Six area wrestlers place in Madison
By Greg Seubert
If Cian Fischer’s first trip to state is any indication, the Weyauwega-Fremont wrestling program can look forward to the next three seasons.
The W-F freshman wrapped up his first WIAA State Individual Meet Feb. 27 with a win in the Division 3 106-pound third-place match. He posted a 3-1 record at state and is one of six area wrestlers that made it to the medal podium.
Amherst’s Max Villnow (195 pounds) and Bryce Holderman (170) placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in Division 3; Almond-Bancroft’s Cole Warzynski (285) placed second in Division 2; and Hortonville’s Eric Barnett (106) and Joe Cliver (152) placed third and fourth-respectively, in Division 1.
Fischer received a bye in the first round and pinned Mineral Point’s Danny Pittz in 1:40. Eventual state champion Ryan Anderson then needed only 1:48 to pin Fischer in the semifinals, but Fischer came back through the consolation round with a 5-0 win over Parkview’s Jackson Hauri to earn a spot in the third-place match against Bayfield/Washburn’s Zach Anglin.
Fischer wrapped up his season with a 43-2 mark by beating Anglin, a returning state qualifier who wrestles without hands or feet, 11-4.
He also finished the season with 23 pints and eight tournament championships.
“Cian did a fantastic job at the state tournament,” W-F coach Tim Potratz said. “He beat three quality opponent by being physical and aggressive while staying in good wrestling position at all times.
“He made one technical error in the semi-finals and it cost him the match, but he came back mentally strong and won two matches in a row to place third and become an all-state wrestler,” he said. “It could not have happened to a better kid. He loves wrestling and works very hard to be a champion every day. The Weyauwega-Fremont wrestling community is very proud of Cian and happy for his success.”
Meanwhile, sophomores Villnow and Holderman won their opening-round matches for the Falcons. Villnow opened the tournament with a 7-3 win over Mineral Point’s Kyle Juedes, while Holderman handed Hunter Anderson of Phillips a 15-0 technical fall defeat in 4:50.
“Both wrestled well,” Amherst coach Dave Peterson said. “They were definitely a little shell-shocked, but they held it together and got their first win out of the way.”
Villnow then handed Clear Lake’s Noah Wieczorek a 5-1 loss, but fell to eventual champion Jaxon Suefzer of Dodgeland 20-11 in the semifinals.
Villnow later fell to Brookwood’s Cory Ottum 2-1 to place him in the fifth-place match against Shiocton’s Henry Fielding, who came into the tournament undefeated. Villnow wrapped up the tournament with a 9-3 win over Fielding.
Holderman lost his quarterfinal match 10-8 in overtime to eventual state champion Helton Vandenbush of Random Lake.
He then beat Spring Valley/Elmwood’s Jed Schlegel 3-1 in the wrestleback round before being pinned by Boyceville’s Micah Johnson in 37 seconds. That placed him in the fifth-place match, where he fell 7-0 to De Soto’s Lance Buckles.
“Both these guys have wrestled big matches before in plenty of big tournaments,” Peterson said. “This is a different stage they haven’t been on before.”
Villnow and Holderman are the latest athletic success stories for Amherst High School this season. Alissa Niggemann won a girls’ Division 3 state cross country championship in October and the football team followed that up with the Division 5 state championship in November.
“There’s a lot of athletic support for all the programs in Amherst,” Peterson said. “They’re great fans that like a guy that works hard. The whole town is supportive of anybody that puts in a lot of time to get to the top.”
Warzynski entered the state meet as the defending Division 3 champion at 285, but came up short in the finals.
He beat Brenden Lillo 2-0 of Columbus in the quarterfinals and pinned Wisconsin Lutheran’s Quinton Reed in 3:53 in the semifinals, but dropped an 8-3 decision to Catholic Memorial’s Gabe Bautz in the finals to end his senior season with a 47-2 record.
New London’s Scott Cook competed in Division 1 at 132 pounds, but did not place.
Two of Hortonville’s seven wrestlers at state placed in Division 1. Eric Barnett placed third at 106, while Joe Cliver took third at 152.
Jacob Barnett (126), Nathan Lichtfuss (138), Elliott Luker (170), Jack Huebner (220) and Jacob Stein (285) also competed.
All seven wrestlers will return to Madison Friday, March 4, for the WIAA State Team Wrestling Meet at the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse.
The Polar Bears will face Sauk Prairie at 5:30 p.m. in the quarterfinal round, with the winners to take on Hudson, Kaukauna, Mukwonago or Menomonee Falls at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals.
Championship matches in all three divisions are scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, March 5.