What we think we know now...
January 15th, 2020 | Written by: Editor


NOTE: I am publishing this before I receive the Louisiana Classic seeds later this evening, just to see if I am "keeping up" with things.

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Before you spend any money wagering on Louisiana Classic results, please bear in mind I have the items above for sale...

With the Louisiana Classic approaching it is time to check on what we think we know after the first two months of the season.  (Please recall that "we" may be used by editors, monarchs and people with tapeworms.)

Q:    Is Brother Martin still the team to beat at the Louisiana Classic and at the Division I LHSAA State Wrestling Championships, particularly after their 34-29 dual meet loss to St. Paul?

A:    Absolutely.  They are the defending champions of both events and until they are not, they remain, by default, the team to beat.

Q:    Can somebody defeat Brother Martin at the Louisiana Classic and at the Division I LHSAA State Wrestling Championships?

A:    Absolutely. 

While dual meets are not always great indicators of the stronger tournament teams, the St. Paul match was very close in many matches and thus indicates the two teams might be close in a tournament format.  Evidence of that was seen, and not seen, via the results at the Trey Culotta Invitational.  "Brother Martin won it and St. Paul came in fourth, 81 points behind the Crusaders," we hear some of you say.  That is true, but another few factors may not be well known to some people.

Brother Martin had a full team at the event.  St. Paul only entered 12, and were down to 11 scoring wrestlers, including a non-starter, on Saturday's championship bracket competition.  And one of the Wolves hit his self-destruct button on Saturday.  With their four starters and the lack of a self-destruct button, the Wolves could have scored another 100 points, ± 10 points.  That would have given the Wolves their first Trey Culotta championship.  If out-of-state teams were not involved, the Wolves would have scored even more points.

(The Louisiana Classic field will be similar to the Trey Culotta field with the exception that instead of a lot of out-of-state teams a lot of Division II and Division III teams will participate.  (The Trey Culotta had three Division II teams and three Division III teams, with the best team score going to Basile (148 points), who had a runner-up in Alex Menier and a champion in Isaac Cortez.  The other major impact to the tournament was made by another Division III school.  South Beauregard's lone wrestler, Chase Spooner, scored 41 points by winning the 195 lbs. weight class.)

Sadly, and I am sure none of the contenders wished for this to happen but defending Division I state champion Logan Bertot recently received a season-ending injury and will not be available to wrestle at either event.  It is feasible he will be replaced by Jake Spellman, who should do fine for the Crusaders.  Spellman is 15-3, won the Mandeville Open and placed third at the Gulf Coast Clash and the Black Horse.  Only Brother Martin has a revolving door full of very talented wrestlers

Q:   Should any team make significant line-up changes as far as the weights in which a particular wrestler may compete?

A:    Possibly, but probably not until the Louisiana Classic and Ken Cole are over.

Brother Martin really does not need to just yet.  They may want to see if Connor Hoffman can move down to 132 lbs. (now that Castex has shown he can compete at 126 lbs.) and let Quinn Williams compete at 138 lbs.  Hoffman only has two losses at 138 lbs. - one to Byrd's Demetri Teddie and another to Rummel's Jacob Ramirez (Hoffman defeated Ramirez in their first match, though. and at the state championships it will not matter as Rummel is a Division II school).  The 132 lbs. weight class is looking for a dominant wrestler still.

St. Paul may make a change if they can.  Unless they want to give Davidson another chance at Massicot, if the St. Paul wrestler can make it, he could go down to 152 lbs. where he should have an easier Brother Martin opponent in Riley Horvath.  That is if "easier" means a 26-7 record (with only one loss coming from a Louisiana wrestler, Peyton Ward of St. Paul whom Horvath defeated later), a Mandeville Open championship, runner-up spots at the Gulf Coast Clash and the Trey Culotta, a third-place finish at the Black Horse and a fourth-place finish at the Prep Slam.  Those type of results making a wrestler "easier" than another can only be pulled-off by the Crusaders.  Peyton Ward already showed that he can compete at 145 lbs. as he did so when he won the South Walton Border Wars.

A number of Division II and Division III wrestlers may change their weight classes as they want to see how they would do if they were wrestling against Division I competition at the state championships.  Winning the Louisiana Classic removes any perceived stigma idiots may attach to winning Division II or Division III state championships.

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Q:    Can any other teams be expected to challenge Brother Martin and St. Paul at the Louisiana Classic or the Division I state championship?

A:    Yes.

Catholic, Parkway and Holy Cross come to mind, but it will take a lot of things falling in place for such a team to make a serious challenge.  Every year some wrestlers do not do as well as they were     expected to do at those two tournaments and some wrestlers perform much better than expected.  Last year at the state championships two second-seeded wrestlers placed third and three of them placed fourth.  Twelve unseeded wrestlers placed in the top-six, including Fontainebleau's Kyle Boell who placed third.  On the other side, sixth-seeded Cole Ulfers of St. Paul blew through the 195 lbs. weight class with falls in 0:50, 1:29, 0:23, a 19-3 technical fall and a 9-4 finals victory. 

Additionally, there are a lot of "wildcards," or individuals that can win a weight class hailing from teams that will not pose a threat to the team tournament contender, which can help teams like Catholic, Parkway and Holy Cross if the wildcards beat the right people.  The first one's that come to mind are Byrd's Demetri Teddie and Jacob Yawn.  Live Oak's Clayton Hill, Anthony Dodson and Nawab Singh may also be included in that bunch, as do St. Amant's Corey Brownell and Alex Newman.  Baton Rouge has Jarin Meyer (21 wins vs. one loss by two points to East Ascension's Trent Mahoney at 182 lbs.) and Axle Encalada-Arce (20-0).  Airline freshman Ernie Perry, III has only one loss to an Oklahoma opponent at a tournament in which he placed third and has a tournament win in Texas and three in Louisiana.  East Ascension's Brad Mahoney and Santos Ramos are no one with whom to trifle, nor is Sulphur's Hunter Gustin.  Christopher Allen of Covington and Tanner Melendrez of Fontainebleau should be counted in that group.

For the Louisiana Classic, consider the following Division II and Division III wrestlers as capable of making waves: Alex Menier and Isaac Cortez of Basile; Andrew Trahan and Brian Amis of Brusly; Shaw's Glenn Price, Raheem Bonnet and Ashton Surrency; Alex Yokubaitis of St. Louis; Joshua Sarpy and Richard Mack, III of North Desoto; Jacob Ramirez of Rummel; Matthew Carrier and David Bernard of Teurlings Catholic and Chase Spooner of South Beauregard.  (Please remember this when I name this year's LWN paperweight award winners.)

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Who to watch at the Louisiana Classic this weekend

Twenty-three of the wrestlers mentioned below are undefeated against Louisiana competition.  At least 11 will suffer their first defeat this weekend.

Anyone could win (absolute falsehood) but records indicate the following have the best chances:

106 113 120 126 132 138 145 152 160 170 182 195 220 285


Jacob Houser

M. Elsensohn

Ernie Perry

Brandon Gainy

J.W. Fuller

Jacob Houser of St. Paul and Mason Elsensohn of Brother Martin are the front-runners.  Houser won the Dale Ketelsen Memorial, the South Walton Border Wars and the Trey Culotta Invitational. 

Elsensohn placed second to Houser at the Trey Culotta Invitational, and he won the Mandeville Open and the Black Horse, while placing second at the Gulf Coast Clash.

Lurking up north in Bossier City is Airline freshman Ernie Perry, III, who is 21-1.  Perry won the St. Michael Warrior Open, the Riot on the Red, the Arlington-Martin Warrior Open in Texas, the Lone Survivor and placed third at the Mid-America Nationals.

Holy Cross freshman Brandon Gainy has only lost to Jacob Houser (4-1 and 1:50), Mason Elsensohn (2-0 and a period 3 fall and David Viers (2:38).  He has a 3-1 win over Ethan Boudreaux of Teurlings Catholic.


Evan Frost

Glenn Price

Evan Frost of Holy Cross currently owns this weight class.  The 2019 defending state champion's closest match against a Louisiana opponent was a 15-0 technical fall.  He has tournament victories from the Brusly 8, the Gulf Coast Clash, the South Walton Border Wars, the Jacob McMillian Memorial and the Battle of New Orleans.  He placed third at the Kansas City Stampede.

Keep an eye on Shaw's Glen Price, the defending Division II 106 lbs. state champion.  Price has won the Warrior Open, the Lakeshore Open, the Dale Ketelsen Memorial and was undefeated at the Beast on the Beach.


This weight class is a beast.

Holy Cross' Jacob Frost is 24-1 and his closest match against a Louisiana opponent was a 6-0 decision against Comeaux's Reed Bergeron.  But he has other legitimate challengers, albeit two of the best are limited to the Louisiana Classic.  His main challengers come from northwest and southwest Louisiana.  Senior Joshua Sarpy of Division II North Desoto pushed Frost in the 2019 Louisiana Classic finals, won by Frost 2-0.  Then their is Joshua Keeler of Parkway, who has not lost to a Louisiana wrestler this year.  Three-time defending Division III state champion Alex Yokubaitis should be in that weight class. Trey Culotta champion Carter Duet of St. Paul, and the kid he beat 5-4 in the finals, Alex Menier of Basile should be there.  Let's not forget Shaw's Raheem Bonnet, either, or Comeaux's Reed Bergeron.  Among the nine, and not counting losses to out-of-state competition, their combined records are 208-10.

Two or more of these eight wrestlers may not find themself placing in the top-six at the 2020 Louisiana Classic.
Records do not reflect losses to non-Louisiana competitors, byes, forfeits or defaults.

Reed Bergeron Raheem Bonnet Carter Duet Jacob Frost Joshua Keeler Alex Menier Joshua Sarpy Jake Spellman Alex Yokubaitis
17-2 29-0 20-3 32-0 28-0 8-1 27-0 15-2 34-0
2019 Brusly 8
and Spartan
in Lafayette
Parish Duals.
2019 Division II
Trey Culotta
2019 D I
State Champion
2019 D II
Trey Culotta OW
2018 & 2019 D III
State Champion; Trey
Culotta Runner-up
2019 D II
State Champion
Mandeville Open
Champion; 3rd
Gulf Coast Clash
and Black Horse
2017-2019 D III

Before it was known that Logan Bertot was out for the rest of the year, a topic among some wrestlers, coaches and the editor was that of all of those big names, three of them at least would not place on Saturday.

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Clayton Hill

Ethan Castex

Dylan Lauriano

Matthew Carrier

This could be a very tough weight class.  The favorite to date is Live Oak's Clayton Hill, the 2019 Louisiana Classic winner.  Another prospect is Matthew Carrier of Teurlings Catholic, who is undefeated at 21-0.  Michael Radar of St. Paul is 20-1 with his sole loss coming from Carrier.  Defending Division I runner-up Ethan Castex and Holy Cross' Dylan Lauriano are having good seasons in Louisiana, and do not count out Catholic's Hunter Goodson or Luke Lafleur of Acadiana.


Ashton Surrency

Peter Kelly

This weight class is looking for someone to "step up" and say "Beat me!"  Currently, Shaw senior Ashton Surrency (20-1) looks to be that guy so far.   Peter Kelly of Catholic, Charles Sauerwin of Holy Cross, Anthony Krass of East Ascension, Chalmette's Deven Durham and Quinn Williams of Brother Martin are all feasible.  And two others, Jacoby Mark of Zachary and Jayse Boullion of Southside, will be interesting to watch.


Demetri Teddie

Corey Brownell

Jacob Ramirez

Connor Hoffman
Byrd's Demetri Teddie looks to be the fastest kid on the mats this season.  St. Amant's Corey Brownell has only two losses, both to Teddie by a one-point margin.  Connor Hoffman of Brother Martin, a 2018 Division I state champion, should not be overlooked, nor should Rummel's Jacob Ramirez, who has split matches with Hoffman this season.


Alex Duncan

Peyton Ward

Jacob Yawn
Brother Martin's defending state champion Alex Duncan pretty much owns this weight class.  He has a 30-0 record and wins at the Mandeville Open and the Black Horse.  He was the runner-up, losing to out-of-state wrestlers, at the Gulf Coast Clash and the Trey Culotta Invitational.  If St. Paul's Ward drops to 145 lbs., as he did when he won the South Walton Border Wars, he may give Duncan a match.  Talk around the water cooler (a common definition of "scuttlebutt") says Byrd's Jacob Yawn may drop to 145 lbs.  True, Ward destroyed Yawn at the Trey Culotta, but the editor saw a different kid there than he did at the Spartan Invitational.27-1

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Peyton Ward

Riley Horvath

Jacob Yawn


If Ward does not go to 145 lbs. then he may be a favorite here.  He is 1-1 with Brother Martin's Riley Horvath, but won a tournament in which Horvath placed fourth.  If Yawn remains at 152 lbs. and is wrestling as he was before the Trey Culotta, he should play an important part.  Brad Mahoney only has a one-point loss to Yawn and a split with Bruly's Andrew Trahan to account for his two Louisiana losses.  The one nobody should take lightly, though, is the 18-2 Richard Mack, III or North Desoto, whose only two losses were at the Beast of the East in Delaware.  If Ward drops and Davidson goes to 152, he will seeded very high.


Mason Massicot

Ben Davidson

Ian Wyble

Mason Massicot is undefeated in Louisiana in the last two years, but he has had some close matches with Davidson and Ian Wyble of Catholic.  Santos Ramos of East Ascension and Cameron Vaughns of Byrd are very capable wrestlers.


Trent Mahoney
Two-time defending Division I state champion Trent Mahoney is 57-0 and nobody aside from Baton Rouge's Jarin Meyer and Catholic's Canon Hunt have come close to beating him. The Meyer match was 4-2 but that match was at 182 lbs.  His closest match at 170 lbs. was a 5-3 win over Catholic's Canon Hunt.  Keep an eye on Hunt, Blaine Cascio of St. Paul and Logan Lewis of Byrd.


Isaac Cortez

Jarin Meyer

Latrell Williams

David Bernard

This will be another tough weight class, second only to 120 lbs.  Basile's two-time defending state champion Isaac Cortez is undefeated at 9-0, won his second Trey Culotta championship and has pinned all of his opponents save one, which was a 9-1 major decision win for Cortez.  Jarin Meyer of Baton Rouge is 20-1 (with a 4-2 loss to Mahoney), and he won the Warrior Open, the Brusly 8, the Spartan Invitational and the Zachary Big Horse.  Carencro's 2019 Division II state champion Kendrall Williams is 5-0 including a 3-2 decision over Teurlings Catholic's defending Division II state champion David Bernard.


Chris Allen

Chase Spooner

Covington's Christopher Allen 27-0.  At 7-0 is Division III's Chase Spooner of South Beauregard, whose wins came by annihilating every opponent at the Trey Culotta.  Other who may give those two a challenge are Tanner Melendrez of Fontainebleau, Cameron Frederick of Brother Martin, Evan Ulfers of St. Paul and Jude Monaco of Shaw.


Cole Ulfers

Axel Encalada

Logan Brimmer

Defending Division I state champion Cole Ulfers should be the favorite, but it will be interesting if he runs into Baton Rouge's 20-0 Axel Encalada-Arce of Baton Rouge.  Hahnville's Logan Brimmer is undefeated at 16-0 with wins over Fontainebleau's Logan Ahlborn and Brother Martin's defending Division I runner-up Kyle West of Brother Martin.


Don Paul
Some of the better 285 lbs. wrestlers will not be competing this year at the Louisiana Classic.  Trey White of Evangel, Tony Gibson of Church Point immediately come to mind.  But they are not definitely better than everyone else, and probably have lost the chance to say that unless they prove differently at the Ken Cole. 

Comeaux's Don Paul is 23-0 with wins at the Ronnie Suarez District Tournament, the Jacob McMillan Memorial and the Trey Culotta Invitation.  Nothing says that Paul is not the best 285 lbs. wrestler in the state.

East Ascension's Gavin Soniat 21-4 and has defeated John Drake of John Curtis.  He has defeated Jaden Ben (19-4) of Chalmette twice in three matches.  Drake has defeated Ben twice.  If he heals from a tweaked ankle received at the Battle of New Orleans, Holy Cross' Cole Baiamonte, who is 13-1 and has only lost to Paul in a 1-0 match, could be a jajor factor..

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