Little Chute handed Waupaca its first Eastern Valley Conference dual wrestling meet loss Thursday, Dec. 22, by defeating the Comets 58-15.
The Mustangs used six pins and three forfeits to pull away after trailing 9-4 after three matches.
“Our big thing now is we have to get healthy,” coach Ben Selsing said after watching his team fall to 3-1 in EVC dual matches. “We have numerous guys injured and out with the flu this week. We’re banged up right now. Once we get healthy, we can move on.”
The Comets lead after Joe Selsing pinned Little Chute’s Lucas Van Deurzen in 58 seconds at 138.
The Mustangs’ Matt Vandenberg opened the meet by defeating Kelly Lind 12-4, but the Comets’ Levi Petroske beat Jason Ebben 10-4 at 132.
Selsing’s pin turned out to be the Comets’ last win until Seth Deuman picked up a 4-1 win over Tanner Keysers at 220. By then, however, the Mustangs had built a 40-12 lead.
Waupaca’s other win came from Eric Bolwerk, who beat Ben Verbruggen 8-6 at 106. The match, which included several blood time outs, turned out to be Bolwerk’s first varsity win.
“Eric really stepped up for us tonight and he’s actually a JV wrestler,” Selsing said. “Our varsity wrestler (at 106), Ben Leonard, has been out with sickness. Those are the kids we need, the ones that can step in and bust their tail. They’ve been working hard all season, they get their opportunity to shine and they take advantage of it. He pulled off a big win for us.”
Brady Spierings gave Little Chute the lead for good at 10-9 by pinning Miguel Barazza in 1:26 at 145. The Mustangs also picked up pins from Shane Schwaller over Mitch Molder in 3:57 at 152, Max Keysers over Mike Hagen in 2:35 at 170, Brandon Elrick over Caleb Hobson in 31 seconds at 285, Zach Cibrario over Dalton Stelzner in 34 seconds at 113 and Bryce Zdanovec over Austin Gonyou in 2:24 at 120. Waupaca also forfeited matches to Mike Lyons (160), Eric Epping (182) and Quinn Schultz (195).
“We have a new guy at 182 that’s out with a concussion, Connor Avery’s been out for a while with an injury, my brother Joe’s wrestling through an injury that’s bothering him, Kelly (Lind) has a bum ankle and Logan (Feldt) had his wisdom teeth out today,” Selsing said. “When you can’t put guys out there, it makes a big difference.”
The Comets will compete against some of the state’s top wrestling programs Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 27-28, at the Oshkosh on the Water Invitational at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Kolf Sports Center. Waupaca returns to EVC dual action Thursday, Jan. 5, by hosting Freedom for Parents’ Night.
“Like I told the guys tonight, there’s a lot we have to work on from this meet,” Selsing said. “There’s a lot we can watch film and learn from, little things that need to be perfected. We’re going to try and ease up a little and just get healthy. We can put this one past us. We just have to learn from your mistakes. The only way you get better is wrestling on the mat.”