Tomahawk wrestlers second only to Wittenberg
The Hatchet wrestling team powered up another strong performance at Saturday’s WIAA Wittenberg Regionals.
Tomahawk placed second to their hosts, and will send six grapplers on to the next step-Saturday’s WIAA Seymour Sectional.
“We got six on (to sectional),” THS coach Bob Garrou said. “I thought we’d get eight.
“We’ve been wrestling really well. We’ve wrestled as good as we could the last couple of weeks. (Saturday) was a little step back, but we can’t keep wrestling over our head all the time. I thought we had a shot at winning regional, and we beat a pretty good Nekoosa team, a conference champion. We’ll accept (losing to Wittenberg), and hopefully get a couple of these guys to state.”
Wittenberg is just getting started, according to Garrou.
“We lost to a pretty good Wittenberg team,” he said. “They don’t have one senior. They’re going to really be good next year.”
Senior Austin Bellile (43-1) was the lone champion, dropping weight to sweep the 182-pound class. The state’s 3rd-ranked (at 195) grappler closed it out with a 10-6 win over Wittenberg’s August Peplinski. Senior Turner Wegener (15-4 at 120), freshman Kaleb Kaminski (30-15 at 152), junior Peter Pintens (16-4 at 160), sophomore Jake Borchardt (27-6 at 170) and senior Adam FauFau (33-10 at 220) all worked runner-up finishes to qualify for sectional.
“Those six kids performed up to their abilities,” Garrou said. “Austin had been sick all week, so I was a little worried, but he performed very well for those conditions. It was our plan all year (for him to cut to 182). Earlier we left him up (at 195) to help the team, but now he’s where he belongs. It will be nice to see if he can make his push to be a state champion.”
Nate Flohr (26-10 at 126), Bryan Tomek (16-14 at 138) and Henry Helland (26-11 at 195) ranked third to narrowly miss sectional, and Kevin Zurfluh (33-6 at 106), Cullen Wegener (18-13 at 113), Jacob McGuire (18-18 at 132), Quinton Wallenfang (18-18 at 145) and Mitchell Schauer (29-15 at 285) all finished fourth.
“Some of our kids just weren’t ready,” Garrou said. “Some got pinned by kids they had pinned all year.”
Team scores-Wittenberg 252, Tomahawk 208.5, Nekoosa 206, Mosinee 165.5, Lakeland 100, Almond Bancroft/Pacelli 55.
Individuals in D2 will need to place in the top three at sectional to earn a state berth.