Four Bluejay wrestlers headed to sectionals
As a result of Saturday’s WIAA Regional Wrestling meet at the MHS Field House, four Bluejays punched their tickets for tomorrow’s WIAA Sectional meet at River Falls High School.
Senior Devon Schultz has made it a habit this season to leave no stone unturned in the 132 pound weight class. Such consistency remained intact Saturday as Schultz made yet another clean sweep of his weight class; while en route to his first regional championship.
Wausau West’s Eric Ottosen was the first to step on to the mat across from Schultz Saturday morning and soon met his fate via pin, in a matter of 1:42. D.C Everest’s Kyle VanGalder proved to be a bit tougher of an adversary in the second round, but would eventually meet the same fate at the 5:36 mark of the bout.
In Schultz’s final bout of the day, he would square off with Wyler Lubeck of Wisconsin Rapids.
The match would prove to be a fight to the finish, ultimately resulting in a tie breaking win for Schultz.
“Devon finished a tough match with Wyler Lubeck,” explains head coach Brian Suchocki. “At the end of regulation, they were tied at one point each. Devon got an escape in overtime and ended up riding out the remainder of the match for the win. Devon has wrestled very well all season. He knows moving forward, it will come down to one match at a time and finding ways to win no matter what. This is another opportunity for him to get down to the state competition in Madison.”
Junior Noah Bolling also garnered a Regional Championship Saturday.
Following a first-round bye, Bolling pinned Rapids’ Ian Miller in 1:24 and followed suit with another pin over Everest’s Trenton Olson in a mere 36 seconds.
“Noah is in a situation where he has an opportunity to make it to state,” Suchocki adds. “He has some tough competition ahead, but I think he can handle the challenges. We as a coaching staff are looking forward to what he can do.”
Also qualifying for a bid to next week’s showdown at River Falls are freshman Walker Bathke (220) and sophomore Brody Gehrke, each placing 4th in their respective classes Saturday.
Following a first round loss to West’s Travis Wraggs, Bathke rebounded with a 31 second pin over Wausau East’s Dylan Barforth. Bathke would go on secure his Sectional berth with a 17-4 Major Decision over Chase Redmond of Rhinelander.
“We are very happy for Walker, he really wanted this,” Suchocki adds. “The opportunity was there for him. Walker prepared well for his matches and went after it. In the end he earned his place at sectionals.”
Gehrke’s bid started off on a high note with a 3:10 pin over Everest’s Gabe Carter. Following a pair of losses to Marshfield’s Anthony Knable and Rhinelander’s Eric Grulke; Gehrke was slated to face Carter once again. However, given Gehrke’s first round victory over Carter, Gehrke would bypass the match by rule and advance to River Falls.
“Brody has been very successful since being placed in the 138 class,” Suchocki said. “He is able to do more physically than he was before. He wrestled very well on Saturday and earned his place at sectionals.”
Overall, Suchocki appeared very pleased with the Bluejay effort on Saturday.
“The Regional meet was a good experience for all of our wrestlers,” he explains. “We are excited to see what our regional qualifiers can accomplish at the sectional meet and we hope those wrestlers who didn’t qualify, will take this as a learning experience to become better wrestlers and hopefully support their teammates as they move on.”
Saturday’s WIAA Sectional Meet hosted by River Falls High School kicks off at 10:30 a.m.