Second-ranked MHS runs roughshod in Kimberly
The Bluejays grapplers may have switched up the location of their season-opening meet, but the final result was more than familiar.
Merrill jumped into Saturday’s Papermaker Invite and ran away with first place by nearly 200 points after racking up 648 in the 12 team event.
“Obviously we’ve got some team balance and we’ve got some individuals that are pretty tough,” MHS coach Scott Arneson said. “We didn’t have any dual meets so we had 15-16 practices without a meet. The kids and coaches were pretty sick of practice and needed to get some competition.
“Sometimes team scores get a little lop-sided depending on the scoring system, although 200 points is a lot.”
Merrill racked up six titles, four runner-up finishes and three thirds. All 19 entries ended up in the top five, including five varsity-reserve entries.
Champions included Scott T. Arneson (126, 3 pins, 1 forfeit), Garrett Schmelling (132, 4 p, 1 f), Mason Reinhardt (160, 3 p, 1 tech fall), Alex Klug (195), Tyler Schmidt (220, 3 p, 1 f) and Gabe Nelles (285, 3 p, 1 f).
Seconds were turned in by Hunter Welch (113, 3 p, 1 f), Nathan Beyer (120, 2 p, 1 tf, 1 f), David Pophal (170, 2 p, 1 tf) and Ben Hintze (182, 3 p, 1 f). Thirds came from Justin Mondeik (106, 2 p, 1 f), Kevin Schmidt (138, 3 p) and Eric Ball (145, 3 p).
Aiden Ball (106, 2 p, 1 f) and Dylan Schielke (152, 2 p) were fourth. Fifths came from Brady Schmelling (120, 2 p), Tom Weinkauf (126, 2 p, 1 f), Jagger Scholz (138) and Riley Kurtz (285, 2 p, 1 f).
Arneson saw several advantages to this meet over the Milwaukee-area event they previously attended.
“The reason we went to Kimberly is it’s a D1 school and we could get in five matches in a day,” he said. “We dropped Black Hawk where we got 3-4 matches. The last two rounds were very balanced, guys going nose-to-nose with a guy of your ability.
“We also were able to wrestle some JV guys and the rest of our JV wrestled at Appleton East, 6-7 miles away. We got a lot of wrestling for Merrill kids, and our JV was able to watch the varsity kids in the finals.”
Team standings-Merrill 648, Oshkosh N. 456, Sun Prairie 363, Kewaunee 338, Greendale 305, Kimberly 296, St. Lawrence Seminary 235, Berlin 216, Sturgeon Bay 194, Fox Valley Luth. 151, Kenosha St. Joseph 109, Roncalli 79.