MADISON – There’s no doubt that Neenah’s Beau Yineman has made a substantial jump in progression from last season to this season.
The junior at 182 pounds finished fourth on Saturday at the WIAA Division 1 state individual wrestling tournament, falling to Waterford’s Jared Krattiger 11-5 in the third-place match.
Yineman was upbeat following his loss in the third-place match, but did admit that not being able to secure third place will be on his mind for a while.
“I really wanted third,” Yineman said. “I worked so hard for everything that I get and I really wanted it.
“But it’s great to be fourth place. Last year I got pinned twice here, so it’s a great bounce back from last year.”
A big key to Yineman’s maturation as a wrestler was a more concentrated effort to improve his footwork.
“Last year it was terrible,” Yineman said. “I’m not a very good athlete, so everything that I got athletically is from training. But I really worked on my footwork and my hands and snapping on his head and my setups.”
Yineman is banking that another year of improvement may lead to a berth in the state finals next season.
“I’m going to keep training hard and, hopefully, I can get to the finals next year,” he said. “I was so close in the semifinals. I tasted it and now I want the real thing in the finals next year.”
Also finishing fourth was Kaukauna’s Trent Leon, who fell to Menomonee Falls’ Eric Wunsch 8-6 in the 132 third-place match. Ghosts teammate Bryson Alsteen was pinned by La Crosse Central’s Connor Williams in 1:42 in the 170-pound third-place match.
Kaukauna coach Jeff Matczak couldn’t have been more proud of the effort by Leon.
“As happy as I am for Keaton (Kluever) winning (the 285 title), I’m as sad for Trent,” Matczak said. “People would say, ‘Well, fourth place. You have to be happy with fourth.’ No. He didn’t come here to take fourth. He came here to win it. But he bounced back and had a big win this morning, then he fell short in the third-place match.
“But he’s the guts and heart and soul of our team. He’s going to be this week our bell cow (at team state). He’s a senior and he’s been here. He leads the team through everything we do. Everything we do funnels through him. We’re going to rely on his leadership. But I really love that kid.”
Hortonville’s Nathan Lichtfuss was also fourth, falling to Sauk Prairie’s Drew Fjoser 7-0 in the third-place match at 138.
Weyauwega-Fremont sophomore Cian Fischer took fourth at 106 in Division 3. Fischer (44-6) was pinned by Phillips’ Javyn Freeman in 2:57.
Also on the medal stand: Kaukauna’s Brandon Micksh placed fifth at 120 pounds in Division 1, defeating Madison La Follette’s Francesco Schiro 5-4.
Freedom had three of its wrestlers place sixth in Division 2, Sam Peters at 138, Evan Vosters at 145 and Mitch Garvey at 126.
Also taking sixth was Chilton/Hilbert’s Abraham Sell at 132 and Wrightstown’s Matthew Van Eperen at 195.
There was one lone sixth-place finisher from the area in Weyauwega-Fremont’s Dylen Kicherer at 220.
106: D ivision 3: Javyn Freeman, Phillips, pinned Cian Fischer, Weyauwega-Fremont, 2:57.
132: Division 1: Eric Wunsch, Menomonee Falls, dec. Trent Leon, Kaukauna, 8-6.
138: Division 1: Drew Fjoser, Sauk Prairie, dec. Nathan Lichtfuss, Hortonville, 7-0
170: Division 1: Connor Williams, La Crosse Central, pinned Bryson Alsteen, Kaukauna, 1:42.
182: Division 1: Jared Krattiger, Waterford, dec. Beau Yineman, Neenah, 11-5.
120: Division 1: Brandon Micksh, Kaukauna, dec. Francesco Schiro, Madison La Follette, 5-4.
126: Division 2: Owen Matzek, Ellsworth, dec. Mitch Garvey, Freedom, 4-2.
132: Division 2: Tanner Deist, Wautoma/Wild Rose, dec. Abraham Sell, Chilton/Hilbert, 5-2.
138: Division 2: Tim Coyne, Hayward/Northwood, pinned Sam Peters, Feedom, 3:24.
145: Division 2: Gavin Wipperfurth, River Valley, dec. Evan Vosters, Freedom, 8-7.
182: Division 1: Anthony Schlass, West Bend West, dec. Brock Danielski, Appleton North, 2-1.
195: Division 2: Hayden Arneson, Monroe, pinned Matthew Van Eperen, Wrightstown, 2:41.
220: Division 3: Hunter Groom, Westby, pinned Dylen Kicherer, Weyauwega-Fremont, 1:14.