By Paul Lecker
MADISON – Three local wrestlers will be making a return trip to the championship round, while three others will be there for the first time as six athletes from Stratford, Spencer/Columbus and Marshfield won their semifinal matches on Friday night at the 2019 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament at the Kohl Center.
Spencer/Columbus senior Logan Zschernitz returns to the Division 2 285-pound championship match after whipping Daniel Enloe (33-12) of Belleville/Montello/New Glarus, pinning him in just 31 seconds.
Zschernitz, last year’s 285-pound champ, improves to 45-0 with the victory.
He needed just 15 seconds to get Enloe to the ground, and another 16 seconds to finish off the pin and earn a return trip to the finals.
“It’s a lot of preparation, working with our coaches this year, not just other guys,” Zschernitz said. “Every match I prepare the same. I don’t overthink it. I will have the same mentality as I do in every other match this year, and not put too much pressure on myself.”
Stratford senior Manny Drexler and junior Trevor Dennee will also be returning to the finals on Saturday night.
Both lost in the championship round a year ago, but will get a chance at redemption.
Drexler (45-4) beat Tristen Mascarette (39-6) of Florence/Niagara, 6-3, in a Division 3 120-pound semifinal.
Drexler used a takedown with four seconds left in the first period, a reversal midway through the third period, and another takedown in the final seconds to grab the win.
“I feel very confident (heading into the finals),” Drexler said. “I’ve been there twice before, it hasn’t worked out in my favor in the past, but this year is a new year, it’s a new match. I take every match one at a time and I’m excited.”
Dennee (46-1) edged previously undefeated Ryan Neu (38-1) of Dodgeland, 9-8, to win a 170-pound semifinal.
Dennee lost in last year’s 170-pound final to Neu, 6-2, but came back this year to end Neu’s 82-match winning streak.
The match was tight throughout, with Neu taking a 6-4 lead after a furiously-paced first period. Dennee tied the match with a takedown with 40 seconds left in the match, only to see Neu earn an escape 19 seconds later.
Dennee quickly got back into position, took down Neu with 15 seconds left, and held on to earn the victory. He will take on a familiar opponent in Pittsville’s Hunter Grimm (40-7), who beat Logan Shramek of Blair-Taylor 6-2 in the other 170-pound semifinal.
Dennee pinned Grimm in last week’s sectional and beat him 6-0 at the regional on Feb. 9.
Marshfield senior Sam Mitchell accomplished his goal and will make his first trip to the state finals, handling Charlie Hooyman (44-4) of De Pere by major decision, 13-2, in a Division 1 195-pound semifinal.
Mitchell, who lost in the quarterfinals last year and finished fifth, improved to 45-1 this season with the win and will take on Brooks Empey (51-6) of Stoughton in the championship match. Mitchell beat him 16-3 in the fifth-place match at the individual meet and also took down Empey 11-3 at the state team tournament a week later.
“I was focused on winning that match,” Mitchell said. “I just wanted to go out there and score points, and knew I could do it. I wanted to focus on my training and keep scoring points. I’m excited. I’ve come down here ever since I was a little kid. It’s always been a dream of mine to become a state champ and I’m excited to finally make that a dream come true.”
Stratford will have two others making their first state finals appearances.
Junior Max Schwabe slipped past Aidan Nutter (38-8) of Fennimore, 7-6, to reach the Division 3 132-pound finals.
Schwabe (46-2) will take on Tristan Hammen (44-6) of Random Lake in the championship match.
Schwabe had a pair of takedowns, and was given two escapes in the third period by Nutter, the second with 59 seconds to go, to provide the difference as neither could take down the other in the final minute.
Senior Dylan Schoenherr also took a big step forward as he winds down his career. After losing in the semifinals last year and finishing third, Schoenherr pinned Mitchell Gore of Athens in just 1:02 to win his 285-pound semifinal.
Schoenherr (47-3) will take on Leif Bredeson (37-5) of Darlington/Black Hawk in the Division 3 285-pound championship match. Bredeson also earned a first-period pin in his semifinal.
Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal senior Stephen Buchanan, last year’s 170-pound champion in Division 2, will get a chance at a second state title as he rolled to a win in his 182-pound semifinal. He pinned Marcus Orlandoni of North Fond du Lac/St. Mary’s Springs in 2:27 to advance to Saturday’s finals and improve to 47-0 this season.
Medford’s Jake Rau will also wrestle for a Division 2 title. Rau (34-2) beat Ryan Larson of St. Croix Central, 6-3, in a 220-pound semifinal and will take on Jackson Linsmeier (45-5) of Valders for the state title on Saturday night.
Edgar’s Ethan Heil (34-0) remained unbeaten with a win over Cole Ebert of Reedsville in a Division 3 220-pound semifinal to move on to Saturday’s final. He will battle Drew Hennessey (39-1) of Iowa-Grant/Highland.
Championship matches will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Wisconsin and the Fox Sports app.
2019 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament
Feb. 21-23, At Kohl Center, Madison’
Saturday, Feb. 23
Consolation semifinals, fifth- and third-place matches, 10 a.m.
Finals, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 22
Division 2 quarterfinals
113: Blaze Thurber (40-6), jr., Nekoosa/Assumption/Port Edwards, def. Taedon Nichols (39-2), fr., Luck/Frederic/Grantsburg/Siren, 6-4, SV-1.
132: Matty Bianchi (48-2), so., Two Rivers, def. Dane Higgins (27-8), jr., Medford, 13-8.
138: Devan Alt (33-14), sr., River Valley, def. Andy Poetzl (40-11), sr., Medford, 7-4; Aidan Medora (31-0), jr., St. John’s Northwest Military Academy, won major dec. over Craig Elsen (42-4), sr., Nekoosa/Assumption/Port Edwards, 16-5.
145: Andrew Forsythe (43-5), jr., North Fond du Lac/St. Mary’s Springs, def. Zeke Sigmund (27-6), jr., Medford, 7-4.
195: Stephen Buchanan (46-0), sr., Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal, pinned Will Schaefer (41-4), jr., Belmont/Platteville, 3:32.
220: Jake Rau (33-2), jr., Medford, def. T.J. Weidman (42-3), sr., Denmark, 6-1.
285: Logan Zschernitz (44-0), sr., Spencer/Columbus, won by injury default over Michael Douglas (36-13), so., Belmont/Platteville, 0:45.
Division 3 quarterfinals
120: Manny Drexler (44-4), sr., Stratford, def. Henry Amborn (7-3), fr., Burlington Catholic Central, 5-2.
132: Max Schwabe (45-2), jr., Stratford, pinned Brant Cracraft (29-14), fr., Mishicot, 3:51.
138: Beau Merritt (38-9), sr., Pittsville, won by injury default over Jacob Rogers (36-8), jr., New Lisbon, 5:57; Luke Pulvermacher (37-8), sr., Princeton, won by major dec. over Jacob Heiden (31-10), so., Stratford, 11-2.
145: Logan Schmitz (35-5), sr., Mineral Point, def. Mavrick Licciardi (41-7), sr., Stratford, 9-4.
152: Brock Schlough (48-0), sr., Boyceville, won major dec. over Derek Marten (21-4), sr., Stratford, 13-4.
160: Colton Clary (32-5), sr., Ithaca/Weston, def. Devin Dennee (38-13), jr., Stratford, 5-2.
170: Trevor Dennee (45-1), jr., Stratford, pinned Austin McCurdy (36-10), sr., St. Croix Falls, 1:02; Hunter Grimm (39-7), sr., Pittsville, def. Will Ahnen (40-10), jr., Fennimore, 8-7, UTB.
195: William Raatz (17-1), sr., Edgar, def. Evan Grubbs (44-2), jr., Kenosha Christian Life, 9-3.
220: Ethan Heil (33-0), jr., Edgar, pinned Brayden Leffler (31-12), sr., Fennimore, 1:58; Drew Hennessey (38-1), sr., Iowa-Grant/Highland, pinned Connor Westfall (31-7), jr., Athens, 3:27.
285: Dylan Schoenherr (46-3), sr., Stratford, pinned Tanner Gaffey (43-2), so., St. Croix Falls, 2:39; Mitchell Gore (33-9), jr., Athens, def. Bryce Friday (42-2), jr., Markesan. 13-7.
Division 1 consolations
113: Karter Stuttgen (32-6), so., Stevens Point, def. Dylan Ellefson (35-11), fr., La Crosse Logan/Central, 4-0.
132: Josiah Lynden (43-11), sr., Mukwonago, pinned Ryan Dolezal (29-9), fr., Marshfield, 3:42, (Dolezal eliminated); Jalin Conner (40-5), jr., Milwaukee Bradley/Arts/Juneau/Carmen, won major dec. over Max Schierl (22-11), jr., Stevens Point, 13-1, (Schierl eliminated).
138: Tanner Kanable (40-8), sr., Marshfield, def. John Diener (36-11), sr., Kaukauna, by forfeit.
145: Joseph Hoffman (26-13), sr., Middleton, def. Wyler Lubeck (43-6), jr., Wisconsin Rapids, medical forfeit (Lubeck eliminated).
152: Nolan Hertel (42-3), sr., Marshfield, def. Tyler Locke (30-4), sr., Appleton East, 4-2.
182: Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (44-2), sr., Marshfield, pinned Larz Gough (23-11), sr., Wilmot Union, 1:27.
220: Keith Tourillott (34-7), jr., Shawano, def. Jaren Rohde (31-15), fr., Stevens Point, 4-3, (Rohde eliminated).
285: Jesse Fiers (42-11), sr., Holmen, pinned Mike Iverson (24-12), sr., Wisconsin Rapids, 3:46, (Iverson eliminated).
Division 1 consolation quarterfinals
113: Jake Hendricks (30-17), so., West De Pere, def. Karter Stuttgen (32-7), so., Stevens Point, 3-1, SV-1, (Stuttgen eliminated).
138: Carmeron Tonsor-Heesen (38-8), sr., Slinger, def. Tanner Kanable (40-9), sr., Marshfield, 6-5, (Kanable eliminated).
152: Nolan Hertel (43-3), sr., Marshfield, won major dec. over Adam Polczynski (31-17), jr. Hartland Arrowhead, 12-0.
182: Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (45-2), sr., Marshfield, def. Drake Schams (39-12), jr., Holmen, 6-2.
Division 2 consolation quarterfinals
132: Dane Higgins (28-8), jr., Medford, def. Alex Gundrum (38-13), jr., Lomira, 9-7.
138: Ethan Schwartz (33-7), so., Denmark, def. Andy Poetzl (40-12), sr., Medford, 3-2 (Poetzl eliminated).
145: Austin Mowerty (41-10), jr., Westby, def. Zeke Sigmund (27-7), jr., Medford, 2-1 (Sigmund eliminated).
Division 3 consolation quarterfinals
138: Kolbe Ubersox (37-5), sr., Darlington/Black Hawk, def. Jacob Heiden (31-11), so., Stratford, 9-3 (Heiden eliminated).
145: Mavrick Licciardi (42-7), sr., Stratford, def. Joey Bock (32-13), jr., Random Lake, 4-1.
152: Derek Marten (22-4), sr., Stratford, def. Bryce Karban (41-10), sr., Coleman, 3-1, SV-1.
160: Devin Dennee (38-13), jr., Stratford, def. Billy Reif (45-5), sr., Shiocton, 4-1.
220: Connor Westfall (32-7), jr., Athens, pinned Milan Monchilovich (38-8), so., Cumberland, 0:48.
Division 1 semifinals
106: Nicholar Rivera (54-0), fr., Stoughton, def. Justin Groshek (43-1), jr., Stevens Point, 9-3.
195: Sam Mitchell (45-1), sr., Marshfield, won major dec. over Charlie Hooyman (44-4), sr., De Pere, 13-2.
Division 2 semifinals
113: Tommy Larson (44-3), jr., East Troy, def. Blaze Thurber (40-7), jr., Nekoosa/Assumption/Port Edwards, 7-2.
195: Stephen Buchanan (47-0), sr., Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal, pinned Marcus Orlandoni (42-3), jr., North Fond du Lac/St. Mary’s Springs, 2:27.
220: Jake Rau (34-2), jr., Medford, def. Ryan Larson (20-4), sr., St. Croix Central, 6-3.
285: Logan Zschernitz (45-0), sr., Spencer/Columbus Catholic, pinned Daniel Enloe (33-11), sr., Belleville/Montello/New Glarus, 0:31.
Division 3 semifinals
120: Manny Drexler (45-4), sr., Stratford, def. Tristen Mascarette (39-6), sr., Florence/Niagara, 6-3.
132: Max Schwabe (46-2), jr., Stratford, def. Aidan Nutter (38-7), jr., Fennimore, 7-6.
138: Kole Marko (45-3), fr., St. Croix Falls, def. Beau Merritt (38-10), sr., Pittsville, 5-2.
170: Hunter Grimm (40-7), sr., Pittsville, def. Logan Shramek (41-4), jr., Blair-Taylor, 6-2; Trevor Dennee (46-1), jr., Stratford, vs. Ryan Neu (38-1), sr., Dodgeland, 9-8.
195: Caden Straka (40-6), jr., Lancaster, def. William Raatz (17-2), sr., Edgar, 6-5.
220: Ethan Heil (34-0), jr., Edgar, def. Cole Ebert (38-10), fr., Reedsville.
285: Dylan Schoenherr (47-3), sr., Stratford, pinned Mitchell Gore (33-10), jr., Athens, 1:02.
Saturday, Feb. 23
Division 1 consolation semifinals
103: Justin Groshek (43-1), jr., Stevens Point, vs. Riley Nilo (40-7), fr., Milton.
152: Nolan Hertel (43-3), sr., Marshfield, vs. Alex Guardiola (42-3), sr., Waterford.
182: Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (45-2), sr., Marshfield, vs. Zachary Marek (43-7), sr., Waunakee.
Division 2 consolation semifinals
113: Blaze Thurber (40-7), jr., Nekoosa/Assumption/Port Edwards, vs. Markus Brown (36-4), so., Northwestern.
132: Dane Higgins (28-8), jr., Medford, vs. Cole Bavery (38-4), jr., Edgerton.
Division 3 consolation semifinals
138: Beau Merritt (38-10), sr., Pittsville, vs. Kolbe Ubersox (37-5), so., Darlington/Black Hawk.
145: Mavrick Licciardi (42-7), sr., Stratford, vs. Nelson Wahl (30-7), so., Cadott..
152: Derek Marten (22-4), sr., Stratford, vs. Derek Moravec (40-6), sr., Wabeno Area/Laona.
160: Devin Dennee (38-13), jr., Stratford, vs. Tyler Blanchard (41-7), so. Coleman.
195: William Raatz (17-2), sr., Edgar, vs. Aaron Ragels (37-11), jr., Fennimore.
220: Connor Westfall (32-7), jr., Athens, vs. Cole Ebert (38-10), fr., Reedsville..
285: Mitchell Gore (33-10), jr., Athens, vs. Ryan Jacobs (41-6), sr., Winnebago Lutheran Academy.
Division 1 finals
195: Sam Mitchell (45-1), sr., Marshfield, vs. Brooks Empey (51-6), so., Stoughton.
Division 2 finals
195: Stephen Buchanan (47-0), sr., Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal, vs. Tyler Hannah (40-2), jr., Viroqua.
220: Jake Rau (34-2), jr., Medford, vs. Jackson Linsmeier (45-5), sr., Valders.
285: Logan Zschernitz (45-0), sr., Spencer/Columbus Catholic, vs. Dom Meurett (41-4), sr., Mauston.
Division 3 finals
120: Manny Drexler (45-4), sr., Stratford, vs. Cian Fischer (46-0), sr., Weyauwega-Fremont.
132: Max Schwabe (46-2), jr., Stratford, vs. Tristan Hammen (44-6), jr., Random Lake.
170: Hunter Grimm (40-7), sr., Pittsville, vs. Trevor Dennee (46-1), jr., Stratford.
220: Ethan Heil (34-0), jr., Edgar, vs. Drew Hennessey (39-1), sr., Iowa-Grant/Highland.
285: Dylan Schoenherr (47-3), sr., Stratford, vs. Leif Bredeson (37-5), jr., Darlington/Black Hawk.