Fifth and seventh seeds take umbrage - Romig unexpectedly earns Holy Cross their fourth individual championship
LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Division I, 152 Pounds
May 9th, 2021 | Written by: Staff writer

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

Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Name Jake Romig Eli Hope Luke Battaglia Josiah Wakefield Rayden Ingram Ethan Reyna
School Holy Cross Live Oak Jesuit East Ascension Live Oak Dutchtown
Seed 7 5 2 3 1 NS
Class 12 12 12 12 11 12
Final Record 24-3 26-4 19-2 32-6 26-2 13-8

Final records include Louisiana losses but all wins

Weight Class Synopsis

The top three seeds were "no brainers."  After that, though, little made sense.  Evidently that did not sit well with fifth-seeded Eli Hope of Brother Martin nor with seventh-seeded Jacob Romig of Holy Cross.  They expressed their displeasure by knocking-off the first, second, third and fourth seeds.  The two were 1-1 over the season, and the tie-breaker would occur in the finals.

This weight class was seeded just fine if one made the top three.  After that it is a tad nonsensical. 

Live Oak junior Rayden Ingram was 23-0 and won the Trey Culotta Invitational.  There he very convincingly defeated Jesuit's Luke Battaglia in 1:17 and won a close 10-8 SV match with Hope.  Ingram had not competed since the Trey Culotta finals, but the two quality wins there, and earlier ones over Brusly's Andrew Trahan, Santos Ramos of East Ascension and Catholic's Michael Price solidified his spot at the top.  The second-seeded Battaglia's only loss was to Ingram, and his 13-1 record included two wins over third-seeded Josiah Wakefield (28-4) of East Ascension. 

After the first three spots were filled the seeding became difficult to understand.  St. Paul senior Grant Vicknair was seeded fourth.  Granted, he only had one loss, and that was to Battaglia, but he also had only four wins.  Two were high-quality wins.  He defeated Shaw's Todd Ritter 6-2.  Ritter only placed fifth in this event, but at the time he was a defending Division II runner-up.  Vicknair also beat Hannan's Preston Gautier, who was the top-seed in Division III, 12-7.  Vicknair's other two wins were a fall over a non-starter from Catholic and a 12-1 major decision over Fontainebleau's Seth Lewis.

Lewis was 10-4 but had not beaten anyone of true consequence in this weight class.  Yet he was seeded sixth, one behind Hope and one over Romig.

As luck would have it, this leaves the seeding of Brother Martin's Eli Hope, who was 22-3, and Holy Cross' 20-3 Jake Romig to try to explain.  These two split head-to-head decisions.  Hope pinned Romig in 3:47 in an early January dual meet.  About 10 days later Romig beat Hope 17-7 in the LACL quarterfinals.  The tournament win by Romig should have given him the nod over the dual meet win by Hope.  Each wrestler had two additional losses.  Hope's losses were to Wakefield and Ingram at the Trey Culotta.  Romig's were to Wakefield and Joshua Vincent of Teurlings Catholic at the LACL.  Hope did finish fourth at the LACL while Romig finished fifth.  Yet Romig lost to the eventual runner-up of the tournament prior to losing to Wakefield in 4:22 in the consolation semifinals.  In his consolation semifinals match, Hope defeated Belle Chasse's Gavin Gauthreaux, who was there because he unexpectedly beat Wakefield in the quarterfinals.  In the consolation finals Wakefield beat Hope 18-8 MD.  With no disrespect intended to Mr. Gauthreaux, Wakefield was a tougher consolation semifinals opponent.  And despite the end results, Romig beat Hope the day before.

If out-placing someone at an event counts more than beating someone at the same event, then Hope gets the nod to break the 1-1 seasonal tie with Romig.  That is fine.  But questions still remain re Vicknair and Lewis as to why Vicknair was seeded over Hope and Romig and why Lewis was seeded over Romig.  Vicknair over Lewis works as Vicknair defeated him 12-2 in his first match of the season.

The first two rounds went according to form.  After that, seeding chaos ensued.  Hope beat Vicknair in the quarterfinals and then beat Ingram in the semis.  Romig took-out Battaglia in the quarters and Wakefield in the semis.  With Romig in the finals at least one of the top-six seeds would not place.  Battaglia kept Lewis from placing via a 2:45 fall to reach the consolation semifinals.

Yet another of the top six seeds would also not find a place on the podium.  One may hesitate to describe it in this manner, but Dutchtown senior Ethan Reyna seemed to catch something from Romig in their second-round match.  Romig won in 3:05 and would keep on winning.  But so would Reyna.  The senior Griffin won four matches in a row before falling to Wakefield in the consolation semifinals and Ingram in the match for fifth place.  One of those wins, though, was a 2:55 pin over Vicknair.

In his consolation semifinals match Battaglia met Ingram for a second time and he fully took advantage of the opportunity, defeating the Live Oak junior by a 10-2 major decision.

Early Championship Rounds

(4) Grant Vicknair (StP) pinned Riley Messer (ZAC) in 1:17
R2: (7) Jake Romig (HC) pined Ethan Reyna (DUT) in 1:57
R2: (2) Luke Battaglia (JES) pinned Kyle Cook (HAH) in 2:25

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(1) Rayden Ingram (LO) defeated (8) Donnie Middleton (BR) 12-2 MD
(5) Eli Hope (BM) defeated (4) Grant Vicknair (StP) 9-3
(3) Josiah Wakefield (EA) pinned (6) Seth Lewis (FNT) in 1:15
(5) Jake Romig (HC) defeated (2) Luke Battaglia (JES) 18-13

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(5) Eli Hope (BM) defeated (1) Rayden Ingram (LO) 11-5
(7) Jake Romig (HC) pined (3) Josiah Wakefield (EA) in 2:35

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Consolation Rounds

C2: Dylan Inguagiato (DES) pinned Ryder Foreman (LAF) in 2:23

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Championship Consolation Rounds

 (2) Luke Battaglia (JES) pinned (3) Josiah Wakefield (EA) in 4:35 to place 3rd
(1) Rayden Ingram (LO) pinned Ethan Reyna (DUT) in 2:09 to place 5th

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Seventh-seeded Jake Romig of Holy Cross pinned Brother Martin's fifth-seeded Eli Hope in 3:39
This was the third match of the season between the Tiger and the Crusader.  Hope started the scoring with a takedown from which Romig escaped, and the first period ended 2-1 in Hope's favor.  to start the second period Romig escaped immediately.  The two traded some shot attempts and then Hope looked to have a deep double-leg, but Romig was able to free his hips, sprawl and start spinning around the Crusader.  As he did so, Romig pushed down and controlled Hope's head.  As he kept spinning he was awarded a takedown with a minute remaining, but by holding onto Hope's head and getting behind Hope's legs, a cradle was "ripe for the picking."  Romig used it to turn Hope to his back and scored a fall at 3:39, making him the lowest seed in all three divisions to win a state championship.

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