Rabel nonplussed after a year-plus off the mats - wins second championship
LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Division III, 195 Pounds
May 30th, 2018 | Written by: Editor

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

Dunham junior Robert Grant Rabel won his second state championship in between a runner-up finish in 2016 and a year off due to injuries in 2017.


Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Name Robert Rabel William Jicks Alex Ormond Joshua Valentine Michael Lotief Gabe Duplechin
School Dunham St. Louis De la Salle John Curtis Church Point Basile
Seed 1 2 3 6 5 4
Class Junior Junior Senior Junior Junior Sophomore

Weight Class Synopsis

In 2015 Dunham's Robert Grant Rabel may have been the first 8th-grader to win a state championship since Basile's Jimmy Vidrine in 1960.  The following year Rabel placed second by a point to Episcopal senior Ellis Herring.  He missed his sophomore year due to an injury and was only able to return to the mats this season in mid-December, after which he was forced to miss another three weeks.  But during that time, he ran-up a 10-1 record, losing only to East Ascension's Devon Clark in a Sudden Victory match at the Zachary Big Horse.  That was at 220 lbs., as was his weight class at the Brusly Invitational, which he won with a 3-1 victory over defending Division III state champion Eric Hamrick of De la Salle.  Rabel was forced to take another three weeks off the mats until the Greater Baton Rouge Championships, in which he competed at 195 lbs. for the first time.  In what many must have considered a huge upset, Rabel defeated McKinley's Gavin Bonilla 2-1 in the finals.  The top-seed at the state championships, Rabel made his third finals via two first round falls.

St. Louis junior William Jicks only had 10 matches under his belt upon entering the state championships.  Jicks had wrestled for Barbe in previous years and did not start for the Saints until January 20th.  His two losses came at the Ken Cole to Basile's Isaac Cortez and Zachary's Christopher Hart.  He had decisively defeated Brandon Young of Brusly in his first match of the season, and immediately followed that with decisive wins over De la Salle's Alex Ormond and Church Point's Haven Dominguez.  Jicks had the get through three matches to meet Rabel in the finals.  He did so with falls in 1:51, 3:05 and 3:06. Twenty seconds into the finals match Jicks attempted a shot on Rabel's legs, but the Dunham wrestler sprawled Jicks flat and spun behind him to take a 2-0 lead.  As time was running out, Rabel tried turning Jicks with a cross-body ride but rode too high and Jicks was able to extract his head from Rabel's grip and come out behind Rabel for a reversal with 0:02 remaining.  The score was 2-2 upon the start of the second period.  Rabel chose the bottom position and it took a minute before he was able to score a reversal with a switch and take a 4-2 lead.  Rabel rode too high again and Jicks again came out from behind Rabel to score another reversal to even the match at 4-4.  With five seconds remaining, though, Rabel executed another switch and brought a 6-4 lead into the final period.  On the bottom for the start, Jicks sat-out and turned to score an escape.  With 1:15 remaining Jicks tried to lock-up Rabel's head and shoulder and force him backward toward the mat.  Rabel, though, shot an arm between Jicks' arms, which prevented Jicks from turning off his back as he pulled Rabel down.  Rabel quickly scooped up Jicks' arms and sunk in a double-grapevine to score a fall in 4:54. 

Ormond advanced to the consolation finals with a 17-1 technical fall over fifth-seeded Michael Lotief of Kaplan.  On the other side of the bracket, John Curtis' Joshua Valentine, seeded sixth, pinned his way through two matches before defeating Basile's Gabe Duplechin 6-3 to meet Ormond for third.  Ormond, who pinned Valentine in 3:03 in the quarterfinals, did so again in 4:52 to place third.  Lotief placed fifth due to a forfeit from Duplechin. 

Early Championship Rounds

R1: (5) Michael Lotief (CP) over Fredrich Rabensteiner (HAN) in 3:16

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(1) Robert Rabel (DUN) over (8) Ahmed El-Desoky (HAY) in 1:58
(4) Gabe Duplechin (BAS) over (5) Michael Lotief (KAP) 6-0
(3) Alex Ormond (DLS) over (6) Joshua Valentine (JC) in 3:03
(2) William Jicks (STL) over Kade Lang (BRU) in 3:05

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(1) Robert Rabel (DUN) pinned (4) Gabe Duplechin (BAS) in 1:49
(2) William Jicks (STL) pinned (3) Alex Ormond (DLS) in 3:06

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Consolation Rounds

CSF: (6) Joshua Valentine (JC) over (4) Gabe Duplechin (BAS) 6-3

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Championship Consolation Rounds

 (3) Alex Ormond (DLS) pinned (6) Joshua Valentine (JC) in 4:52 to place 3rd
(5) Michael Lotief (KAP) received a forfeit from (4) Gabe Duplechin (BAS) and placed 5th

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(1) Robert Rabel of Dunham pinned (2) William Jicks of St. Louis in 4:54

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