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St. Amant's Hunter Hawkins, left, is entangled with Baton Rouge High's Jarin Meyer during the 170-pound weight division City Wrestling tournament. Hawkins won the match.

What is the best way to find an atmosphere similar to the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Wrestling tournament? Go to the Louisiana Classic tournament that begins at 3 p.m. Friday at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center.

Competitors from 51 schools are set to compete in the two-day tourney that has long been a major steppingstone toward the LHSAA tourney since its beginnings as the Lee High Invitational.

“You won’t have everybody there, but most of the top guys and teams will be here,” said Catholic coach Tommy Prochaska, the meet director. “A number of teams won’t have full lineups this weekend, and we’ll be one of them. You have guys with injuries and some teams have been hit by the flu and have multiple guys out.

“One of the things this meet does is give coaches a chance to gauge where they are. And since we’re still a month out, you will probably see some lineup changes before state.”

Competition resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with finals set to begin at about 5 p.m. The tourney typically attracts multiple out-of-state teams. However, Houston’s Westside High is the only entry from outside Louisiana this year.

Louisiana’s top wrestling programs from all three divisions will be represented. Traditional New Orleans area powers Brother Martin, St. Paul’s, Holy Cross and Jesuit are among those to watch, along with local teams like Catholic, St. Amant and East Ascension. Basile, the defending Division III champion, also will be represented in a balanced field that has more than a few standouts ahead of the LHSAA tourney set for Feb. 14-15 in Bossier City.

East Ascension’s Trent Mahoney (54-0) is the top seed at 170 pounds. The senior was an LHSAA champion last year. But he is not the only competitor set to put an unbeaten record on the line.

For example, Teurlings Catholic’s Matthew Carrier (27-0) is the top seed at 126, while Covington’s Christoper Allen is 32-0 at 195 and Comeaux’s Donald Paul is 27-0 at 285.

Not all undefeated competitors are seeded No. 1. Shaw’s Glenn Price (38-0) is seeded second at 113 and St. Louis’ Alexander Yokubaitis (37-0) is No. 2 at 120.

St. Amant’s Corey Brownell (47-2) at 138 and Jarin Meyer of Baton Rouge High (22-1) at 182 are the other local top seeds.

“You’ve got several teams who are in position to do well,” Prochaska said. “There are a few teams I haven’t seen yet that I’m anxious to see.”

Louisiana Classic

Top seeds

106 pounds: 1, Ernie Perry III, Airline, 22-1. 2, Jacob Houser, St. Paul’s, 25-2. 3, Mason Elsensohn, Brother Martin, 23-5.

113: 1, Evan Frost, Holy Cross, 32-1. 2, Glenn Price, Shaw, 38-0. 3, Kent Burandt, Brother Martin, 13-5.

120: 1, Jacob Frost, Holy Cross, 29-3. 2, Alexander Yokulbaitis, St. Louis, 37-0. 3, Christian Lopez, Houston Westside, 29-4.

126: 1, Matthew Carrier, Teurlings, 27-0. 2, Clayton Hill, Live Oak, 45-2. 3, Raheem Bonnet, Shaw, 34-2.

132: 1, Ashton Surrency, Shaw, 22-1. 2, Anthony Krass, East Ascension, 42-6. 3, Sean Cripple, St. Paul’s, 15-4.

138: 1, Corey Brownell, St. Amant, 47-2. 2, Jacob Ramirez, Rummel, 32-7. 3, Connor Hoffman, Brother Martin, 10-4.

145: 1, Alex Duncan, Brother Martin, 31-4. 2, Luke Battaglia, Jesuit, 19-6. 3, Rayden Ingram, Live Oak, 19-2.

152: 1, Peyton Ward, St. Paul’s, 28-1. 2, Riley Horvath, Brother Martin, 28-7. 3, Richard Mack, North DeSoto, 36-2.

160: 1, Ben Davidson, St. Paul’s, 21-7. 2, Charlie Cyrus, Jesuit, 20-9. 3, Ian Wyble, Catholic, 21-4.

170: 1, Trent Mahoney, East Ascension, 54-0. 2, Blain Cascio, St. Paul’s, 21-7. 3, Eli Hope, Brother Martin, 23-11.

182: 1, Jarin Meyer, Baton Rouge High, 22-1. 2, Macullen Mire, Catholic, 26-5. 3, Corey Hyatt, Sulphur.

195: 1, Christopher Allen, Covington, 32-0. 2, Chase Spooner, South Beauregard, 14-0. 3, Cameron Frederick, Brother Martin, 24-6.

220: 1, Cole Ulfers, St. Paul’s, 23-3. 2, Axel Encalada-Arce, Baton Rouge, 24-0. 3, Daelon Clark, Westside, 24-5.

285: 1, Donald Paul, Comeaux, 27-0. 2, Gavin Soniat, East Ascension, 21-2. 3, John Drake, John Curtis, 16-3.

Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com