MARSHFIELD – With all the accomplishments the athletic department of Stevens Point Area Senior High has had over the years, one thing missing was a wrestling regional title.
That changed Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers crowned five champions and advanced 10 to sectionals as they claimed their first regional title at the WIAA Division 1 regional in Marshfield.
By winning the regional, SPASH advances to face Hudson in the team sectional on Tuesday in Menomonie. The top four finishers in each weight class qualified for the individual sectional that will be held at Eau Claire North next Saturday.
Point amassed 216.5 points while second-place D.C. Everest — which also qualified 10 for sectionals — had 167.5.
“This is just outstanding,” SPASH coach Duane Groshek said. “We knew we had the potential this year with some outstanding individual talent, and it just feels great to finally do something that has never been done in program history.”
For years, SPASH went to the eastern part of the state, and despite having some solid teams was never able to get past perennial power Wisconsin Rapids. But beginning in 2013, the Panthers were reassigned to the northwest part of the state. After finishing behind some strong Merrill and Wausau West teams, the Panthers have finally won a regional.
“Out mantra this year is ‘no regrets,'” Groshek said. “We have been sick and injured all year and have been short-handed most of the year, but we are starting to turn the corner and fill our spots at the right time.”
SPASH was led by Fritz Schierl (152) who claimed his second regional crown with a 15-2 major decision over Wausau West’s Michael Phillips.
“It’s a pretty good feeling to get my second regional title,” Schierl said. “I’ve had some setbacks this year and some injuries, but I felt pretty good today and wrestled well.”
Brady Koontz (106), Dylan Koontz (113), Paul Zalewski (182) and Noel Winch (220) all added regional titles for the Panthers.
SPASH also had three runner-ups in Chance Bailey (120), Tyler Hall (138), and Dakota Kelz (145).
Marshfield finished in fourth place with a score of 159. The Tigers ended the tournament with a pair of champions, Mitch Hertel (160) and Josh Lang (195), while advancing sevento sectionals.
Hertel captured his second straight regional crown with a major decision over Joey Roth of SPASH. Lang also earned a major decision when he knocked off Wausau East’s Alex Stine 10-2.
Team Scores: 1. SPASH 216.5, 2. D.C. Everest 167.5, 3. Merrill 163.5, 4. Marshfield 159.0, 5. Wausau West 151.5, 6. Rhinelander 147.0, 7. Antigo 65.5, 8. Wausau East 63.0.
Sectional Qualifiers: 106: 1. Brady Koontz (SP); 2. Tyler Olson (Rhine); 3. Brandon Lucht (Ant); 4. Kevin Yang (WE). 113: 1. Dylan Koontz (SP); 2. Manning Denk (DCE); 3. Frank Lor (WW); 4. Aidan Ball (Mer). 120: Don Veverka (DCE); 2. Chance Bailey (SP); 3. Devon Schultz (Mer); 4. Travis Altman (Mfld). 126: Jacob DeMeyer (Rhine.); 2. Anthony Kanable (Mfld); 3. Tom Severson (DCE); 4. Ryan Waldron (WW). 132: 1. Scott Arneson (Mer); 2. Jon Fox (Rhine); 3. Nolan White (DCE); 4. Dylan Rivera. 138: 1. Hunter Welch (Mer); 2. Tyler Hall (SP); 3. Mitch Meverka (DCE); 4. Payton Duberstein (WW). 145: 1. Joe Ziolkowski (DCE); 2. Dakota Kelz (SP); 3. Alex Reas (Rhine); 4. Tanner Pettit (Mer). 152: 1. Fritz Schierl (SP); 2. Michael Phillips (WW); 3. Jeremy Brost (Mfld); 4. Will Dixon (Ant). 160: 1. Mitch Hertel (Mfld); 2. Tanner Baine (WW); 3. Joey Roth (SP); 4. Nate White (DCE). 170: 1. Mason Reinhardt (Mer); 2. Alex Kurtz (Rhine); 3. Sam Stroik (DCE); 4. Jake Harlow (SP). 182: 1. Paul Zalewski (SP); 2. Jared Bonke (WE); 3. Colton Krueger (Rhine); 4. Garrett Becerra (Ant). 195: 1. Josh Lang (Mfld); 2. Alex Stine (WE); 3. Seth Collins (Mer); 4. Brady Lenz (WW). 220: 1. Noel Winch (SP); 2. Berkley Corvino (DCE); 3. Timothy Mineau (WW); 4. Brandon Cramer (Mfld). 285: 1. Nathan Tessmer (WW); 2 Christian Kleinschmidt (Mer); 3. Nic Humphrey (Mfld); 4. Chris Geurink (DCE).