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Wrestling: No confidence clash

The Ellsworth Panthers finished 3-3 at The Clash XVII held Jan. 4-5. Junior 113-pounder Cole Nelson (pictured) claimed a 10-8 sudden victory win over Perham, Minn.'s Blaze Brady during Ellsworth's fifth dual meet of the weekend tournament. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia

When the Ellsworth Panthers left the Regional Sports Center in December after competing in the Minnesota Christmas Tournament, they went home with bruised bodies filled with fatigue. But a rejuvenated Panther team returned to Rochester Community and Technical College’s complex on Friday, Jan. 4, for the first day of The Clash XVII.

Recharged with rest and confidence, the Panthers marched to a 3-3 dual meet record at the national tournament where they faced acclaimed wrestling programs from Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri.

Ellsworth competed in The Clash’s Bracket C on Friday and claimed a 34-28 win over Anoka, Minn., lost 41-27 to Waukee, Iowa and defeated Bettendorf, Iowa 31-25 to earn a spot in Saturday’s Division 3 bracket.

The Panthers went 1-2 on Saturday and began the day faced with Minnesota’s Class AAA No. 2-ranked team, the Apple Valley (Minn.) Eagles. The Panthers dropped the dual 35-30 but picked up six impressive match wins, including one by senior Jon Cain. Cain entered his first 126-pound bout of the day matched with Regan Schrempp who boasted a No. 4 rank. Schrempp led 3-0 after the second period, but Cain fought back with a third-period escape and a takedown that forced Schrempp to forfeit the match due to an injury.

Ellsworth faced Perham, Minn. in the second round of Saturday’s round robin, and the fifth-ranked Class AA team served the Panthers a 36-21 loss. Senior Cedric Kosnopfal and junior Cole Nelson both won sudden victory matches for the Panthers, and Ellsworth’s excitement continued with a first-period pin from junior co-captain Charlie Stuhl and a hard-fought decision win from senior Reed Olson.

Ellsworth completed its weekend with a 44-23 win over Kearney, Miss. that was highlighted by four Ellsworth pins and a gritty 2-1 decision win from senior Logan Melstrom.

Stuhl finished 6-0 at The Clash, but said the tournament wasn’t designed to see how he and his teammates competed as individuals.

“It’s not necessarily for us as individuals, but it’s really good that we’re all on the bench, we’re all cheering and getting onto the mat together,” Stuhl said. “At state, when we’re all cheering, it picks up, and we respond well. We can win matches just by telling our guys that they can do it, and I think we learned a lot from that this weekend.”

“Motivation is a big key to everything,” senior co-captain Jared Lansing added. “It’s all about constant positivity. We don’t sit there and berate the guys; it’s about telling them what they’ve done well, which should help them.”

After his team’s final dual meet at The Clash, Ellsworth’s head coach Mark Matzek said he saw spurts of confidence from all Panther wrestlers who competed on Friday and Saturday.

“Our guys work their tails off, and we just have to continue to pump them up with confidence and let them know that these tournaments are going to provide brawls but not to back away from it,” Matzek said.

He also shared that Ellsworth’s mid-season confidence boost began when his team defeated Stratford — Wisconsin’s top-ranked Division 3 team — at the Stanley-Boyd Duals held prior to the holiday break. The Panthers’ December victory over the Tigers helped the Panthers remember the depth of their potential after the draining Christmas Tournament, and The Clash also reminded them of the greatness they’re capable of this season.

The Panthers hope to add to their confidence on Thursday, Jan. 10, when they host Baldwin-Woodville for a highly-anticipated Middle Border Conference dual.

“We can’t have a let down. We can’t,” Matzek said when asked about what’s next for his team. “We can’t overlook anyone, and we’re not going to.

“I’m just proud of this team and this senior class. They’re starting to become leaders and understand that it’s their time.”


Ellsworth 34, Anoka 28

126: Jon Cain (Ellsworth) over Jacob Miller (Anoka) Maj 14-3

132: Charlie Stuhl (Ellsworth) over Parker Dobrocky (Anoka) Dec 5-3

138: Carter Huppert (Ellsworth) over Riley Emery (Anoka) Fall 3:30

145: Jared Lansing (Ellsworth) over Scott Springer (Anoka) Dec 7-6

152: Sawyer Hamilton (Ellsworth) over Tyler Young (Anoka) Dec 8-2

160: Colby Njos (Anoka) over Eli Rohl (Ellsworth) Fall 0:11

170: Cedric Kosnopfal (Ellsworth) over Rowan Jungling (Anoka) Dec 3-1

182: Bruce Muehlhauser (Anoka) over Jared Toenjes (Ellsworth) Fall 2:39

195: Logan Melstrom (Ellsworth) over Bryce Fleisner (Anoka) Fall 3:53

220: Tyler Nebelung (Anoka) over Kyle Anschutz (Ellsworth) Maj 13-2

285: Logan Peterson (Ellsworth) over Samuel Street (Anoka) Fall 5:01

106: Brendan Howes (Anoka) over Cale Ekholm (Ellsworth) Fall 0:40

113: Brad Howes (Anoka) over Cole Nelson (Ellsworth) Dec 10-7

120: Carter Ban (Anoka) over Bailey Poellinger (Ellsworth) Dec 8-2

Waukee 41, Ellsworth 27

132: Charlie Stuhl (Ellsworth) over Lucas Garnder (Waukee) Fall 2:00

138: Cody Anderson (Waukee) over Reed Olson (Ellsworth) Maj 18-4

145: Jared Lansing (Ellsworth) over Jermaine Sammler (Waukee) Fall 4:29

152: Mason Seifried (Waukee) over Sawyer Hamilton (Ellsworth) Fall 1:10

160: Cedric Kosnopfal (Ellsworth) over Tanner Spyksma (Waukee) Fall 4:19

170: Anthony Zach (Waukee) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

182: Jared Toenjes (Ellsworth) over Griffin Gammell (Waukee) Dec 3-1

195: Logan Melstrom (Ellsworth) over Gabe Gammell (Waukee) Dec 4-3

220: Cael Thorson (Waukee) over Logan Peterson (Ellsworth) Dec 7-1

285: Connor Arndt (Waukee) over Isaac Girnau (Ellsworth) Fall 0:12

106: Elijah Hofbauer (Waukee) over Cale Ekholm (Ellsworth) Fall 2:25

113: Thurman Christensen (Waukee) over Cole Nelson (Ellsworth) Maj 12-1

120: Nick Miller (Waukee) over Jack Olson (Ellsworth) Fall 1:06

126: Jon Cain (Ellsworth) over Carter Smith (Waukee) Dec 6-3

Ellsworth 31, Bettendorf 25

138: Carter Huppert (Ellsworth) over Rylan Hughbanks (Bettendorf) Dec 6-5

145: Jared Lansing (Ellsworth) over Logan Adamson (Bettendorf) Maj 13-3

152: Sawyer Hamilton (Ellsworth) over Bradley Hill (Bettendorf) Fall 1:32

160: Cedric Kosnopfal (Ellsworth) over Voyen Adamson (Bettendorf) Dec 1-0

170: Will Jefferson (Bettendorf) over Jared Toenjes (Ellsworth) Dec 8-4

182: Alex Blizzard (Bettendorf) over Alex Matzek (Ellsworth) Maj 11-2

195: Kane Schmidt (Bettendorf) over Logan Melstrom (Ellsworth) Dec 7-1

220: Logan Peterson (Ellsworth) over Luke Jefferson (Bettendorf) Fall 1:18

285: Griffin Liddle (Bettendorf) over Isaac Girnau (Ellsworth) Fall 0:22

106: Dustin Bohren (Bettendorf) over Corey Poellinger (Ellsworth) Fall 1:33

113: Cole Nelson (Ellsworth) over Jacob Faber (Bettendorf) Dec 6-5

120: Aiden Evans (Bettendorf) over Bailey Poellinger (Ellsworth) Dec 3-0

126: Jon Cain (Ellsworth) over Kohler Ruggles (Bettendorf) Dec 6-0

132: Charlie Stuhl (Ellsworth) over Ryan Cole (Bettendorf) Dec 7-1


Apple Valley 35, Ellsworth 30

145: Sebas Swiggum (Apple Valley) over Jared Lansing (Ellsworth) Maj 13-0

152: Brady Gross (Apple Valley) over Sawyer Hamilton (Ellsworth) Fall 3:06

160: Dylan Anderson (Apple Valley) over Cedric Kosnopfal (Ellsworth) Fall 1:20

170: Devin Roberts (Apple Valley) over Jared Toenjes (Ellsworth) Dec 3-2

182: Michael Mattison (Apple Valley) over Logan Melstrom (Ellsworth) Dec 7-0

195: Joey Anderson (Apple Valley) over Alex Matzek (Ellsworth) Dec 6-1

220: Logan Peterson (Ellsworth) over Tony Anger (Apple Valley) Dec 3-1

285: Tyler Kim (Apple Valley) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

106: Austin Laudenbach (Apple Valley) over Cale Ekholm (Ellsworth) Maj 10-2

113: Cole Nelson (Ellsworth) over Marcell Booth (Apple Valley) TF 18-2

120: Bailey Poellinger (Ellsworth) over Kevon Mallory (Apple Valley) Fall 0:41

126: Jon Cain (Ellsworth) over Regan Schrempp (Apple Valley) Inj 5:12

132: Charlie Stuhl (Ellsworth) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

138: Carter Huppert (Ellsworth) over Max Harvey (Apple Valley) Maj 8-0

Perham 36, Ellsworth 21

152: Dylan Fudge (Perham) over Sawyer Hamilton (Ellsworth) Dec 7-5

160: Cedric Kosnopfal (Ellsworth) over Matthew Bush (Perham) SV-1 3-1

170: Jared Toenjes (Ellsworth) over Brian Ramos (Perham) Dec 6-5

182: Zachary Peterson (Perham) over Logan Melstrom (Ellsworth) Maj 13-4

195: Ty Moser (Perham) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

220: Colton Kostynick (Perham) over Kyle Anschutz (Ellsworth) Fall 3:42

285: Dawson Kellogg (Perham) over Logan Peterson (Ellsworth) Fall 2:44

106: Owen Werner (Perham) over Corey Poellinger (Ellsworth) TF 16-0

113: Cole Nelson (Ellsworth) over Blaze Brady (Perham) SV-1 10-8

120: Bailey Poellinger (Ellsworth) over Gareth Covington (Perham) Dec 5-2

126: Gabe Bellefeuille (Perham) over Jon Cain (Ellsworth) Dec 10-7

132: Leighton Rach (Perham) over Tyler Hines (Ellsworth) Dec 6-2

138: Charlie Stuhl (Ellsworth) over Braylon Rach (Perham) Fall 1:48

145: Reed Olson (Ellsworth) over Isaac Lung (Perham) Dec 8-3

Ellsworth 44, Kearney 23

160: Coby Aebersold (Kearney) over Cedric Kosnopfal (Ellsworth) Dec 7-1

170: Jared Toenjes (Ellsworth) over Donovan Luft (Kearney) TF 22-7

182: Chopper Mordecai (Kearney) over Alex Matzek (Ellsworth) TF 22-7

195: Logan Melstrom (Ellsworth) over Colt Post (Kearney) Dec 2-1

220: Kyle Anschutz (Ellsworth) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

285: Logan Peterson (Ellsworth) over Jesus Reuscher (Kearney) Fall 3:14

106: Eli Ashcroft (Kearney) over Corey Poellinger (Ellsworth) Fall 3:25

113: Garrett Deason (Kearney) over Cole Nelson (Ellsworth) Maj 19-7

120: Bailey Poellinger (Ellsworth) over James Freitag (Kearney) Dec 2-1

126: Jon Cain (Ellsworth) over Ben Locke (Kearney) Dec 6-1

132: Charlie Stuhl (Ellsworth) over Leyton Manley (Kearney) Fall 3:44

138: Carter Huppert (Ellsworth) over Hunter Jardin (Kearney) Fall 2:27

145: Jared Lansing (Ellsworth) over Craig Wolpert (Kearney) Fall 1:17

152: Caden Green (Kearney) over Eli Rohl (Ellsworth) Fall 1:37