Merrill hosts Youth State Folkstyle Wrestling Qualifier, Merrill wrestlers advance and compete at State

Emersyn Graap fifth place. Photo courtesy of Merrill Wrestling Program.


First the Qualifier

On March 16, 2024, Merrill hosted the Youth State Folkstyle Wrestling Qualifier, the largest such qualifier in the state, with 673 competitors, according to Brian Suchocki, Merrill Varsity Wrestling Head Coach. “The Merrill Wrestling Team had 13 wrestlers compete at the qualifier, Marcus Rice, James Clark, Tanner Reinhardt, Jase Klug, Brant Suchocki, Bentley Blake, Rylan Brendemuehl, Colton Van Lieshout, Broc Suchocki, Bennett Jacobson, Emersyn Graap, Madlyn Hunter, and Kendell Klug,” he said.
The qualifier narrows the field in each age division, weight, and gender group to the top three wrestlers who will then move on to compete in the State Tournament.
Of the 13 Merrill wrestlers competing, 6 made it to through to State: Emersyn Graap, Madlyn Hunter, and Kendell Klug all took first place in their division, Broc Suchocki took second place in his, Brant Suchocki took third place in his, and Rylan Brendemuel took fourth place so he went to State as an alternate,
“All wrestlers competed well and three Merrill girls were dominant in their performances,” Coach Suchocki said. “Even though the wrestlers that didn’t move on would have liked to advance to State, their hard work and effort is evident. Many of the wrestlers gained great experience and are motivated to get better. We have some young wrestlers learning the sport and seeing what high level wrestling is.”
Suchocki said such a large event would not have been possible or run as smoothly as it did without the support and assistance of all the volunteers and coaches. “I would like to thank all our volunteers, coaches, and wrestlers for all their effort making for a great weekend,” he said. “Many of our volunteers helped Friday at the weigh-in, Saturday at the qualifier, and Sunday at the wrestling escape. We’ve had the largest qualifier of eight throughout the State because people know it’s well run.”

Kendell Klug sixth place. Photo courtesy of Merrill Wrestling Program.

State Tournament

Merrill’s six qualifying wrestlers went on to compete at the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation’s Youth Folkstyle State Tournament at the Aliant Energy Center in Madison on March 22-24.
“Every Merrill wrestler competing at the State Tournament won matches,” Coach Suchocki said.
Emersyn Graap took fifth place and was Merrill’s top finisher. “Emersyn has placed at State before, but it never gets easier,” he said. “Emersyn won her first two matches, putting her into the semi-finals, before losing and eventually battling in overtime to take fifth place. Emersyn works hard and competes very well in competition.”
Merrill’s next-highest finisher was Kendell Graap who finished in sixth place. “Kendell was able to make the podium,” Coach Suchocki said. “Kendell started with a win before dropping her quarter-final match. After that she had to win two in a row to make the top six. It was great to see Kendell battle to the awards stand. Kendell has come a long way this year. We are really looking forward to having her wrestle at the high school next year.”
“Brant Suchocki 3-2, Rylan Brendemoehl 1-2, Madlyn Hunter 1-2, and Broc Suchocki 2-2 were the other Merrill competitors,” he said. “Our Merrill wrestlers competed well at State. It’s a big deal to compete at State but even bigger getting wins at State.”
“Madlyn and Broc will also be at the high school next season,” Coach Suchocki said. “Madlyn had a tough bracket, but she was able to get a win and she prepared very well for the tournament.”
“Broc had a great tournament even though he was short of placing,” he said. “Broc has solid technique. We look forward to having all three eighth graders competing at high school next season.”
“Rylan and Brant competed on the first day of the tournament,” he said. “Even though Rylan is undersized, he competed well. Rylan really goes after it. He will continue to get better. Brant had some awesome matches. Even though he was disappointed not making the awards stand, he has a lot of motivation to keep working at it.””
All the Merrill wrestlers competed well and it was exciting to see them wrestle at State,” Coach Suchocki said. “The middle school wrestlers have been preparing for this since the beginning of December.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top