:34

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