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Shreveport-Bossier City wrestlers looking for titles

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Evangel wrestlers Logan Williams and Ben Kirkikis couldn’t have come any closer to a state title this past season, losing in the championship match in their respective weight classes.

Now the two seniors will have one more shot at being the best in Division III as more than 100 area wrestlers travel to Kenner for the LHSAA state championships today and Saturday.

“Last year, I was nervous throughout the whole year and kind of came out of nowhere,” said Williams, who wrestles in the heavyweight class. “Having been on that stage before calmed me down this year.

“It’s kinda cool when you’re introducing yourself to other wrestlers, and they say they know me. But the key is to wrestle smart and not get cocky.”

Williams is the No. 1 seed as is Kirkikis, who increased to the 145-pound class after being 138 this past season.

“It’s been a great experience for both of us to have come so close, to have (a teammate) that’s been through that,” Kirkikis said. “Going up in weight isn’t going to be a huge difference … every year you wrestle different opponents, so you have to get your mind right and be ready to go.”

Bossier’s Jalen Oliver did lift the 182-pound title in Division III this past season, and now he’s out to add a Division II championship in the same class as a No. 1 seed.

“He’s such a great kid with great athleticism and work ethic who never takes a day off,” said Bossier coach Bo Shelton. “There’s not much of a difference in Division II and Division III, and he’s wrestling really well right now.”

The area includes several other top seeds in their respective weight classes, including Byrd’s Quin Gilliam (D-I 220), Benton’s Andre Dean (D-II 152), Loyola’s Armand Zachary (D-III 106) and Lakeside’s Cameron Corley (D-III 138).

“(Gilliam) got sixth in the state as a sophomore before not wrestling at state last year because of injury (pinched nerve in his neck),” said Byrd coach Scott Martin. “He’s ranked No. 1 at 220 in any division … and he’s won tournaments like the Louisiana Classic and the Ken Cole (Invitational).”

Other local high seeds in Division I include Airline’s Christian Walden (No. 4 in 126), Airline’s Antonio Lococo (No. 4 in 132) and Byrd’s Kalik Battle (No. 5 in 132, D-I).

Division II has a slew of mostly Bossier Parish wrestlers like Parkway’s Garrett Strozier (No. 4 in 106, D-II), Haughton’s Zack Denton (No. 5 in 106, D-II), Parkway’s Alex Simmaly (No. 2 in 113, D-II), Parkway’s Jason Pitts (No. 2 in 120), Huntington’s DeCoreyon Howard (No. 3 in 120), Parkway’s Ryan Huckaby (No. 3 in 126), Benton’s Taylor Dubois (No. 5 in 126), Parkway’s Nathan Pitts (No. 4 in 132), Parkway’s Hunter Huckaby (No. 2 in 138), Benton’s Jeffrey Lewis (No. 3 in 138), Parkway’s Zac Funderburk (No. 2 in 145), Benton’s Tre’ Pugh (No. 3 in 145), Bossier’s Avery Jones (No. 2 in 152), Benton’s Jordan White (No. 2 in 160), Huntington’s The’Anthony Taylor (No. 3 in 160), Bossier’s Christopher Hall (No. 5 in 170) and Benont’s Chauncey Taylor (No. 4 in heavyweight).

The area is also well represented in Division III with Doyline’s Brittany Bates (No. 2 in 106), Evangel’s Bradley Wright (No. 3 in 120), Lakeside’s John Watson (No. 4 in 120), Doyline’s Johnny Brooks-Feaster (No. 3 in 160), Lakeside’s Thomas Lambert (No. 4 in 160), Calvary’s Tyler Sullivan (No. 5 in 195) and Lakeside’s Luke Griffith (No. 2 in 220).

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Shreveport-Bossier City wrestlers looking for titles
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