Evansville wins Rock Valley title
For the fourth season in a row, the Evansville/Albany High co-op captured the Rock Valley Conference title, using its depth to outlast East Troy here Saturday in the first wrestling tournament since the conference realignment.
And according to Evansville/Albany coach Rob Kostroun, this Blue Devils squad wasn’t as talented as the previous three. It just took more hard work.
“Of all the teams, this is the least likely to win a conference title of the last four,” Kostroun said. “Their improvement over the last couple of weeks has been just super.
“This was supposedly the year that we were rebuilding.”
Senior Eddie Schmoldt, who impressively pinned Jefferson’s Travis McDermott in 57 seconds to capture the 160-pound title and improve to 26-8 on the season, agreed with his coach.
“I think this is the most improved our team has gotten (from the beginning of the season to the end) in four years,” Schmoldt said. “I don’t know if we have the most talented team, but we definitely have the hardest-working, most-improved team I’ve been on in four years.”
Evansville/Albany finished with 332 points, while East Troy, a newcomer from the Southern Lakes Conference, was second with 308. Clinton took third with 288.5, and Jefferson was fourth with 276.
Evansville and East Troy each had three individual champions, but Evansville/Albany had four third-place finishes to East Troy’s three. Ultimately, the Blue Devils’ depth carried the day.
“It wasn’t the champions, necessarily, that won it,” Kostroun said. “It was a total team effort.”
In addition to Schmoldt, Evansville had champions at 112 in J.J. Boley (41-6), who won the conference title at 103 last season, and Nick Patchen (32-5) at 189. In the title match, Patchen edged East Troy’s Jacob Stollenwerk, a state qualifier last year, in a tight 4-1 decision.
East Troy got titles from three of its big guns, including senior Dave Edwards at 140. Edwards used a head-and-arm takedown to pin Jefferson’s Ryan Bartelt in 58 seconds, running his record to 42-2.
Edwards, the state runner-up at 135 last season, is ranked No. 3 in Division 2 by Crossface at 140. This was his fourth straight conference title, the first three coming in the Southern Lakes.
“That was equivalent to winning a state championship for me,” Edwards said of winning four consecutive conference titles. “Second one in East Troy history to do it, so I’m happy. I’m (going) for a state championship. I’m in it to win it this year.”
Senior Cheston Kesselhon, a three-time state qualifier, improved to 40-4 in winning the title at 171 for East Troy. Like Edwards, Kesselhon is ranked third in the state in his weight class.
East Troy junior Jake Zess, a two-time state qualifier who is ranked fifth in the state at 125, also captured a conference title to run his record to 43-1, but it took a big comeback to do so. Down 4-0 after two rounds to Clinton’s Bryan Banh, Zess rallied in the third round for a 6-5 win.
“I just had to keep my head on straight and just remember that I had to come back slow, gradually work back,” Zess said. “I knew that I probably had to get a big move in there at some point just to make up for that many points.”
Jefferson had three champions in Vince Racanelli (145), Jake Dillavou (152) and Dan Scherer (215). Beloit Turner had two in Ian Grice (103) and Tyler Haney (285), Clinton had two in Brandon Wixom (119) and Brad Hesebeck (130), and Palmyra-Eagle had one in Jake Porst (135).
“The addition of the three new teams just really makes this a premier event,” Kostroun said of the conference realignment. “Anyone that wins this from here on out will have done something.”
At Jefferson High School
Evansville/Albany 332, East Troy 308, Clinton 28.5, Jefferson 276, Brodhead/Juda 231, Whitewater 201, Beloit Turner 175, Walworth Big Foot/Williams Bay 132, Palmyra Eagle 116.5, Edgerton 83, Orfordville Parkview 55.
103—Title: Ian Grice (BT) pinned Alex Mattson (Edg), 3:45. Third: Josh Mchoes (BJ) pinned Kole Laatch (J), 2:43.
112—Title: J.J. Boley (E/A) dec. Daniel Banh (Cl), 3-1. Third: Alex Murn (PE) pinned Casey Lanham (B/J), 4:39.
119—Title: Brandon Wixom (Cl) dec. Pete Gallman (EA), 2-0. Third: Taylor Triebold (ET) pinned Mitchel Wieseneberg (B/J), 1:33.
125—Title: Jake Zess (ET) dec. Bryan Banh (CL), 6-5. Third: Jeremy Rosheisen (B/J) dec. Austin Andrews (BT), 5-3 (OT).
130—Title: Brad Hesebeck (Cl) maj. dec. over Steven Edwards (ET), 9-0. Third: Trevor Ardisson (EA) pinned Tim Boyer (W), :16.
135—Title: Jake Prost (PE) pinned A.J. Harper (E/A), 3:50. Third: Adam Kehl (ET) pinned Nate Thomas (J), 3:41.
140—Title: David Edwards (ET) pinned Ryan Bartelt (J), :58. Third: Zach Edwards (W) dec. Pat Meredith (EA), 8-6 (OT).
145—Title: Vince Racanelli (J) dec. Michael Loehe (ET), 8-3. Third: Barry Badeau (E/A) pinned Ethan Miles (W), :10.
152—Title: Jake Dillavou (J) dec. Jake Rice (PE), 6-4. Third: Jeremy Graham (OP) dec. Alex Loofboro (W), 5-2.
160—Title: Eddie Schmoldt (E/A) pinned Travis McDermott (J), :57. Third: Ethan Voights (B/J) maj. dec. over Ken Wirkuty (Cl), 15-5.
171—Title: Cheston Kesselhon (ET) pinned Shane Brandl (Cl), 2:18. Third: Dylan Bjugstad (E/A) dec. Ben Conway (B/J), 11-8.
189—Title: Nick Patchen (E/A) dec. Jake Stollenwerk (ET), 4-1. Third: Jim Horn (J) dec. Nick Romani (W), 7-3.
215—Title: Dan Scherer (J) pinned Andrew Mathison (W), 5:38. Third: Cody Kruizenga-Weckesser (E/A) dec. Matt Fogerty (BF/WB), 13-7.
285—Title: Tyler Haney (BT) dec. Tyler Russell (Cl), 3-2. Third: Matt Reitman (ET) dec. Ben Haberlin (BF/WB), 4-0.