Merrill Wrestling Team takes third at Bluejay Challenge, Depies and Ball both grapple into first place
TINA L. SCOTT
On Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, the Merrill Wrestling Team hosted the Bluejay Challenge Invitational Tournament. Out of 25 teams attending, the Merrill Varsity Wrestling Team finished 3rd.
“Ryder Depies and Brian Ball led the way by winning the individual championship,” Suchocki said. “Both continue to lead the team.”
“Ryder didn’t get out of the second before period dominating his competition. It’s fun to watch Ryder compete,” he said. “He will continue to work hard and get better.”
“Brian also put together a nice tournament,” Suchocki said. “Right now he is wrestling well. He has taken some nice shots, and all areas of his wrestling are continually improving. Brian is getting some big-match experience, which will be helpful down the last stretch of the season.”
“Callum Wheeler took third, showing some real determination in his final match,” he said. “He started out down four points but battled back and picked up a major decision. That’s the type of wrestling we want to see out of Callum. He is having a great season.”
“Austin Depies was our next highest place finisher coming in fourth,” Suchocki said. “Austin continues to battle, as he is in many back-and-forth matches.”
“Dusty Schmirler, Brett Suchocki, and Carson Brooks all finished sixth with solid performances,” he said.
“As a team, we competed well,” Suchocki said. “It was a long day and the wrestlers are becoming more seasoned with the competition. We are looking forward to competing in the month of January with some important matches.”
2023 Bluejay Challenge individual results for Merrill:
106: Dustin Schmirler (7-4) placed 6th and scored 28.0 team points.
113: Joey Jensen (11-12) placed 7th and scored 26.0 team points.
126: Brett Suchocki (13-5) placed 6th and scored 28.0 team points.
132: Brady Norton (16-8) placed 8th and scored 22.0 team points.
138: Callum Wheeler (20-3) placed 3rd and scored 37.0 team points.
145: Mason Johnson (3-3) placed 17th and scored 6.0 team points.
152: Hunter Opper (11-7) placed 7th and scored 28.0 team points.
160: Gage Lassa (11-2) placed 9th and scored 25.0 team points.
160: Jace Olson (6-9) placed 15th.
170: Brian Ball (20-3) placed 1st and scored 46.0 team points.
182: Carson Brooks (17-6) placed 6th.
182: Austin Depies (16-7) placed 4th and scored 32.0 team points.
195: Ryder Depies (22-1) placed 1st and scored 50.0 team points.
220: Noah Klug (10-8) placed 9th and scored 20.0 team points.
285: Mikel Plautz (4-13) placed 20th.
285: Joshua Gustum (1-3) placed 21st.
285: Ian Dreikosen (8-12) placed 19th and scored 0.0 team points.
2023 Bluejay Challenge team results
- Wittenberg-Birnamwood 413.02
- Wausau West 411.03
- Merrill 348.04
- Crandon 339.05
- Neillsville/Greenw./Loyal 264.06
- Lakeland/Mercer 256.07
- Saint Croix Central 240.08
- Chetek-Wey./Pr. Farm 238.09
- Boyceville 212.510
- Stanley-Boyd 208.011
- Chippewa Falls 199.012
- Abbotsford/Colby 191.013
- Tomahawk 185.514
- Marathon 182.015
- Waupun 163.516
- Amherst 157.017
- Edgar 155.018
- Nekoosa/Assumption 150.019
- Rhinelander 111.020
- Wabeno/Laona/Th. Lakes 108.021
- Antigo 104.522
- Athens 95.023
- Barron 61.024
- Tri-County 32.025
- Menominee Indian 30.0