Short-handed or full team.
Apparently it doesn’t make much of a difference.
The Merrill wrestlers opened the season in Kimberly on Saturday and took down the trophy for the 18-team Papermaker Invite despite operating on less than a full squad.
“I guess we have enough horsepower still, even though we ended up forfeiting at two weight classes,” MHS coach Scott Arneson said. “It’s an early tournament, but I was impressed by our aggressiveness. We put it out there that it would be tough to win this tournament, but they seemed to rise to the challenge. We’re young on varsity experience, but we’re not young on wrestling experience.”
Merrill collected titles from Devon Schultz (120), Scott T. Arneson (138) and Mason Reinhardt (182), while Aidan Ball (113) was a runner-up and Collin Zoellner (220) was third.
Arneson offered two major decisions after three falls, while Reinhardt followed up a bye with four pins. Schultz turned a fall, a major and a decision after a pair of byes.
Other solid finishes came from Lucas Lee (4th, 170), Christian Kleinschmidt (5th, 285), Brendan Leder (6th, 132), Tanner Pettit (6th, 152), Brady Schmelling (8th, 145), Brandon McCarthy (9th, 160) and Riley Kurtz (10th, 195).
Team standings– Merrill 414.5, Greenfield 375, River Valley 371.5, Appleton North 359.5, Sun Prairie 332.5, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah 307.5, Kimberly 303.0, Kewaunee 228.5, Grafton 215, Sturgeon Bay 214.5, Freedom 85.5, Dodgeland Juneau 184, St. Lawrence Seminary 154.5, Berlin 141, Princeton 132.5, Fox Valley Lutheran 120, Manitowoc Lutheran/Roncalli 110, Wrightstown 104.