2007-08 Articles

2008 Team State Wausau West Wins

By Joe Shinners

Madison – It was only fitting to see the fate of the Wausau West Warriors wrestling team’s bid for perfection and a championship resting in the hands of a member of the Hein family.

West junior Jackson Hein made sure everything went according to plan with one big headthrow.

Hein tossed and pinned Kaukauna junior Marcus Driessen in the decisive 171-pound match to seal West’s 33-27 victory over the Kaukauna Ghosts in the Division 1 final of the state team wrestling tournament Saturday night at the UW-Fieldhouse. All semifinals and finals began at 215 pounds.

West led Kaukauna, 27-21, heading into the 171 match after the Ghosts had won three consecutive matches from 145 to 160 pounds. At 160, Kaukauna sophomore Noah Budi defeated Marcus Casillas by a 6-0 decision, but Budi could not score near fall points in the third period to earn extra points for the Ghosts.

That set the stage for Hein, whose father, Dan Hein, is the head coach and whose brother Joshua is the team’s starting 152-pounder.

“It was big,” said Jackson. “I got him in a Saturday night ride and I knew I had him. To do it for a team title, it’s pretty huge.”

West finished the season with a 22-0 record and won all nine tournaments the Warriors entered. Kaukauna finished at 21-3.

The Warriors also received important victories from senior Phil Larkin at 215 pounds and junior Jason Kyle at 119 pounds. Larkin defeated Kaukauna junior Matt Wallace by a 3-1 decision on a takedown with 29 seconds left.

Kyle trailed 8-6 when he reversed and pinned Ghosts junior Matt Kilgas in 3:20.

“It’s an awesome finish to a perfect season,” said Dan Hein. “I told the kids that a perfect season would win the state tournament and it did.”

But it was tight throughout. Both teams won seven matches and picked up two pins. West, however, picked up two technical falls and two major decisions for the points needed to pull out the school’s first wrestling team title.

“We were just never able to take the lead,” said Kaukauna coach Jeff Matczak, whose team lost the Division 1 final for the third time. “We were one win short the first half of the dual.”  

        Kaukauna advanced to the final by defeating Arrowhead, 37-21, in the semifinals. Arrowhead (13-2) led by 21-14 after nine matches, but the Ghosts won the two critical matches early and closed out the dual with five consecutive victories to end Arrowhead’s season.

Ghosts sophomore Steven VanWychen defeated Arrowhead sophomore Matt Hoffman by a 6-5 decision at 103 pounds. At 215, Ghosts junior Matt Wallace defeated Arrowhead senior Eric Herbert, 4-0.

        The two early matches were key because of Kaukauna’s strength between 145 and 189, where the Ghosts swept all the weight classes. Both of the Ghosts state champions – seniors Kaukauna seniors Dillon Bera (145) and Joe Budi (189) –posted victories. Bera finally forced a disqualification of Arrowhead senior Al Ydy at 145.

        Lodi 36, Ellsworth 22: The Blue Devils (25-3) trailed the Panthers (16-7), 22-15, after eight matches but won the final six to win the Division 2 title for the third time. 

        It was a hard-fought title as Lodi won five consecutive matches by a decision. The biggest was junior Kyle McKearn’s 6-5 victory over Ellsworth junior Jordan Borst in double overtime at 171 pounds that sealed the victory for Lodi.

        Lodi defeated Pewaukee, 31-22, in the semfinals. Pewaukee (12-3) trailed, 21-18, with four matches to go after junior David Phillips defeated Lodi sophomore Dakota Cable, 7-5, at 145. Lodi, however, won three of the next four matches and eight of the 14 overall to seal the victory.

Mineral Point 47, Coleman 19: Mineral Point coach Scott Schmitz carried a reminder of the Pointers’ heart-breaking tie – the only tie in state team tournament finals history --in the final a year ago. It was a copy of a newspaper article that described the heartbreak of his team.

Mineral Point was announced the loser at the time on criteria. But the WIAA did not use criteria until this year. Later, the dual and title was declared a tie.

That motivational tool paid big dividends as the Pointers (19-0) posted six pins, posted two major decisions and won nine of the 14 matches against the Cougars (16-2). It was Mineral Point’s ninth Division 3 title and third since the team tournament started.

“I told the kids, ‘If this isn’t enough to get you motivated I don’t know what is,’” said Schmitz. They didn’t want what happened last year to happen again.”

2008 Team State Arrowhead Opens Strong

2008 Team State

Arrowhead Opens Strong

By Joe Shinners

Madison – Arrowhead wrestling coach John Mesenbrink has made no secret that this was the one team, the school’s best in his tenure, that he wanted to qualify for the state team wrestling tournament.

The Warhawks did nothing to disappoint Mesenbrink on a day when blowouts were the order in the Division 1 quarterfinals Friday night at the Fieldhouse.

Arrowhead (13-1), on the strength of its run of wrestlers from 119 to 140 pounds, jumped out to a big lead and cruised to a 36-16 victory over the Tomah Timberwolves in a dual that began at 119 pounds to advance to the semfinals for the fourth time.

“They are the best team in our school’s history and they are out to prove it,” said Mesenbrink. “They have been accomplishing things for us that no other team has accomplished for us.” 

Arrohwead, ranked No. 4 in the state, advanced to face No. 2 Kaukauna in the semifinals. Kaukauna defeated Milton, 49-6.

Division 1 semifinals begin at 9 a.m. Divisions 2 and 3 are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The finals in all three Divisions begin at 6 p.m.

“It was awesome,” said Mesenbrink. “We won at 119, their state runner up, and I thought we beat them at 145, their other state runner up, with a late takedown.”

After the damage that Arrowhead did from 119 to 140, no other upsets were needed against Tomah (16-6).

At 119, freshman Jake Sueflohn defeated Tomah junior Ian Duncan by a 5-0 decision to get Arrowhead started. Duncan finished second at the state individual meet a week ago.

James Clark (125), Arik Yde (130), Nick Hucke (135) and Chris Senner (140) all followed with victories as Arrowhead pulled out to a 21-0 lead and went on to won nine of the 14 matches.

At 145, Arrowhead sophomore Al Yde nearly knocked off Tomah senior Jacob McGinnis. Yde’s late takedown attempt failed, and McGinnis held on for a 2-1 victory.

“We knew about their run between 119 and 140,” said Tomah coach Jeff Von Haden. “We needed to get one in there, maybe two wins. Arrowhead is a solid team. They don’t have any holes in their lineup.”

Ashwaubenon 43, Muskego 18: Muskego, ranked No. 1 in the area and No. 8 in the state, fell behind, 20-0, by losing the first five matches and never recovered as the Warriors lost for the first time this year.

“We lost some early matches that we didn’t think we would and it kind of snowballed on us,” Muskego coach Ted Price said. “What are you going to do. It was a fun season why it lasted.”

Ashwaubenon won 10 of the 14 matches, and the early sweep between 119 and 140 was not something that Muskego (15-1) could afford against the Jaguars (14-1).

Wausau West 61, Franklin 6: West (20-0), ranked No. 1 in the state, steam rolled the Sabers (18-5) by winning 13 of 14 matches, posted six pins, two technical falls and two major decisios cruise into a semifinal against Ashwaubenon.

“This was the best team we have ever had up here and look what they did to us,” said Franklin coach Louis Brown. “I knew it was going to be a tough one. They are very solid, top to bottom.”

Franklin’s lone victory came from junior Alex Worzella, who pinned West senior Tyler Utecht in 4 minutes 49 seconds.  

Kaukauna 49, Milton 6: The No. 2-ranked Ghosts (20-2) won 12 of the 14 matches and were never threatened in the dual. Kaukauna opened the dual by winning the first eight matches to take a 31-0 lead and never looked back. Milton finished the year at 13-2. Picking up victories for Milton were seniors Nate Rogers (171) and Nick Gibson (285).

2008 Team Preview Kurth Returns

By Joe Shinners

It's been a while since Pewaukee Pirates wrestling coach Ed Kurth officially led a squad to the state team wrestling tournament.

The last time was 1999, when he coached Milwaukee Pulaski to the state team tournament for the second consecutive year.

That doesn't mean Kurth hasn't been preparing the Pirates for their first berth in the tournament, which begins Friday and runs through Saturday at the Fieldhouse at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Since Kurth took over at Pewaukee eight years ago, he has required his wrestlers to attend the tournament, formerly located at West Allis Central and since 2005 at the Fieldhouse. And he's had the Pirates continue to practice until the end of the team tournament each year. Just in case they qualified. Just to be ready.

Finally, Kurth can formally load a bus of Pirates headed to the state team wrestling tournament to compete. No longer do they have to sit in the stands and watch or toil through preparation in the wrestling practice room in hopes of going to the tournament.

“(The Pirates) put up with a lot of me yelling at them and getting on them,” Kurth admitted. “Now they are getting the recognition. We feel very good about our team and our accomplishments.”

Pewaukee, ranked No. 8 in the state among Division 2 teams by the Crossface, is to face No. 2-ranked Lodi in the semifinals at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The winner it to face the winner of the semifinal between No. 1-ranked Luxemburg-Casco (14-2) and No. 3-ranked Ellsworth (15-6) in the final at 6 p.m. Saturday.

It has been a season of ups and downs this year for Pewaukee with a young team that includes four senior starters and seven wrestlers with 30 or more victories. Strong tournaments were followed by poor tournaments as the Pirates grew this year.

A second-place finish at the Battle on the Bay at Bay Port was followed by a sixth-place finish at the Mid-States Invitational at UW-Whitewater was followed by an 18th place finish at the Cheesehead in Kaukauna.

“I think we are the underdogs again,” said Kurth. “Just like all year.”

Lodi has won the tournament twice and has finished second four times.

Still, Pewaukee has been able to keep matches close this year by avoiding pins and technical falls. That is what the Pirates did to overcome Sheboygan Falls by a 29-28 margin to advance. The last two years, Pewaukee lost in the sectional final.

“Right now the young kids just get it,” Kurth said. “When it’s all said and done, the guys go out to win every time they go on the mat. Guys when they lose, if they wrestled really hard, the other guys on the team know it and feed off it.”

  Lodi had six state qualifiers to the individual tournament a week ago, four of whom placed. Pewaukee had four state qualifiers, three of whom placed.

The Pirates are led by junior David Phillips (48-5 at 145 pounds), senior John Hrabik (43-7 at 152) and junior Josh Mohr (41-11 at 189). Phillips and Mohr each placed third last week.

Kurth knows his team will need another stellar showing to upend Lodi.

“We can’t duck everybody in the lineup,” Kurth said. “We have a chance to beat some state qualifiers with kids who did not go to state. I’m pretty confident going into the team tournament. We feed off each other. But we’re going to definitely have to win big matches.”

2008 Indy State Notes

2008 Indy State Notes

By Joe Shinners

  Day 1

Stars of the day: Nick Hucke, Arrowhead; Billy Schlottke, Mukwonago. The area’s two returning state champions advanced easily with two blowout victories apiece to remain undefeated. Hucke (37-0) posted two pins and rolled into his third straight final, this time at 135. He is to face Verona senior Justin Garcia (39-3). Schlottke (43-0) picked up two major decisions to advance to his third consecutive semifinal and second straight at 152. Schlottke is to face Kaukauna junior Eric Vanevenoven (42-4) in the semis. 

Quote of the day: “I am worried about Brad Baus. He finished off the match and came over to me in tears. He’s the toughest kid I ever coached and to see him come over in tears, I knew something was wrong,” Mukwonago coach Andy Trudell on the possible injury to his star 189-pounders shoulder during the quarterfinals. Baus, who posted his 102nd career pin in the preliminaries, held on to beat Muskego senior Kyle Castellion by a 10-3 decision but may not be able to wrestle in the semifinals against top-ranked Kaukauna senior Joe Budi (47-0).

Upsets of the day: Muskego senior Scott Lau (41-5) wasn’t given much of a chance against Arrowhead freshman Jake Sueflohn (44-4) in their 119-pound quarterfinal, but turned the tables late in the match and pulled out a 6-4 overtime victory. Lau is to face Chippewa Falls Martino  Balsiger (38-4) in the semis. Franklin junior Chris Strike (35-9) was supposed to be one and out at this tournament at 112 pounds, instead he turned back heavily favored Janesville Parker senior Ryan Holden (36-1) in the preliminaries.

Anticipated showdown: Trevor Weinkauf (39-1) vs. Ashwaubenon senior Mike Taylor (40-1) in the Division 1 215-pound semifinals. This is the best matchup on paper in the semifinal round in Division 1 as Weinkauf, the area’s top 215-pounder, takes Taylor, the state’s No. 1-ranked 215-pounder. Weinkauf defeated Brookfield Central senior Jake Taylor, 6-2, in the quarterfinals an a showdown of the top two 215-pounders in the area.


Ugly injury: Kenosha St. Joseph senior Austin Lemens (40-3) advanced in the preliminaries at 119 in Division 3, but not the way he wanted. Lemens  built a 9-4 lead against Manitowoc Roncalli senior Jacob Harvey (24-18). Lemens went trip Harvey to bring him to the mat when Harvey’s knee gave way to open the third quarter. He was take to an area hospital for an examination. “It’s something I do every day in practice and in matches,” said Lemens. “I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”

Oh, so close: Oconomowoc sophomore Zach Mommaerts (40-5) came within two seconds of scoring the top upset of the day in his quarterfinal match against defending D1 103 champ Alex Becka (44-2). Mommaerts was nearing a takedown when the third-period buzzer sounded as Becka held on for a 3-2 victory

Day 2

  Star of the day: Zac Cibula, sr., Luxemburg-Casco. Cibula (41-4), a three-time Division 2 state champion, neared his fourth title by defeating Bloomer Andy Marquardt (37-5) by a pin in 3 minutes 32 seconds. Cibula is to face Mosinee junior Jordan Schlute (40-2) in the final. Cubula won the 130 title in 2005, the 140 title in 2006 and the 145 title in 2007.

Upset of the day: Verona senior Andres Caceres (36-11) used a takedown with 2 seconds left to upset No. 1-ranked Wausau West senior Shawn Perry (39-3) by a 6-4 decision in the 140-pound semifinals. Caceres is to face Marshfield freshman Brad Dolezal (34-2) in the final. Dolezal defeated Port Washington senior Jack Flack by a 6-4 decision.

Quote of the day: “I’m lovin’ it. To come this far is just amazing,” Kenosha St. Joseph senior Austin Lemens after he advanced to the Division 3 final at 119 pounds with a 4-2 overtime victory over Mineral Point sophomore Dylan Schroeder. Lemens wasn’t expected to move past the semifinals.

Anticipated showdowns: Nothing is bigger in Division 1 than the 189-pound final between Ashwaubenon senior Jody VanLaanen and Kaukauna senior Joe Budi (48-0). Budi (48-0) won the title at 189 a year ago. VanLaanen (29-1) won the 171 title a year ago. In Division 2, two returnign champions will face off for the 125 title. Chetek/Prairie Farm senior Thane Antczak (43-1), a two-time champion, will face Dodgeville senior Bobby Wunnicke (45-1), a three-time champion, for the final at 125.  

    No slip ups: Of the remaining 11 returning state champions, all advanced to the championship round. None of them had any problems. In Division 1, Manitowoc senior Alex Becka (45-2 at 103), Arrowhead senior Nick Hucke (38-0 at 135), Mukwonago senior Billy Schlottke (44-0 at 152) all advanced. In Division 2, Dodgeville senior Grant Sutter (42-3 at 112); Tomahawk junior Nick Hagar (48-0 at 140), Belleville/Monticello/New Glarus senior Cole Schmitt (44-1 at 145) and Luxemburg-Casco senior Nick Lloyd (40-4 at 189) all advanced (189). In Division 3, North Crawford/Seneca junior Dylan Kansier (40-1 at 103), Manitowoc Roncalli senior Matt Gille (35-1 at 152) and Cashton senior Andrew Dahl (48-2 at 119) all advanced.

East Troy gets finalist: East Troy junior David Edwards defeated Lodi senior Doug Schutz by a 15-2 major decision to reach the Division 2 final at 135 pounds. Edwards is to face Ellsworth junior Hayden Hauschildt (39-5) in the finals.

Champs stop Pewaukee: Pewaukee sent a pair to the semifinals, but both came away with loses in Division 2. At 145, Pewaukee junior David Phillips (46-5) lost by a 12-2 major decision to Schmitt, a two-time state champ. At 189, Pewaukee junior Josh Mohr (39-11) lost by a 7-2 decision to Lloyd, the defending 189 champion.

Lewis, Kuester, Roum fall short: Greenfield junior J.R. Lewis (35-7) was unable to secure a takedown in the final seconds and lost to Hortonville senior Jake Abhold by a 2-1 decision at 152 in D1. At 145, Waukesha North senior Jerick Kuester (29-1) saw his perfect season end in a 14-1 loss to Tomah senior Jacob McGinnis (46-2). At 189, West Allis Central senior Tony Roum (38-5) was pinned by VanLaanen in 3:53. 

Day 3

Stars of the day: Two wrestlers won titles by defeating returning state champions. Dodgeville senior Bobby Wunnicke (46-1) defeated Chetek/Prairie Farm senior Thane Antczak (43-2) by an 8-4 decision to win the Division 2 title at 125 pounds. Antczak finished with two career titles. Wunnicke finished his career with a record of 175-3 and four titles, pushing to nine the number of four-time champions. Kaukauna senior Joe Budi (49-0) capped a perfect season by defeating Ashwaubenon senior Jody VanLannen (29-2) by an 8-1 decision in the Division 1 189-pound final. Budi won the 189 title a year ago and finished with a 164-17 record. VanLaanen won the 171 title a year ago and finished with a record of 145-9.

Quote of the day: "I love the Kohl Center. I've got a lot of good memories here," Arrowhead senior Nick Hucke after winning his third Division 1 title at the state individual tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Upset of the day: Hortonville senior Anthony VandeHei (36-2) used a takedown with 15 seconds remaining to stun No. 1-ranked Green Bay Preble/East senior Malachi Root (47-1) and steal the Division 1 125-pound title. Root was a heavy favorite after advancing to the final a year ago and was a four-time state qualifier.

Another fourth: Luxemburg-Casco senior Zak Cibula (42-4) won his fourth Division 2 title by defeating Mosinee junior Jordan Schulte (40-3) by a 7-3 decision at 152 pounds. Cibula finished his career with a mark of 183-11.

Three get third: Tomahawk junior Nick Hagar, Belleville Monticello/New Glarus senior Cole Schmitt and Cashton senior Andrew Dahl all won their third title. Hagar (49-0) defeated Belleville junior Kalvin York (45-1) by a 5-4 decision in overtime to win the 140 D2 title. Schmitt (45-1) defeated Waupaca junior Cody Stichman (19-2) by a 7-3 decision in D2 at 145. Dahl (49-2) defeated Kenosha St. Joseph senior Austin Lemens (42-4) by a 13-1 major decision to win the D3 119 title. Hagar pushed his career record to 148-5 and became his school's first three-time winner. Cibula finished his career at 183-11. Dahl finished his career at 174-13.

Maranatha gets title: Maranatha Baptist Academy sophomore Donny Simson (33-0) used a late flurry to win his first title, and his school's along the way. Simson's takedown and three-point nearfall in the final 7 seconds allowed him to pull out a 12-7 victory over Marshall senior Hans Hansen in the D3 final at 135 pounds.

Edwards loses: East Troy junior David Edwards (43-4) lost to Ellsworth junior Hayden Hauschildt (40-5) by a 9-2 decision in the Division 2 135 final. Edwards was trying to become East Troy's first champion since Tom Larson won the 112 title in 1988.

Total attendance: 63,506.     

2008 Indy State Day 2 - Olson Gets Relief

By Joe Shinners

    Madison – There are many emotions that litter the floor of the Kohl Center following the semifinals at the state individual wrestling tournament.

For Muskego sophomore Derek Olson, the only emotion he felt was relief.

Olson completely controlled his Division 1 semifinal against Ashwaubenon junior Zach Geyer and emerged with a 6-1 victory to advance to the 130-pound final Friday night at the Kohl Center.

Olson improved his record to 44-3 this year and is to face Sauk Prairie senior Matt Gaffney (44-1) in the finals, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Olson’s built a 4-0 lead through two periods and was never in jeapordy in the match as he solidly held Geyer (42-7) in check to advance.

“For me, it is a bit of weight off my shoulders,” said Olson, who entered high school with high expectations as one of the area’s top youth wrestlers. “I had a bad experience up here last year and didn’t get past the quarterfinals. Buy you have to learn from your mistakes. This win makes it all worth while.”

Gaffney defeated Arrowhead senior Arik Yde (43-6) by a 7-3 decision in the other semifinals.

Olson is Muskego’s first finalist since 2003, the year Jeremy Petfalski fell short in his bid for a title at 145. Muskego’s other semifinalist, senior Scott Lau, lost, 10-4, to Chippewa Falls senior Martino Balsiger at 119 pounds.

Olson, though, was rock-solid.

“He controlled it from start to finish,” said Muskego coach Ted Price. “When he does that, he should be right where he is – in the finals.”

Hucke rolls for Arrowhead: Two-time state champion Nick Hucke, a senior from Arrowhead, had no problems in his third consecutive semifinal appearance in Division 1.

Hucke built a 10-1 lead and nearly posted a pin early in the second period, eventually posting a 10-4 victory over Verona senior Justin Garcia (38-0) in the semis at 135 pounds.

Hucke is to face Fond du Lac senior Ben Thone (41-7) in the final.


         Hucke was the only one of three Arrowhead semifinalists to win. Other than Yde, junior James Clark (40-3), a two-time semifinalist, lost by a 3-1 decision in overtime to Hortonville senior Anthony VandeHei (35-2) in their 125 semi.

VandeHei is to face No. 1-ranked Green Bay Preble/East senior Malachi Root (47-00 in the final at 125.

Hucke, unlike Yde and Clark, was able to get his offense going right off the bat.

“We want to go out and get in position to score points,” said Arrowhead coach John Mesenbrink. “That’s exactly what (Hucke) does. That’s the difference with Hucke.”

Schlottke gets scare: Mukwonago defending 152-pound state champion Billy Schlottke (44-0), a senior, received a scare in his semifinal against Kaukauna junior Eric Vanevenoven (42-5)in their match at 152.

Schlottke already had given up a reversal on a sloppy ride, then nearly got caught for nearfall points when he was cradled out of bounds by Vanevenoven in a match that was tied at the time 3-3 with 22 seconds left in the match.

“I knew I was out of bounds,” Schlottke said. “I was still scared. But sometimes it pays to know the rule book.”

Schlottke recovered and quickly escaped and scored an escape and a takedown. He is to face Hortonville senior Jake Abhold (33-8) in the final.

Vanevenhoven didn’t offer much offense, but did frustrate Schlottke with a leg ride that eventually drew a stalling penalty on Schlottke.

“He didn’t do much,” said Schlottke. “It sucks when you wrestle a kid like that.”

Mukwonago’s other semifinalist, senior Brad Baus, had to forfeit his match with a separated shoulder against Kaukauna senior Joe Budi (48-0). Baus entered the match at 43-0 and was credited with his first loss of the season, denying the crowd a much-hyped showdown.

“That’s too bad,” said Mukwonago coach Andy Trudell. “(Baus) would have given it a go, that’s for sure.” 

Lemmer eyes title: Milwaukee Bradley Tech senior Jeff Lemmer (51-0) is the third brother in his family to advance to the state meet. Now he’s the first to advance to the finals.

Lemmer defeated Kaukauna sophomore Noah Budi by a 9-4 decision to advance to the final at 160. Lemmer is to face Elkhorn junior Richard Kessler (33-3) in the final.

Lemmer is trying to become the first Tech state champion since Bob Morales won the 112 title in 1978.

“Now that I’m in the finals, I have nothing to lose,” said Lemmer. “It’s just the last match. I’m going to relax until tomorrow and get going again.”

Dieringer, Thielke move on: Port Washington freshman Alex Dieringer (44-0) and Germantown freshman Jesse Thielke (45-0) both advanced to the finals in their respective weight classes.

Dieringer allowed one escape and basically rode La Crosse Logan junior Billy Lorenz (40-3) into the mat en rout to a 6-1 victory in their semi at 103. Dieringer is to face defending champion Alex Becka (45-2), a senior from Manitowoc, in the finals. Dieringer has already beaten Becka twice this year.

Thielke was turned for nearfall points by Shawano freshman Jered Kust (41-3), but easily escaped the situation and went on to a 7-3 decision in their semi at 112 pounds.

Thielke is to face Wisconsin Rapids senior Carl DeLuca (43-2) in the final at 112.

Neither seemed too impressed with their victories.

“We’re used to it,” said Dieringer. “I’ll celebrate when I win the title.”

Added Thielke: “I wasn’t nervous when I got turned. I’m not one to freak out when I get scored on. I just keep on wrestling.”

Zeitler pulls surprise: Wisconsin Lutheran senior Kevin Zeitler (43-1) used a powerful ride to subdue Janesville Parker senior Harold Lloyd (39-2) in a 3-2 decision in their 285 semi.

Zeitler, the first Lutheran wrestlers to advance to the finals, is to face No. 1-ranked Ashwaubenon senior Zak Saevre (47-0) in the 285 final.

Zeitler came away surprised.

“I didn’t even think I’d get out of the first round, or the second,” he said. “I’m shocked.”

Lemens scores upset: Kenosha St. Joseph senior Austin Lemens (42-3) registered a takedown at the buzzer in overtime to beat Mineral Point sophomore Dylan Schroeder (40-4) by a 4-2 decision in one Division 3 semifinal.

Lemens advanced to face top-ranked Cashton senior Andrew Dahl (48-2), a two-time state champ, in the final.

Simpson earns history: Maranatha Baptist Academy Donny Simpson (32-0) defeated Brillion senior Jared Plate (28-1) by a 9-4 decision in one Division 3 semifinal at 135 pounds.

Simpson is the first Academy wrestler to advance to the finals in school history.

2008 Indy State Day 1 - Lemmer Advances

By Joe Shinners

    Madison – Jeff Lemmer erased three years of frustration with one quick shot and two standout performances at the state individual wrestling tournament Thursday at the Kohl Center in Madison.

    Without a victory in his previous two trips to the state tournament, Lemmer can finally breath a bit easier as he heads into the semifinals, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday. He also kept his record unblemished and improved to 50-0 one year after entering the tournament with an undefeated record and losing his only match.

    Lemmer defeated Milwaukee Custer sophomore Davion Willis (38-9) by a pin in 1 minute 1 second in a Division 1 160-pounds preliminary and then saved his best moment for his quarterfinal showdown against Stevens Point junior Ben Provisor (39-2).

    Lemmer and Provisor were locked in a 1-1 defensive struggle with both wreslters struggling to initiate any offense. Lemmer, though, remained persisted throughout the third period and registered a takedown with 27 seconds to go in overtime to pull out a 3-1 victory and advance to the semifinals.

    In the semifinals, Lemmer is to face Kaukauna sophomore Noah Budi (41-4), who posted an upset in his quarterfinal by beating previously unbeaten La Crosse Central senior Theo Jensen-Innis (42-1) by a 2-1 decision in their quarterfinal.

    “After coming up here a couple times and not doing that well and being in the tough half of the bracket, it feels good,” said Lemmer. “It feels really good.”

    Once Lemmer grabbed hold of Provisor’s leg in the overtime, the Point star stopped wrestling and Lemmer was able to slide behind for the takedown.

    Provisor and his coach complained that Lemmer had grabbed Provisor’s headgear to gain offensive position but the referee didn’t agree and didn’t blow  his whistle.

    “He just stopped,” said Lemmer. “No matter what, you can’t stop. It’s a ref’s decision. You have to keep going.”

     Dieringer, Thielke roll: North Shore Conference freshman sensations Alex Dieringer of Port Washington and Jesse Thielke of Germantown continued to perform this year like seasoned seniors instead of the freshman they are as both roared into the semifinals with relative ease.

    Dieringer (43-0) posted an 11-0 major decision over Janesville Craig freshman Siven Furseth (40-1) in their quarterfinal at 103 pounds.

    Dieringer had no problems turning Furseth at will after the opening takedown, posting three three-point nearfalls and dominating the match to hand Furseth his first loss of the year.

    Dieringer said he wasn’t feeling any nerves, especially after finishing third twice in national youth tournaments. Dieringer is to face La Crosse Logan junior Billy Lorenz (40-2) in the semifinals.

“No, I’m used to it,” he said. “I just go out there and get the takedown and try for the pin.”

    Port also saw senior Jack Flack advance to the semifinals.

Thielke (44-0) pinned Franklin junior Chris Strike (34-8) in 4:56 to advance. Thielke is to face Shawano freshman Jared Kust (41-2) in the semis.

    Strike surprised many by advancing to the quarters with an 2-1 overtime victory over previously undefeated Janesville Parker senior Ryan Holden (36-1).

    “I wasn’t surprised,” said Thielke. “I wrestle with him at my club. He’s a good wrestler. Today was a good day. I started fast and I kept it going.”

    As afar as the pressure, Thielke is unfazed after national success in big tournaments.

    “I’m used to it,” he said. “It is awesome every time.”

    Olson upends Monk: Twice this year Muskego sophomore Derek Olson lost to Wausau West junior Steven Monk, once by 6-3 and once by 2-1. The streak ended in the 130 quarterfinals.

    Trailing by 3-0 entering the third period, Olson (43-3) shrugged off a tweaked knee scored the decisive takedown with 21 seconds to go and then held on for a 6-5 victory over Monk (45-4) advance to the semifinals for the first time in his second trip to state.

    “I knew if I wanted to win a state title I had to beat everybody anyway,” said Olson, who will face Ashwaubenon junior Zack Geyer (42-6) in the semifinals.

    Monk circled the mat as Olson recovered from the injury, and it sparked the Musekgo sophomore.

    “I knew I was going to beat him at the end,” Olson said. “It just gave me more motivation to win.”

    Muskego also saw senior Scott Lau (41-5) advance to the semifinals at 119 with a 6-4 overtime victory over Arrowhead freshman Jake Sueflohn (44-4).

    Muksego advanced a pair to the semis for the first time.

    “We went from having a really bad day to a great day in a hurry,” said Muskego coach Ted Price.”

    Zeitler powers ahead: Wisconsin Lutheran senior 285-pounder Kevin Zeitler (42-1) used his bulk and strength to overpower 6-foot-6 Whitnall senior David Witkiewicz (46-2) in a 4-3 decision in the quarterfinals.

    Zeitler was the only area heavyweight to win in the quarterfinals. He is to face Janesville Parker senior Harold Lloyd (30-2) in the semifinals.

    Mixed results for Arrowhead: Arrowhead started the day on fire as the Warhawks went 8-2 to open preliminary round, but stumbled to a 3-5 finish in the quarterfinals.

    Advancing for the Warhawks were senior two-time state champion Nicke Hucke (37-0 at 135), sophomore James Clark (40-2 at 125) and senior Arik Yde (43-5 at 130).

    “It’s tough,” said Arrowhead coach John Mesenbrink. “You have a chance to get eight in the finals and you get three. But we have eight guys going tomorrow. I’m pleased with our guys. They battled. That’s the kind of effort you need in the wrestlebacks.”

    Also advancing from the Classic 8 Conference were Mukwonago senior state champion Billy Schlottke (43-0 at 152), senior Brad Baus (43-0 at 189) and Waukesha North senior Jerick Keuster (29-0 at 140). Baus was taked to the hospital after his 10-3 decision over Muskego senior Kyle Castellion (38-7) to have his shoulder and collar bone examined for either a sprain, separation or break.

    Lewis moves on: Greenfield junior J.R. Lewis (35-6) advanced to the semifinals in an upset at 152 pounds. Lewis defeated Milwaukee Custer senior Dwayne Hale (30-3) by a 5-4 decision and gave himself a great shot at the 152 final against Schlottke.

    Lewis is to face Hortonville senior Jake Abhold (32-8) in the semis.

Roum’s road tough: West Allis Central senior Tony Roum improved to 38-2 with a 17-7 major decision over Arrowhead senior Eric Herbert (37-14) in the quarterfinals. Roum’s next opponent will be Ashwaubenon senior Jody VanLaanen (28-1) in the semis. VanLaanen won the 171 title a year ago.

This article was first published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Schlottke’s Future in his Hands

By Joe Shinners

    Billy Schlottke’s final goal this year rests in his hands, and his alone.

    One week after the Mukwonago wrestling star experienced extreme disappointment when his team lost a shot a berth in the state team sectionals following a loss to Arrowhead at regionals, Schlottke can now focus on a march toward another state individual wrestling title.

    That task continues this weekend at the Watertown Sectional, scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The top two place-winners in 14 weight classes advance to the state individual tournament next weekend at the Kohl Center in Madison.

    Schlottke, the top-ranked 152-pounder in the state, wanted it all this year – Mukwonago present at the state team tournament for the fourth consecutive year and another individual Division 1 state title.

    Unfortunately, he’ll have to settle for the latter as he tries to add another trophy to his family’s collective mantle.

    “I’m a little upset right now,” said Schlottke after his team lost last weekend. “Right now, though, it’s my goal to win state. I’m excited. I’m taking it one match at a time. I’m not overlooking anyone.”

    Schlottke (38-0), the defending 152-pound Division 1 state champion, is one of five undefeated wrestlers at Watertown.

Also present is Arrowhead senior Nick Hucke (31-0 at 135), a two-time state champion, Mukwonago senior Brad Baus (38-0 at 189), Germantown freshman Jesse Thielke (39-0 at 112) and Waukesha North senior Jerick Kuester (24-0 at 145).

    Schlottke’s main competition at the sectional will come from Sussex Hamilton senior Jesse Hintz (32-5) and Arrowhead senior Torsten Nieminen (30-9).

    On a statewide level, Schlottke’s threat comes from Sauk Prairie senior Brett Ballweg (38-0). Others in the mix at 152 include Kaukauna junior Eric Vanevenoven (36-4), Muskego senior Jake Schilling (37-4) and Milwaukee Custer senior Dwayne Hale (26-2).

Mukwonago coach Andy Trudell isn’t worried about the competition this weekend or next weekend.

    “I don’t think he has to worry about anybody,” Trudell said. “He just has to go out and wrestle his style and be the aggressor. I’m not worried about anybody. It’s up to Billy to win the championship, and if he wrestles well, he’ll do so.” 

     Schlottke finished second at 145 in Division 1 as a sophomore with a 35-3 record, losing to Wisconsin Rapids’ Kevin Tritz by a 9-3 decision.

A year ago, Schlottke won the 152 title by defeating Merrill’s Aaron Erickson by a 10-4 decision to become the fourth member of his family to win an individual wrestling title. He finished the year 47-0 and led Mukwonago to the state team tournament. Now, he’s trying to become the second Schlottke with at least two titles.

It’s been a rough year for Schlottke and the Mukwonago athletic family with a tragic car crash to start the year, stops and starts from all the snowfall and a few nagging injuries. It has all added up to more pressure for Schlottke. 

“It’s been rough,” said Trudell. “But he’s a competitor, and I don’t doubt for a second that he’s going to win another state title. He’ll find a way to win when it matters.”

Trudell’s star wrestler has taken it all in stride, and kept the situation in perspective, including the nerves and high expectations from peers.

“I feel them before every match,” said Schlottke. “I probably have a target on my back because I’m a returning state champ. It’s a normal thing. Everyone gets nervous. It just depends how you handle it mentally.”

This article was first published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisco’s Bid Falls Short of Muskego

By Joe Shinners

    Muskego Warriors wrestling coach Ted Price saw his team get a bit of a surprise test on its way to the state team wrestling tournament.

    It came in a spirited performance by the Wisconsin Lutheran Vikings Tuesday night at the Milwaukee Custer team sectional final.

    Muskego, on the strength of its lower weights, broke open a 24-24 tie with three consecutive pins and went on to defeat the Vikings, 48-24, as the Warriors earned their first trip to the state team tournament since 2004 and seventh overall.

    Muskego (15-0), ranked No. 1 in the area, and Price, however, will not face Wisocnsin Rapids in the first round, as he expected. Muskego will face Ashwaubenon, which knocked off Rapids, 32-31, in the Ashwaubenon Sectional final. Rapids had advanced to every team tournament since 1995 and won every Division 1 title in that span except in 2002.

    The Vikings (19-3), ranked No. 7 in the area, tried everything to stop the area’s top team. Lutheran coach Darrell Roecker shifted all of his wrestlers from 152 to 171 pounds up a weight class to try and create some mismatches that the Vikings could take advantage of in the dual that began at 140.

    “Wisconsin Lutheran made an aggressive move to go for the win,” said Price. “They didn’t come in to just make it interesting. They went for the win. They moved right up against some of our better kids, and I give them a lot of credit for taking that risk and going for the win.”

Lutheran senior Cody Petersen was able to pin Muskego senior Steve Laupan at 160 in 4 minutes 48 seconds as the Vikings took an 11-10 lead. The luck ended there.

At 171, Muskego senior Jason Greuttner scored a 17-2 technical fall in 5:05 over Lutheran junior Mike Buell in 5:05. And in the top match of the dual, Muskego senior Kyle Castellion had to hold on for a 6-5 decision at 189 over Lutheran junior John Klein and a 18-11 Muskego lead.

“The 189 match, if we can get that one, then it could have been a match,” said Roecker. “That is a very good Muskego team. They are strong. But I was proud. I felt we came out with good effort.”

Lutheran tied the dual, 24-24, after sophomore Mason McMullen posted a 12-2 major decision over Muskego junior Scott Wieting at 112.

It was all Muskego after that as sophomore Jordan Lau (119), senior Scott Lau (125) and sophomore Jordan Sowinski (130) all registered pins to secure Muskego’s trip to team state and first since the tournament moved to Madison.

“We’ve never wrestled (as a team) at the Fieldhouse,” said Price. “It’s my old stomping grounds. We’re definitely going to have fun up there.” 

Arrowhead Nips Mukwonago

By Joe Shinners

    Waukesha – All year long, the Arrowhead Warhawks wrestling team felt the Mukwonago Indians nipping at their heels.

    Every time, the Warhawks relied upon a powerhouse run of wrestlers from 119 pounds to 140 pounds to turn the Indians away.

    That was the difference again for the third and final time as Arrowhead beat back Mukwonago Saturday at the Waukesha West Regional.

    Arrowhead saw all five wrestlers in the strength of their lineup win individual titles and the Warhawks advanced 13 wrestlers to individual sectionals to score 258.5 points and win the team title. Mukwonago finished second with 238.5 points, followed by Oconomowoc (142.5) and Waukesha North (140.5) at the eight-team regional.

    The top-four individuals in the 14 weight classes advanced to the Watertown Sectional next Saturday. Arrowhead is to face Brookfield East on at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Arrowhead in the team sectional final. East won the Sussex Hamilton Regional.

    For Arrowhead, the title was in doubt all after noon as Mukwonago equaled the Warhawks match for match and victory for victory as Arrowhead clung to a 10-point lead.

    But in the championship round of wrestling, Arrowhead finally took control. Arrowhead won eight of 14 matches in the round while Mukwonago won seven prior to the wrestlebacks. The slight difference, combined with pins, was enough for Arrowhead.

    “It was a fierce battle,” said Arrowhead coach John Mesenbrink. “It was an awesome performance by Mukwonago to make it tough for us. This whole season they have made it tough for us and made us raise our level of performance. It raised the performance of both of our teams.”

    In the teams’ Classic 8 Conference dual, Mukwonago won 8 of 14 matches but lost by a 30-28 margin. At the conference tournament last week, Arrowhead rallied to post a 34.5-point victory.

In the end, it was Arrowhead and its run of champions that proved to be too much for Mukwonago, and denied the Indians a repeat trip to the team sectionals. The teams split their matches against each in the sectional other at 6-6.

Arrowhead freshman Jake Sueflohn (40-3) started the run with a 15-0 technical fall in 4 minutes over Waukesha North senior Nick Rynders (16-10) at 119. In between were victories by junior James Clark (34-2 at 125), senior Arik Yde (38-5 at 130) and two-time state champion Nick Hucke (32-0 at 135), the team’s emotional leader. Senior Chris Senner (32-2 at 140) finished the run off by defeating Waukesha South senior Zach Barndt (22-14) by a 9-1 decision.

“There were a few matches that I felt we could have won,” said Mukwonago coach Andy Trudell. “But we had to wrestle a perfect tournament to beat Arrowhead, and we didn’t do it. We had our chances though. We gave it a pretty good run.”

 It wasn’t as if Mukwonago went away empty-handed. The Indians qualified all 14 wrestlers to sectionals for the first time, and saw it’s two big weapons – seniors Billy Schlottke and Brad Baus – remain undefeated this year with impressive performances.

Schlottke (39-0), the two-time state finalist and defending 152-pound Division 1 state champ, had no trouble. He beat Arrowhead senior Torsten Nieminen (31-9) by a 13-4 major decision to win the 152 title. Baus (38-0) beat Arrowhead senior Eric Herbert (32-12) by a 7-1 decision.

 Other notable champions included Oconomowoc sophomore Zach Mommaerts (36-4 at 103) and Waukesha North senior Jerick Kuester (25-0 at 145). Mommaerts had his season cut short after regionals last year due to a broken arm; Kuester was a state qualifier last year.

Port Again Rules Northshore

By Joe Shinners

    Port Washington – Port Washington Pirates wrestling coach Eric LaRosa and his team can now turn their attention to the formidable task of toppling the Kaukauana Ghosts for the second time this month.

    That won’t be as easy as a task as dispatching the rest of the field Saturday at the North Shore Conference Tournament at Port.

    The Pirates, ranked No. 4 in the area, won the league title for the seventh consecutive year by sending 10 of 14 wrestlers to the final, winning eight conference titles, placing all 14 wrestlers and scoring 298 points.

    Cedarburg finished a distant second with 168.5 points, followed by Grafton with 152 and Homestead with 148.

    Port’s top nine wrestlers, led by the Dieringer brothers, entered the tournament with only 30 combined losses between them after a strong schedule this year that included a victory a week ago over Kaukauna at the Pulaski Invitational.

    Freshman Alex Dieringer and junior Andy Dieringer continued to impress at the North Shore tournament. Alex (35-0) pinned Germantown freshman Cody Szohr (22-11) in 2 minutes 48 seconds to win the title at 103 and keep pace with Germantown’s sensational freshman Jesse Thielke (35-0) as the league’s only two undefeated wrestlers.

Andy (32-2) pinned Cedarburg junior Chris Winkel (28-10) in 1:38 to win the 135 title.

Also winning titles for Port were senior Jon Meins (32-3 at 119), junior Tony Werner (19-5 at 125), senior Jack Flack (31-4 at 140), senior Bryan Steinmetz (31-4 at 171), junior Brock Henke (17-14 at 189) and senior Matt Neumyer (23-2 at 285).

 “Overall, I’d say it was a good day,” said LaRosa. “It went pretty much the way I though it would. Our top nine guys, they are supposed to win. Now we need the other guys to win the close matches at the regional (against Kaukauna).”

Thielke and Cedarburg junior Kyle Householder (31-4), a 103 state qualifier a year ago, were the only wrestlers to stop Port’s wrestlers in the finals.

Thielke, ranked No. 2 in the state, was again impressive as he pinned Port freshman Jake Maechtle (19-5) in 1:44 to win the 112 title. Maechtle, ranked No. 5 in the state, was unable to offer much resistance in the match.

Househoulder beat Port junior Eric Croatt (25-7) by a 3-1 decision in the final at 130 to even their series this year at 1-1.

Steinmetz found himself in a difficult position right off the whistle in his match against Homestead senior Nick Fleischman (19-6) in the 171 final. Fleischman scored a takedown and a two-point nearfall to take a 4-0 lead before Steinmetz took control by scoring eight points and posting a pin in 1:53.

Neumyer’s title was difficult, too, as he needed a late takedown to hold on for a 4-1 decision over Homestead junior Teiko Amuzu (16-8) in the final at 285.

Still, LaRosa feels his team is ready to win the Kimberly Regional next weekend and again stop Kaukauna, which the Pirates beat at Pulaski by 9.5 points.

 “I think (Steinmetz) was just a little too excited,” said LaRosa. “He got off his back. He was just a little too fired up. We still have some work to do. But our guys are battle tested. We’ve wrestled the best in the state this year. There are no more surprises this year.”