Ward wins his second consecutive title for the Wolves
LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Division I, 160 Pounds
May 9th, 2021 | Written by: Staff writer


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

Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Name Peyton Ward Rocco Horvath Santos Ramos Michael Price Daniel Burton Raymond Favaza
School St. Paul Brother Martin East Ascension Catholic Sulphur Fontainebleau
Seed 1 2 3 5 NS 6
Class 12 11 11 11 12 11
Final Record 16-0 28-2 30-5 11-7 9-6 18-12

Final records include Louisiana losses but all wins

Weight Class Synopsis

Defending Division I state champion Peyton Ward may not have wrestled a lot of matches prior to the state tournament, but he was not hurting for good competition.  His second match was an 11-8 victory over Rummel's defending Division II state champion Jacob Ramirez of Rummel.  Ramirez went up to 160 to meet Ward, and it was a good match with Ward winning 11-8.  He beat Shaw's Michael Seal, who placed third in Division II in 2020 and second this year, 6-0.  He handled Brusly's now three-time Division III state champion Andrew Trahan via a 10-2 major decision.  Aside from Ramirez nobody gave Ward much trouble until he met Brother Martin's Rocco Horvath in the Louisiana Classic finals.  Ward won the match 8-4, but the ease in which both made the finals, collectively scoring four falls and two major decisions, set them apart from the other 160 lbs. contenders.

OK - that's not really true.  There was another.  Horvath squeaked by East Ascension's Santo Ramos 5-4 in the semifinals.  The two met in the semifinals of the Trey Culotta in December and Horvath won 10-3.  The 5-4 match indicated that Ramos might be catching-up a bit.  Granted, Ramos was nobody to worry about for Ward, unless Santos made the finals.  With Jake Romig of Holy Cross moving down to 152 lbs. for the Louisiana Classic, Horvath and Ramos could only be in the bottom bracket.  There was a bit of a talent drop after Ward, Horvath and Ramos. 

Sulphur's Dustin Burton did not get the memo about the talent gap, though.  Horvath beat Ramos 9-5 in the semifinals, but his next match, against Burton in the consolation semifinals, was not what he expected from someone not seeded in the top-eight.  It took a Sudden Victory period before Santos prevailed 5-3.  After that things went back to "as expected."  Santos beat fifth-seeded Michael Price of Catholic in 0:55 to place third.  It was Price who knocked-off fourth-seeded Hayden Wood of Parkway 6-2 in the quarterfinals, and unseeded Evan Kelley of Central knocked Wood out of the tournament with a fall in 2:44 in Wood's next match.

Burton went back to the "second tier" in the match for fifth, defeating Fontainebleau's Raymond Favaza 8-6.  Ramos beat Favaza handily four times during the season (including once in this tournament).  Horvath and Favaza never met each other, but Ward pinned Favaza in, according to TW, 0:00, which does demonstrate some superiority.  Talent gaps like this are common and are not meant to be considered insulting.  Burton just seemed not to understand that in his match against Ramos.  If assistance is needed to understand talent gaps, well, ask anyone who meets either of the Holy Cross Frost twins.

Early Championship Rounds

R1: Daniel Burton (SUL) defeated (8) Amore Clark (HC) via a 15-0 TF
R1: (4) Hayden Wood (PKY) pinned Colin Pierre (COM) in 4:28
R2: Daniel Burton (SUL) pinned Kaiden Romein (SS) in 3:41
R2: (5) Michael Price (CAT) pinned Zach Chaney (LO) in 2:00

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(1) Peyton Ward (StP) pinned Daniel Burton (SUL) in 4:20
(5) Michael Price (CAT) defeated (4) Hayden Wood (PKY) 6-2
(3) Santos Ramos (EA) defeated (6) Raymond Favaza (FNT) 15-7 MD
(2) Rocco Horvath (BM) defeated (7) Winters McConnell 15-5 MD

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(1) Peyton Ward (StP) pinned (5) Michael Price (CAT) in 3:26
(2) Rocco Horvath (BM) defeated (3) Santos Ramos (EA) 9-5

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Championship Consolation Rounds

(3) Santos Ramos (EA) pinned (5) Michael Price (CAT) in 0:55 to place 3rd
Daniel Burton (SUL) defeated (7) Raymond Favaza (FNT) 8-6 to place 5th

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Top-seeded Peyton Ward of St. Paul defeated second seed Rocco Horvath of Brother Martin 7-3
After a scoreless first period Ward decided to take control of the match and outscored Horvath 5-1 in the second period.  Horvath managed two escapes in the third period, but by definition a Ward takedown had to come between them, and the match ended at 7-3.  Ward became the first Wolves two-time state champion since Cole Houser in 2016 and 2012 and, before that, Connor Campo in 2012 and 2013.

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