Nothing is certain prior to Sturday's semifinals
February 11th, 2023| Written by: Staff writer



First, I believe the utter failure of my retirement last season was evident when I showed up at the River Center and was confirmed by my appearance at the Warrior Open in November of this season.  It is also pretty clear that the methods I used this season re a much more limited schedule also failed miserably.  That fact, remains consistent.  I planned on my drive from River Ridge to Bossier City how I wanted to write my Friday night recap.  I did the analysis I planned on the Division I brackets, and then I saw it was 10 p.m. and I had yet to pack a much more limited amount of equipment for Saturday, much less published anything about Friday's action at the Brookshire Grocery Center.  I can say I am pleased with what I predicted, but I did not intend on publishing anything like that until Friday night.  And it is not going to happen tonight.  In a way, I think the reader and myself both are winners because of just that.  So a brief synopsis is all I can offer, and, with no disrespect intended to Divisions II and III, any analysis is primarily about Division I.

Yeah, about proofing this...it's after midnight.

(I may need a favor on Saturday, and this young lady runs the show.)

Division I Summary

Jesuit will take a four-point lead into Saturday's Division I semifinals.  The Blue Jays scored 171.5 points on Friday, and led Catholic, who scored...did everyone get 167.5?  The defending Division I champion Brother Martin Crusaders are two points behind Catholic, with 165.5 points, followed by a surprisingly strong effort by Holy Cross (a very good omen for next season) with 143.5 points and a rejuvenated East Ascension team with 132.5.  2021 Division I champion St. Paul is only a point behind the Spartans.

The best part about the Blue Jays' Friday was that they have eight semifinalists, and have three others waiting for opponents in the consolation semifinals.  Four of those Blue Jays are seeded higher than their opponents.  Catholic has six semifinalists and all of them are seeded higher than their opponents.  But the Bears only have nine wrestlers remaining in the tournament.  Brother Martin has seven semifinalists and are favored in five of those matches, but they also only have nine wrestlers remaining.  If all four of the Blue Jays win, the Bears and Crusaders have to keep pace or the eventual champion team, while it will probably still be determined in the finals, may be settled as early as the 113 lbs. finals.  Should every Bear semifinalist win, they will likely still face the #1 seeds in their weight classes.  Sweeping their semifinals matches will not be enough.  The Crusaders face a similar dilemma.  They still have three #1 seeds, but they will need more than three finals wins.

Hats off to the boys from Bossier City, though.  Airline may only be in 14th-place, but they have four semifinalists in Michael Finders, Logan Olsen, Ernie Perry, III and Danon Walker.  Olsen has a #1 seed to face in Jesuit's Bodi Harris, but Finders, Perry and Walker are favored to advance to the finals.  Perry, as most should know, has never been defeated by a Louisiana wrestler and will, with two more wins, become the first public-school student, and only the third since Divisions were first used in 1975, to win four Division I state championships.  If successful he will also be the first to do so in four different weight classes, which, while it confuses this writer, he can like just fine as he is Ernie Perry, III, dammit! 

Joshua Wakefield of East Ascensions picks an ankle on Airline's Kyle Manual

Division I

Place Team Points Semis   Place Team Points Semis
Jesuit 171.5 8   11 Southside 69 2
2 Catholic 167.5 6   12 Chalmette 66 1
3 Brother Martin 165.5 7   13 Live Oak 61.5 1
4 Holy Cross 143.5 5   14 Airline 61 4
5 East Ascension 132.5 4   15 Baton Rouge 58.5 2
6 St. Paul 131.5 3   17 Sulphur 53 1
7 St. Amant 87.5 1   18 Lafayette 48 2
8 Zachary 78.5 1   19 Covington 47.5 1
9 Dutchtown 76.5 2   20 Walker 40.5 2
10 Fontainebleau 71.5 2   28 Northshore 13 1

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Division II Summary

Teurlings Catholic has not run away with the Division II title just yet.  The Rebels have 13 semifinalists, however, while second-place North Desoto has 10, but TC's semifinalists are seeded higher in all but, perhaps, two weight classes. 

The self-described "Four Studs" of Teurlings Catholic.  (Perhaps a closer view is required.)


Division II

Place Team Points Semifinalists Favored
Teurlings Catholic 172.5 13 Many
2 North Desoto 163.5 10 Less
3 Rummel 147    
4 Brusly 117.5    
5 Parkway 112    
6 Rayne 95    
7 Sam Houston 88    
8 Lakeshore 77.5    
9 Comeaux 69    
10 Terrebonne 54    

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Division III Summary

Basile moved some wrestlers around and, so far, their theory is working re capturing a fifth-consecutive Division III title. The Bearcats left the arena Friday night with an 11.5-point lead over Shaw, 119 to 107.5.  De la Salle is still in contention, but are 23 points behind the Bearcats, with 96 points.  The Eagles have 10 semifinalists while the Bearcats only have nine.  The Eagles have four #1 seed to only one for Basile.

Evan Harding of Hannan scores a takedown on Grant Habetz of St. Louis

Division III

Place Team Points Semifinalists
Basile 119 9
2 Shaw 107.5 10
3 De la Salle 96  
4 Evangel 81.5  
5 Hannan 78  
6 St. Louis 71  
7 John Curtis 69.5  
8 Kaplan 31  
9 St. Michael 30  
10 St. Mary 24  


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