Area wrestlers hoping to leave their mark at state
State rankings are nothing more than bragging rights during the regular season.
Come tournament time, they mean nothing.
The 71st annual WIAA individual state wrestling tournament begins today, and whether a wrestler comes in with one loss or 13 losses, where they are ranked is irrelevant. Where they finish is all that matters.
Division 1 preliminary matches begin at 3 p.m. today, followed by the quarterfinals at approximately 5:15 p.m. The Division 2 and 3 preliminary matches are scheduled to begin at approximately 7:15 p.m.
There are 19 former champions in the tournament field this year, and 17 seeking to defend the title they won last year.
“Kids know what kind of a record everybody has and who is ranked where,” Brodhead/Juda coach Tim Colden said. “But let's face it, once you get to state, everybody is 0-0. You can throw out records.
“Your state champions are going to be the kids that wrestle the best for those two or three days. It doesn't really matter what they did before state.”
Brodhead/Juda has three state qualifiers, led by sectional champions Gavin Baade and Logan Maurer, who are a combined 85-2 on the season. Maurer has long been the No. 1-ranked Division 2 wrestler at 285 pounds this year. Brady Colden, the coach's son, also qualified.
“Those three have been wrestling together since kindergarten,” Tim Colden said. “And they're pretty tight on and off the mat.
“All three of them have an excellent chance at state, but yet all three of them are different types of wrestlers. Gavin is a defensive wrestler with great hips. Brady is a very good mat wrestler and rider, while Logan doesn't wrestle anything like a heavyweight. He's very quick, but once he gets ahold of you, that's it.”
The only returning state champion from the area is Nolan Shea. The Milton High junior takes a 36-5 record into his Division 1 113-pound preliminary-round match today, after winning a state title at 106 pounds a year ago. Shea enters state as the No. 1 ranked wrestler, and he could face second-ranked Nathan Smith of Mukwonago in a quarterfinal match Thursday night.
The Red Hawks have five state qualifiers, including sectional champions Shea, Evan Whitehead (130) and Bowen Wileman (160). Alex Chesmore (132) and Dalton Shea (103) also qualified.
In Division 2, Evansville/Albany—which will compete in the state team wrestling meet on March 8—will send Jordan Meyer (132), Dustin Bjugstad (220) and Tyler Grant (170) into today's opening-round matches.
Edgerton's Sonny Schieldt qualified at 120 pounds in Division 2, while Delavan-Darien's Cody Chelminiak received a first-round bye in Division 2 after winning the 126-pound title at the sectional meet.
Elkhorn's Bryce Fitzgerald (120), Ryan Nelson (126), Konnor Mohr (130) and Dylan Linhart (220) compete in today's Division 1 opening round.
Area state wrestling qualifiers
Today's first-round pairings
106—Joey Ford, jr., Menomonie (36-6) vs. Dalton Shea, fr., Milton (35-8); AJ Kammeyer, sr., Chippewa Falls (39-7) vs. Airk Furseth, jr., Janesville Craig (22-1).
113—Nolan Shea, jr., Milton (36-5) vs. Jack Kalloch, sr., Nicolet (30-8).
120—Bradley Prentice, jr., Pulaski (17-6) vs. Bryce Fitzgerald, jr., Elkhorn (39-6).
126—Kolton Jansen, sr., Kaukauna (39-7) vs. Ryan Nelson, sr., Elkhorn (37-8).
132—Joshua Peltier, sr., Brookfield Central (37-6) vs. Alex Chesmore, jr., Milton (29-13).
138—Evan Whitehead, so., Milton (28-7) vs. Lucas Shenkenberg, jr., Burlington (28-15); Noah Larson, so., Franklin (22-8) vs. Konnor Mohr, so., Elkhorn (36-6).
152—Mason Stokke, so., Menomonie (40-3) vs. Zack Mulrooney, sr., Janesville Craig (30-8).
160—Zach Lennon, sr., Homestead (40-4) vs. Arstride Serrano, so., Janesville Craig (34-12); Tucker Hammer, jr., Cedarburg (31-12) vs. Bowen Wileman, jr., Milton (33-9).
170—Andrew Wojkiewicz, sr., Bay Port (35-13) vs. Keegan Foerster, sr., Fort Atkinson (38-5).
182—Jason Toshner, sr., Fond du Lac (37-5) vs. Brady Hansen, sr., Fort Atkinson (38-4).
220—Armante Davis, jr., Bradley Tech vs. Nick Somers, sr., Beloit Memorial (33-4); La'Ryan Johnson, jr., Kenosha Bradford vs. Dylan Linhart, jr., Elkhorn (37-8).
285—Hunter Hauser, sr., Holmen (39-1) vs. Dion Hupke, sr., Fort Atkinson (31-13).
Thursday's first-round pairings
120—Anders Lantz, fr., Ellsworth (36-13) vs. Sonny Schieldt, jr., Edgerton (39-4).
126—Sage Soppa, sr., Abbotsford (39-7) vs. Gabe Braam, so., East Troy (37-10).
132—Jordan Meyer, so., Evansville/Albany (38-3) vs. Dakota Danner, jr., Mayville (32-5); Jaden Winchel, fr., Sparta (35-13) vs. Ryan Engel, jr., East Troy (36-10).
160—Alex Peplinski, fr., Wittenberg (42-10) vs. Jeremy Dedick, so., East Troy; Ronny Ponick, jr., Stanley-Boyd, vs. Brady Colden, jr., Brodhead/Juda (43-4).
170—Tyler Grant, jr., Evansville/Albany (37-5) vs. Stetson Burmeister, so., Wrightstown (39-10).
220—Dylan Bauer, sr., Nekoosa (34-8) vs. Dustin Bjugstad, jr., Evansville/Albany (38-6).
Friday's quarterfinal pairings
113—Clay Lieber, jr., Nekoosa (38-5)/Cole Britton, so, Luck (31-8) winner vs. Cody Vogel, so., East Troy (40-5).
126—John Roddick, jr., Sparta (40-8)/Scott Cook, fr., New London (33-13) winner vs. Cody Chelminiak, sr., Delavan-Darien (40-4).
138—Bucky Nelson, jr., Chetek (31-15)/Max Obois, sr., Wisconsin Dells (36-11) winner vs. Andy Strey, jr., East Troy (46-4).
145—Jacob Poches, jr., Portage (34-6)/Austin Worachek, sr., Luxemburg-Casco (37-7) winner vs. Zack Lamb, sr., East Troy (35-8).
182—Dennis Schutz, sr., Ellsworth (22-3)/Brett Handschke, sr., New London (26-10) winner vs. Gavin Baade, jr., Brodhead/Juda (40-1).
285—Thor Riemer, sr., Osceola (37-4)/Tristin Holden, sr., Nekoosa (38-5) winner vs. Logan Maurer, jr., Brodhead/Juda (45-1).
Friday's quarterfinal pairing
220—Brenyn Schmit, sr., Mineral Point (43-3)/Keenan Richmond, sr., Menomonie Indian (40-11) winner vs. John Pronschinske, jr., Palmyra-Eagle (32-2).