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High hopes for W-F wrestlers

Weyauwega-Fremont’s Vanden Hoffman (right) faces Manawa’s Brandon Bierman in the 285-pound championship match at last season’s Central Wisconsin Conference meet at Shiocton High School. Hoffman went on to place third in the state at 220 pound in Division 3 and is one of several returning wrestlers for the Warhawks this season. Perry Thomas Photo

Warhawks looking for improvement

By Greg Seubert

Weyauwega-Fremont’s wrestling team wants to improve from its performance during the 2022-23 season.

The Warhawks will again compete in the Central Wisconsin Conference and will open the season Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Little Chute Invitational in Little Chute.

“Last season was a tough one on our team,” said Tim Potratz, entering his 34th season as the team’s coach. “We expected to be very solid, but some issues derailed our season and left us determined to come back strong this year.”

Potratz has 28 wrestlers on the team that includes a mix of upperclassmen and talented rookies.

“We lost two sectional qualifier seniors to graduation – Isiah Schuh and Caden Meisenhelder – who both had real nice senior seasons for us,” he said. “We have a ton of talent returning and a solid group of freshman who will complete our lineup.”

Returning wrestlers include senior Vanden Hoffman, who was 48-3 last season and placed third in Division 3 at 220 pounds at the WIAA State Individual Meet.

Other returning wrestlers include senior Caleb Abbey (165); and juniors Riley Scherg (120), Aiden Marquette (144), Alex Loehrke (150), Nolan Schrei (175) and Tellyer Alix (190).

Also back are three juniors back who missed last season: Connor Johnson (157), Carter McDaniel (175) and Cashten Hoffman (215).

“All three of those kids are top-notch wrestlers who will make us much better right away,” Potratz said.

Sophomores that varsity matches that are back are Rylan Konen (113) and Jared Bohringer (190/215).

“We have 10 incoming freshman who will fill the rest of the weight classes with talent and some very impressive resumes,” Potratz said. “Trevor Potratz is now running most of the practice duties and the kids are excited by his high-level instruction and upbeat and intense practices.”

The Warhawks’ assistant coaches also include 2019 Weyauwega-Fremont graduate and all-state wrestler Tyler Wetzel and 2020 graduate and three-time all-state wrestler Carter Greening. 2021 graduate Cody Steinbach is back for his third season as a volunteer coach.

“They have each been through the program and know what we want done,” Potratz said. “Their ability to work with the kids and help with technique is very exciting to watch.”

After opening the season in Little Chute, the Warhawks will host Berlin and Tomahawk for a nonconference triangular Tuesday, Dec. 5, before hosting a dual invitational with New London and four other teams Friday, Dec. 8.

“The team has set some high goals for the season and we are excited to start that challenge this week,” Potratz said. “I am really looking forward to this season with the talented and hard-working team we have. We have put together a very tough schedule that includes dual meets against at least 10 state-ranked teams from divisions 1, 2 and 3.”

Weyauwega-Fremont Wrestling Schedule

Saturday, Dec. 2 – at Little Chute Invitational, 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 5 – vs. Berlin, Tomahawk, 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 8 – vs. Neenah, New London, Oshkosh West, Random Lake, Stratford, 4 p.m.

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15-16 – at Bill Scott Memorial, Orlando, Florida

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 29-30 – at Mid-States Classic, UW-Whitewater

Thursday, Jan. 4 – CWC duals vs. Menominee Indian, Manawa, Wittenberg-Birnamwood at Menominee Indian, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 6 – at Fred Lehrke Invitational, D.C. Everest High School, 9:30 a.m.; at Manawa Invitational, 9:30 a.m. (varsity reserves only)
Thursday, Jan. 11 – CWC duals vs. Bonduel, Pittsville at Bonduel, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 13 – at Oconomowoc Duals, 9:30 a.m.; at Fox Valley Lutheran Scramble (varsity reserves only)

Thursday, Jan. 18 – CWC duals vs. Pittsville, Rosholt, Shiocton, Tri-County, Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 25 – CWC duals vs. Rosholt, Amherst at Rosholt, 6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 26 – vs. Winneconne, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 3 – CWC meet at Tri-County, 10 a.m.

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