Third in 2018, 2nd in 2017, Brusly's Balcuns finally takes the prize
LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Division III, 138 Pounds
May 8th, 2019 | Written by: Editor

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

Brusly's Calep Balcuns increased his 2018 place by one, which was all he could do, with a 3:29 fall in the finals for Brusly's second consecutive championship

Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Name Calep Balcuns Noah Berryhill Riley Baumgardner Andrew Lynch Brendon Wilcox Dillon Creech
School Brusly St. Louis North Vermillion Church Point John Curtis Calvary Baptist
Seed 1 2 4 Not Seeded 7 3
Class Junior Senior Senior Sophomore Senior Freshman
Final Record* 24-7 23-9 24-14 15-10 23-15 19-15

*    Louisiana opponents only, not including any types of forfeits or byes.

Weight Class Synopsis

A runner-up to Gavin Christ of Basile in 2018, Brusly's Calep Balcuns had a very good season, losing only seven of his 31 matches.  All but one of his losses came from Division I opponents, including two close matches with Jesuit's Luke Eccles (2019 state champion), one to Daniel Croy of Brother Martin (2017 and 2018 state champion), and one from East Ascension's Brad Mahoney, who placed fifth in Division I.  He was injured against Rummel's Chris Montalbano and was disqualified in another match.  His other loss was a 2-0 decision to Live Oak's Bayley Hebert, but that was at 132 lbs.  He defeated some impressive opponents also, including Catholic's Peter Kelly (twice), Basile's Hunter Langley, Dutchtown's Austin Martina (twice), Seth Signorelli of St. Amant, Peyton Ward of St. Paul's and Evan Light of Dutchtown.

St. Louis' Noah Berryhill had a good senior season but did not fare as well as Balcuns did in the larger tournaments.  He had some quality wins over Dunham's Evan Light and Northside's Brody Gray, but lost to two Division III opponents (OK - one of them was Gavin Christ - Division III seeding criteria should have been modified to not count matches against Christ).

Seeded third, Calvary Baptist freshman Dillon Creech fared well, placing third at the Eagle Open and seventh at the Lone Survivor, and he had a fall over fourth-seeded Riley Baumgardner of Calvary Baptist.    the senior Baumgardner had a good final season.  He placed second at the Lafayette Metro, tied for third at the Brusly Invitational and was fifth at the Rayne Invitational, but a 2-0 loss to Berryhill put him in the third spot. 

Balcuns won the Brusly Invitational and the Greater Baton Rouge Championships.  He placed third at the Ken Cole and sixth at the Louisiana Classic.  Balcuns received a first-round forfeit, pinned his quarterfinals opponent in 2:44 and pinned fourth-seeded Riley Baumgardner of North vermillion in 1:48 in the semifinals.

Berryhill won the Rayne Invitational and the Jesse James Southwest Shootout.  He reached the finals with a first-round fall in 1:34, a 9-3 quarterfinals decision and a pin in 5:20 over Calvary Baptist's third-seeded Dillon Creech.

Early Championship Rounds

R1: Andrew Lynch (CP) pinned Grayson Pennington (HAN) in 2:59
R1: (4) Riley Baumgardner pinned Jackson Morris (EPI) in 0:19
R1: Thomas Bean (EVA) defeated Hunter Tony (SB) 15-14 TB-1

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(1) Calep Balcuns (BRU) pinned Andrew Lynch (CP) in 2:44
(4) Riley Baumgardner (NV) pinned (5) Cole Manuel (BAS) in 3:30
(3) Dillon Creech (CAL) pinned Thomas Bean (EVA) in 2:00; (2) Noah Berryhill (StL) defeated (7) Brendon Wilcox (JC) 9-3

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(1) Calep Balcuns (BRU) pinned (4) Riley Baumgardner (NV) in 1:48
(2) Noah Berryhill (StL) pinned (3) Dillon Creech (CAL) in 5:20

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Consolation Rounds

C2: (7) Brendon Wilcox (JC) pinned Grayson Pennison (HAN) in 1:49
C2: Thomas Bean (EVA) pinned Jackson Morris (EPI) in 2:33

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Championship Consolation Rounds

(4) Riley Baumgardner (NV) defeated Andrew Lynch (CP) 12-5  to place 3rd
 (7) Brendon Wilcox (JC) pinned (3) Dillon Creech (CAL) in 2:17 to place 5th

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(1) Calep Balcuns of Brusly pinned (2) Noah Berryhill of St. Louis in 3:29
By pushing Noah Berryhill's head down and placing his right foot perfectly behind Berryhill's left foot, a sneaky ankle-pick provided Calep Balcuns with the first two points of this match after 20 seconds had gone by.  Berryhill could not get away from Balcuns but would not yield his back to the mat either for the remainder of the period, which ended 2-0.  Berryhill won the toss and deferred, and Balcuns chose to start on the bottom position.  After almost 30 seconds Balcuns had stood up and was face-to-face with Berryhill, but before he earned an escape point, he grabbed Berryhill's head and shoulder and pulled him down to the mat, scoring a reversal but going out of bounds before he could score any nearfall points.  On the restart Balcuns shoved Berryhill's left shoulder to the mat and elevated Berryhill's hip with his to flip Berryhill to his back.  For a couple of seconds Balcuns controlled the St. Louis wrestler with just one arm, but then sunk-in a reverse half which turned into a head-and-arm hold.  Berryhill resisted for 30 seconds before succumbing to a fall in 3:29.

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