Second-ranked Jay grapplers trounce East
The Bluejays wrestlers opened their Valley schedule with a bang, flattening Wausau East 63-14 in Thursday’s home meet.
The event started off in a very competitive manner, with the Lumberjacks grabbing an early 11-9 edge over the state’s #2-rated team.
“We knew we were in for some tough matches early,” MHS coach Scott Arneson said. “Three of their boys come up to (Merrill’s) Northern Exposure (training camp) and they’re pretty good friends with our boys. They got two out of the three, but Nathan Beyer came through. It was the first time he had ever beaten (Patrick) Witz.”
Beyer worked a 2-0 decision, but Nick Diny–ranked #12 in the state at 126–pinned Brady Schmelling in 1:15, and Brook Whitehead (#13) earned a 17-1 tech fall of Kevin Schmidt at 138. Garrett Schmelling pulled a 3:46 pin at 132 to keep it close.
Then Merrill blew up, earning maximum points for the next eight matches.
Pins came from Eric Ball (145, :51), Dylan Schielke (152, :50), Mason Reinhardt (160, :47), David Pophal (170, 1:18), Ben Hintze (182, 2:23), Alex Klug (195, 3:31) and Gabe Nelles (285, :27). Tyler Schmidt (220) and Aiden Ball (106) received forfeits.
Chang Lor edged Justin Mondeik 13-10 at 113.
Merrill has several highly-ranked wrestlers, including Reinhardt (#1), Schmidt (#3), Klug (#4), Schmelling (#5), Pophal (#6) and Scott T. Arneson (#13).
“Our upper weights are pretty tough,” Arneson said.
“A lot of teams have trouble filling the upper weights because their football players aren’t wrestling. We’ve got 8-10 guys over 200 pounds. Our kids seem to do both and I hope that continues.
“When you have team balance up above, you’re pretty confident. It sets up momentum for the little guys, and takes a little pressure off of them. They don’t have to worry about team score. They just have to worry about their own match.”
Merrill will go to Marshfield on Thursday and the Marquette (Mich.) Challenge on Saturday.
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