W-F sending three wrestlers to state
Kempf wins title in Shawano
By Greg Seubert
The season is alive and well for three Weyauwega-Fremont wrestlers.
Justin Kempf, Cian Fischer and Carter Greening finished first, second and second, respectively, at a WIAA Division 3 sectional meet Feb. 17 at Shawano High School.
Meanwhile, Amherst’s Bryce Holderman and Max Villnow advanced out of the same sectional.
All three wrestlers will now compete at the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Meet, which gets underway Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Kohl Center in Madison.
W-F sent nine wrestlers to the sectional and placed sixth out of 24 teams.
Kempf won the 132-pound championship with two pins and a 6-2 win over Stratford’s Derek Martin in the final and the junior will take a 42-2 record to his second trip to state.
“Justin has been incredible this season,” coach Tim Potratz said. “He has no fear of any opponent. He wrestles well from the top, the bottom and on his feet. He is a lot of fun to watch wrestle and should do well.”
Kempf has a bye in the first round and will face Princeton’s Connor Richter or Mineral Point’s Caden Carey Friday, Feb. 23.
Fischer, a junior, advanced to state for the third straight season and will take a 42-3 record to Madison at 120.
He picked up wins in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds before dropping a 5-2 decision to defending state champion Caleb Gross of Coleman in the final. He wrapped up second place with a 4-3 win over Stratford’s Max Schwabe in the wrestleback round.
“Cian wrestled a fantastic tournament and almost beat the state champion to win the sectional,” Potratz said. “Cian was moving and attacking all day and looks as good as he has all season. He has high goals and we hope he can reach them.”
Fischer will open the state meet Feb. 22 against Princeton’s Luke Pulvermacher.
Greening, a sophomore, is also heading to state after placing second at 106. He pinned his first opponent before falling to Manny Drexler of Stratford 10-4 in his semifinal match.
He came back through the wrestleback round to pin Bonduel’s Max Sokolski in 1:35 and wrapped up second place with a 9-2 win over Marathon’s Dane Klinger.
“Carter is wrestling his best right now at tournament time,” Potratz said. “He is moving well on the mat and is really tough from the top position. His confidence is sky-high as he heads to his first state tournament.”
Greening (43-4) will face Royall’s Nolan McKittrick Feb. 22.
Junior Easton Groskreutz missed out on his second trip to state after placing fourth at 113.
He lost his quarterfinal match, but came back through the wrestleback round with a 4-2 win over Stratford’s Karter Stuttgen before coming up on the short end of a 12-5 score to Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Chad Moegenburg.
Other W-F wrestlers at sectionals included Logan Kicherer (138), Tyler Wetzel (170), Kyle Loehrke (182), Austin Bartel (195) and Dylon Runge (220).
Three Manawa wrestlers – Tyler Pynenberg (126), Bryan Griffin (132) and Garrett Bristol (145) – also competed.
All three wrestlers came up short in their first-round matches. Bristol picked up a 3-2 decision over Crivitz’s Michael Retza in the wrestleback round, but Shiocton’s Levi Snortum pinned him in 5:17 to end his season.
Holderman pinned Bonduel’s Collin Wussow and Stratford’s Dylan Schoenherr before wrapping up his title with an 18-3 technical fall win over Athens’ Dakota Venzke.
Villnow pinned Crandon’s Nick Adamski and Stratford’s Hector Rojas before beating another Athens wrestler, Tyson Sommer, 6-4 in the final.
Holderman and Villnow have byes in the first round of the state meet and will wrestle their first match Feb. 23. Holderman (38-1) will face Caleb Gearhart of St. Croix Falls or Markesan’s Bryce Friday. Villnow (42-1) will see Johnson Creek’s Seth Roberts or River Ridge/Cassville’s Ben Wheeler.
Oconto Falls Sectional
Waupaca sent 132-pounder Colby Bernhardt and 195-pounder Mark Kilcoyne to the sectional.
The meet featured four of the North Eastern Conference’s top teams in Freedom, Luxemburg-Casco, Oconto Falls and Wrightstown and those four teams combined to send 19 wrestlers to state.
Luxemburg-Casco’s Nathan Ronsman pinned Bernhardt in 4:30 in the first round. Bernhardt stayed alive by pinning Seymour’s Jeremiah Baranczyk in 1:17, but his season ended with a 6-5 loss to Lakeland’s Tate Olson.
Berlin’s C.J. Kurczek pinned Kilcoyne in 3:03, but Kilcoyne never got a chance to come back through the wrestleback round after Kurczek lost his second match.