WIAA wrestling roundup: Youngchild perseveres for 2nd State medal

WIAA wrestling roundup: Youngchild perseveres for 2nd State medal

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WIAA wrestling roundup: Youngchild perseveres for 2nd State medal

By

MADISON

The medal that will be placed around his neck on Saturday night may suggest otherwise, but make no mistake. Manitowoc Lincoln’s Zac Youngchild is a champion.

The senior wrestler wrapped up his high school career by finishing third in Division 1 at 138 pounds. His bronze marks his highest finish in his three appearances at State. Standing on the podium in front of roughly 15,000 people is impressive enough, but it’s not just the hardware that made this particular run at the Kohl Center memorable, it was the way Youngchild earned the medal.

To get a grip on the context of the situation, one must understand that Youngchild hasn’t lost often. In fact, he sports a record of 129-17 in the three seasons he qualified for State.

His goal was to go out with a State title and he had every reason to expect that of himself. However, the Lincoln standout found himself on the short end of an 11-1 loss to Fritz Schierl of Stevens Point in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Forget gold, Youngchild was one loss away from returning to Manitowoc empty handed.

Many wrestlers would have faltered under such circumstances. Not Youngchild. On Friday, he methodically began to fight his way back to his new goal: third place. After opening up with wins over Andre Mayllen (Baraboo, 29-17) and Evan Whitehead (Milton, 30-9) in the opening rounds of consolation Friday, Youngchild topped Max Fisher (Waterford, 51-3) by a count of 6-1 to earn a berth in the third-place match.

His opponent? None other than Schierl, the one who kept Youngchild from attaining his goal.

About to square off with the only foe who had beaten him in the last month, Youngchild stepped to the mat with a sense of confidence, not dread.

“I wrestled him before. That’s huge because you know exactly what he’s going to do…you know what won’t work against him,” Youngchild said. “I knew I could get my shots on him and, if I didn’t get caught in a headlock like I did in the first match, the outcome would be a lot different.”

Youngchild was well aware that his rematch against Schierl would be the last of his high school career.

“You know it’s the last time you’ll ever wrestle,” Youngchild said. “You just have to leave it all out there. I know how much hard work I put into it. You just have to go out there and do it for you.”

That’s exactly what Youngchild did, upending Schierl 5-4 to capture third place.

“Seeing him wrestle the way he did, that makes me just as proud as if he would have won the first one,” Ships head coach Nate Muckerheide said. “Not many people can do that. All of my credit goes to him. He has worked so hard and he deserves everything.”

Even Youngchild, who had his heart set on a championship, had no trouble breaking a smile at the thought of what he accomplished this season.

“It feels great. It’s what I’ve been working for my whole life,” Youngchild said. “It’s not what the final goal was, but I’m very happy with it. I put it all out there and just wrestled.

Division 2

Two Rivers’ Ty Pelot (120) earned his second straight third-place finish.

After edging JJ McClellend (43-7) of Viroqua in the consolation semis, Pelot (49-5) downed Drew Wheeler of St. Croix Falls (40-5) by major decision 10-2 in the third-place match.

The senior, who only wrestled varsity for three years, finishes his career as a three-time qualifier and two-time state place winner.

Trevor Wittmus of Valders capped his first trip to State with a sixth-place finish. The sophomore fell to Jonny Chamberlin (42-2) of Chetek/Weyerhaeuser/Prairie Farm in the consolation semis before losing a 2-1 decision to Pewaukee’s Jacob Raschka (47-6) in the fifth-place bout.

Trailing 2-0 in the third period, Wittmus was able to manage a late escape to draw within one, but was unable to score the takedown he needed to complete the comeback.

“I’m super proud of Trevor,” Valders head coach Andrew Miller said. “To come out here this weekend, as a sophomore, and get a win, that was really cool to see. Just to get on that podium…he’s wrestled super tough all weekend.”

Division 3

Reedsville’s Jordan Brandt (285) finished in fourth-place after falling to Donny Ralston (40-4) of Bruce 3-1 in sudden victory in the third-place match.

Brandt (37-8) defeated Boscobel’s T.J. Fischer (37-8) 5-3 in the consolation semifinals earlier in the day.

The junior finishes the season with his first State medal.

“It’s going to be pretty cool,” Brandt said of the upcoming medal ceremony. “(It takes) hard work and hard practice every day.”

Boone Young (145) of Mishicot placed fifth in his weight class. The junior won the fifth-place match by forfeit, which also marked his 100th career win.

Earlier in the day, Young defeated Zach Newton (40-9) of Spring Valley/Elmwood in the consolation semifinals.

“He just put it together at the right time, sometimes you get lucky,” Mishicot head coach Mike Pratt said. “You have to take advantage of the draws and what’s in front of you, even the forfeit for fifth-place…he got to that position himself.”

Young (41-7) looks back fondly upon his State experience.

“It feels pretty good, especially because I wasn’t expecting to do what I did,” Young said. “I have great teammates who always push me. Weston Cracraft, Mason Matthias, Weston Paplham, they’re always there and I’ve always had them to help me.”

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