Barnett, Cliver take thirds in Madison
By Scott Bellile
The Division 1 State Wrestling Tournament was a tough one for the Hortonville Polar Bears, but they aren’t finished with their postseason yet.
After sending a record seven wrestlers to the individual state tournament last week, the Polar Bears are revving up for their first-ever trip to the state team tournament that begins Friday, March 4.
Hortonville freshman Eric Barnett (46-3) took third in 106 pounds and senior Joe Cliver (44-4) claimed fourth in 152 pounds to lead Hortonville in the individual state tournament, which took place Feb. 25-27.
“Anytime you can get some guys on the medal stand, it is a successful state tournament,” Gennrich said. “The boys competed hard. We had some tough draws and spots on the bracket. Of our seven qualifiers, five of them lost to eventual state finalists, three of them champions. So that makes it a bit tougher.”
Jacob Barnett (126; 37-10), Nathan Lichtfuss (138; 39-8), Elliott Luker (170; 41-6), Jack Huebner (220; 32-10) and Jacob Stein (285; 32-14) also wrestled but did not place.
Gennrich said everyone can be proud of what they accomplished:
• On Joe Cliver: “For Joe Cliver to end his individual career with a state medal is great. His early-round loss was to the eventual state champ.”
• On Eric Barnett: “Extremely excited for Eric Barnett. To place third as a freshman is a great accomplishment. He too also lost in the semifinals 1-0 to the eventual champ. The pressure and expectations that Eric had to wrestle through as a freshman I am sure was unbelievable.”
• On Jacob Stein and Jack Huebner: “Happy for Jacob Stein and Jack Huebner to become state qualifiers, something they can always be proud of. They represented themselves very well. Jacob won a match, which is great.”
• On Nathan Lichtfuss and Elliott Luker: Nathan Lichtfuss came up one win short of the medal stand, losing just a two-point match to the eventual runner up. Same is true of Elliott Luker, one win short of the medal stand, also losing a two-point match to the eventual runner up.”
• On Jacob Barnett: “Jacob Barnett also had a nice tournament, winning a couple matches. His one-point loss in the quarterfinals to the eventual state champ had a bit of, let’s say, controversy to it, which is unfortunate, but he handled it very well.”
The Polar Bears will face Sauk Prairie at 5:30 p.m. Friday 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.