LWN's Best of 2021-22
June 11th, 2022| Written by: Staff writer



Right off the bat I had to justify my initial choice.  As the 106 lbs. justification had over 300 words and was only half explained, I decided against fully justifying my picks.  As they say, the awards are designed for those who had the best overall seasons.  A bad state tournament or a season-ending injury does not remove one from contention, just as winning a state title is not a paperweight guarantee.   


It is the “big picture,” as I see it, that determines who receives these examples of  lithologic metamorphosis combined with computerized metallic engraving.  Some might not like my choices.  To them, I can only iterate “Why do you even care?”  I have made an objective error once (years ago), to my knowledge, and I am sure many more on a subjective level.  There are some debatable choices this year, so please recall it is just a glorified paperweight.  I feel confident that Jefferson Trophies and Awards, LLC, on Airline Highway, will make one for anybody.  As usual, records do not include forfeits of any kind or losses to out-of-state wrestlers.





Do you know who is going to disagree with this pick?  Tyson Roach will.  He told me at the tournament that people would think he only won the D1 title because Southside's Landen Reaux did not make weight.  I told him that 23 other wrestlers were trying to keep him from winning it, and none of them were unhappy that Reaux missed weight on Friday. 


Reaux is the "2" in Roach's 56-2 record .   Recall the following, please.  On December 1st, Roach dominated Reaux before pinning him in 5:45.  Their second match, in the LACL finals, was a toss-up.  Roach led after the first two periods.  A penalty point in the second was the difference in the 9-8 match.  In the Ken Cole finals Reaux teched Roach.  Each had a blowout match over the other while one could easily have gone either way.  That Reaux would win at the state championships was not a "given."  Reaux also lost two other matches.  His record was 34-3.  Ask Reaux if 2021-22 is one of his favorite seasons.

Brother Martin freshman Richie Clementi lived up to the preseason hype with a 38-0 record and tournament wins in Texas, Tennessee, Alabama and the Louisiana Classic.  His closest match was 4-2, but later he defeated the same opponent 7-0.  He recorded 31 falls including all five of his Division I state championship competitors.  Only one of those matches entered the second period.

Ernie Perry, III, gets his third award (someone give the kid more papers to hold down, please) for compiling a 27-0 record and remaining undefeated for the third season in-a-row against Louisiana high school competition.  He also ganered a third LACL title.  Perry won 21 matches by fall, including his five state tournament ones.  He “owned” 120 lbs. this season, never moving up or down from that weight class.  Aside from his Division I finals opponent, he only defeated one other state finalist, a Division II runner-up.  People knew where the Airline junior lurked and chose to go elsewhere when they could.

Shaw senior Glenn Price completed a second undefeated season with 29 falls in 33 matches.  He won matches at 138 lbs., 132 lbs., the LACL and Ken Cole at 126 lbs. and clinched his fourth Division II state championship at 120 lbs.  En route he beat state champions in Division II and Division III and runners-up in Divisions I, II and III.  Price is the first Division II four-time state champion since Teurlings Catholic’s Brock Bonin won his in 2016.

Brother Martin’s Mason Elsensohn, who was painfully close to winning a state championship as a junior in 2021, left no doubt as to who was the best in his weight class this season.  In his 45 matches he did not deviate from 132 lbs. once.  He won the Gulf Coast Clash, the Black Horse, his second Trey Culotta, the LACL and District 9-5A championship.  He recorded 27 falls, seven major decisions, two technical falls and won six tournaments aside from the state championship.  Eight of his decisions were against Division I or Division II state champions.   

St. Paul senior Jacob Houser officially claimed Houser household bragging rights by winning his second Division I state championship after posting a 34-0 record.  Like Perry and Elsensohn in their weight classes, Houser owned 138 lbs.  He did stray once, into the 145 lbs. weight class, but that only lasted 48 seconds.  He had wins over three state runners-up and two state champions, and won, among his four other tournaments, the LACL and South Walton Border Wars.

A question floating around 152 pounds was answered on January 8th when Live Oak senior Rayden Ingram dropped to 145 lbs.  No other favored 152 lbs. contenders followed suit.  In his next 16 matches he won 13 via falls, one via a major decision, one via a technical fall and one, in the Louisiana Classic finals, a mere 7-2.  The disaster that befell him as the top-seed in 2021 was not to be repeated.  In the state championships he outscored his opponents 31-5, and recorded the fastest pin, just under a minute, in the Division I finals.

This one is tough, and “Best of 2021-22,” meaning the entirety of the whole season, really comes into play.  Defending state champion Grant Nastasi of St. Paul and Holy Cross freshman Nick DiGeralamo were knotted 1-1 on the season, and a rematch was expected in the Division I finals.  But it did not come to pass.  DiGeralamo was DQ'd for slamming Lafayette’s Jenson Bergeron in the semifinals.  But Bergeron was not allowed to participate in the finals.  DiGeralamo went on to place third, but Nastasi had nobody against whom to defend his title.  The St. Paul wrestler did his job to get to the finals, no doubt.  Yet this was not the first time circumstances prevented him from competing.  On December 4th, at the Border Wars, Nastasi sustained a serious leg injury and did not compete again for over two months, until the state championships.  In that time DiGeralamo completed 14 matches, won the LACL, placed second at the Big Horse, losing a tight match to Ingram, and placed third in Las Vegas.   One could also note the more favored common opponent of the two, Brother Martin’s Ryan Corca.  Nastasi defeated Corca 5-1 in the semifinals.  DiGeralamo defeated the senior Crusader in a dual meet via a fall in 0:47, 9-2 in he LACL finals and 8-2 to place third at state.  Nastasi did nothing wrong aside from getting hurt, but the best season has to go to the freshman.


This one is tougher than 152 lbs.  It was 350 words worth of tough.  I had to remedy that.  Winning a Division I state title or an LACL title does not guaranteesa paperweight.  Nor does losing in either.  D1 finalists Landry Barker of St. Paul and Santos Ramos of East Ascension had great seasons and lost to only one Louisiana wrestler, Barker to Fontainebleau's Raymond Favaza and Ramos to Barker.  One difference that came into play, aside from that pesky first-period Barker takedown Ramos could not undo in the state finals, was that Barker lost to two wrestlers, Favaza and Rockwall Heath's Leif Clinton, both of whom Santos defeated.  Ramos also faced tougher competition.  They both beat Favaza (D1 3rd), Grayson Pennison of Hannan (D3 1st), Sam Riles of Breaux Mart (D1 6th) and Covington's Landen Carroll (D1 5th).  Landry also defeated Charlie Yocom of Haughton (D2 2nd).  Ramos defeated Baton Rouge's Kade Moran (D1 2nd), Catholic's Michael Price (D1 4th), John Paul Travasos of Teurlings Catholic (D2 170 1st) and North Desoto's Hunter Hanson (D2 1st over Yocom).  Strength of schedule tilts the argument past a two-point finals loss in Ramos' favor.  And Bob's your uncle.

With six tournament wins and a 44-0 record Rocco Horvath was another who staked his claim with a sign saying “170 lbs. goes through this.”  Only one Louisiana wrestler came close to him, falling only by four points in an early season match.  Thirty-six others were not fortunate enough to last six minutes.  Like Clementi, Horvath won the LACL and events in Texas, Alabama and Tennessee, including the Gulf Coast Clash and the Black Horse.

Also completing a second undefeated season for the Shaw Eagles was senior Jude Monaco.  Monaco was 31-0 with 29 falls and championships at the LACL, the Ken Cole and District 9-5A tournaments before claiming his second Division II crown.  Monaco defeated the Division I state champion twice, as well as the Division I runner-up and two defending Division II state champions.

Much like he did in 2021, albeit not limited to only 12 matches, Sulphur junior Corey Hyatt dominated the 195 lbs. weight class.  In his 31 2021-22 matches he recorded 23 falls and won six tournaments before state, including the LACL and the Ken Cole.  This was his second undefeated season at 195 lbs., the same weight class he owned in the 2020-21 season.  He was voted the Outstanding Wrestler in Division I at the 2022 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships.  Should next season be any different?


A 2-1 record over an opponent will usually “seal the deal,” particularly when one of those wins is for an LACL title.  I am referring to Holy Cross senior Cole Baiamonte, who twice defeated Jesuit’s Dennis Dougherty on the season.   The LACL match was a 4-1 win and Baiamonte earlier defeated Dougherty 3-1 in a dual meet.  The state finals match was even closer.  The two were tied 2-2 after six minutes and the match went into a Sudden Victory period.  With precious few seconds remaining before the tie-breaker rounds started, Dougherty took Baiamonte down to his back and scored a fall, Baiamonte’s only one in a 19-1 season.  In itself, such a match would not overturn Baiamonte’s 2-1 season record against Dougherty. 


Dougherty, however, faced something no other finalists in any division faced that evening.  Jesuit was six points behind Catholic for the runner-up spot in Division I.  If Dougherty lost, all of the pressure would fall on sophomore Spencer Lanosga to pin his finals oppoent.  And it just is not that the finals themselves can be tricky.  Lanosga was in the 2021 finals and events did not work out so well for him.  If Dougherty could just win, that at least let Lanosga off the hook re having to pin Zachary's Ashton Freeman whom he had not pinned in his prior two victories.  But Dougherty did better than that.  He matched Baiamonte 2-2 after regulation and in the waning seconds of the Sudden Victory period took the Tiger senior down to his back and scored a fall, at 6:55.  His fall meant six points, which surpassed Catholic's total by two.  He took every bit of pressure off of Lanosga and sealed a great first season for coach Jon Orillion.

Jesuit sophomore Spencer Lanosga did not wrestle his first match until the LACL in the second week of January.  The delay almost mattered…once.  He scored 14 falls in his 17-0 season and had a scare in the finals of the Ken Cole, having to ride defending state champion Ashton Freeman for the final 30 seconds to win in UTB.  Nobody has an easy time with a defending state champion when competing at 285 lbs., so Lanosga’s 11-5 LACL finals win over Freeman looked like a blowout.  His state finals match, a 4-1 win, was solid, albeit in a weight class in which the merest mistake can cost one a match.  Lanosga does not make such mistakes, and it is going to take something more than luck to beat the Blue Jay in the next two seasons.  (In the photo to the right, I say Spencer is doing a vertical shotput.  Another person says he is soing a"dab.")

Back to Top

©  2022-23 by Louisiana Wrestling News

You may not make electronic copies of these copyrighted materials nor redistribute them to 3rd parties in any form without written permission.