Successful wrestlers often have to rely on their hands and feet.
Zack Anglin is doing just fine without either.
The Bayfield High School sophomore, who was born without hands or feet, placed sixth in Division 3 at 106 pounds at the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Meet in Madison.
Although most of the meet’s 550 wrestlers came into the tournament with a record better than Anglin’s 30-10 mark, he had the Kohl Center crowd’s attention whenever he wrestled and received a standing ovation after falling to Oconto’s Aiden Wusterbarth 9-4 Feb. 28 in the fifth-place match.
Anglin opened the tournament by pinning Weston/Ithaca’s Gavin Burch in 3:39 in the preliminary round Feb. 26 and made it to the semifinal round with an 11-10 win over Josh Depies of Random Lake.
Eventual state champion A.J. Schoenfuss of Stratford handed Anglin a 17-7 loss in the semifinals, but Anglin came back through the wrestleback round. He dropped a 5-4 decision to Fennimore’s Riley Blair, which put him in the fifth-place match against Wusterbarth.
Anglin, who also plays nose tackle on the Bayfield/Washburn/South Shore football team, is the first Bayfield/Washburn wrestler to make it to state since 1989. His teammates were in the stands to watch his five matches.
“I love my school, my teammates, my friends,” he told The Ashland Daily Press. “I have received such great support from everyone at school and having my teammates with me in Madison helps me be more hungry, keeps me going and it’s just a really awesome feeling to have that much support.
“Wrestling is my favorite sport to compete in,” he added. “It teaches me a good lifestyle, a good work ethic at home and in school. Wrestling has brought a lot of joy into my life. As my dad continues to remind me, a happy warrior is a great warrior.”
Anglin is one of 560 wrestlers from more than 200 teams that qualified for the 72nd annual tournament.
Wautoma/Wild Rose sent two wrestlers in Division 2, Marcus Kasuboski (160 pounds) and Taylor Rivers (182).
Kasuboski lost a 6-4 overtime decision to Ellsworth’s Josh Hines and did not place, while Rivers placed fifth. He handed Jake Carpenter of Evansville/Albany a 9-2 loss in the preliminary round, but fell to eventual state champion Bennett Paulson of Amery 11-5 in the quarterfinals. Rivers came back through the wrestleback round with an 11-6 win over Dustin Setzer of Sheboygan Falls, but dropped a 3-2 match to Tomahawk’s Kaleb Kaminski. That loss put Rivers in the fifth-place match, where he beat Wrightstown’s Stetson Burmeister 11-9.
New London’s Scott Cook placed sixth in Division 1 at 132 pounds in his second trip to state. The sophomore beat Tomah’s Hunter Pierce 9-0 in the preliminary round, but fell to eventual state runner-up Tres Leon of Kaukauna by pin in 1:05. That loss placed Cook in the wrestleback round, but he made it to the fifth-place match with a 15-4 win over Milwaukee Pulaski/Arts/Juneau/Ronald Reagan’s Jose Gonzalez and a 7-3 win over Stoughton’s Garrett Model and a loss by pin in 53 seconds to Merrill’s Scott Arneson. Cook then fell to Hudson’s Matt Koski 10-4 in the fifth-place match.
Four Hortonville wrestlers competed in Division 1 – Jacob Barnett (113), Curtis Diedrich (126), Joe Cliver (145) and Elliot Luker (152) – but did not place.