County wrestling teams take part in conference meets Saturday (PCH Wrestling Honor Roll)
Ellsworth High School's wrestling team usually gears up for dual meet comeptition at this point in the season.
But to win the Middle Border Conference title requires the No. 1 ranked Panthers to win an individual tournament. And while EHS has done so repeatedly since 2004, head coach Chad Steldt admits it's not the easiest transition to make.
"We try to stress to our wrestlers to treat their individual matches like they would a dual meet match," Steldt said. " That means going for pins, going for extra points to give the team extra points. But the kids can't feed off each other like you can in a dual meet so it's up to them to motivate themselves and deal with the pressure."
Which sometimes isn't a bad thing.
"I've seen wrestlers open up and show a different style wrestling in individual tournament rather than a dual meet," Steldt said. "That's what makes these meets fun is watching the kids take on that responsibility."
If EHS's wrestlers do so again Saturday in the MBC meet being held in Osceola, the Panthers' 11th straight conference title beckons. If not, they could be on the short end of what Steldt predicts is going to be a tight, competitive and entertaining MBC meet. No. 5 Amery will look to dethrone the Panthers and there are many other talented grapplers from the remaining six schools who will be wild cards in determining the outcome. EHS will already go into Saturday's down a starter as Sawyer Strom at 106 remains sidelined due to injury.
"Amery matches up well with us and it's going to be a close competition," Steldt said. "And then you have the potential champions from other schools like a (Shane) Blackman who could have an impact on the team score depending on who they beat for the title and the seeding involved. The difference between second and third is just four team points but four points could be the difference, so you want to get your wrestlers the best possible seeds. You want them to face their main competition early and force them into the consolation brakcets where's there are less advancement points. A lot of strategy goes into the process."
While Ellsworth is looking for title No. 11 in a row, Spring Valley/Elmwood is just looking for title No. 1. The No. 1 ranked Redbirds have their best opportunity to win SVE's very first Big Rivers Conference/Dunn-St. Croix Conference Wrestling Jamboree Saturday in River Falls at River Falls High School.
SV/Elmwood had their highest finish in the event last year since it started in 2003, second. Their main challengers will be No. 5 Boyceville, No. 6 Menomonie and No. 10 Hudson, who are the defending champions.
Both meets will begin at 10 a.m. and run all day.
Top wrestlers per weight class, ranked in the top 10 Wisconsin Wrestling Online (http://www.wiwrestling.com/rank/rankindex.htm), are as follows for each meet:
Middle Border Conference top-ranked title contenders
106: Andrew Smith, Amery
113: Austin Connor, Amery
120: Hunter Marko, Amery; Anders Lantz, Ellsworth; Bryce Younger, New Richmond; Mitch Hustad, Osceola
126: Jens Lantz, Ellsworth; Paul Hansen, Prescott
132: Shane Blackman, New Richmond; Alex Stuhl, Prescott
138: Derek Dowd, New Richmond; Brad Cain, Ellsworth; Johnny Benitez, Amery
145: Tristan Mueller, Ellsworth; Tom Langer, Baldwin-Woodville
152: Bennett Paulson, Amery; Logan Peterson, Somerset; Troy Urman, Prescott
160: Gabe Frandsen, Ellsworth
170: Logan Kemmerer, Ellsworth
182: Max Praschak, Somerset; Broden Schock, Amery
195: Brock Steldt, Ellsworth; Eli Newton, Amery
220: Kenny Gates, Amery; Kenny Stowe, Ellsworth
285: Brodey Kemmerer, Ellsworth; Thor Reimer, Osceola
BRC/D-SC Wrestling Jamboree top-ranked title contenders
106: Andrew Webb, SVE; Austin Wolfe, Boyceville; A.J. Kammeyer, Chippewa Falls;
113: Tyler Deacon, Eau Claire North; Jake Nyhagen, St. Croix Central; Derek Huebel, SVE; james Palmer, Boyceville; Bryan Larson, Mondovi
120: Cruze Hurlburt, SVE; Matt Koski, Hudson; Justin Peterson, Eau Claire North
126: Drew Kress, Menomonie; Tyler Berg, SVE
132: Yuri Bronson, Hudson; Hayden Schlough, Menomonie; Logan Newton, SVE; Trevor Geidd, Mondovi
138: Logan Schlough, Menomonie; Shawn Sura, Chippewa Falls; Micah Johnson, Boyceville
145: Sawyer Massie, Hudson; Zach Newton, SVE; Jon Harnisch, Boyceville
152: Darius Wright, River Falls; Cole Bartz, Menomonie; Logan Hille, Rice Lake; Jed Schlegel, SVE
160: Mason Stokke, Menomonie; Winston Bystrom, River Falls; Cal Johnson, Hudson; Tyler Fleming, Rice Lake; Trent Miller, SVE; Bryor Hellman, Boyceville
170: Josh Waddell, Menomonie; Isaac Tuttle, Glenwood City; Kevin Fesenmaier, SVE;
182: Hunter Dahlby, Eau Claire North; Mark Bryant, Menomonie; Sebastion Larson, River Falls; Brian Gibb, St. Croix Central
195: Isaac Nuutien, Menomonie; Ethan Hofacker, SVE; Jeff Kopacz, Glenwood City
220: D.J. Oas, Menomonie; Donovan Fornal, Glenwood City; Jake Roberts, Rice Lake; Eliot Motu, Hudson
285: Jared Baldwin, Menomonie; Mathias Tobin, Hudson; Brenden Kessler, Glenwood City
Pierce County Herald Wrestling Honor Roll (records .500 or above as of Feb. 6)
106 - Andrew Webb, SVE, 26-6; Sam Hoopingarner, Prescott, 25-11, Sawyer Strom, Ellsworth, 23-10
113 - Derek Huebel, SVE, 25-4
120 - Cruze Hurlburt, SVE, 29-0; Anders Lantz, Ellsworth, 25-9
126 - Jens Lantz, Ellsworth, 30-1; Tyler Berg, SVE, 28-3; Paul Hansen, Prescott, 25-6
132 - Alex Stuhl, Prescott, 25-5; Logan Newton, SVE, 26-6; Riley Melstrom, Ellsworth, 15-11
138 - Brad Cain, Ellsworth, 22-6; Ryan Berg, SVE, 12-11; Isaiah Eitrem, SVE, 12-5
145 - Zach Newton, SVE, 27-5; Tristan Mueller, Ellsworth, 19-7; Nick Opdahl, Prescott, 13-7
152 - Troy Urman, Prescott, 28-2; Jed Schlegel, SVE, 27-3; Josh Hines, Ellsworth, 22-10
160 - Gabe Frandsen, Ellsworth, 34-1; Trent Miller, SVE, 23-9; Matthew McNurlin, Prescott, 13-11
170 - Logan Kemmerer, Ellsworth, 30-3; Kevin Fesenmaier, SVE, 26-6
182 - Dennis Schutz, Ellsworth; 9-1; Brady Zimmer, Ellsworth, 11-8; Tyler Miller, Prescott, 25-8; Chris Craft, SVE, 18-11
195 - Ethan Hofacker, SVE, 28-4; Brock Steldt, Ellsworth, 24-12
220 - Ken Stowe, Ellsworth, 17-14; Mike Roesler, SVE, 17-11
285 - D.J. Wheeler, SVE, 22-9; Brodey Kemmerer, Ellsworth, 11-9