Young Hatchet grapplers grow

The THS wrestlers not only destroyed Antigo 62-18 in Thursday’s dual, they actually took a step up from last year in Saturday’s 16-team Tomahawk Invitational, despite their youthful squad.

“We graduated seven kids off last year’s team. Last year we were third and with all the same teams this year we were second,” THS coach Bob Garrou said. “Even the matches where we got beat, we were competitive. Every kid won at least two matches. With some of the new kids we have, that’s a great day. They are really stepping up.”

Tomahawk trailed Hortonville 268-252, and Chippewa Falls easily outdistanced Chequamegon 247-141 for third.

Senior Mitch McAllister (152) and sophomore Austin Bellile (189) are both 11-0 on the year after grabbing titles, and Kevin Zurfluh (103), Turner Wegener (112), Larry Hendzel (125), Kris Cole (171) and Payton DuPlayee (215) were runners-up. Zurfluh, Wegener and DuPlayee are all 10-1.

Colton Butler (160) and Nate Kuehn (285) placed third, Brandon Larkin (140) finished fourth and David Brostowitz (130) and Johann Carstensen (145) ranked fifth. Sam Guzik (135) was seventh.

“Mitch wrestled incredibly,” Garrou said. “He absolutely pounded a state qualifier. If Mitch can get his mental as strong as his physical, he is going to have an incredible senior campaign. Austin has wrestled all over the country. Some incredible things are coming that boy’s way. He was really dominant. I was very happy with the way he wrestled.”

Riding the Robins

Thursday’s match was a pin-fest, with only two bouts going the distance and only six lasting more than a period.

“Antigo is definitely a rebuilding program,” Garrou said. “With their new coach they are going to improve tremendously.

“I can tell what type of kids I have. It’s easy to get fired up for the tough teams, but it’s much harder to get fired up for the teams that aren’t as good. I’m pleased with the team’s attitude.”

Picking up pins for THS were: Duplayee (:30), Zurfluh (:40), Hendzel (2:41), Brostowitz (:47), Carstensen (1:18), McAllister (3:51), Cole (3:25) and Bellile (1:03). Kuehn (9-1) and Butler (12-4) collected majors and Wegener received a forfeit.

Austin Story (125, 5:52), Ryan Kuehn (135, 1:58) and Larkin (1:20) were pinned.

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