W-F’s Fischer places fourth, Kicherer sixth
By Greg Seubert
Three area wrestlers returned home after placing in Division 3 at the WIAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament. Amherst junior Bryce Holderman placed third at 195 pounds at the meet, held Feb. 23-25 at the Kohl Center in Madison, while Weyauwega-Fremont sophomore Cian Fischer and senior Dylen Kicherer placed fourth at 106 and sixth at 220, respectively.
Other area wrestlers in Division 3 included Weyauwega-Fremont sophomores Easton Groskreutz (113) and Justin Kempf (120); and Amherst junior Max Villnow (220).
Fischer won three of his five matches and finished with a 44-6 record. He pinned Brillion’s Isaiah Ribble in 1:59 before handing Fennimore’s Mason Lull a 5-3 overtime loss in the quarterfinals. His shot at a state championship ended with a 19-4 loss to eventual champion Koltin Grzybowski of Coleman in the semifinals, but bounced back with a 4-2 win over Random Lake’s Anthony Rautmann in the wrestleback round. That win gave Fischer a chance to finish third for a second straight year, but he fell to Javyn Freeman of Phillips in the third-place match.
“Cian is a tremendous competitor who has now placed third and fourth in the state during his first two years of high school, coach Tim Potratz said. “Cian is the hardest-working kid in our room every night and our entire team works hard. We are so proud of his accomplishments and happy for him and his family to be a two-time all-state wrestler.”
Kicherer opened his first state tournament with a 10-4 win over Poynette’s Wesley Sandstrom, but lost his quarterfinal match to eventual runner-up Noah Wieczorek of Clear Lake 9-2. That loss placed Kicherer in the wrestleback round and he stayed alive in the tournament after Villnow had to forfeit their match because of an injury. Kicherer then fell to Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe’s Matt Kostka and wrapped up the tournament by getting pinned by Westby’s Hunter Groom in 1:14 in the fifth-place match.
“Dylen has had a fantastic senior season,” Potratz said. “He came from a losing record as a sophomore to an all-state wrestler as a senior. He is a big, tough kid who wears out his opponents with his strength and ability to go harder as the match goes on. He now joins his dad as all-state wrestlers for Weyauwega-Fremont, the first father-son combo to accomplish that feat.”
Mineral Point’s Caden Carey pinned Groskreutz in 5:12 in a preliminary round match to eliminate him from the tournament.
“Easton made huge gains as a sophomore this year, winning conference and regional titles and advancing to state,” Potratz said. “Easton has a lot of talent and he has just started to tap into it now. He stayed right in his match until the third period, where he made a mistake and got put to his back.”
Meanwhile, Kempf came within seconds of earning a medal at 120. He won his first match 11-2 over Unity’s Adrian Bearhart before dropping an 8-4 decision to third-place finisher Josh Depies of Random Lake. Trailing by two points in the final seconds, Kempf reversed Depies to his back and almost got the near fall points to win the match, but Depies fought through the pin hold to win.
Kempf’s season then ended with a 7-2 loss to Glenwood City’s Jake Nadeau in the wrestleback round.
“Justin had an outstanding season for us, winning four tournaments and beating top wrestlers from all over the state,” Potratz said. “Justin is a two-time conference champion already and the sky is the limit for him going forward.”
Holderman had a bye in the first round and advanced to the quarterfinals by pinning Random Lake’s Hunter Huiras in 5:06. He then dropped a 15-3 major decision to eventual champion Garrett Joles of Boyceville, but came back through the wrestleback round by pinning Edgar’s Alex Lemanski in 3:25 and handing Stratford’s Aiden Hoffman a 10-3 loss in the third place match.
Villnow won his opening match 14-3 over Reedsville’s Cole Knier and was leading his quarterfinal match with Groom 3-2 early in the second period before going down with an arm injury that ended up knocking him out of the tournament. He was scheduled to wrestle Kicherer in the wrestleback round, but forfeited that match because of the injury.