The Parkway Panthers will be looking to repeat as the Division II state champions at the All-State Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Wrestling State Tournament on Friday and Saturday at the CenturyLink Center.
Last year, the Panthers shared the title with Lafayette Teurlings Catholic. Both teams scored 244.5 points.
Teurlings Catholic figures to be Parkway’s toughest challenger again. Live Oak and Rayne, which finished third and fourth, respectively, last year, could also contend.
Parkway has three No. 1 seeds, five No. 2 seeds, two No. 3 seeds and three No. 6 seeds. Teurlings Catholic has four No. 1 seeds, three No. 3 seeds, one No. 4 seed and one No. 5 seed.
Parkway and Teurlings Catholic have staged four close battles already this season with the Rebels narrowly finishing ahead of the Panthers each time.
In the Jacob McMillan tournament, the Rebels won by a half-point over the Panthers.
In the Lone Survivor tournament at Parkway, Teurlings Catholic won by seven points.
In the Ken Cole tournament, Teurlings won by 24.5 points.
In the Trey Culotta tournament, the Rebels finished third and the Panthers fourth.
Parkway has won four tournaments this season — the Riot on the Red, the Paul Aubrey Christmas tournament in Dallas, the Gator Brawl in Florida and the Northwest Louisiana Regional tournament.
Dalton Driggers, Parkway’s only 2018 individual state champion, has graduated.
But the Panthers have eight wrestlers back who placed in the top six.
Kaleb Garcia (182 pounds) and Peyton Miller (195) were runners-up.
Garcia won the 160-pound class in the regional tournament. Miller was runner-up at 195.
Regional champion Joshua Keeler was third at 106 pounds.
Connor Cloinger was third at 220 pounds. He was also third in the same weight division in the regional tournament but has won several titles this season and is the No. 1 seed in the state tournament.
Trey Fontenot was fourth at 132 pounds. He won the 120-pound division in the regional tournament.
Three Parkway wrestlers who finished fifth last year also return — Darryl Nicholas Jr. (126), Jacob Chittom (152) and Carson Sanders (170).
Nicholas was the regional runner-up at 152. Chittom won the 145-pound title. Sanders won the 170-pound title.
Dez Eloph finished sixth in the 285-pound division last season.
Other parish wrestlers who placed last season in Division II and are back include Haughton’s Nate Williams (fourth, 145), Haughton’s Garrett Timm (fourth, 182) and Benton’s Trey Winkler (fifth, 195).
Airline’s Peyton Bass and Tucker Almond, both regional champions, could contend for titles in Division I.
Bass was the runner-up at 126 pounds last season and is wrestling at that weight again.
Almond was third at 145 pounds. He is again wrestling at 145 pounds after competing at 152 during the regular season.
New Orleans Brother Martin has won six of the last seven Division I titles and is favored to win again this season.
New Orleans Jesuit was runner-up last year.Lake Charles St. Louis is the defending Division III champion. New Orleans DeLaSalle was runner-up.
Here are parish wrestlers who are seeded in the top six this season and their records according to trackwrestling.com.
126 pounds, No. 2, Peyton Bass, Airline, 42-6
106 pounds, No. 2, Joshua Keeler, Parkway, 44-3
113 pounds, No. 3, Jordan Clark, Parkway, 28-16; No. 6Chase Bounds, Bossier
120 pounds, No. 1, Trey Fontenot, Parkway, 48-2
126 pounds, No. 2, Darryl Nicholas Jr., Parkway, 33-10
132 pounds, No. 6, Brandon Turner, Parkway, 30-13
138 pounds, No. 1, Jacob Chittom, Parkway, 40-10; No. 2, Nate Williams, Haughton, No. 2, 29-8; No. 6, William Teppenpaw, Bossier, 17-5
145 pounds, No. 6, Hayden Wood, Parkway, 35-22
160 pounds, No. 2, Kaleb Garcia, Parkway, 48-4
170 pounds, No. 2, Carson Sanders, Parkway, 29-6
182 pounds, No. 5, Garrett Timm, Haughton, 21-10; No. 6, Terrence Murray, Parkway, 33-16
195 pounds, No. 3, Peyton Miller, Parkway, 35-16; No. 6, Justin Nixon, Haughton, 20-12
220 pounds, No. 1, Connor Cloinger, Parkway, 42-9; No. 6, Trey Winkler, Benton, 18-6
285 pounds, No. 2, Dez Eloph, Parkway, 29-19; No. 6, Preston Fisher, Benton, 7-6