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W-F sending eight to state

Weyauwega-Fremont’s Aiden Marquette reacts after pinning Waterloo’s Gavin Schroud in a 144-pound match Feb. 17 at a WIAA Division 3 sectional at Dodgeland High School in Juneau. Marquette went on to place third and is one of eight Weyauwega-Fremont wrestlers heading to state. Perry Thomas Photo

Wrestlers win sectional meet

By Greg Seubert

It’s been a season of firsts for the Weyauwega-Fremont wrestling team.

The Warhawks sent a school-record 13 wrestlers to a WIAA Division 3 sectional meet at Dodgeland High School Feb. 17 and set another school record by qualifying eight wrestlers for the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Championships, set for Thursday to Saturday, Feb. 22-24, at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Weyauwega-Fremont also qualified for the first time for the state team championships, which will be held Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, also in Madison.

Four of the eight wrestlers won sectional championships and helped the Warhawks place first with 164 points: Jaydon LeNoble (106 pounds), Carter Birdyshaw (132), Carter McDaniel (165) and Vanden Hoffman (285).

The Warhawks’ other state qualifiers are Connor Johnson (second, 157); Josue Azuara (third, 113); Aiden Marquette (third, 144); and Tellyer Alix (third, 190).

“It was a dominating performance from start to finish,” coach Tim Potratz said. “In the opening quarterfinal round, we won 12 out of our 13 matches and never looked back. We won the most matches of any team, qualified the most wrestlers to state, had the most pins and scored more points in their matches than any team in the tournament.”

Jake Buss works on Omro’s Cade Sowls in a 126-pound match. Buss is one of 14 Weyauwega-Fremont wrestlers that competed in a WIAA Division 3 sectional meet Feb. 17 in Juneau. Perry Thomas Photo

LeNoble won his championship with a 7-1 win over Westfield’s Lincoln Beyer; Birdyshaw beat Marshall’s Tucker Cobb 3-2; McDaniel defeated Johnson Creek’s Taylor Joseph 7-1; and Hoffman pinned Omro’s Andyboi Hernandez in 1:48.

Azuara lost a third-place match to Markesan’s Gavin Slark 6-0; Marquette beat Johnson Creek’s Luke Hartz in their third-place match; Johnson dropped a 7-3 decision to Pardeeville’s Caleb Mackey in their championship match; and Markesan’s Noah Hanefeld picked up a 5-4 win over Alix in another third-place match.

Weyauwega-Fremont’s other wrestlers included Rylan Konen (120); Jake Buss (126); Ezra Balthazor (fourth, 138); Nolan Schrei (175); and Wyatt Wetzel (215).

“It is an honor as a high school athlete to be able to represent your team, your school and your community in a state tournament,” Potratz said. “These kids will get to do that this week in the state individual tournament and our entire team will get to do that next week in the state team tournament. Congratulations to everyone in our wrestling family, from our youth and middle school coaches to parents to our awesome volunteer coaches, our fans, first-year assistant coach Tyler Wetzel and especially (assistant coach) Trevor Potratz for his skill, energy and positivity that has raised this program’s level of performance to our current position.”

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