Four Merrill Wrestlers advance to sectional tournament
The Merrill wrestling team traveled to D.C. Everest High School on Saturday, Feb. 15, for the regional wrestling tournament. The Jays had a good showing, with 7 wrestlers placing top five and 4 of those would qualify for the sectional tournament with top four finishes.
Merrill heavyweight Zach Iribarren headlined the Jays top wrestlers on the day, being the only Merrill wrestler to win his weight class. Iribarren had a bye in the first round and would then go on to pin his first opponent, Sam Scheidegger (Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln), in just 28 seconds. That pin would earn Iribarren a spot in the first place match where he took on Jack Johnson (D.C. Everest). The match would make it into the second round, however Iribarren would put an end Johnson’s night with a pin just 17 seconds into the round.
At 160 pounds Ryder Depies would take second place for the Jays and qualify himself for sectionals. In his first match Depies won by fall over Caleb Mouw (Wausau East) in just over a minute of action. Depies would then get another pin, this time over Noah Baumann (Wausau West) in five minutes. The first place match saw Depies take his only loss on the day, falling to Camren Dennee (Marshfield). Depies would go on to win his second place match by no contest.
Coming off of a first round bye at 195 pounds, Merrill’s Walker Bathke would fall to Andrew Schutz (Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln) by 7-4 decision. Bathke then went on to pin his next opponent, Joseph Nienow (Wausau West), in 1:37. The second place match saw Bathke fall to Trevor Knapp (Rhinelander) by pin.
Casey Hoffman punched his ticket to the sectional tournament with a third place finish at 170 pounds. Early in the second round against Jaden Wilhelm (Marshfield) Hoffman would get Wilhelm to his back and earn a pin. In his second match Hoffman would go to a sudden death with Walker Hartman (Rhinelander), where Hartman scored a takedown for the 5-3 win. In his third place match Hoffman earned a pin over Athan Somers (Wausau West), however would then fall by no contest in the second place match.
As a team the Jays would place 6th out of the 8 competing teams. D.C. Everest won the regional with a team score of 208.5.
The Jays four individual qualifiers will hit the mat again on Saturday, Feb. 22, as they travel to Wisconsin Raipds Lincoln High School for the sectional tournament.