February 21 With Weight, Szoh’s State Wait is Over

            Menomonee Falls – It seems a bit odd to say that Germantown junior wrestler Zach Szohr has finally filled out.

Especially when he’s wrestling in the 106-pound weight class.

But that is the case, and Szohr is making the most of his added weight and strength.

Szohr improved to 28-0 this year when he pinned Menomonee Falls sophomore Austin Lasanske (39-7) in 1 minute 14 seconds to win the 106 title Saturday afternoon at the Division 1 individual wrestling sectional at Menomonee Falls.

Szohr, ranked No. 1 in Division 1 at 106 by wiwrestling.com, advanced to the state individual wrestling tournament for the first time. Lasanske also advanced. The top two wrestlers in each of the 14 weight classes qualified for the state tournament, which will be held Thursday through Saturday at the Kohl Center in Madison.

For Szohr, it was a long wait to get to Madison.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s my first time making it to state. I’ve got a target on my back being ranked No. 1. But it’s awesome. It feels good to have (the hard work) pay off in high school.”

Entering high school, Szohr was expected to do well. He had won 11 state titles (6 Greco Roman, 5 freestyle) as a youth wrestler.

There was only one problem. He won all but one of those titles at 80 pounds or less. When he entered high school, he was just too light – as hard as it may be to believe – to compete effectively at 106 pounds. He finally cracked 100 pounds last year.

That changed this year when he finally added some weight and started blowing away the competition and became the kid to beat for the 106 state title this year.

It was no different at the sectional. Szohr, who missed the early portion of the season after he hosted a party prior to the season, posted two pins and a technical fall to earn his first trip to Madison.

He’s put his struggles of the past two years and this year’s athletic code violation behind him.

Szohr won’t be taking anyone lightly now that he’s finally headed to state.

“I won’t be looking past anybody,” he said.

Another wrestler who rebounded this year was Falls senior Billy Holz.

Holz (42-4) defeated Cedarburg sophomore Colton Ryan (33-9) by a 6-0 decision to win the 120 title and advance to state one year after he failed to qualify.

Holz was in control throughout against Ryan and advanced to the state meet for the third time. A year ago, Holz advanced to the final at 120 but lost and lost the wrestleback for second.

There we no letdowns for Holz this time.

“I was a little nervous coming in because it’s my last year,” said Holz. “I’m not done yet. I want to finish on a strong note.”

Wauwatosa junior Justin Folley (42-1) used a late cradle to defeat Arrowhead junior Aidan Yde (34-10) by a 5-3 decision in the 126 final. Folley trailed, 3-1, when he scrambled for a reversal and a cradle to put Yde to his back and secure the sectional title.

“I wanted to make a statement,” said Folley, a state semifinalist a year ago who is now ranked No. 1. “I wanted to let everyone know that I’m the toughest wrestler in the 126 bracket.”

Cedarburg senior Jason Ipsarides (47-0), ranked No. 1, kept alive his undefeated season by the narrowest of margins. He beat Wauwatosa senior Marcus Morrow (42-3) by a 1-0 decision in the 152 final.

After a scoreless first period, Ipsarides rode Morrow the second period. An escape to start the third was all Ipsarides needed to pull out the victory. He heads back to the state tournament after qualifying a year ago but failing to win a match.

“Riding him out in the second was huge,” Ipsarides said. “I have a lot of things to fix though. I didn’t get in on his legs. There’s a lot to do. I worked my ass off all off-season to prove I’m better than last year.”

Ipsarides was one of a tournament-high seven Cedarburg wrestlers to advance to state. Arrowhead and Menomonee Falls each advanced five wrestlers to state.

No. 6-ranked Homestead senior Gage Zupke (26-0) pinned his way through the sectional to advance to state at 195. Zupke pinned Milwaukee Marquette senior Michael Rolfe (28-11) in 26 seconds in the 195 final.

The final of the day occurred at 145 pounds as Arrowhead sophomore Kelvin Yde (30-12) used an escape to defeat Menomonee Falls senior Jake McMahon (34-14) in the ultimate tie breaker.

McMahon sent the match to overtime with a reversal with 1:10 left in the third period. He rode out regulation to send th match to overtime tied, 4-4.

Yde nearly won the match with a takedown as time wound down in the first 1-minute overtime period but the referee denied his control.

The two traded two-point moves in the two 30-second overtime periods before Yde escaped in the final session.

Wauwatosa senior Ben Reagan (39-2) and Arrowhead junior Rudy Otters (24-8) also staged a final to remember at 138. Reagan held a 3-2 lead late in the third when his headthrow and three-point nearfall with 5 seconds left in the match gave him an 8-2 victory.

The match could have gone either way at that pivotal moment. Otters appeared close to securing a takedown for the victory but Reagan countered and put Otters to his back in a hotly contested final.

The final at 160 was also decided late. This time it was Cedarburg senior Tucker Hammer (38-10) who rallied late to pin Arrowhead Austin Yde (20-7) in 5:23.

Yde led, 5-1, midway through the second period and looked like he was cruising to victory. Hammer, however, had other ideas.

Hammer turned what looked like a near takedown by Yde into a four-point move to tie the match at 5-5 early in the third. Hammer then allowed Yde an escape to fall behind, 6-5, but Hammer’s tossed Yde and posted the pin.

Cedarburg junior Ryder Sigler (41-7) also pulled off a dramatic late pin.

Sigler led Menomonee Falls senior Tyler Simcock (36-11) by 2-1 late in the third. The two began scrambling for a winning takedown and Sigler gained control, put Simcock to his back and registered the pin in 5:01.

Cedarburg also saw senior Kyle Polum (44-3) win the 285 title. Polum pinned Sussex Hamilton senior Brad Biswell (36-10) in 3:01 to win the title. Polum became a four-time state qualifier with the victory. He finished fifth a year ago.