By Paul Lecker
MADISON – The 76th annual WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament will be held Thursday, Feb. 21, through Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Kohl Center in Madison.
A total of 44 wrestlers from 15 Central Wisconsin schools will be among the field competing for 42 state championships.
Marshfield will have a school-record nine athletes competing in Division 1, Spencer/Columbus Catholic will have three wrestlers taking part in the Division 2 field, and Stratford, for the second year in a row, will have nine athletes in the Division 3 brackets.
Wrestling begins with Division 1 preliminaries at 3 p.m. Thursday. Division 1 quarterfinals will follow at approximately 5:15 p.m., and Division 2 and 3 preliminaries will begin at approximately 7 p.m.
Division 1 consolation matches start at 10 a.m. Friday and will be followed by Division 2 and 3 quarterfinals, and more consolation matches in all three divisions. Semifinals will begin at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, consolation matches continue through the fifth- and third-place matches beginning at 10 a.m. The championship matches start with the March of Champions at 5:30 p.m.
Seniors Nolan Hertel (152 pounds), Sam Mitchell (195), Tanner Kanable (138) and Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (182), and sophomore Gabe Pugh (126) all return to the state tournament for Marshfield. Joining them will be three first-time qualifiers – junior Shane Westerhausen (120), senior Caden Pearce (145), and freshmen Keagan Cliver (113) and Ryan Dolezal (132).
Hertel is making is fourth-straight trip to state and searching for his first victory. Mitchell is going back for the third year in a row and coming off a fifth-place finish, while Schwanebeck-Ostermann is returning for a second consecutive time after placing fourth last year. Pugh (36-4) is also making his second-straight state appearance after no placing in 2018.
Spencer/Columbus senior Logan Zschernitz has put together an undefeated season in defense of his Division 2 285-pound championship that he won last year. Zschernitz (43-0) returns to state for the third year in a row – he placed third in 2017 – and earned a bye into the quarterfinals by virtue of his second championship.
Zschernitz will be joined by teammates Treyton Ackman (113 pounds) and Ashton Ackman (120).
Treyton Ackman (39-7), a freshman, and Ashton Ackman (40-7), a junior, will wrestle in Division 2 preliminaries on Thursday night. Ashton Ackman is back for the second time as he also made it to state as a freshman.
Stratford, the two-time defending Division 3 team state champions, will again have nine at the individual state meet, including four that earned medals last year.
Senior Manny Drexler (42-4 at 120) and junior Trevor Dennee (44-1 at 170) return to the state field after finished second a year ago.
Senior Dylan Schoenherr (44-3 at 285) and junior Max Schwabe (44-2 at 132) are also going back to Madison after each earned third-place finishes at last year’s state meet.
Senior Derek Marten (20-3 at 152) is back to state for the third year in a row and looks to earn a second state medal after taking fourth in 2017. Also moving on to state for the Tigers are sophomore Jacob Heiden (30-9 at 138), junior Devin Dennee (37-12 at 160), and seniors Mavrick Licciardi (40-6 at 145) and Trevor Steiner (32-13 at 195).
Schwabe and Trevor Dennee both won sectional titles and earned byes into Friday afternoon’s quarterfinals. The other seven Tigers will wrestle in Division 3 preliminary matches on Thursday night.
Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal senior Stephen Buchanan (45-0 at 195) will be looking for his second-straight Division 2 state title as well. He won the 182-pound title last year.
Medford will have four participate in the Division 2 brackets, including sectional champions Andy Poetzl (40-10 at 138) and Zeke Sigmund (27-5 at 145).
Tickets are $8 per session and will be available at the Kohl Center ticket office, or online at wiaawi.org. Online tickets will include a $2 service fee and must be printed by the purchaser.
All matches in the tournament will be streamed live and can be viewed with a subscription to the NFHS Network, which is available at nfhsnetwork.com and costs $9.95 per month. The championship matches on Saturday night will be televised live on Fox Sports Wisconsin and on the Fox Sports App.
2019 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament
Feb. 21-23, At Kohl Center, Madison
Thursday, Feb. 21
Division 1 preliminaries, 3 p.m.
Division 1 quarterfinals, 5:15 p.m.
Division 2 & 3 preliminaries, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 22
Division 1 consolations, 10 a.m.
Division 2 & 3 quarterfinals, approx.. 11:15 a.m.
Division 1 consolation quarterfinals, approx.. 1 p.m.
Division 2 & 3 consolation quarterfinals, approx. 2:30 p.m.
Division 1, 2 & 3 semifinals, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23
Consolation semifinals, fifth- and third-place matches, 10 a.m.
Finals, 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 21
Division 1 preliminaries
106: Justin Groshek (41-0), jr., Stevens Point, vs. Dawson Enge (36-11), Sauk Prairie; Preston Spray (41-6), fr., Wisconsin Rapids.
113: Keagan Cliver (30-11), fr., Marshfield, vs. Michael Parker (36-9), so., Slinger; Karter Stuttgen (30-5), so., Stevens Point, vs. D’evin Gore (39-2), Plymouth.
120: Shane Westerhausen (26-12), jr., Marshfield, vs. Jake Stritesky (39-1), jr., Lake Geneva Badger.
126: Gabe Pugh (36-4), so., Marshfield, vs. Joshua Cherba (41-11), so., Waterford; Cale Benitz (37-9), sr., Wisconsin Rapids.
132: Ryan Dolezal (28-7), fr., Marshfield, vs. Ryan Kuesel (31-15), sr., Glendale Nicolet; Max Schierl (22-9), jr., Stevens Point.
138: Tanner Kanable (38-7), sr., Marshfield, vs. Ben Kumprey (33-4), jr., Burlington.
145: Caden Pearce (39-6), sr., Marshfield, vs. Tucker Smith (28-14), so., Kimberly; Wyler Lubeck (42-4), jr., Wisconsin Rapids.
152: Nolan Hertel (41-2), sr., Marshfield, vs. Kevin Meicher (31-0), sr., Middleton.
182: Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (42-1), sr., Marshfield, vs. Joe Sidenar (38-13), jr., Pewaukee.
195: Sam Mitchell (42-1), sr., Marshfield, vs. Azarion Waits (39-4), jr., Milwaukee Morse Marshall/Carmen Northwest.
220: Layne Kalata (29-11), sr., Wisconsin Rapids, vs. Kyle Bowens (24-4), sr., Kenosha Bradford/Reuther; Jaren Rohde (30-13), fr., Stevens Point.
285: Mike Iverson (24-10), sr., Wisconsin Rapids, vs. Isac Klarkowski (29-5), sr., Green Bay West/East/Southwest.
Division 2 preliminaries
106: River Halopka (35-7), so., Abbotsford/Colby, vs. Parker Heintz (31-9), fr., Lodi.
113: Treyton Ackman (39-7), fr., Spencer/Columbus, vs. Quintin Gehrmann (34-3), sr., Jefferson; Blaze Thurber (38-6), jr., Nekoosa/Assumption/Port Edwards, vs. Matt Rogge (30-5), so., Prairie du Chien.
120: Ashton Ackman (40-7), jr., Spencer/Columbus, vs. Colby McHugh (24-6), jr., Freedom.
132: Dane Higgins (26-7), jr., Medford, vs. Cole Hanson (35-13), fr., Delavan-Darien.
138: Craig Elsen (41-4), sr., Nekoosa/Assumption/Port Edwards, vs. Carter Huppert (28-12), jr., Ellsworth.
160: Aden Elsen (35-6), sr., Nekoosa/Assumption/Port Edwards, vs. Kale Hopke (34-8), fr., Amery.
220: Jake Rau (31-2), jr., Medford, vs. Trevor Daffinson (27-7), so., Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro.
Division 3 preliminaries
120: Manny Drexler (42-4), sr., Stratford, vs. Kaleb Sonnentag (26-19), fr., Cadott.
126: Carter Brunke (30-8), jr., Athens, vs. Kolton Tesarik (40-7), so., Mishicot.
138: Jacob Heiden (30-9), so., Stratford, vs. Nick Goodell (32-16), sr., Boyceville.
145: Mavrick Licciardi (40-6), sr., Stratford, vs. Hayden Kurth (35-8), jr., Dodgeland.
152: Derek Marten (20-3), sr., Stratford, vs. Korben Brown (30-6), so., Parkview.
160: Devin Dennee (37-12), jr., Stratford, vs. Spencer Kraus (36-6), jr., Cornell/Gilman.
170: Hunter Grimm (37-7), sr., Pittsville, vs. Terry Myadze (35-9), sr., Princeton.
182: Jordan Decker (28-10), sr., Athens, vs. Chase Beinbom (43-6), sr., Boscobel.
195: Trevor Steiner (32-13), sr., Stratford, vs. Bryce Best (32-12), so., Flambeau; William Raatz (15-1), sr., Edgar, vs. Gavin Tegels (34-11), fr., Cadott.
220: Connor Westfall (30-6), jr., Athens, vs. Brett Feind (32-12), sr., Cedar Grove-Belgium.
285: Dylan Schoenherr (44-3), sr., Stratford, vs. Clay Berra (11-17), jr., La Crosse Aquinas; Mitchell Gore (31-9), jr., Athens, vs. Garrett Ward (24-15), sr., Mineral Point.
Friday, Feb. 22
Division 2 quarterfinals
138: Andy Poetzl (40-10), sr., Medford, vs. Devan Alt (31-14), sr., River Valley, or Adam Sauer (37-9), so., Lomira.
145: Zeke Sigmund (27-5), jr., Medford, vs. Andrew Forsythe (41-5), jr., North Fond du Lac/St. Mary’s Springs, or Adam Kilgas (26-4), jr., Little Chute.
195: Stephen Buchanan (45-0), sr., Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal, vs. Will Schaefer (40-4), jr., Belmont/Platteville, or Alec Davis (34-8), sr., Grafton.
285: Logan Zschernitz (43-0), sr., Spencer/Columbus, vs. Ethan Witcpalek (36-11), sr., Wrightstown, or Michael Douglas (35-13), so., Belmont/Platteville.
Division 3 quarterfinals
132: Max Schwabe (44-2), jr., Stratford, vs. Hunter Bruhn (36-8), jr., Phillips, or Brant Cracraft (28-13), fr., Mishicot.
138: Beau Merritt (37-9), sr., Pittsville, vs. Tyler Kowalkowisi (16-6), jr., Cedar Grove-Belgium, or Jacob Rogers (35-7), jr., New Lisbon.
170: Trevor Dennee (44-1), jr., Stratford, vs. Kaden Grieser (24-15), sr., Cambridge, or Austin McCurdy (35-9), sr., St. Croix Falls.
220: Ethan Heil (32-0), jr., Edgar, vs. Brayden Leffler (30-11), sr., Fennimore, or Kyle Zehm (37-10), jr., St. Croix Falls.