Title paths tough for Pierce County prep wrestlersNo one said winning a state title was easy and if a few Pierce County prep wrestlers do so at this weekend's WIAA State Individual Tournament in Madison, they will be well deserved titles.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
No one said winning a state title was easy and if a few Pierce County prep wrestlers do so at this weekend's WIAA State Individual Tournament in Madison, they will be well deserved titles.
Eleven wrestlers combined from Pierce County's three programs have qualified for the meet, which begins Thursday with preliminary rounds in Divisions 2 and 3. Wrestlers must either win or be eliminated from the tournament in these rounds.
Case in point is Ellsworth's D.J. Yarwood, a sectional champ making his second straight trip to state. He has brutal Division 2, 119-pound bracket that includes Lodi's Ryan Lehr (37-10), Oconto Falls' Cullan Morrissey (37-1) amd undefeated Jared Donar of Cuba City-Southwestern (43-0).
Even defending state champion Hayden Hauschildt of Ellsworth faces a showdown in the semifinals with Sugar River Co-op's Kalvin York who has a 44-1 record at 145.
EHS' Shawn Helmueller has the same situation with a possible semifinal showdown against Pewaukee's David Phillips (45-3) at 152 - Division 2.
"We have a rule, no talking about potential semifinal match-ups until we get past the first match," Ellsworth head coach Jack Radabaugh said.
Other loaded brackets for county wrestlers includes Prescott's Mike Feriancek at 135 in Division 2, which features four top-notch wrestlers in West De Pere's Mark Puckhaber (39-2), Dennis McKinney of Unity (40-6)Andy Mullins of Mosinee (38-4) and Ryan Seidler of Adams-Friendship (44-1).
171 in Division 2 is going to be a beast for Ellsworth's Jordan Borst as it includes St. Croix Falls' Joe Raygor (40-0), East Troy's Chesten Kesselhon (44-4), T.J. Kinjerski of Mishicot (40-1) amd Keegan Kite of Iowa-Grant/Highland (33-3). Division 2, 103 pounds won't be easy for Spring Valley-Elmwood's Brady Webb as could face either Boyceville's Jason Stuart (42-6), Josh Breuch of Auburndale (38-3), Marshall's Hunter Weber (51-1) and Dylan Loos of Oshkosh Lourdes (42-5)
Prescott's Jake Filkins (34-0) is considered one of the best in his field at 189 in Division 2. His toughest competition should come from Pewaukee's Josh Mohr (42-5) and Mosinee's Dylan Iczkowski (35-4)
Last year Filkins finished fourth despite having wrestled in a dozen matches before state recovering from a knee injury. PHS head coach Jeff Poliak feels Filkins will be better prepared.
"The more matches you are in the more tested you are and in shape you are," Poliak said. "Jake will have that advantage this year."
Tough potential quarterfinal matches for county wrestlers after winnable first round matches include Prescott's John Kariesch at Division 2 heavywight potentially facing Waukesha Catholic Memorial's undefeated Chris Weber (33-0).
Difficult first round matches await Ellsworth's Alex Hoyer at 215- Division 2 against Clintonville's Cody Wedde (40-4) and the Panthers' Noah McLay at 160 - Division 2 against Oconto Falls' Cody Ness (37-3).
Ellsworth's Sam Huppert made the finals last year and while his finished third in the sectionals at 112 pounds because of an injury default, his path to the state finals on his end of the bracket is not quite onerous as the others.More from around the web