Tres Leon and Robert Lee may be on the lower end of the weight class for the Kaukauna wrestling team, but there’s no question the sophomore duo can land quite a wallop on opposing wrestlers.
The duo advanced to the WIAA Division 1 state semifinals today in their respective classes and did it in impressive fashion for the Ghosts.
Leon pinning his prelim opponent Kyle Irmick of De Pere in 1:39, before demolishing Wausau West’s Bee Lor 16-1 in the quarterfinal.
Lee was just as dominant, pummeling West Allis Hale’s Trevor Kruzick in a major decision victory 14-1 in prelims before making short work of Stoughton’s Zach Hasselberger with a pin in 1:20 in the quarterfinal.
Leon (12-0) will face Milton’s Nolan Shea (36-5) in the state semifinals, while Lee (43-4) squares off against Wauwatosa West/East’s Zach Miller (41-5).
“I wrestled him last year and knew I could beat him,” Leon said of beating Lor. “I know I worked harder than him and I just went out there, was really focused and got it done.”
Kaukauna coach Jeff Matczak was satisfied with the performance of his young duo.
“Tres and Robert, they’re our hammers, our stars and they did shine tonight,” Matczak said. “We were hoping that some other guy would be able to get in and join them on the medal stand and we have a few opportunities tomorrow, but it’s going to be tough work.”
Kaukauna was extremely close to getting another wrestler to the semifinals, with Kolton Jansen losing an 8-6 decision at 126 to Green Bay Preble/East’s Evan Garcia in the third period.
“He didn’t wrestle a very smart match,” Matczak said. “We needed to wrestle with more desperation. He’s capable of getting away and he proved that in the last 40 seconds when he got a reversal to get ahead in the match.
“In the end, we didn’t correct something with Kolton that we needed to correct from last week on his counter of the single leg. It was something really basic. He has a lot of good skills and a lot of good weapons … he just went to (a leg pass) too early in the last takedown and it cost him. He just needed to use baseline defense and take it to overtime.”
Jansen will wrestle Holmen’s Darius Wright (36-7) in a D1 consolation match at 10 a.m. today.
Menasha duo lose in quarterfinals
Menasha’s Jimmy Sell at 126 and Zeek Hooyman at 220 had a good start to their day on Thursday.
It was the ending that wasn’t so kind to the duo.
Sell (40-5) defeated Reedsburg’s Nate Erbs 2-1 in the prelims before dropping an 8-6 decision to Kenosha Tremper’s Tyler Rice (52-0) in the quarterfinals.
Hooyman (37-5) rallied to upend Germantown’s Hunter Higginbotham 9-7 in the prelim after trailing for most of the match. That advanced him to the quarterfinals where he was pinned by undefeated Tyler Schmidt (43-0) of Merrill.
Hooyman wrestles Union Grove’s Ryan (24-12) in the D1 consolations today at 10 a.m. with Sell facing Turner Pruett (38-7).
Getting their groove on
The Division 2 and Division 3 field competed in prelims on Thursday with several area wrestlers advancing to the quarterfinals today at approxmately 11:15 a.m.
In Division 2, Freedom had three wrestlers get prelim wins. At 132, Alex Maes (36-9) defeated East Troy’s Andy Strey (33-12) 7-4 and at 145, Andrew Philibeck (16-7) knocked off Amery’s Mitch Nichols (32-13) 5-3.
Maes will face Sparta’s Brock Polhammus (33-10) today with Philibeck squaring off against River Valley’s Joe Crook (37-8).
At 220, the Irish’s Reed Ambrosius (45-3) pinned Black River Falls’ Dillan Bunde in 2:42 and will face Grafton’s Alex Marshall (44-3) today.
Also in D2, Clintonville’s Jake Reiter (39-7) had a major decision win over Belleville’s Jack Nelson at 195 and will face East Troy’s Joey Dedick (43-0) in the quarterfinals, while Chilton/Hilbert’s Austin Hephner pinned Ashland’s Nate Weaver (30-15) in 51 seconds. Hephner will face River Valley’s Zach Koch (36-10) today in the quarterfinals.
Rounding out the D2 quarterfinals will be Little Chute’s Brandon Elrick (43-6) at 285. He will face Brodhead/Juda’s Logan Maurer (45-2) today after defeating Lomira’s Justin Thill (33-7) 3-1 in the prelims.
In D3 prelims, Shiocton’s Zech Riehl pinned Glenwood City’s Isaac Tuttle (14-5) in 4:42 at 170 and he’ll face Johnson Creek’s Kyle Kemmerling (32-8) today. Manawa’s Casey Johnson also won his 182 prelim, pinning Laconia’s Dustin Diech (27-18) in 3:22 and will square off Cambridge’s Jack Nett (42-2).
Several wrestlers also had byes into the quarterfinal round. In Division 2, Wrightstown’s Dillan Micke (32-8) will face Lodi’s Jason Clapper (39-7) at 106 . At 120, Chilton/Hilbert’s Patrick Breckheimer (41-10) will wrestle Sparta’s John Riddick (39-11) and Freedom’s Cody Walrath (29-10) will square off against Neillsville’s Jared Boon (35-6).
Little Chute’s Bryce Zdanovec (42-4) also received a bye and will face Sheboygan Falls’ Alex Fitzgerald (32-12) today while Chilton/Hilbert’s Mitchell Fucile (44-1) will tackle Stanley-Boyd’s Ronny Ponick (44-6) at 152.
In Division 3 at 285, Brillion’s Silas Petrie (43-1) received a bye and will face Iowa-Grant’s Ben McFall (35-6). At 132, Shiocton’s Austin Riehl (41-3) will face Parkview’s Alex Hauri.
He said it
“I kind of noticed the whole match that he stands up a little bit and I thought ‘OK, I’m going to try this outside shot.’ I hit it and it was golden.” – Menasha wrestler Zeek Hooyman on his 9-7 comeback victory over Germantown’s Hunter Higginbotham in a WIAA Division 1 state prelim.
Division 1 quarterfinals
106 pounds: Tres Leon, Kaukauna, tech. fall Bee Lor, Wausau West, 16-1; 120: Robert Lee, Kaukauna, pinned Zach Hasselberger, Stoughton, 1:20; 126: Tyler Rice, Kenosha Tremper, dec. Jimmy Sell, Menasha, 8-6; Evan Garcia, Green Bay Preble/East dec. Kolton Jansen, Kaukauna, 8-6; 220: Tyler Schmidt, Merrill, pinned Zeek Hooyman, Menasha, 2:33; Mitchell Ledwith, Neenah, dec. Lucas Stromberg-Windau, Tomah 5-4.
Division 1 preliminaries
106: Tres Leon, Kaukauna, pinned Kyle Irmick, De Pere, 1:39; 113: Shane Blackman, New Richmond, dec. Bailey Van Handel, Kaukauna, 5-0; 120: Kody Azarian, Waterford, major dec. Josh Cowling, Neenah, 10-2; Robert Lee, Kaukauna, major dec. Trevor Kruzick, West Allis Hale, 14-1; 126: Kolton Jansen, Kaukauna, tech. fall Taylor Choinski, Racine Case, 19-4; Jimmy Sell, Menasha dec. Nate Erbs, Reedsburg, 2-1; 132: Austin Fjoser, Sauk Prairie, dec. Evan Hietpas, Kaukauna, 8-1; 138: Kyle Hinners, Milton, dec. Justin Kloehn, Kaukauna, 9-2; 160: Mason Reinhardt, Merrill, pinned Blair Mulholland, Kimberly, 2:53; 170: Myles Devine, Franklin, pinned Brett Handschke, New London, 5:56; 195: Caleb Sisbach, Sauk Prairie, dec. Nick Dercks, Kaukauna, 6-4; 220: Mitchell Ledwith, Neenah, dec. Robert Johnson, Badger, 1-0; Zeek Hooyman, Menasha, dec. Hunter Higginbotham, Germantown, 9-7; Dakota Johnson, Elkhorn, dec. Tyler Nelson, Kaukauna, 6-1.
Division 2 preliminaries
106: Drew Wheeler, St. Croix Falls, dec. Walker Christensen, Seymour, 7-2; 120: Josh Murray, Marshall, dec. David Leisgang, Seymour, 11-4; 132: Alex Maes, Wrightstown, dec. Andy Strey, East Troy, 7-4; 138: Tristan Zurfluh, Sparta, dec. Jake Schmidt, Wrightstown, 5-3; Kevin Klopfenstein, Monroe, major dec. Chase Maxwell, Fox Valley Lutheran, 10-0; 145: Andrew Philibeck, Freedom, dec. Mitch Nichols, Amery, 5-3; 160: Alex Peters, West Salem/Bangor, dec. Al Keuler, Wrightstown, 8-6; 195: Jake Reiter, Clintonville, major dec. Jack Nelson, Belleville/Monticello/New Glarus, 13-2; Austin Hephner, Chilton/Hilbert, pinned Nate Weaver, Ashland, :51; 220: Reed Ambrosious, Freedom, pinned Dillan Bunde, Black River Falls, 2:42; 285: Brandon Elrick, Little Chute, dec. Justin Thill, Lomira, 3-1.
Division 3 preliminaries
170: Zech Riehl, Shiocton, pinned Isaac Tuttle, Glenwood City, 4:42; 182: Jesse Verbanac, Random Lake, pinned Henry Fielding, Shiocton, 4:49; Casey Johnson, Manawa, pinned Dustin Diech, Laconia, 3:22; 195: Derek Peat, Iowa-Grant/Highland, major dec. William Browning, Brillion, 12-2.
— Ricardo Arguello: 920-993-1000, ext. 558, or firstname.lastname@example.org; On Twitter @PCRicardo