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Mergener Leads Coleman's State Haul



With 7 of their 8 grapplers earning state medals, including the 152 pound championship by senior Mason Mergener, the Coleman Cougars enjoyed one of their greatest WIAA meets in school history.

Mergener (44-3) capped the big weekend as he stopped all-comers to take home the gold, including a thrilling 3-2 title win over Josh Cormican of Boyceville.

The individual state crown was the 29th in Coleman wrestling history.

Joining Mergener on the medal stand were Jensyn Schaal (40-5) third place at 120, while 3 other Cougars claimed fourth place medals...Trevor Seewald 145, Dexter Karban 160 and sophomore heavyweight CJ Pillath (30-19). Receiving 6th place medals were Jackson Margis 126 and Marc Lansin 132.

“It was an unbelievable weekend. To bring home seven medalists and a state champion has to be one of the best ever for us other than last year,” Coleman mat boss Kevin Casper said. “I’m very proud of our wrestlers and what they accomplished this past weekend, it just shows what hard work and the right attitude can do for you.”

The only better year for Coleman? Had to be 2012 when 11 wrestlers made it to state, 9 earning medals and 4 making their way into the finals.

The last of 4 wrestling brothers, Mason Mergener was the toast of Coleman following his state title performance at 152 pounds. After watching his twin brothers lose in the finals in each of the last two years, Mason wasn’t going to let this “once in a lifetime opportunity” pass him by.

Mergener needed just 73 seconds to win his quarterfinal match, pinning Jerry Hotelling of Arcadia (36-14). Taking on Cody Willis of Weston-Ithaca (40-8) in the semifinals, Mergener cruised to a 12-5 decision.

That set the stage for the state finals. And what a match it would be.

Ranked third in Division 3 at 152, Mergener used an escape with 0:35 left in the third period to take a 3-2 lead over Cormican. But the final seconds seemed like an eternity. Avoiding a couple of late takedowns, Mergener pushed away his opponent and held on for the title.

“Mason has been on a mission for the past month and it all paid off by winning a state title in dramatic fashion. He dominated in his first two matches leading up to the finals. Mason got the takedown in the first period to go up 2-0, then in second period chose the down position but never got out. In last period Cormican went down and got a reversal with less than a minute to tie it 2-2. Mason got an escape to go up 3-2 but had to fight off two different takedown attempts. Cormican was in real deep on doubles but fortunately Mason was able to fight those takedowns off to win the match,” Casper explained. “Unbelievable exciting match, those last 30 seconds couldn’t go fast enough.”

Working the 120 pound mats, Schaal went 3-1 at the state meet with his only loss coming in the semifinals

The sophomore beat Tim Anderson of Clear Lake (42-8) by a 9-8 decision in the quarterfinals before getting pinned by eventual champion Cole Martin of Lancaster (49-4) in 1:23. Forced into a wrestleback, Schaal responded with a 3-1 decision over Joe Obert of DeSoto (38-5) then dominated Cole Large of Ozaukee (39-11) by a 15-5 major decision.

“Jensyn had a great tournament beating some outstanding wrestlers along the way. Got beat by eventual state champ in the semis and was in on a takedown but got a little out of position and pinned,” Casper said.

Casper watched three other Cougars settle for 4th place finishes.

Seewald (43-8) needed just 28 seconds to pin Pat Vehrenkamp of Blair-Taylor (28-12) in the first round then put Cling Hoftiezer of Oostburg on his back in 0:35 in the quarterfinals. Seewald lost his semifinal bout to eventual champ Trenton Cornell of Lancaster (37-6) on a 4:29 pin, beat Cullen Pedersen of New Lisbon (44-4) by a 11-9 score before getting pinned in 1:30 by Hayden Krueger of Crandon ( 45-3).

Taking his talents to the 160 mats, Karban (32-10) went 2-2 at the state meet. He began with a 15-0 technical fall over Mason Lind of Laconia (35-17), lost to Ethan Soderstrom of Lancaster (49-4) by a 15-0 technical fall, whipped Kevin Beckmann of Ozaukee (42-8) 13-2 before dropping the third place match to Cole Dollar of Florence (39-5) in a 3:47 pin.

Pillath keeps on turning heads with a 4th place state medal at heavyweight.

Sitting at 30-19, Pillath won 6-0 over Nick Zimmerman of Laconia (35-11), was pinned by Cole Johnson of DeSoto (47-0) in 2:33, claimed a tiebreaker over Kyle Andreae of Spencer (45-4), nipped Donovan Ralston of Bruce (41-9) by a 3-2 score before getting pinned for third place by Alex Lennartson of Unity (45-2) in 0:31.

“Trevor had a great tournament in his first two matches with two quick pins. Lost in semis to eventual state champ. Dexter was also very dominating in several of his matches. Dexter wrestled fantastic! Lost to eventual state champ in semifinals, who is now a two time state champ. CJ had another phenomenal tournament placing 4th and beating some very good kids along the way. His confidence has ballooned and it has showed on the mat,” Casper explained.

Margis (36-14) posted a 2-3 state mark for sixth place at 126 pounds. The two wins for Margis came in a sudden victory-1 over Alex Colbeth of Clear Lake (38-12) and a 4:10 pin of Luke Finnel of Mishicot (47-6).

“Jackson had two big matches, one in OT, and pinning Finnel from Mishicot who has beaten him twice this year. He has been to state three times but now places,” Casper said.

Marc Lansin (34-13) also came up with a sixth place finish at 132 pounds. Lansin began his state work with a pair of wins, topping Pat Stepniewski of Random Lake 12-9 and registering a 3:41 pin over Dominic Olson of Boyceville (37-6). One of Lansin’s setbacks came at the hands of state champion Trevor Spears of Riverdale (46-1) in an 8-1 decision.

“Marc won a huge quarterfinal match with a pin after being down 11-1 going into 3rd period. He just kept battling back and never quit,” Casper added.

The only Cougar not to place was defending state champion Isaac Nowak (34-9), who was pinned in his 195 opening match by Atticus Sharp of Weston-Ithaca (42-8) in 4:43.


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