Bernhardt, Kempf win at Cutler Classic
By Greg Seubert
Two area wrestlers won individual championships Jan. 14 at the 50th annual Cutler Classic in New London.
Weyauwega-Fremont’s Justin Kempf and Waupaca’s Logan Bernhardt posted 3-0 records to place first at 126 and 145 pounds, respectively, at the 15-team tournament.
Team scores were Coleman (282.5), Pulaski (219.5), Ripon (157), Oshkosh North (140.5), Weyauwega-Fremont (139), New London (117.5), Southern Door (114.5), Waupaca (98), Dodgeland (96), Princeton (83), Menasha (77), Little Chute (73), Oostburg and Sturgeon Bay (66), Appleton East (33).
Four other wrestlers ended up placing for Waupaca: Derrick Rotta, second at 182, Colby Bernhardt, third at 138, Tanner Johnson, fifth at 120; and Jimmy Intribus, seventh at 138.
Besides Kempf, Weyauwega-Fremont’s placers included Cian Fischer, second at 113; Tyler Wetzel, fourth at 160; Carter Greening and Kyle Loehrke, fifth at 106 and 170, respectively; Patrick Kepler and Dylen Kicherer, sixth at 182 and 220, respectively; and Easton Groskreutz and Austin Bartel, seventh at 126 and 195, respectively.
“This is a real tough tournament that we have attended for almost 50 years,” W-F coach Tim Potratz said. “It is also an opportunity for us to challenge New London and Waupaca for bragging rights in our area. Our kids really had to battle our way through the day, as we did not wrestle as sharp as we wanted to. The boys kept working and in the end came away with a solid fifth-place finish.”
After getting a bye in the first round, Kempf opened his day with a pin, a win by technical fall and a pin of Coleman’s Billy Gantner in the championship match to raise his season record to 21-4.
Fischer also had a first-round bye and advanced to his title match with a pair of pins before dropping a close match to Coleman’s Caleb Gross and now has a 26-2 record.
“He pinned the No. 5-ranked wrestler in the state from Ripon in the semifinals (Zachary Beck) before losing to the No. 2-ranked wrestler in the state in the finals,” Potratz said. “What a weight class.”
Meanwhile, Logan Kicherer (132), Brayden Marker (145) and Dylen Kicherer also picked up wins for the Indians. Dylen Kicherer won his first match of the tournament, but then had to drop out due to an injury.
“This was a real test for our boys,” Potratz said. “We never got on a roll today because of the talent in the tournament. Our kids kept plugging away and in the end came away with good results as a team and as individuals.”