Six area wrestlers – three from New London, two from Manawa and one from Clintonville – have advanced to the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Meet, which gets under way today (Thursday, Feb. 27) at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Keeping their season alive are New London freshman Scott Cook, junior Austin Wyngaard and senior Brett Handschke; Manawa seniors Garret Griffin and Cody Johnson; and Clintonville senior Jake Reiter.
New London and Clintonville wrestlers advanced out of the Division 2 Seymour Sectional, held Feb. 22, while Manawa wrestlers made it through the Division 3 Bonduel Sectional, held in Shawano.
Cook placed third at 126, while Wyngaard took second at 160 and Handschke placed third at 182.
Cook came back through the wrestleback after being pinned in 4:12 by eventual champion Cody Walrath of Freedom. He defeated Luxemburg-Casco’s Eric Peters 11-2 and Oconto Falls’ Nathaniel Trepanier 3-1 in the third-place match before being pinned by Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Bobby Uttecht in 1:40 in the second-place match.
Wyngaard made it to the finals against Waupaca’s Levi Petroske with a 4-2 win over Wrightstown’s Brandon Buechler and an 8-5 decision over Peshtigo’s Shane Marquardt. He wrapped up his day with a 3-2 win over Peplinski in the second-place match.
Handschke also made it to the finals with a 5-1 win over Tomahawk’s Henry Helland
Cook (33-13) will open the tournament tonight against Sparta’s John Roddick (40-8). Wyngaard (27-9) has a matchup with Pewaukee’s Jake Paget (37-12) and Handschke (36-10) will wrestle Ellsworth’s Dennis Schultz (22-3).
The Bulldogs’ Anna Malueg (113), Skylar Moderson (132), Gabe Oswald (145), Tommy Thurber (170) and Andrew Clauss (195) also competed in Seymour.
Reiter handed Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s D.J. Ostrowski a 12-4 loss in the first round at 195, but fell to Luxemburg-Casco’s Dan Dorner in the semifinals. He came back through the wrestleback round to pin Little Chute’s Quinn Schultz in 47 seconds and defeat Clauss 18-8.
He will bring a 40-5 record to Madison and open up in the preliminary round tonight against Brandon Brennan (19-6) of Valders.
Clintonville’s Charlie Poppe also competed at 170 at Seymour.
Johnson handed Menominee Indian’s Keenan Richmond a 7-3 loss in the finals at 220. His other wins included pins of Crivitz’s Matt Tomaszewski in 3:41 and Coleman’s C.J. Pillaty in 3:02.
Griffin picked up a 10-6 win over Bonduel’s Mitch Sokolski at 160 in Shawano, but was pinned in only 22 seconds by Edgar’s Connor Handrick in the semifinals. He came back through the wrestleback by pinning Florence’s Anthony Kilgis and then earning an 11-3 win over Tucker Roesler of Athens in the third-place match.
Johnson has a bye in the first round in Madison and will put his 43-1 record on the line Feb. 28 against Glenwood City’s Donovan Formal (33-9) or Westfield’s Brandon Peter (32-14). Griffin (24-6) will open state tonight against Westfield’s Jay Kaenel (36-8).
Dominic Schuelke (132) and Cole Thompson (285) also wrestled for Manawa at Shawano.