The Bluejay wrestling team may have jumped into a new season without a full squad, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t ready to take care of some business.
They put four guys in third place out of 10 weight classes filled in Saturday’s Papermaker Invite in Kimberly, and ended up seventh of 17 teams entered.
“It was a good tournament to start with,” new MHS head coach Brian Suchocki said. “You could obviously see that the guys have been working hard and putting in the time. Every wrestler on our team got a win and nine out of 10 had a winning record.
“We took seventh out of 17 teams without four weight classes and without a champion. It’s hard to get a top placing without the points from a champion. We didn’t get bracketed the best because a lot of guys didn’t have a record from last year.”
State qualifier Devon Schultz (126 pounds) lost a 6-4 overtime semifinal match to the Outstanding Wrestler of the meet, Appleton North’s Ian Laatsch. He bounced back with his second pin.
Brenden Leder (132, 2 pins), Ryker Westbrook (152, 4 p) and Tanner Pettit (160, 2 p) all won their third-place matches. Aidan Ball (138, 3 p) ended up fifth, while Brody Zocher (195, 1 p) and Isaac Buntrock (285, 2 p) ranked seventh. Bradley Leiskau (120, 2 p) and Noah Bolling (220, 1 p) were ninth, and Jake Spoehr (170, 1 p) placed 12th.
Not only did the team give a strong showing overall, the boys picked up the pace as the day went along.
“Our conditioning showed when we won nine of 10 matches in the last round,” Suchocki noted. “The guys really bonded together, and were always around each other. That was important for our team.”
Team standings – Sun Prairie 450.5, Greenfield 399.5, Kimberly 353, Dodgeland Juneau 347.5, Kewaunee 307, Grafton 303, Merrill 287.5, Ashwaubenon 283, Sturgeon Bay 247, Appleton North 243.5, Manitowoc Lincoln 234.5, Princeton 226.5, Berlin 165, Freedom 152.5, Oakfield 149.5, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah 144, Manitowoc Lutheran/Roncalli 0.
Thursday’s home match with D.C. Everest is Parents’ Night.