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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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15 Area Wrestlers Qualify for State Competition

Issue Date: February 21, 2019

Coleman Sends 10 to State Mats,Gillett/Suring, Northwoods Storm Send 1 Each

The Coleman Cougars didn't make state as a team, but most of the team is headed to state after a Saturday's Division III Individual Sectional in Shawano.

For Coleman, 10 Cougars are headed to state, as Chance Gruber (106), Koltin Grzybowski (113), Caleb Gross (126), Karson Casper (132), Jake Baldwin (145), Bryce Karban (152), Tyler Blanchard (160), Shamus McLain (170), Spencer Karban (220) and Brock Martinson (285) each punched their tickets to state, just a few days after a tough team sectional loss to Stratford by just six points.

"It's awesome, as far as what our kids accomplished Saturday," coach Kevin Casper said of sending 10 wrestlers to state, Coleman's second-most ever. "Because it was a concern after coming back after such a devastating team sectional on Wednesday night with only two days' rest, to come back on Saturday, both physically and mentally, you're not sure how your kids are going to respond, but it just goes to show how mentally tough and how resilient our kids are."

Grzybowski and Gross have chances to earn their third consecutive state championships for Coleman. Grzybowski punched his ticket with a pin in the first round over Manawa's Kevin Klemm and a first-place win against Bonduel's Luis Lagunes, but his standout win was in the semifinal.

The Coleman senior, coming off a 9-6 decision loss to Stratford freshman Gavin Drexler at team sectionals, got another shot to hand Drexler his first loss of the season and he took it, beating Drexler 4-3. Drexler would miss state after a loss in the third-place match.

Casper said Grzybowski didn't necessarily have a physical advantage in the match, but he wrestled a very smart match.

"I think Koltin definitely after wrestling the kid from Wednesday, he learned some things that he needed to adjust in his attacks and how he approached that match," Casper said. "He studied him and performed exactly the way we talked about as coaches and he learned himself from wrestling in that match."

Gross pinned Pittsville's Camron Dammann in a minute and 5 seconds, topped Crandon's Jakob Hoyt by a 6-1 decision and pinned Bonduel's Max Sokolski (34-7) in 1:20.

Casper said Gross wrestled "really well," but the competition "wasn't as fierce as some of the other weight classes" on the day. Nonetheless, he got his work done to get back to Madison.

Coleman has never had a wrestler post win three state championships all in Cougar green.

"They're both chasing at and that would be outstanding if they both could get it," Casper said of the two cousins.

Baldwin won by 10-3 decision over Edgar's Jakob Lipinski, 12-5 decision against Weyauwega-Fremont's Logan Kicherer (37-12) and beat Stratford's Mavrick Licciardi by 17-1 tech fall to head to state with a 42-1 record.

Battling a bit of a knee injury down the stretch of the season, Baldwin wasn't lacking for confidence Saturday, easily moving on to state, where he'll undoubtedly he aiming for a state championship. He was a state runner up last season.

Blanchard won his weight class with a pin over Three Lakes/Phelps' Trystan Sanderfoot, then beating Shiocton's Billy Reif (44-3) in a 9-8 decision and Stratford's Devin Dennee, 13-7.

Blanchard trailed 4-0 in the championship match and came back to win.

"That tells you a lot about Ty," Casper said. "Ty's a gamer. I've always said he's a gamer. When he wrestles and he's on his game, he's hard to beat, so I'm pretty proud of how he performed."

Brock Martinson was the fifth Coleman wrestler to win his weight class, locking up his second consecutive trip to state by pinning Wittenberg-Birnamwood's Allen Uttecht in 1:12 and Athens' Mitchell Gore in 47 seconds. His semifinal win came by medical forfeit.

Martinson goes into state as one of the favorites, wrestling "on a roll," as Casper said.

Gruber moved onto his first trip to state with a second-place finish at 106, beating Stratford's Logan Gaulke by tech fall and Wittenberg-Birnamwood's Pierson Potrykus, who has beaten Gruber twice this season, by a 6-3 decision final. He lost to Manawa's Colten Klemm in the championship, but he's headed to state for the first time along with five other Cougars making their first trip to Madison.

"Chance Gruber is really coming on," Casper said of his freshman standout.

Karson Casper (132) placed third. He wrestled four matches, pinning Tri-County's Ryan Applebee (34-7), Crandon's Carter Bissonette in 1:11 and Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's Alex Decoursin in 57 seconds.

"We were a little worried with that first match of the day, but Karson wrestled a heck of the match," coach Casper said of his win over Applebee. Casper, whose shoulder is nagging him a bit, decided to medical forfeit in the final match with his state spot already locked up.

Bryce Karban got his 40th win of the year in the third-place match, booking his ticket with a 5-2 quarterfinal win over Shiocton's Brady Volkman and an 8-4 decision win against Rosholt's Blade Niewiadomski. His only loss came to Stratford's Derek Marten, who beat Karban 1-0.

Marten is headed to state for the fourth time in his high school career.

"He didn't go down in that last period when we thought we could hopefully get a takedown on him, but that kid was good at defending and couldn't quite finish any of our takedowns," Casper said. "That kid's a heck of a leg-rider."

McLain will make his third consecutive state appearance. He started off on the wrong foot, losing 9-5 to Pittsville's Hunter Grimm, but he won his next two matches easily to take third at 170. He pinned Rosholt's Adam Charnecke in 1:59 and beat Manawa's Eli Yoder in a 16-0 tech fall.

Against Grimm, it was a tough match, but at the end of the day, he got to Madison, where "anything can happen," Casper said, especially on his third trip down.

Spencer Karban (220) also lost his first match to Connor Westfall of Athens, but he would pin Andrew Elmhorst of Manawa in the consolation semifinal and beat Shiocton's Tyler Hess 4-2 in the state qualifying match.

Karban is headed to state with a 26-13 record.

"Spencer has been one of those off-and-on wrestlers at times and thankfully Saturday was his on-day," Casper said. "He wrestled tremendous."

Kasey Casper went 2-2 to take fourth at 120 and Jonathon Bieber (195) was fourth with a 2-2 record and two pin victories.

"We had a couple near misses," coach Casper said. Bieber made it last year as a sophomore, but he'll have another shot as a senior next season.

Jakob Horton finished 1-2 and did not place at 138. Cole Klimek went 0-2 at 182.

Elsewhere in sectional, Niagara's Tristen Mascarette is headed to state for the second time at 120. He ended Casper's season with a 4:45 pin in the third-place match. He also beat both Bonduel's Jayson Toellner and Rosholt's Bo Niewiadomski both by 7-2 deciisions, finishing with a 3-1 record in live matches on the day. Teammate Coleton Armstrong (285) did not place.

Gillett/Suring's Sam Lemens (138) is headed to state as well. He tech-falled Elcho's Mason Rusch, pinned Manawa's Ryan Griffin in 3:59 and took a 7-5 decision over Shiocton's Jared Jahnke in the third-place match to lock up a state spot. His only losses came by decision against Pittsville's Beau Merritt (37-9) and pin to Stratford's Jacob Heiden (29-9). Lemens' teammate Mike VanDenElzen did not place.

No Crivitz wrestler placed on the day Ryle Bmis won by decision in his first match at 126, taking a 6-5 decision over 33-9 Ehtan Flannery of Shiocton, but his day ended with two decision losses in the semifinal and consolation semifinal.

Tony Jopek (145), Jaden Bemis (182), Joseph Tomaszewski (195) and John Danielson (220) did not win their quarterfinal matches.

For Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy, Alex Decoursin got one win over Auburndale's Isaiah Hasenohrl, but he ended up in fourth after a loss to Karson Casper of Coleman. Richard Fieck (285) did not place.

State begins Thursday night at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Marinette's Holder Heads to State, Oconto Falls Sends Two to Madison

For the second straight year, Marinette is sending a wrestler to the state tournament.

Reese Holder, the Marinette 195-pounder earned a spot at state with a third-place finish in his weight class at the Division II Wrightstown sectional. Last year, Holder was one match away from state, but he did his work early on Saturday.

He started off by pinning former state qualifier Levi Galoff of Brillion in three minutes, 14 seconds.

In the semifinal, he punched his ticket to state with a 7-6 decision win over Bennett Krings of Winneconne. Trailing with 20 seconds remaining in the match, he got a reversal to win the match.

"He looked really good. I know, for him, getting to state was a big deal. He was one match away last year and he really put in a lot of time this year to achieve his goal and get to Madison, but now the goals have changed for him," Marinette coach Jason Champagne said. "Now, the goal is for him to go there and get some hardware."

In the first-place match, Denmark's Gabe Wertel pinned Holder in 2:15. Wertel has not lost this season. Holder forfeited the second-place match to avoid injury, knowing that he had already locked up a spot at the Kohl Center.

Holder has wrestled at 220 in the past, but he cut down to 195 to gain more of an advantage, as he was undersized by at least 10 pounds at 220.

Holder will face a tough field at state, where teammate Sean Holk competed last year.

Holk came up one win short Saturday. He started with an 11-3 major decision win over Jacob Kafer of Omro, but faced Luxemburg-Casco's Reese Worachek in the semi, losing 13-8. It was the second time he lost in a decision to Worachek this season.

He rebounded to beat Tomahawk's Ryan Skees by pin in the consolation semi, but he lost to Berlin's Austin Schrei in the third-place match.

"That was a tough match for us. Sean has been ranked all year long. He worked his tail off all year and we talk about how there's never any guarantees that you get back to that and unfortunately, I hate to have to see that happen for him," Champagne said. "He ran into a tough opponent in that third-place match. Things just didn't go his way, but that doesn't define him as an individual. He has aspirations to go and wrestle in college, so I feel like this is something that can motivate him to become an even better wrestler in the future."

The Marines had two wrestlers they hope can keep the program trending in the right direction wrestle at sectionals, with freshmen Darik McMahon (285) and Jonny Bieber (113) each wrestling. Neither won a match or placed, but Champagne said the freshmen should learn from the match and come back next year ready to take another step forward.

Speaking of freshmen, Clayton Whiting of Oconto Falls is headed to state after a first-place sectional performance in the 152-pound weight class.

Whiting beat Amherst's Mason Haas (29-11) my major decision and Wrightstown's Walker VandeHey by 5-3 sudden victory. He won the class with a 6-3 decision win over Lux-Casco's Nathan Ronsman (37-4).

Tyler Budz is returning to state for the second time, this time at the 126-pound weight class. He pinned Little Chute's Bryan Rodriguez in 2:51 and beat Denmark's Cole Tenor (35-14) by a 9-4 decision to punch his ticket. He lost his final two matches by pin and major decision to wrestlers with combined 76-18 records, but he's moving on.

Collin Schindel came up one place short, earning a spot in the third-place match with a decision win over Tomahawk's Lance Knight (34-12), but he was pinned by Lux-Casco's Lucas Joniaux (35-8) in the state qualifying match.

The state tournament begins Thursday and runs through Saturday night.


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