Hatchet grapplers nipped twice
What a logjam!
The top three wrestling teams in Saturday’s WIAA Mosinee Regional battled throughout the day only to end up within a bear hug of each other.
So how small was the difference?
“One (bout) win and we win it,” THS coach Bob Garrou said of the six points that separated three teams. “That’s a pretty close day. I’ve been saying all year that our kids are inexperienced. We’ve been wrestling over our heads all year long.”
Wittenberg/Birnamwood grabbed top honors with 201 points and GNC runner-up Mosinee edged the champs 196-195 for second.
Tomahawk missed out on the team tournament by that miniscule margin, although Garrou noted the honor is short-lived.
“Whoever made it is going to get crushed by Luxemburg/Casco,” he said of Tuesday’s team sectional. “We weren’t the best team yesterday and that’s the way life goes.”
The Hatchets send three grapplers on to this Saturday’s Freedom Sectional. Junior Austin Bellile (182, 23-0) and senior Payton DuPlayee (195, 45-1) racked up individual titles, and freshman Nate Flohr (120, 31-13) ranked second.
“We’ve got a good chance this weekend,” Garrou said. “We’d like to bring all three kids to state.
“Austin is 23-0 and 20 pins. He’s on a vision quest. Champions come in pairs. Payton is 45-1 and having a great year. He’s really looking good now that he’s down to 195.
“Nate has really been a surprise. He wrestles a good kid first (at sectional) and then it’s all about getting on a hot streak. We have good draws at sectional. I think they can all do well.”
Bellile pinned in 1:23 and :43, and DuPlayee majored his only foe, WB’s Levi Jozwiak, by a 15-6 tally. Flohr lost a 6-0 title match but bounced back with a pin in 2:51.
In another example of oh-so-close, six kids placed third, and in D2 and D3 that doesn’t advance. Kevin Zurfluh (106, 36-8), Turner Wegener (113, 37-9), Larry Hendzel (132, 27-13), Brandon Larkin (145, 26-12), Kris Cole (170, 25-10) and Adam FauFau (220, 20-8) were in that crew.
Finishing fourth was Jake Borchardt (160, 14-15) and Ryan Kuehn (138, 9-15), Peter Pintens (152, 15-18) and Mitchell Schauer (285, 22-18) all rated fifth. Jacob McGuire (126, 3-8) ranked sixth.
Wild Rose/Wautoma (165), Nekoosa/Port Edwards (157) and Waupaca (135) completed the team placings.