January 27 Dempsey

Wrestler of the Week - January 27

Josh DempseyBrookfield East. The senior remained undefeated this year by winning the 160-pound title at the 21-team Raider Invite at Sheboygan North to improve his record to 23-0. Dempsey knocked off a pair of ranked wrestlers on his way to the title and posted two other first-period pins at the tournament. In the final, Dempsey, ranked No. 5 in Division 1, defeated Menasha senior Bailey Whipple (27-2) by a 3-1 decision to win the title in a battle between two returning state qualifiers. Whipple is ranked No. 7 in Division 1. In the semifinals, Dempsey defeated Random Lake sophomore Helton Vandenbush (22-9) by a 5-2 decision. Vandenbush is ranked No. 7 in Division 3 at 160.

Dempsey also made quick work of his first two opponents at the tournament, registering pins in 11 and 48 seconds in the first two rounds.

Team of the Week - January 27

Oak Creek. The Knights have known all season long that one team stands in their way from a berth in the state team tournament: Burlington. The two teams are favored to meet in the Kenosha Bradford team sectional final next month. Oak Creek finally toppled Burlington, ranked No. 2 in the area, by two points at the Highlander Invitational at Homestead in the week’s biggest upset. Oak Creek finished with 458 points to Burlington’s 456. Burlington, it should be noted, was again without a 106-pounder at the meet. But in the team’s dual meet showdown at Burlington one week ago, Oak Creek was soundly beaten, 47-22. Oak Creek senior Ben Hakes (16-1 at 170) was out of the lineup in the dual meet but he recovered from an injured knee to win the 170 title at Homestead. He was the only Oak Creek wrestler to win a title but the Knights did send five wrestlers to the finals and had 10 wrestlers place fourth or higher. Oak Creek also held a 4-3 advantage in head-to-head matches against Burlington at the tournament. Burlington had three champions and four finalists but only three other wrestlers place in the top four.