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MBC Wrestling Tournament: Ellsworth named champs, Prescott takes sixth

Ellsworth's Sam Stuhl, the state's No.1-ranked Division 2 138-pound wrestler, was named the most outstanding wrestler of the Middle Border Conference Tournament after pinning his way to his third conference title. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 4
Prescott's Ty Sanford claimed the 195-pound Middle Border Conference title with a 4-3 decision over Saint Croix Central's Ryan Larson on Saturday, Feb. 3. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 4
Ellsworth's Caleb Linder won his first Middle Border Conference title on Saturday, Feb. 3 after pinning Somerset's Zeb Rivard in 38 seconds in the 285-pound championship match. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
Prescott's 182-pound wrestler Joe Schulte earned his first Middle Border Conference title on Saturday, Feb. 3 by pinning Osceola's Nick Carlson in four minutes and 46 seconds. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 4

As expected, the Ellsworth Panthers wrestling team was victorious at the Middle Border Conference Tournament at Baldwin-Woodville High School on Saturday, Feb. 3. The Panthers finished in first place with 271 team points and seven conference champions — Charlie Stuhl (120), Owen Matzek (132), Sam Stuhl (138), Jared Lansing (145), Dalton George (170), Logan Peterson (220) and Caleb Linder (285).

Though the Panthers would not have accepted anything other than a team title, Ellsworth's head coach Mark Matzek said the win was still cause for celebration.

"We'll celebrate," Matzek said. "Two years ago we had seven conference champions, and today we also had seven conference champions. So are we on pace to reach our goal in March? I say yes."

Matzek said his team has some adjustments to make if they want to bring home another state championship just like the 2015-16 and 2016-17 teams, but that those adjustments can be made in the weeks to come.

"Team state championships aren't awarded in early February," Matzek said. "My staff and I have to put in a lot of time to squeeze out every little bit of potential we can out of these kids."

Ellsworth also received a second-place finish from John Cain who recently moved up to varsity after winning a JV state title. Sophomore Bailey Poellinger (106) and Cedric Kosnopfal (152) took third place in their weight classes.

"The guys that didn't win [their weight classes] wrestled hard and they'll get back at it," Matzek said.

Sam Stuhl, Division 2's No. 1-ranked 138-pound wrestler, pinned his way to his conference title and was named the tournament's most outstanding wrestler.

"Sam Stuhl wrestled like a three-time state champion today," Matzek said.

Stuhl wrestled Mike Smith of Amery who took third place at state in 2017 in the championship match and pinned him in a minute and 16 seconds. "He was on today," Matzek said. "He was hungry today."

Stuhl won his third conference title on Saturday, but has more goals he wants to accomplish in the remainder of his season, just like his team.

The Panthers are already looking onward to Saturday, Feb. 10 when they'll return to Baldwin-Woodville High School for their regional tournament.


1. Ellsworth (271)

2. Somerset (161)

3. New Richmond (159.5)

4. B-W (156.5)

5. Osceola (145)

6. Prescott (109)

7. Amery (92)

8. Saint Croix Central (49)


106: Third-place match: Bailey Poellinger (Ellsworth) 8-3, So. over Walker Langer (Baldwin-Woodville) 6-5, So. (Fall 1:04).

113: Third-place match: Ethan Tulip (Prescott) 9-2, Sr. over Carter Huppert (Ellsworth) 7-3, So. (MD 11-2).

120: First-place match: Charlie Stuhl (Ellsworth) 10-0, So. over Jacek Nickowski (Baldwin-Woodville) 5-1, Jr. (Dec 5-2).

126: First-place match: Brandon Dennis (New Richmond) 7-3, So. over Jon Cain (Ellsworth) 3-2, Jr. (SV-1 5-3).

132: First-place match: Owen Matzek (Ellsworth) 10-0, Sr. over Jordan Bonte (Baldwin-Woodville) 7-3, So. (Dec 4-2).

138: First-place match: Sam Stuhl (Ellsworth) 10-0, Sr. over Mike Smith (Amery) 8-2, Jr. (Fall 1:16).

145: First-place match: Jared Lansing (Ellsworth) 10-0, Jr. over Joe Garcia (Baldwin-Woodville) 8-2, Jr. (Fall 1:56).

152: Third-place match: Cedric Kosnopfal (Ellsworth) 8-2, Jr. over Cody Atherton (Prescott) 6-5, Sr. (Fall 5:42).

160: Logan Melstrom had to forfeit out of the tournament due to an injury.

170: First-place match: Dalton George (Ellsworth) 9-0, Sr. over Garrett Hecht (Somerset) 9-1, Sr. (MD 11-2).

182: Third-place match: Connor Ekholm (Ellsworth) 4-3, Sr. over TshaJ-Luag (Chewy) Lee (Baldwin-Woodville) 1-8, So. (TF-1.5 3:05 (15-0)).

195: Fifth-place match: Mike Hines (Ellsworth) 6-4, So. over Jake Heimer (Baldwin-Woodville) 4-7, So. (Fall 3:41).

220: First-place match: Logan Peterson (Ellsworth) 9-1, So. over Ryan Muller (New Richmond) 7-2, So. (Fall 5:24).

285: Caleb Linder (Ellsworth) 10-0, Sr. over Zeb Rivard (Somerset) 8-2, Sr. (Fall 0:38).


The Cardinals finished in sixth place at the MBC tournament with 109 team points and two first-place finishers.

Sophomore Joe Schulte claimed the 182-pound title with a third-period pin over Osceola's Nick Carlson. Schulte was down 4-0 at the beginning of the match, but worked his way back to earn his first MBC title.

"[Carlson] scored based on my mistakes, so it was really just a matter of coming back and wrestling my match," Schulte said.

Schulte said he'll be working on getting more takedowns prior to regionals but that his conference title felt "really good."

Ty Sanford, Wisconsin's No. 1-ranked 195-pound wrestler, was Prescott's second champion. Sanford defeated Saint Croix Central's Ryan Larson by a close 4-3 decision.

"I want to improve my takedowns and get a few more of those so that my next match isn't as close, but I'm happy, obviously," Sanford said. "There's still stuff I can improve on for the next couple of weeks."

Ethan Tulip was defeated in overtime by Osceola's Thomas Oswald in the second round of the tournament, but fought back to earn a third-place finish in an 11-2 major decision over Ellsworth's Carter Huppert. Tulip also broke the Prescott takedown record in his third match of the day.

"With all the work I've put in to get [the record], it's nice to see the result of the work that I do in practice," Tulip said.

Tulip told himself to just keep wrestling after losing to Oswald, which helped him take a third-place finish over Huppert. "I know it's not where I wanted to be, but I did the best that I could with what I had."

When asked what the plan is for regionals, Tulip smiled and said, "win."

Prescott's head coach Jordan Poirier said he felt all of his wrestlers wrestled well at the conference tournament.

Freshman Shawn Thomason earned a third-place finish for the Cardinals, and Poirier said he's come a long way from where he started at the beginning of the season. "Being a heavyweight as a freshman is no easy task, but he's come a long way," Poirier said. "Just the little techniques he's worked on and gotten better at throughout the year have been cool to see."

The Cardinals received a fourth-place finish from Cody Atherton who lost to Cedric Kosnopfal in the 152-pound third-place match, Ethan Luksich took fifth at 170, and Isaiah Tulip finished in sixth in the 145-pound weight class.

Poirier said that his team will be focusing on its mental toughness in the week before regionals. "It's a matter of who wants it the baddest, and that's what this week is about," Poirier said. "We're going to be on our guys mentally this week, and we'll see who rises to the top."

The WIAA Division 2 Regional 3 tournament is set to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10.


113: Third-place match: Ethan Tulip (Prescott) 9-2, Sr. over Carter Huppert (Ellsworth) 7-3, So. (MD 11-2).

132: Fifth-place match: Mason Cable (Prescott) 3-8, Jr. over John Hove (Osceola) 3-6, Jr. (Dec 8-3).

145: Fifth-place match: Aaron Schmidt (Osceola) 4-5, So. over Isaiah Tulip (Prescott) 2-7, So. (Dec 8-4).

152: Third-place match: Cedric Kosnopfal (Ellsworth) 8-2, Jr. over Cody Atherton (Prescott) 6-5, Sr. (Fall 5:42).

170: Fifth-place match: Ethan Luksich (Prescott) 4-5, Jr. over Matt Knutson (Amery) 3-6, So. (Fall 4:40).

182: First-place match: Joe Schulte (Prescott) 8-0, So. over Nick Carlson (Osceola) 7-3, Fr. (Fall 4:46).

195: First-place match: Ty Sanford (Prescott) 9-0, Sr. over Ryan Larson (Saint Croix Central) 7-1, Jr. (Dec 4-3).

285: Third-place match: Shawn Thomason (Prescott) 6-5, Fr. over Tyler Johnson (Osceola) 6-5, Fr. (Dec 4-1).