Lakes wrestlers fall short in state finals
Kessler of Elkhorn High lost an 8-3 decision to Jeff Lemmer of Milwaukee Bradley Tech in the WIAA Division 1 160-pound final, while East Troy’s Edwards lost 9-2 to Hayden Hauschildt of Ellsworth at 135 in Division 2.
Kessler (36-4) fell behind 4-1 in the first period after suffering two takedowns and could not rally against the undefeated Hauschildt (52-0).
“He’s a real strong kid,” Kessler said. “He was definitely a lot stronger kid, but I have beaten those types of kids in the past. But he was a good wrestler on his feet.”
It also didn’t help that Kessler was forced to take two timeouts during the match to clean up his exposed blood.
“The match lasted a lot longer than I would have liked,” Kessler said. “Because of the blood timeouts, that hurt me because I can usually outlast stronger guys when I can keep the match going.”
Despite the five-point loss, the junior had quite a weekend in his first trip to the state tournament, especially coming in unranked to wrestling for a state title.
“I’m disappointed at all,” Kessler said. “I was never a state qualifier before, so to wrestle in the state finals in something I’ve only dreamed about.
“I would have loved to have won, but when you come here as a youth wrestler and watching these guys wrestle in the finals, you never think that you can do it. But I put a lot of work into it, and I think it paid off.”
Edwards was tied with Hauschildt (40-5) at 2-2 after the first period, but suffered a near-fall in the second and never recovered.
“I should have done way better,” Edwards said. “The near fall changed everything. He just rode the crap out of me.”
The junior finished the year at 43-4.
Edwards’ teammate, Cheston Kesselhon, ended up third after the consolation matches at 160. Kesslhon (30-2) defeated Dylan Iczkowski (33-7) of Mosinee 9-4 in the third-place match.
Janesville Parker’s Harold Lloyd (31-4) placed fifth by winning his final consolation match with a pin of John Van Gundy (41-10) of Tomah in 1:47 at 285 pounds.
Milton senior Nate Rogers defeated Middleton junior Ben Brummel, 3-1, to capture fifth place at 171 pounds in Division 1.
Rogers battled back through the consolation round by pinning Billy Hietpas of Kimberly in 2:53 and defeating R’Mandel Cameron of Milwaukee Custer, 7-3, on Friday. After a 3-1 loss to Stoughton senior Ryan Dougherty on Saturday, Rogers boosted his season record to 34-8 by beating Brummel.