WIAA D1 state wrestling: Getting to state a sign of progress for Gutoski
The switch has flipped since Mika Gutoski won the 220-pound title at the Terry Kramer Open.
Gutoski won a match in overtime to get to the finals match and won the title bout with a pin.
From that point forward, the 220-pound senior has transformed from an athlete who wins wrestling matches to a wrestler qualified to compete at the WIAA Division 1 individual state wrestling meet.
Gutoski and Fort Atkinson junior Thomas Witkins will do exactly that on Thursday in the preliminary round of the tournament. The progress the Fort Atkinson senior has made in his first 24 months wrestling has been on full display in the last 30 days since the TKO.
“In the practice room, it’s been constantly offense now,” Witkins said. “It used to be that Mika would just snap down on somebody’s head and hang on to try to get a snap down through go behind, now he’s attacking. At the TKO we saw him wrestling (Janesville Craig junior) Brady Schenk and Brady took him into overtime because he didn’t shoot a single time.
“At sectionals, (Mika) snapped him and went straight to an outside single and put him straight to his back from his feet. Mika — it’s clicking for him currently and it’s amazing to see.”
Gerber echoed that sentiment.
“Even when he was winning matches last year and early this year, there was an inner, underlying notion that he didn’t really know what he was doing,” the ninth-year head coach said. “There was some hesitancy because he was a football player wrestling. Now, he’s still a football guy, but he’s a wrestler too. I think there’s an inner confidence now that he can go out and brawl.”
Gutoski is quick to praise his wrestling partners — like anyone who makes it to state does. But there’s a greater level of sincerity for Gutoski as he recognizes the helping hands.
“I don’t even know how I’ve gotten to this point,” Gutoski said. “It’s a combination of coaches telling me to do this and do that. It’s my practice partners: Jacob (Horvatin), Thomas, Eli (Koehler) and Dorian (Burhans) telling me to do this and do that. It’s what works for them and what doesn’t work. Then I take it all together and figure out what I like.”
While other wrestlers celebrate iron sharpening iron in the practice room, Gutoski has been working toward figuring out what type of wrestler he wanted to become in a weight class filled with established talents. So, he took pages from each of his established teammates: Witkins, who qualified for state a second time, and Horvatin, who was effectively one match away from getting to state as a junior 195-pounder.
“With Thomas, I learned that you don’t have to be overly strong against someone to beat them as long as you have good technique,” said Gutoski. “Thomas, he can win matches by getting on top and throwing the legs in. I learned that I can win matches in more ways than just being a good neutral wrestler. Jacob is such a good neutral level. He’s really explosive and it really helps because he’s overall powerful and explosive.”
Witkins was one and done last year as he lost in overtime against Hartland Arrowhead 182-pounder Mason Diel, who is back at state this year as a junior. Witkins (38-6) will take on Kaukauna junior Trevor Stuyvenberg (30-14).
Gutoski has built a 38-7 record and will face off against Greenfield junior Skyler Gill-Howard (38-3). Wiktins and Gutoski have intentions of wrestling on Friday and Gerber has a simple message to make sure that happens.
“I talked to (them) about their record against a very tough schedule, beating a lot of good guys and focusing on what we’ve done well,” Gerber said. “The journey is really important, but it’s not done yet. We need to refocus on the fact that next week we’ll reflect and enjoy everything we’ve accomplished, but this week it’s all about business.
“We need to make sure we approach this no differently than we do any other tournament. We’re there to win and we’re there to compete. Yes, those are cliches, but they’re cliches because they work.”
Perhaps counterintuitive to established cliches, Gerber intends to embrace the success of Gutoski as a potential example for athletes.
“I think people in this community need to take notice of what we have here,” Gerber said. “The community has two wrestlers who have worked hard and are really good kids. They’ve worked their tails off to get there. … I am incredibly proud of their efforts and I’m excited to see what they can do. I hope people are excited and take notice because you don’t have these types of athletes come through all the time.”
WIAA D2 state wrestling: Neff ready for best finish yet, Heine excited to be on mat at Kohl
As a sophomore, Dean Neff’s first experience at the WIAA individual state wrestling tournament concluded with two cauliflower ears, one big shiner and one sixth place medal.
The next year, Neff was inadvertently choked out during a consolation bracket match and was unconscious for several seconds in the course of being pinned. He recovered and won his fifth place match.
Now, he’s back for more.
“It’s just the experience of it,” Neff said. “That’s just kind of how it goes. That’s part of wrestling.”
Neff makes his third and final appearance at the state tournament for Jefferson as the No. 1 ranked wrestler at 160 pounds in Division 2 by WiWrestling.com with a record of 44-1. He will face either Antigo junior Joshua Heuss or Chilton/Hilbert senior Gaven Lisowe in a quarterfinal match Friday at the Kohl Center.
Joining Neff will be junior teammate Aaron Heine, who carries a 40-7 record into a first round match at 182 pounds on Thursday night.
Neff has been on a mission to win a state title, and took a promising step towards that goal by beating previously top-ranked Prairie du Chien senior Traeton Saint by a 12-4 decision in the sectional final last week.
“Confidence,” said Neff when asked what his takeaway from the sectional was. “I wrestled Saint at youth state and lost to him by one. I took him down four times (on Saturday) with doubles and just lifting him. His upper body was bigger than my upper body, but my lower body was bigger than his lower body. Strength doesn’t really matter. If you have strength and technique, that’s how you win.”
Weber was just as impressed with Neff’s focus in the previous match, a 6-2 decision over Monroe’s Alex Witt.
“He’s obviously done a great job with that (focus),” Jefferson co-wrestling coach Devin Weber said. “In the semifinal, he had a great wrestler from Monroe that he had to beat. He could have overlooked him and looked forward to the finals matchup, but he didn’t. He took care of his business. That’s what I expect him to do is to keep trucking along.
“As great as Saturday was for him (beating Saint in a 1 vs. 2 match), you have to have a short memory, just like if something bad happens. It’s just keeping his eyes on one match at a time now, focusing in on making sure his weight is where it needs to be and doing all the right things. Having tunnel vision, making sure you are looking forward instead of backward.”
He doesn’t have to look forward much longer. His final state tournament is finally here.
“It’s cool,” Neff said. “I’ve been working year round, trying to stay in the right mindset … just stay humble and keep my eyes on my goals and just push through it.”
Heine went and watched Neff compete state a year ago. The experience made an impression.
“I really wanted to be out there,” Heine said. “Looking down at it (from the seats), I’m just out of words. The environment is awesome.”
He made the jump from fourth place finisher at the sectional last year to state qualifier. The difference between third and fourth place at that tournament is oftentimes massive, but motivating for an underclassmen who comes out on the wrong end of it.
“Aaron fell one match short last year,” Weber said. “That really resonated with him the entire year. It motivated him to work hard. At the beginning of the year, we found out that we had switched sectionals, which was unfortunate for him. We knew moving into this sectional, it’s generally a tougher sectional.
“So Aaron was aware that he wasn’t just going to have to be better. He was going to have to be substantially better to have the same opportunity to make it. He had a great match in the third place match, 10-9 in the third period when he pinned the wrestler for Evansville (Collin Roberts) that made it 3-1 versus him this year. They have had some great matches.”
Roberts had Heine on his back when Heine rolled him through and pinned him.
“I was down there, thinking in my head, ‘No, No, No,’” Heine said. “I’ve got to do something. I just kept trying to push him over, pull him over me and just rolled through. That’s what I remember happening. I caught him in a half and just squeezed as hard as I could, as soon as I got in that position, as hard as possible.
“Making it really felt incredible. Last year, I came close, but I didn’t have the fight like I have this year, to really go. My mindset was a little better this year, knowing I can actually beat these kids. Last year, I felt like the small one there. I couldn’t really make it.”
Another year sparring with Neff in practice certainly helped.
“I feel like he really teaches me a lot,” Heine said. “He has helped me in every single position. He really pushes me hard. This past week, on Wednesday, he knew he had to face a really tough kid, so we were going hard. He was telling me stuff I needed to do, stuff he wanted me to do to help him. I feel that really helped me as well.”
Weber sees the improvement in Heine, too.
“Growth 100 percent,” Weber said. “Top, bottom, neutral, everywhere he has been. We have two kids going to state at 160 and 182. They practice together and that’s a big part of their success is working collaboratively together and improving. It’s been exciting and fun to coach both of them.”
Heine’s father, Brian, won a third place medal at state as a senior.
“It does feel nice (to be going),” Heine said. “Now I can rub it in to my old man, that I went junior year and he didn’t. Junior year, he broke his elbow. Senior year, he was ranked sixth, fought really hard and finished third.”
WIAA state wrestling: What's in a name?
Thomas Witkins learned a valuable lesson at the WIAA Division 1 individual state wrestling tournament last year.
The Fort Atkinson junior 182-pounder passed that advice along to 220-pound senior Mika Gutoski, a first-time qualifier, and it’s advice that any state-caliber wrestler could and should heed.
“I told him the other day that names don’t matter anymore,” Witkins said. “Last year, I was all wrapped up with names. I wrestled against Mason Diel and he didn’t have a good record, but I was worried about him and his name and his record. I think you need to realize that everyone has a reason they are there.
“You get in your head about it. You can’t get in your head about names and records. That’s my biggest advice.”
That’s great advice and it is helpful for wrestlers, especially if they’re squaring off with a wrestler like top-ranked Division 2 160-pounder Dean Neff. The Jefferson senior has been a nightmare for most wrestlers in his brackets this season.
But the names that fill out the bracket Witkins is part of make for an intriguing set up should he make a run on Thursday and Friday. If Witkins (38-6) beats Greenfield junior Trevor Stuyvenberg, he’ll face the winner of a bout between Cedarburg senior Jacob Steidinger (31-5) and Marcus Hankins (42-6).
Hankins is the Sauk Prairie senior who defeated Witkins in the TKO title match each of the last two seasons. Hankins defeated Witkins at the Badger Conference tournament in 2019. All of those matches have been by decision, and the most recent bout ended because Witkins couldn’t get the blood rushing from his lip to coagulate fast enough.
Fort Atkinson coach Ryan Gerber would only dream of looking two matches down the road at state, but if you take the liberty to do so, the aforementioned Mason Diel of Hartland Arrowhead — who defeated Witkins in overtime last year at state and again in a match earlier this season — lurks in a potential semifinal matchup.
These are all names and records. None of that matters if you heed the advice.
Now, Neff was briefly mentioned earlier too. Neff took sixth place as a sophomore and watched as teammate Quintin Gehrmann wrestled in the title match at 106 pounds. While Neff watched that match, he was internalizing his aspirations of being on the state’s biggest stage, and outwardly expressing his intention to break the school wins record.
When Neff broke that record earlier this season, he refocused on a bigger goal — getting a state title, a feat no male wrestler has done at Jefferson. Winning a state title would add to the mantle a medal alongside his Wisconsin Wrestling Federation Greco-Roman State Championship he won at 170 pounds in May.
All those accomplishments and winning a sectional title against then-No. 1 ranked Traeton Saint of Prairie du Chien have made Neff the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the weight class going into the tournament.
Neff (44-1) is the name in his bracket that the other wrestlers will be watching.
Quick shots from Heine
It will be interesting to see how Jefferson junior Aaron Heine fares at the state meet. Heine is an explosive soccer player and the manner with which he won the 182-pound title at the Rock Valley Conference tournament was reminiscent of some of his early goals during RVC games.
Heine caught his opponent off guard and got a pin in 20 seconds. Commonly during the soccer season, Heine would score in the first five minutes before defenses appreciated his speed.
Because of his competitive, aggressive nature, Heine could knock off anybody in his bracket. Names don’t matter.
Friend, Bivens: Take four?
Whitewater sophomore Carter Friend and Beloit Turner senior Tre’veon Bivens might as well be practice partners. The two wrestlers have sparred in each of the last three weekends.
Friend lost a decision in the 152-pound RVC title match. Bivens lost in the regional title before winning the sectional against Friend and securing the first-round bye.
That puts both wrestlers on opposite ends of the bracket. In order to see a fourth rematch, it would have to be in the championship match.
Who’s that buzz saw?
Of the seven Jefferson County wrestlers at state — Jake Pronschinske is wrestling at 195 pounds for Palmyra-Eagle and Lukas David is at 220 pounds for Johnson Creek — Neff is the most feared in his own bracket. that comes with being the No. 1 seed.
In the Fort Atkinson wrestling room the practice before regionals, Gerber delivered a message to his wrestlers: “You are the buzz saw in your bracket. You are the one people are scared to wrestle.”
In other words, he was urging his Blackhawks to be the name wrestlers got caught up reading about and worrying about.
Now, how far will they take their names?
WIAA D3 wrestling: Pronschinske rewrites regional troubles, follows brother's footsteps
PALMYRA — In his first three seasons at Palmyra-Eagle, Jake Pronschinske had never advanced to the state wrestling tournament, let alone the sectional meet.
But in his fourth and final try, the senior not only broke through to sectionals, but became the first Palmyra-Eagle wrestler since 2015 to advance to the state wrestling tournament.
“I just felt more motivated, I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere,” said Pronschinske, who is 34-9 on the season. “This year I was much more physically and mentally invested.”
As a junior at regionals last season, Pronschinske was defeated in the regional final and then lost a second-place wrestleback. As a sophomore and freshman at regionals, Pronschinske failed to win a single match.
But this year was different.
At the Panthers’ WIAA Division 3 regional at Parkview this season, Pronschinske won with a pin 40 seconds into the 195-pound semifinal match. With a trip to his first-ever sectional on the line in the regional final, he found a pin 1:36 into the bout.
“It (advancing to sectionals) was definitely an accomplishment, I had never been there before,” Pronschinske said. “I felt like if I had made it this far I might as well go all the way.”
After finally getting over the regional hump, Pronschinske made the most of his first and last sectional meet. He picked up a pin in his first round-match, won with a 6-5 decision in the semifinals and earned a 2-0 decision in the championship match to punch his ticket to his first state meet.
“First off I was very proud,” Pronschinske said. “My whole family was there. It was pretty emotional.”
One of those family members was Jake’s brother John Pronschinske — who was the last Panther wrestler to qualify for the state meet four years ago in 2015.
“He was there helping me,” Pronschinske said. “He obviously knows a lot about wrestling.”
And now Pronschinske gets to follow in his brother’s footsteps — who was a two-time state qualifier — by wrestling at the Kohl Center in Madison in the WIAA Division 3 individaul state tournament.
Pronschinske said his goal is to place at the state meet.
No matter how the state meet goes — one thing is for sure — Pronschinske was able to get past his regional demons this season and carry on his brother’s legacy.
“I think it shows my character,” Pronschinske said. “It shows how hard it is also.”
Pronschinske will match up with the winner of Athens’ Connor Westfall and Aquinas’ Noah Degroot Friday afternoon in the WIAA Division 3 individual state tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison.
WIAA D3 wrestling: David returns to state, keeps streak going
Johnson Creek senior Lukas David enters the WIAA Division 3 individual state wrestling tournament field as a 220-pound sectional champion and makes his second state appearance in the quarterfinal on Friday.
With his second straight advancement through the Dodgeland sectional, David extended Johnson Creek’s streak of producing state qualifiers to 12 years.
Mark Lemminger began Johnson Creek’s streak with a trip to state in 2009, about the time David began youth wrestling at the age of six.
“It feels really nice (to go again),” David said. “I really wanted to win it for the team and for Johnson Creek.”
David lost a close decision in the first round last season at state, but gained a lot from the experience.
“My experience last year? Hopefully, not as good as this one,” David said. “I got my feet wet and I wanted to make it back, because I wanted redemption.
“It was crazy there. It was really high ceilings. It’s just so different. This one (Dodgeland), you know it’s a high school. (At the Kohl Center), the mats are separated 10, 20 feet.”
Johnson Creek co-wrestling coach Marcus Novak fully expected David to make it back after upping his game over the past year.
“His technique is a little bit better,” Novak said. “He’s a little bit stronger. He’s mentally ready to get there.”
David has gotten better on his feet, and better at finishing on top.
“I am better at neutral,” David said. “I did a lot of shots. Last year, I was reliant on the slide-by. This year, I’ve done more shooting, which is really different. Last year, I didn’t do the arm bar as much as I did this year. I do that a lot more.”
WIAA D2 state wrestling: Friend hopes familiarity pays off
WHITEWATER — Carter Friend has wrestled on big stages before.
The Whitewater sophomore made the trip to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison for the youth state championships six times and won a title once.
He’s hoping that experience will pay off when he makes his first trip to the WIAA Division 2 State Wrestling Tournament on Thursday.
“I feel like it’s similar, obviously the Kohl Center is bigger, and it’s high school state wrestling, which is a bigger deal,” said Friend, “but I feel like I’ve wrestled on the big stage before.”
Last season as a freshman Friend wasn’t able to reach the big stage.
Wrestling at 152 pounds, Friend was unable to make it out of regionals. This season he won a regional title with a 3-1 sudden victory over Beloit Turner senior Tre´veon Bivens.
Friend punched his ticket to the state meet at a Division 2 sectional after he beat Edgerton’s Andrew Hansen in the 152-pound semifinal, but was defeated by Bivens in the finals. He lost a second-place wrestleback to Lodi senior Colton Nicolay.
“It sucks, after you win your semifinal match you’re on such a high,” Friend said. “It’s like, ‘oh, I’m going, everything is good.’ I feel like I was satisfied with just going, I know I could have wrestled better and I could have taken first.”
The back-to-back losses at sectionals hurt Friend’s seeding, who will take on North Fond Du Lac/St. Mary’s Spring senior Andrew Forsythe — who is ranked third in the state in Division 2 at 152 pounds — in his opening-round match.
“He’s (Forsythe) got everything to lose, I have nothing to lose. I’m only a sophomore, he’s a senior,” said Friend, who is ranked 10th in the weight class. “I’m going to go out there confident and wrestle my match.”
Friend has had that type confidence all season.
After he fell short his freshman campaign, he was sure he would be wrestling in late February in Madison this season.
“I was expecting this (state),” Friend said. “I got my head on straight. I believed I was going to make it there. Another year helps me get more confident. I was more ready for it.”
Friend will be the lone Whitewater representative at the state meet. Senior David Cushman finished fourth at 145 pounds at the sectional.
“I think it’s (being the lone representative) neat,” Friend said. “Obviously I wish David made it too, that would have been awesome. But I’m excited.”
Carter faces off with Forsythe in the WIAA Division 2 State Wrestling Tournament Thursday night at the Kohl Center in Madison.
“I’m just going to go out there and look to upset him,” Friend said. “I want to shock some people out there.”
WIAA D2 wrestling: Neff wins top-ranked battle, off to state
EVANSVILLE — Jefferson senior Dean Neff earned his third consecutive trip to the WIAA Division 2 individual state wrestling tournament and junior Aaron Heine earned his first state berth to highlight the wrestling team’s 10th place finish at the Evansville/Albany sectional on Saturday.
Neff won the 160-pound weight class and improved to 44-1 on the season. He pinned Edgerton’s Hunter Seblom at 4 minutes, 27 seconds of the quarterfinals, scored a 6-2 decision over Monroe’s Patrick Rielly (30-10) in the semifinals and won a 12-4 major decision over Prairie du Chien’s Traeton Saint (48-3) in the championship match. Saint and Neff were ranked first and second in the state in Division 2, respectively, entering the tournament.
“There was a lot of hype for the No. 1 vs. No. 2,” Jefferson co-head coach Devin Weber said. “Dean did a great job making sure he took care of the Monroe kid to get into state and then it was time for that match up. Dean studies a lot of film. He knew where he wanted to get his attacks and he does a great job. To pick up a major decision against a wrestler of that caliber is really impressive.”
Heine placed third at 182 and will take a 40-7 record to the state tournament. He pinned Wisconsin Dells’ Matt Getgen at 3:13 of the quarterfinals, then lost a 7-5 decision to Monroe’s Alex Witt (40-6), the No. 2 ranked wrestler in D2, in the semifinals.
After receiving a medical forfeit from Edgerton’s Dominic Hogan in the consolation semifinals, Heine punched his ticket to state against a conference rival in the third place match with a pin over Evansville/Albany’s Collin Roberts (38-8) in 5:02.
Heine, who entered the tournament ranked ninth, pinned Roberts in the Rock Valley Conference tournament finals two weeks ago. Roberts and Heine each traded decisions earlier in the season too. Heine got the best of Roberts at Mid-States in December and Roberts won in an RVC dual in January.
“When Aaron got that 20-second pin at conference I remember telling him, ‘That’s great, but he has to come back ready for the next one because you might have to beat him again to go to state,’” Weber said. “This was definitely the best match they’ve had. It was 10-9 going into the third period, Aaron was down and got a reversal and the pin. It was a good, old-fashioned barn burner.”
Sophomores Ethan Dieckman (138) and Brady Lehman (195) lost one-point decisions in the quarterfinals and were eliminated. Dieckman (25-9) lost a 7-6 decision to Beloit Turner’s Andres Beltran (32-12). Lehman (22-8) also lost by a 7-6 decision to Edgerton’s Sam Hedding (20-17).
Senior Curtis Kincaid (220) finished 0-2, losing a 12-4 major decision to Prairie du Chien’s Colten Wall (17-4) in the quarterfinals, then losing a 4-3 decision to Richland Center’s Jake Morris (21-8) in the consolation semifinals. Kincaid ended the season with a 20-8 record.
“Curtis had one of the best 0-2 days I’ve ever seen,” Weber said. “He went out in the first match and took him down in the first period. That stunned the kid. He wrestled him to a close match early and stayed in good position but he didn’t win.
“In his next match, he fought hard and he couldn’t quite get a takedown at the end. I was proud to see how he finished his senior year. He had a lot of fun and it was fun to see him get to the sectional.”
Both Lake Mills qualifiers were eliminated.
Freshman Ben Buchholtz (152) lost to Viroqua’s Aaron Dobbs (39-6) at 2:56 of the 152 quarterfinals. At 170, junior Charlie Cassady lost by fall to Prairie du Chien’s Bradyn Saint (46-6) at 1:59 of the quarterfinals, then lost by fall to Mauston’s Roman Martinez (21-7) at :49. Cassady finished with a 24-11 record.
Division 2 matches at the state tournament begin at approximately 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Kohl Center. Heine will wrestle a first round match on Thursday night. Neff receives a first round bye and will wrestle in the quarterfinals on Friday morning.
Friend advances for Whippets
Familiarity was a deciding factor for Tre’Veon Bivens.
The Beloit Turner senior wrestled Whitewater’s Carter Friend four times previously before they squared off Saturday in the 152-pound title bout at the WIAA Division 2 Evansville sectional.
Bivens used that prior experience to his advantage en route to a 6-2 win and a trip to state.
Friend, a sophomore, also advanced to state.
Evansville/Albany’s Austin Scofield joined Bivens as the only other area sectional champion.
Edgerton’s Ryan Hazzard (113) and Reed Farrington also finished in the top three to advance to state, along with Turner’s Devon Harbison (120), Drew Ries (195) and Trey Griinke (220).
Bivens had beaten Friend three of the previous four meetings and knew that if he set the tone early, he’d be able to control the match.
“I think it was a big advantage to wrestle him before because I knew what he wanted to do,” Bivens said of Friend. “He wanted to come out and circle, circle, circle and try to hit the high shots, and I wasn’t going to let him do that.
“And knowing that I had already made it to state before that match helped me relax and just go out and wrestle with a lot of confidence.”
Bivens is now 38-7 this season.
The state tournament begins Thursday afternoon at the Kohl Center.WIAA Division 2 Evansville Sectional
FIRST AND THIRD-PLACE MATCHES
(Top three qualify for state meet)
106 — Title: Chase Beckett (Portage) dec. Rhett Koenig (Prairie Du Chien 3-1; Third: Parker Heintz (Lodi) pinned Jack Dubach (Monroe) 3:17
113 — Title: Josh Frye (Viroqua) tech. fall over Jayden Price (Pardeeville) 15-0; Third: Ryan Hazzard (Edgerton) dec. Camden Staver (Evansville/Albany) 7-6; Second-place wrestleback: Price dec. Hazzard 11-5
120 — Title: Chandler Curtis (Lodi) dec. Devon Harbison (Beloit Turner) 8-3; Third: Tristen Gilbertson (Belmont) pinned Jordan Dolata (Adams Friendship) 3:40; Second-place wrestleback: Harbison pinned Gilbertson 1:45
126 — Title: Austin Scofield (EA) dec. Luke Kramer (PDC) 3-1; Third: Brady Schuh (Mon) dec. Justin Teague (BT) 12-6); Second-place wrestleback: Schuh dec. Kramer 3-2
132 — Title: Cale Anderson (Vir) dec. Matt Rogge (PDC) 4-1; Third: Gus Donovan (Richland Center) dec. Joe Quaglia (Bell) 9-4
138 — Title: Jessie Tijerina (Port) dec. Gavin Kingsley (Wisconsin Dells) 7-0; Third: Max Schmidt (RC) pinned Andres Beltran (BT) 5:01; Second-place wrestleback: Schmidt pinned Kingsley 1:23
145 — Title: Lowell Arnold (Port) dec. Warrick Wolf (RC) 6-2; Third Billy Dethloff (WD) dec. David Cushman (Whitewater) 9-3; Second-place wrestleback: Dethloff dec. Wolf 8-7
152 — Title: Tre’Veon Bivens (BT) dec. Carter Friend (Whit) 6-2; Third: Colton Nicolay (Lodi) dec. Aaron Dobbs (Vir) 11-5; Second-place wrestleback: Nicolay pinned Friend 2:40
160 — Title: Dean Neff (Jefferson) major dec. over Traeton Saint (PDC) 12-4; Third: Patrick Rielly (Mon) pinned Ricky Braunschweig (EA) 2:41; Second-place wrestleback: Saint dec. Rielly 6-2
170 — Title: Sawyer Helmbrecht (Lodi) pinned Bradyn Saint (PDC) 4:37; Third: Brad Goffnet (CC) dec. Roman Martinez (Maust) 5-1; Second-place wrestleback: Saint pinned Goffnet 1:53
182 — Title: Will Schaefer (Bel) dec. Alex Witt (Mon) 3-2; Third: Aaron Heine (Jeff) pinned Collin Roberts (EA) 5:02
195 — Title: Tyler Hannah (PDC) pinned Carson Lobdell (Dar) 1:17; Third: Drew Ries (BT) pinned Paul Nickelotti (Vir) 2:14; Second-place wrestleback: Ries pinned Lobdell 1:52
220 — Title: Colton Wall (PDC) dec. James Roche (Col) 7-3; Third: Trey Griinke (BT) pinned Jake Morris (RC) 4:58
285 — Title: Michael Douglas (Belm) dec. Troy Leibfried (CC) 3-1 (OT); Third: Reed Farrington (Edg) dec. Wyatt Ripp (Lodi) 3-1; Second-place wrestleback: Leibfried pinned Farrington 1:52
WIAA D3 wrestling: David, Pronchinske win titles to get to state
JUNEAU — Johnson Creek senior Lukas David will make his second straight state tournament appearance after earning his first sectional championship with a first place finish at 220 pounds at the WIAA Division 3 Dodgeland sectional on Saturday.
Palmyra-Eagle senior Jake Pronschinske earned a pin and a pair of decisions to earn his trip to the WIAA Division 3 individual state meet in the 195-pound weight class.
David (36-5) pinned Cedar Grove-Belgium freshman Diego Morales in 59 seconds of the quarterfinals and Lourdes Academy junior Tim Kaull at :45 of the semifinals. In the title match, he pulled out a 9-7 decision over Kenosha Christian Life junior Isaiah Hernandez (43-5).
Hernandez scored the opening takedown, but David reversed him and rode him out to tie the match at 2-2. David scored another reversal and rode Hernandez out again in the second period to lead 4-2. Hernandez put David on his back to tie the match at 7-7, but David came up with one more reversal and rode Hernandez out a third time to take the title.
“It was a little wild,” David said. “It got a little more crazy in the third period.”
Both finalists received honorable mention in the latest Division 3 rankings from Wisconsin Wrestling Online.
“Today, the first two matches, he just did what he does,” Johnson Creek co-wrestling coach Marcus Novak said. “The finals match was the one we saw as the championship match all along. He did well. He gave up a takedown right off the bat. He got him in a front headlock. Not real great technique, but just strength and athleticism.
“The tall, athletic kids are the ones that Chewy (David) has had problems with all year. Four of the five losses have been against tall, athletic kids. He did well. He hung in there and gave us a scare when he decided to go to his back in the third, to tie it up, but he got a reversal to go up 9-7 and rode him out. He got a warning for stalling, but it didn’t matter.”
David earned a first round bye at state and will wrestle in the quarterfinals on Friday morning.
As will Pronschinske, who was one of two wrestlers from Palmya-Eagle to qualify for sectionals. Pronschinske pinned Oostburg senior Logan Bruggink at 3:07. The senior — who is the first wrestler from Palmyra-Eagle to qualify for state since John Pronschinske did so as a senior in 2015 — earned a 6-5 decision against Horicon senior Dakota Reinwald and a 2-0 decision against Cedar Grove-Belgium junior Markus Ramirez.
Senior Isaiah Wollet (152) lost a 9-4 decision to Cambridge junior Jacob Moody and was eliminated. Wollet (30-8) led 4-3 entering the third period and nearly turned Moody while riding, but Moody managed to escape with 40 seconds left and hit the winning takedown and added back points near the edge in the closing seconds. Moody, who dropped down from 160, lost his next two matches.
“There was a little bit of a strength issue,” Novak said. “Isaiah tore his rotator cuff three weeks ago. I can’t give him enough credit for what he did. He’s been a great leader for the last four years. We’ll see what happens next.”
Moody ended up getting pinned in his next two matches and eliminated from state qualifying contention.
Cambridge 120-pounder Caleb Kendall was defeated in his first two matches on Saturday when he was pinned twice in the first period.
The other Palmyra-Eagle wrestler at the sectional was Austin Pogreba, a senior 170-pounder, won his first match with a second-period pin. Pogreba lost his second match to Horicon senior Brandon Zamorano by an 8-7 decision. The loss sent Pogreba to the consolation bracket where he was pinned at 1:08.
Johnson Creek junior Leo Sabala (195) lost by fall to Lourdes senior Keagan Stelzer (24-7) at 1:32 of the quarterfinals and was eliminated.
“Leo was undersized,” Novak said. “He had (good position) a couple times. He had a firemen’s (carry) working. It was great for him to get here.”
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