Milton rolls to Southern Lakes Conference wrestling title
The Red Hawks, behind four individual champions, won their 15th straight overall Southern Lakes title by dominating the conference meet at Jefferson.
Milton finished with 228 points and had virtually wrapped up the title heading into the third- and fifth-place consolation matches. East Troy was a distant second with 186.5 points, and Elkhorn was third with 185.
With eight wrestlers in the finals and a 33-point lead heading into the title bouts, the Red Hawks again quieted the critics who said they weren’t good enough this year to win the tournament title.
“Our kids came to wrestle, and I really thought we dominated,” Milton co-coach Pat Jauch said. “We felt we were the best team in our conference all year, and I think we definitely proved it today.
“We never want to be out-conditioned. There are times you’re going to wrestle someone with more talent, and you can’t control that, but you can control whether you’re in better shape or not.”
The Red Hawks didn’t need any points in the finals to win the team title, but they still came away with their share of champions. Logan Brown started the parade of champions with a 13-11 overtime win over Tim Durkin of Elkhorn in the 130-pound title bout. The junior trailed late but rallied to tie the match at 11-11 before securing a takedown early in the overtime.
“I knew Durkin was a strong kid, but I thought he was getting tired at the end of the match so I tried to stay aggressive,” Brown said.
Brown said the team title was icing on the cake.
“We got sick of hearing that weren’t good enough to repeat, but we knew we could go out and prove on the mat that we were.”
In the featured bout of the tournament, Milton’s Shaun O’Neill decisioned Elkhorn’s Jeremiah Potter, 7-5. Saturday’s win was the second for O’Neill over Potter, the Lakes runner-up a year ago.
“I fell behind early, and that’s never a good thing to do,” O’Neill said of a 3-0 deficit. “Once I hit my move and got him on his back and took the lead, I thought I could hold on for the win.”
Milton’s other champions were Seth Underwood at 189 and Nick Gibson at 275.
East Troy’s Jacob Zess (119) and David Edwards (135) repeated as champions, along with Trojan junior Chesten Kesselhon at 160.
Kesselhon, who finished fourth in the state a year ago in Division 2, improved to 22-1 on the season. His only loss this season was on a disqualification for an illegal slam.
“It’s nice to win today, but I got my sets sight on a bigger goal and that’s winning a state title,” Kesselhon said. “I’ve really started pushing myself the last week or so, and I feel like I’m on track to reach my goal.”
The Red Hawks were on track Saturday.
With the Southern Lakes in the rearview mirror, Milton now sets its sights on qualifying for the WIAA state team tournament.
“Our kids know what’s at stake starting next Saturday,” Jauch said of the WIAA Division 1 regional competition. “That’s why we get after each other in practice.
“Everybody wants the same thing, and that’s a chance to wrestle at state.”
Milton 228, East Troy 186.5, Elkhorn 185, Fort Atkinson 166, Delavan-Darien 137, Jefferson 114, Whitewater 96.
Milton, 24 points; East Troy, 14; Elkhorn, 14; Delavan-Darien, 10; Fort Atkinson, 8; Jefferson, 4; Whitewater, 0.
103—Title: Seth Schmidt (Elk) dec. Cory Schuerman (FA), 9-2; Third: Ryan McDermott (Jef) dec. Jeff Myers (DD), 6-0.
112—Title: Emmanuel Valadez (Whi) pinned Devon Dixon (Mil), 3:50; Third: Peter Stephan (Elk) dec. Sean Staude (FA), 3-2.
119—Title: Jacob Zess (ET) dec. Ryan Slack (Elk), 10-4; Third: Cody Foerster (FA) pinned Luis Valadez (Wh), 5:17.
125—Title: Travis Murphy (DD) dec. Taylor Triebold (ET), 3-2; Third: Cody McCulloch (FA) dec. Brian Kohl (Mil), 13-9.
130—Title: Logan Brown (Mil) dec. Tim Durkin (Elk), 13-11 (OT); Third; Steve Edwards (ET) pinned James Bleecker (FA), 5:31.
135—Title: David Edwards (ET) pinned Chris Dittner (DD), 2:27; Third: Zach Edwards (Whi) dec. Ryan Smith (FA), 7-2.
140—Title: Shaun O’Neill (Mil) dec. Jeremiah Potter (Elk), 7-5; Third: John Benzon (DD) dec. Levi Mills (FA), 10-5.
145—Title: Vince Racanelli (Jef) won by disqualification over Nate Mode (FA); Third: Nick Karleski (Mil) dec. Zach Mogensen (Elk), 3-1 (OT).
152—Title: Ben Lodahl (DD) dec. Shawn Jensen (Mil), 3-1 (OT); Third: Jake Dillavou (Jef) dec. Clayton Bray (Elk), 13-5.
160—Title: Chesten Kesselhon (ET) dec. James Miller (Mil), 10-5; Third: K.C. Verhoeven (Elk) dec. Jacob Cravens (FA), 10-5.
171—Title: Richard Kessler (Elk) dec. Nate Rogers (Mil), 8-7 (OT); Third: Drew Szymansky (ET) pinned Robert Mulligan (DD), 3:11.
189—Title: Seth Underwood (Mil) dec. Jacob Stollenwerk (ET), 10-3; Third: Lee Hoskins (Elk) pinned Nate Wilson (FA), 2:53.
215—Title: Jacob Keeser (FA) pinned Dan Schere (Jef), 1:24; Third: Andrew Mathison (Whi) dec. Matt Fredrick (Mil), 7-6.
285—Title: Nick Gibson (Mil) pinned Matthew Reitman (ET), 4:50; Third: Dan Clarke (Jef) pinned Seth Peikert (DD), 2:49.