The Random Lake wrestling team entered Day 2 of the three-day WIAA Invididual State Wrestling Championship with six wrestlers competing for the chance at a Division 3 title match. Half of them got there.
The Rams’ 106-pound freshman Josh Depies and senior teammates Nick Klein (195) and Reed Anklam (285) each won a pair of matches on Friday at the Kohl Center and will wrestle today at 6 p.m. for the opportunity to be called a state champion in their respective weight classes.
Depies (42-7) opened the day with a 4-3 win over Cambridge freshman Ben Gobel (35-15) and followed with a 6-4 win over Stratford sophomore Sam Wenzel (36-10) in the semifinals.
With the win, the 106-pound bracket comes down to Depies and undefeated Riverdale sophomore Riley Lull (50-0).
Klein (43-10) began the day by making quick work of quarterfinal opponent Ethan Hofacker, a Spring Valley sophomore he defeated 11-4. From there, Klein earned a 7-4 decision over Shiocton senior Dominic Gunderson (46-5) and will now face Stratford senior Dondrick Tackes (36-1) for the championship.
Anklam (46-4) closed out the memorable day for the Rams as he defeated Boscobel junior T.J. Fischer 5-2 in the semifinals following his 9-4 quarterfinal win over Crandon senior Grant Murray (36-7).
Anklam will now face Mishicot senior Jon Brendemuehl (48-5). The pair have battled it out in both the regional and sectional finals. Brendemuehl won by ultimate tiebreaker at regionals, while Anklam won in sudden victory last week at sectionals.
The first loss for the Rams happened to senior Brandon Depies (46-4), who fell 4-2 to Cameron junior Kal Gerber (47-2) in the 120 quarterfinals but rebounded to earn a 9-3 win over Athens senior Trevor Kottke (22-11) to move on in the consolation bracket. He will square off against Oconto sophomore Elton Kelsey (40-6) this morning when consolation matches get underway.
Teammate and fellow senior Trent Gottsacker (138, 45-9) topped Blair-Taylor senior Matt Massman (38-11) 7-1 before falling to Coleman senior Jackson Margis (44-2) 4-1 in the semifinals. He will now face Shiocton junior Austin Riehl (34-5) in the consolation semifinals.
At 126 pounds, it will be familiar foes facing off in the consolation semifinals as Rams senior Jon Mudlaff (43-7) will square off with Ozaukee and Central Lakeshore Conference foe senior Colton Kraus (38-8).
Mudlaff won his quarterfinal 3-1 over Mineral Point junior Frank Baker (38-14) before falling in the semifinal match in the closing seconds 6-4 to Stratford senior Alex Heiden (44-5).
Kraus opened by being pinned by Lancaster senior Kyle Mezera (43-2) but won his consolation bracket opener 4-2 win over Cumberland junior Trey Lundequam (39-8).
Also for the Warriors, seniors Cole Large (41-6) and Kevin Beckmann (42-8) split to advance to the consolation semifinals. At 132, Large began with a 14-9 win over Mondovi junior Trevor Giedd (34-9) but fell to Lancaster junior Cole Martin (24-0).
Also for Beckmann, at 160 he earned an 11-4 win over Weston/Ithaca senior Mason McCauley (42-9) but fell to Iowa-Grant/Highland junior Luke Nowak (40-11).
Large will now face Coleman junior Marc Lansin (37-6) while Beckmann is set to take on Manawa senior Garret Griffin (27-8).
Cole Fritsch (36-5), New Holstein’s lone representative, had the area’s only major decision as he won 12-2 over Auburndale junior Wyatt Weiler (34-9) before falling in the semifinals to New Lisbon senior Cullen Pedersen (46-1) by 3-0 decision. Fritsch will now face Bonduel junior Dan Tauchen (40-9).
Also a lone representative, Cedar Grove-Belgium senior Greg Wenzel (37-7) began the day with a 5-1 loss in the 182 pound quarterfinals to Stratford freshman Kamren Bornbach (43-8) but earned a 7-4 win in a consolation quarterfinal over Reedsville senior Tyler Schuh (38-10).
Wenzel will face Iowa-Grant/Highland senior Cody Rider (36-16).
Nearly 50 percent of the remaining locals earned a pair of wins to advance to title matches as Sheboygan Falls senior Mitchell Lambrecht and Kiel’s Matt Halverson will wrestle for titles today.
Lambrecht (40-6) earned a 9-7 win over Stanley-Boyd junior Ronny Ponick (47-4) and earned a 4-3 win over Waupaca senior Levi Petroske (46-4) in the semifinals to move on to face Ellsworth senior Gable Frandsen (54-1) in the finals.
As for Halverson (46-2), the 285-pounder advanced with a 20-second pin of Peshtigo senior Andrew Johnston (44-6) before notching a 3:36 pin of Brodhead/Juda junior Logan Maurer (47-3).
For the championship, Halverson will square off with Chetek junior Cole LaLiberty (42-1).
Kiel 120-pound junior Tanner Woepse fell in his quarterfinal match to Saint Croix Falls senior Drew Wheeler (40-3) via 8-4 decision before suffer a 14-2 major decision defeat in his consolation bracket opener to Viroqua senior JJ McClelland (43-7).
The Raiders’ Aaron Field (37-11) also suffered a pair of defeats on Friday. The 182-pounder opened by being pinned in 3:09 by Wittenberg sophomore August Peplinski (47-6) and then fell in the consolation quarterfinals after being pinned in 3:22 by Brodhead/Juda junior Gavin Baade (42-3).
Suffering a similar fate, Sheboygan Falls’ Brady Koller (32-16) was pinned in 1:30 in the 220 quarterfinals by Luxemburg-Casco senior Luke Destiche (43-0) and followed with a 1-0 loss in the consolation quarterfinals to Sparta senior Logan Degenhardt (40-11).
Sheboygan South junior Skylar Kroening (35-12) had his first trip to the state meet came to an end as he fell 6-2 in his consolation bracket opener at 106 pounds to Menomonie junior Joey Ford (40-10).
Making his second appearance at State for the Redwings, senior Jake Malwitz (37-10) also fell in his consolation bracket opener 7-4 to fellow 145-pounder Joseph Nelson (41-3), a Stoughton junior.