2019 Division III State Wrestling Champions Basile

Basile, 2019 Division III State Wrestling Champions

Basile is the defending Division III state wrestling champion, but the road to defend that title will not be easy this year.

St. Louis, the 2018 champion and last year's runner-up, and 14-time state champion Brusly are looking to unseat the Basile. Brusly has finished in the top five each year since its last state title in 2015.

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association state wrestling tournament starts today at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City and will run through Saturday.

"It is going to be an interesting state tournament," St. Louis head coach Terry Gage said. "There is going to be three teams that are going to be close.

"It is going to be who's wrestlers execute the best. The wrestle backs will be key this year, not just having wrestlers in the finals. I think the third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishers will be just as important."

Basile enters with 12 seeded wrestlers, 10 in the top four and five No. 1s in two-time state champs Isaac Cortez (20-0, 182 pounds) and Alex Menier (16-3, 120 pounds), Blake Menier (24-4, 132 pounds), who won at 126 pounds last year, Ethan Bazinet (10-5, 160 pounds) and Andre Johnson (17-8, 113 pounds).

The Bearcats also have a pair of No. 2 seeds in defending 170-pound champion Logan David (11-1) and Hunter Langley (13-9) at 152 pounds. Langley was the runner-up at 132 last year. But Basile head coach Bryan McCoy said he's not making any predictions.

"I can't tell what the future has in store for us," McCoy said. "I can only tell you that we never prepare to lose.

"I hope that we are gracious in our wins and respectful in our loses. I anticipate that we will fight with all our might and leave it all out there. I expect that at the end of the day, win or lose, we can hold our heads high."

Brusly has nine seeded wrestlers and St. Louis has 10, led by senior Oklahoma State signee Alexander Yokubaitis (50-1). He is seeded No. 1 at 126 pounds and has not lost to a wrestler from Louisiana this season.

"(Yokubaitis) has worked hard," Gage said. "Oklahoma State thought he was good enough to earn a Division I scholarship, so that shows you how good his work ethic is."

St. Louis has a pair of No. 2 seeds in Dohnavan McMichael (44-4) and Kemal Robertson (31-8).

Also in Division III, South Beauregard senior Chase Spooner is seeded No. 1 at 195 pounds and looking for his first state championship. He was the runner-up at 195 last season. DeQuincy junior Landon Royer (13-12) is seeded fifth at 170 pounds.

In Division I, Sulphur has six seeded wrestlers, led by junior Kyle Thibodeaux (38-13), the No. 4 at 120 pounds. Barbe's Joshua Vitto (27-4) is the seventh seed at 182 pounds and Sam Houston has a pair of seeded wrestlers in juniors Gabriel Reed (No. 8, 42-11, 152 pounds) and Matthew Upmeyer (No.9, 36-16, 126 pounds).

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