The Manawa Wolves invited five other teams to town, Saturday, Jan. 25, including four conference foes. The Wolves had a 2-3 record as a team. In two of their losses they were one win away from securing a victory in the dual.
The Wolves began the day against Tri-County and pulled out a 48-24 win. In round two the Wolves faced Shiocton and found themselves on the short end of a 40-36 final score. Round three brought a tight dual for the Wolves against Weyauwega-Fremont. When the final buzzer rang the Wolves found themselves with another close loss, 37-33.
Marathon was the opponent of choice in the fourth round and in the rematch the Wolves came out victorious once again with a 42-30 win. In the final round of the day the Wolves hosted one of the conference’s best teams, Bonduel, and were easily disposed of 54-15.
Remington Reeck wrestled in the 126 pound class for the Wolves and ended with a 1-4 record. Reeck battled hard in each match but his opponents were well seasoned and finished the opportunities he gave them.
“Remington had an off day today but you have those once in a while. He wasn’t wrestling a bunch of slouches, he needs to use today as motivation for the stretch run,” said Head Coach Brad Johnson.
Dominic Schuelke occupied the 132 pound class and wrestled to a 4-1 record with three pins.
“Dominic looked great today. I know he wants that Bonduel match back and I think if we worked on a few things to prepare for that kid he wins that match pretty handily. It’s great for him to get matches like this to have him ready for the championship run,” said Coach Dan Kundinger.
In the 138 pound class the Wolves’ Daryn Claussen worked to a 3-2 record. He battled hard against Bonduel’s 138 pounder but came up short with a 4-2 loss in the closing seconds of the match.
“Daryn looked great today and showed improvements in his weakest areas today. As the weeks get longer and opponents dwindle Daryn has the right attitude to make the push for Madison, we are excited to see what he has in store for us,” said Coach Shae Coyle.
Justin Wentworth was the Wolf of choice in the 145 pound class and found a successful day going 3-2. Wentworth’s real eye opener of a match was against Weyauwega’s Oliver Radtke. Wentworth lost 16-8, but Radtke was a sectional qualifier last year and Wentworth gave him fits the whole match.
“Justin wrestled extremely well today. He won the matches he was supposed to win and battled hard against superior opponents. We are really proud of what he gave to his team today,” said Coach Mitch Patri.
In the 152 pound class Manawa’s Ben Beyer worked to a 3-2 record. Beyer’s shining moment came in a tight dual verse Weyauwega. He scored a takedown early in the third period to tie the score at 10. After numerous scrambles He found himself in a pinning hold he knew he had to finish for his team and he didn’t disappoint.
“Not only did Ben have a breakout day he became Mr. Clutch. That was awesome. The whole crowd was going crazy and he brought the fire for us. I just wish we could have backed him up and got the team dual win after his performance,” Johnson said.
Garret Griffin manned the 160 pound class for the Wolves and continued his grind to Madison recording a 5-0 record on the day. Griffin faced two big tests today as he bumped up in the Weyauwega dual to wrestle Brandon Loehrke and recorded a 7-1 victory. In the final round of the day he faced a familiar opponent from Bonduel, Mitch Sokolski. Griffin recorded a 10-8 victory but the match was not as nearly as close the score indicates.
“Griffin had two huge tests today and he didn’t disappoint. Those are typical Garret matches, keep his opponents head offset and getting into winnable scrambles. Proud of Garret today, he is ready for the run at March 1st,” Kundinger said.
Manawa’s Andy Bristow controlled the 170 pound class for the Wolves and found just how tough it is to give up excessive weight in the CWC. Bristow was unable to secure a win on the day but continued to perform for his team, giving each opponent all they could handle.
“Andy has to realize that coming out as a senior, having no experience, and giving up excessive weight are all things that are nearly impossible for a seasoned wrestler to overcome. I spoke with him halfway through the day and explained these things to him and told him that he had roughly 10 matches left in his career. My goal for him each match is to go out and make a memory, make a memory with your teammates, and leave a mark on your teammates that they will remember you by forever. He needs to know our expectations of him and he has yet to let us down,” Johnson said.
In the 195 pound class Manawa’s Jake Kaczorowski battled to a 3-2 record. His losses came to kids with far superior wrestling experience.
“Jake was a little off today. He wasn’t feeling his best over the last few days and would really like the match verses Bonduel back. None-the-less, Jake showed continued growth and we are excited for his future in our program,” Coyle said.
In the 220 pound class Manawa’s Casey Johnson finished 5-0 on the day. He saw little action as he was on the mat for a total of only 1 minute and 27 seconds because of 4 forfeits.
“This isn’t a good day for Casey. We need him to get five matches whether they are quality or not. He has a date with a state championship on March 1 and days like today don’t help him grow for that date. It’s not his fault but it is disappointing for him,” Patri said.
Cole Thompson was the Wolf of choice in the 285 pound class and finished the day at 3-2. He wrestled a few familiar foes but struggled in two of the three rematches.
“That’s not the Cole we have come to know. We are going to write this weekend off as a fluke but we will re-evaluate what we are doing in the practice room to get back on track,” Kundinger said.
In JV action Michael Gray and Hakeem Benhamadi each faced the same Weyauwega opponent and were unable to find success.
“Both had to sit all day and wait for one match, that can be tough and with their inexperience it left them on the losing end,” Coyle said.
“As a team we wrestled ok. When I look back at the Weyauwega dual I see three places that would have changed the outcome of our dual. It means we are close and need to continue to get better as the season starts to wind down. Still I couldn’t be prouder of the strides this team has made this year,” said Coach Johnson.
The Wolves host Rosholt on Thursday, Jan. 30 for parent’s night starting at 7 p.m.