Waupaca’s wrestling team improved to 2-0 in Eastern Valley Conference dual meets Dec. 9 with a 64-18 win over Berlin.
The Comets also placed fourth Dec. 13 at the Akey Duals in Weyauwega.
WEYAUWEGA – Waupaca fell to Ripon 42-31, lost to Chilton/Hilbert 42-23 and fell to eventual champion Stratford 69-9 before knocking off Weyauwega-Fremont 42-30.
Waupaca 64, Berlin 18
WAUPACA – Berlin led 18-12 five matches into the meet after the Comets forfeited to David Miracle at 220 pounds, but Waupaca used consecutive pins at 132, 138 and 145 and took advantage of five forfeits to pull away.
Guy Tessen needed only 42 seconds to pin Marc Krentz at 132, Austin Gonyou pinned Joe Dobyns in 5:07 at 138 and Luis Barraza pinned John Featherston in 1:43 at 145. Tanner Johnson also picked up a 12-0 win over Elliot Chier at 120.
Berlin’s pins came from Mitchell Kramer over Vince Ellie in 5:30 at 182 and Dylan Bortz over Andrew Sapp in 2:30 at 195.
A handful of returning wrestlers for the Comets didn’t even see the mat, as Logan Bernhardt, a fourth-place finisher at state last year as a freshman, won by forfeit, as well as Blake Thoe, Mitchell Rotta and Derrick Rotta.
“It feels like we have more of a family atmosphere,” coach Tom Reif said. “The kids really like each other and it’s making the kids wrestle better. Maybe it’s that most of the kids are the same age, which helps a little bit. We have some leadership with some of the guys that have been there before.”
Reif expects Freedom to be the team to beat in the EVC this season. The Comets will host the Irish Friday, Jan. 22, in the final EVC dual meet of the season.
Whether the Comets can compete with a solid program like Freedom remains to be seen, but Reif likes his team’s chances.
“Right now, we’re wrestling pretty well,” he said. “It’s a long season and we have a lot of work to do. It’s a good group of kids that work really hard, so we should be able to get to where we want to be.”
The Comets will head to Little Chute today (Thursday, Jan. 18) for an EVC quadrangular with, Little Chute, Fox Valley Lutheran and Ripon before heading to Green Bay Preble for an invitational Saturday, Dec. 20.