Dunham's Rabel triumphs for the third time
LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Division III, 195 Pounds
May 8th, 2019 | Written by: Editor

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

Dunham's Robert Grant Rabel won his first state championship in 2015 as an eighth-grader.  As a freshman in 2016 he placed second.  He was forced sit out of the 2016-17 season due to a football injury, but on his return as a junior in 2018, and a senior in 2019, he added two more state titles to his resume.

Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Name Grant Rabel Chase Spooner Wesley Maze Chris Reed Colin Schexnayder Kade Lang
School Dunham South Beauregard St. Louis Evangel Kaplan Brusly
Seed 1 2 3 5 Not Seeded 6
Class Senior Junior Sophomore Junior Senior Senior
Final Record* 25-2 17-3 10-2 17-12 7-10 11-6

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

Weight Class Synopsis

This weight class appeared to be a toss-up between the top three seeds.  Robert Rabel of Dunham had only two losses.  One was to senior William Jicks of St. Louis, who scored a 13-5 major decision over Rabel in the Brusly Invitational, and once to David Bernard of Teurlings Catholic 6-5 in the Louisiana Classic.  Yet he also accounted for one of Bernard's only two losses in a 6-5 Ken Cole finals match.  Junior Chase Spooner of South Beauregard also lost to Bernard 11-2 in the Jacob McMillan finals.  St. Louis sophomore Wesley Maze lost to Bernard in 5:16 in the second round of the Ken Cole, and to Logan Kennedy of Carencro via a fall in 0:57 in the second round of consolations in that event.

Maze, however, did not start for the Saints until January 19th.  He was needed to replace senior William Jicks, who was injured after winning the Brusly Invitational.  Had Jicks not been injured, he would have been the #1 seed for his win over Rabel.  But his potential success at the state championships was not assured as he had a loss to Spooner via a fall in 3:45 in the Jacob McMillan semifinals.  The sophomore Maze, however, proved to be a formidable competitor, placing third.

Rabel won the Big Horse Open, and the Ken Cole while placing second in the Brusly Invitational and the Louisiana Classic.  But Rabel is tough to wrestle at the state championships.  He advanced to the finals via a quarterfinals pin in 2:56 and a semifinals pin over Evangel's Chris Reed in 1:25.  In 2018 he won via falls in 1:58, 1:49 and 4:54.  In 2016 he reached the finals via falls in 3:32, 3:36 and 3:00, and he lost in the finals by only 6-5.  As a third-seeded eighth-grader in 2015, he won in 4:45, 3:00 and 5:59.  Rabel does not take state championships lightly.

Spooner's two pre-state losses were to Haven Dominguez of Church Point in a one-point 7-6 decision, and the one to Bernard.  He had "quality wins" over Division II state champion Mataius Lavine of Sam Houston, Jicks and Maze.  Spooner also pinned his way to the finals in matches.  He pinned his quarterfinals opponent in 1:59 and pinned Maze in the semifinals in 2:55.

Early Championship Rounds

R1: (5) Chris Reed (EVA) pinned Ahmed El-Dosoky (HAY) in 1:47

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(1) Robert Rabel (DUN) pinned Collin Schexnayder (KAP) in 2:56
(4) Chris Reed (EVA) won over (4) Gage Johnson (BAS) due to an injury at 1:01
(3) Wesley Maze (StL) pinned (5) Kade Lang (BRU) in 1:38
(2) Chase Spooner (SB) pinned Patrick Rist (HAN) in 1:59

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(1) Robert Rabel pinned (5) Chris Reed (EVA) in 1:25
(2) Chase Spooner (SB) pinned (3) Wesley Maze (StL) in 2:55

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Championship Consolation Rounds

 Wesley Maze (StL) pinned (4) Chris Reed (EVA) in 2:19 to place 3rd
 Collin Schexnayder (KAP) pinned (6) Kade Lang (BRU) in 3:39 to place 5th

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(1) Robert Rabel of Dunham won his third state championship via a fall in 3:14 over (2) Chase Spooner of South Beauregard.
This was Grant Rabel's fourth time on the state finals mats.  As such, it is unlikely he expected to be thrown back with a standing whizzer to give up not only a takedown but two nearfall points in the first 20 seconds.  When he got off of his back, though, he was able to score an escape and his own takedown via fireman's carry to a high single-leg and a trip, although Spooner made it very hard to complete.  After a restart, Spooner was awarded a penalty point with 17 seconds remaining for Rabel locking his hands.  On the next restart Rabel broke-down Spooner with a spiral move, which opened up a cradle with which Rabel earned two nearfall points of his own before time ran out.  After the first period the match was knotted at 5-5.  Rabel won the toss and deferred, and Spooner chose to start the second period in the neutral position.  But the second period belonged to Rabel.  With a little over a minute remaining Rabel shot a high single-leg which was almost too high, as Spooner felt some control over Rabel's shoulders and tried to lateral-drop the Dunham wrestler.  Rabel, however, responded in time and Spooner was the one who ended up on his back, yielding two more nearfall points before he was able to bridge out of it.  With 56 seconds left Rabel locked-up a cross face cradle and 10 seconds later he scored a fall to earn his third state title.

Spooner can take heart as he has another year remaining, and he can be very proud to be the Knights' first state runner-up. 
The "LW" on Rabel's singlet are in honor of Dunham's 2014 runner-up Kirk Wilson's mother, who passed away prior to the tournament.

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