By Jeremy Ratliff
Saturday morning, the Bluejay wrestlers stamped their regular season with a 5th place finish at the Wisconsin Valley Conference meet in Stevens Point. Finishing the day with 137.5 points, the guys finished ahead of Wisconsin Rapids (135) and Wausau-East (35), trailing 4th place Stevens Point by 22 points (157).
Junior Noah Bolling (285) and senior Devon Schultz (132) capped off stellar seasons with conference championships in their respective classes Saturday. Schultz finished his regular season as the 5th ranked wrestler in the state at the 132 pound class (WIWrestlingOnline)
Following a first round bye, the stalwart junior would make a day of making quick work of his adversaries; pinning his first opponent Ian Miller (WisconsinRapids) in a matter of 58 seconds.
AJ Leonhardt of Marshfield wouldn’t fare much better, falling victim to Bowling in just over a minute. Bolling would move on to meet Wausau-West’s Timothy Mineau in the championship bout.
Although Mineau would fare a bit better than his predecessors, but not by much as Bolling swept the 285 pound class with a 1:58 pin.
“Noah wrestled very well for us today,” comments head coach Brian Suchocki.
“He came out and pinned all three of his opponents in the first period. Noah has a great work ethic, he works hard to get better every week. I hope he builds off his championship performance and continues to wrestle well into the off-season.”
Schultz too would garner a first round bye and wasted no time getting to work; scoring a decisive 19-4 Technical Fall win over Max Schierl of Stevens Point. D.C Everest’s Kyle VanGalder was next to step on to the mat across from Schultz and would go down via 5:20 pin. It would then come down to Schultz and Marshfield’s Caden Pearce for the weight class championship and Schultz would come out on top yet again via 11-5 decision.
Bradley Leiskau (152) and Brody Gehrke (138) finished 3rd on the day at 3-1.
“Devon has been wrestling very well all season,” Suchocki adds.
“At this point, headed into the post-season, I feel the main thing for Devon is for him to stay focused and not get caught up in the emotion of his matches. He defeated a couple of very good wrestlers today, and he has defeated some very good wrestlers this seasson. Today, there was no doubt who the better wrestler was. But as we head into the post-season, the competition will get better. Devon and everyone else will have to step it up as we head into regionals. The competiton will only get better and tougher from here.”
Bradley Leiskau (152) and Brody Gehrke (138) finished 3rd on the day and garnered All-WVC Honors.
Leiskau launched to a solid start with an impressive 1:26 pin over Marshfield’s Payton Young Marsh, but would fall in his next bout to Wausau-West’s Alex Hein via a quick pin in 1:42 pin. Following a third round bye, Leiskau capped off his day with a 1:38 pin over Point’s Sam Molski.
“Bradley wrestled very well today and avenged a pair of losses from this past sesason.” Suchocki adds.
Brody scored an impressive 16-3 Major Decision right away over Rapids’ Tucker Lamm Rapids. Unfortunately, Marshfield’s Anthony Kanable would get the best of him via 1:08 in the second round but Gehrke would make a strong finish with a 5:18 pin over Everest’s Gabe Carter.
“Now that Brody is in a weight class which is better suited for him, he came out and did very well for us today. Brody has wrestled in a few different classes for us when we needed him to step up this sesason, but the 138 class is a good fit for him. Brody is physically able to wrestle very well in that class and showed it today.”
Other top finishers for the Jays were:
4th Place: Casey Hoffman (126), Jake Spoehr (170) and Walker Bathke (220)
5th Place Ashton Dalton (195), Brody Zocher (182) and Jacob Woller (120)
6th Place-Alex Gehrke (113)