WIAA wrestling: Lansing, Stuhl to wrestle in semifinals
Two Ellsworth wrestlers are headed to the WIAA Individual State Tournament's semifinals after picking up quarterfinal wins on Friday, Feb. 23.
Sam Stuhl (Sr., 39-1) was the first Panther to qualify for the semifinals after pinning Ethan Schwartz (Fr., 36-9) of Denmark in two minutes and 38 seconds.
Next, Stuhl will face Aaron Bahr (Jr., 46-5) of West Salem/Bangor. Bahr pinned Dean Neff (So., 46-8) of Jefferson in one minute and 28 seconds in his quarterfinal match.
Jared Lansing (Jr., 40-5) also pinned his quarterfinal opponent, Matthew Maitland (So., 35-12), in five minutes and 58 seconds. Lansing controlled his match by taking an early 5-0 lead and expanding it to a 10-2 advantage before pinning Maitland in the final seconds.
Like last year, when he qualified as a sophomore, Lansing said he was still nervous coming into his first match of the day, but that he had a better grip on his first-match jitters as a junior.
"I was very nervous, but I got out there and got that first takedown, and [the nerves] just kind of went away," Lansing said. "Last year, it was kind of the same thing except I let my nerves get to me, and that cost me two matches. This year, I'm just trying not to overreact and prove what I can do."
Lansing is set to wrestle Ryan Hannah (Sr., 45-2) in the semifinals. Hannah advanced to the semifinals after claiming a 5-1 decision over Max Ward (Sr., 44-2).
"I'm the kind of person who overthinks everything they do," Lansing said after defeating Maitland, "so I'm already thinking about my next match."
The Division 2 semifinals are set to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Ellsworth's four other wrestlers were defeated in the quarterfinals Friday morning and moved onto the consolation quarterfinals, which began at 2:45 p.m.
Charlie Stuhl finished his sophomore individual season with a 33-9 record after losing to Lucas Schevikhoven (Sr., 41-0) — the No. 2-ranked Division 2 120-pounder — by a 13-3 major decision. Stuhl went on to wrestle Garrett Moll (Jr., 38-4) of Lodi in the consolation bracket, and was eliminated from the tournament after losing by a 7-2 decision.
Owen Matzek (Sr., 33-9) faced the same outcome has Stuhl. Matzek's first loss of the day came against Joey Bianchi (Jr., 39-6) of Two Rivers who defeated the Ellsworth senior by a 6-0 decision in the semifinals. Matzek's individual high school career came to a close in the consolation bracket after Kaleb Ison (Sr., 40-6) of Sheboygan Falls defeated him by a 5-2 decision.
"Charlie and Owen, the consolation for them is that they get to wrestle next week," Ellsworth's head coach Mark Matzek said. "They have next week to kind of shake this tournament off."
Cedric Kosnopfal (Jr., 28-14) and Dalton George (Sr., 30-8) also lost their quarterfinal matches, but were able to salvage their individual seasons in the consolation quarterfinals.
Kosnopfal earned a 5-1 decision win over Tanner Goeman (Jr., 40-11) in his second match of the day, and will wrestle again on Saturday, Feb. 24 in the consolation semifinals.
"He's continuing to stay in positions that he is good at," Matzek said of Kosnopfal. "He's getting his opponents to play his game."
George followed Kosnopfal's lead with a 6-4 consolation win against Campbellsport's Joe Lindsley (Sr., 30-8).
"I felt like we left some matches out there that we could have won," Matzek said, "but these guys are giving their maximum effort. This is a tough environment."