Weyauwega-Fremont’s wrestling program will open the 2014-15 season by looking back at a pair of successful teams from the past.
Members of the 1973-74 and 1974-75 teams, which won back-to-back conference championships, will be recognized today (Thursday, Dec. 4) before the Indians host Menominee Indian. Junior varsity matches will get under way at 6:30 p.m. and wrestlers will be recognized before the varsity matches begin at approximately 7:15 p.m.
Longtime coach Tim Potratz and assistant coach Rich Tomaszewski have 26 wrestlers vying for 14 starting spots.
“We have several returning varsity wrestlers to give the team a strong base to build from, but will have to rely on several young or beginning wrestlers to fill out the lineup,” he said. “We have a lot of kids in the middle to upper middle weights, but we will be thin in the lower weights.”
The team includes six seniors, eight juniors, six sophomores and six freshman.
Returning wrestlers include seniors Oliver Radtke (138 and 145 pounds) and Andy Bork (285). Radtke qualified for state last year at 132 pounds, while Bork was one win away from state.
“Both wrestlers won over 25 matches for the team last year,” Potratz said.
Also back are junior sectional qualifier Austin Baehnman (132) and four letterwinners: junior Bailey Balistreire (145 and 152), senior David Johnson (145 and 152), junior Miranda Arndt (106) and sophomore Dylen Kicherer (220).
“We are looking forward to an exciting season,” Potratz said. “Besides the kids already mentioned, we have some other returning wrestlers and rookies who are doing great things in practice. This group could have a very good season.”
Potratz expects the Central Wisconsin Conference championship to be a two-team race between defending champion Wittenberg-Birnamwood and last year’s runner-up, Bonduel.
“Both teams enter the season ranked in the top eight in the state,” Potratz said.
Besides W-F, Potratz expects Amherst, Manawa, Menominee Indian and Shiocton to be solid as well.
W-F will host the CWC tournament Feb. 7.