Winter Sports Profile: Merrill Wrestling concentrates on improvement
Head Coach: Brian Suchocki, 19th year with the Merrill wrestling program – 3rd year as head coach.
Assistant Coaches: Ryan Martinovici-18, Dom Belfiori-18, Carey Mullenberg-4, and Scott Arneson-29 (Strength and conditioning coach).
2016-17 Record: 12-9 overall record and 5th place in the conference, 3-3 Conference Record.
2017 Post Season: No Team post season; two individual state qualifiers and 4 sectional qualifiers.
Returning All-Conference: Noah Bolling- conference Champion; and Bradley Leiskau, Brody Gehrke, 3rd place in conference.
Key Returners: Seniors- Jake Spoehr (170, 16-17 season), Noah Bolling (Hwt, 16-17 season), and Brody Gehrke (138, 16-17 season); Juniors- Bradley Leiskau (152, 16-17 season), Wyatt Koehler (160, 16-17 season), and Holden Smith (132, 16-17 season); Sophomore- Alex Gehrke (113, 06-7), Ashton Dalton (195, 06-07), Cody Depies (138, 06-07), Casey Hoffman (126, 06-07), Cole Zimmerman (220, 06-07), Jacob Woller (120, 06-07), Vaughn Albrecht (Hwt, 06-07), Walker Bathke (220, 06-07), Brayden Rajek (Hwt, 06-07), Ethan Cordova (145, 06-07), Carter Bayer (138, 06-07), and Zach Irrabaren (220, 06-07).
Key Losses: Seniors- Devon Schultz, Brody Zocher, Brendan Leder, Dallas Kauffman and Hayden Smith.
Key Newcomers: Freshman- Tavius Morris, Tanner Depies, Trevor Schnezel, Devin Miller, Tyler Leistikow, Caleb Stoeckmann, Ethyn Nowack, Ethyn Florez and Diminitri Lo; Upperclassmen- Zhane Barlow.
2016-17 Recap: “During the 2016-17 season we qualified two Merrill wrestlers for the state tournament. Noah Bolling qualified for state after an injury ending season the year before and Devon Schultz qualified for his third time, winning his second match at the state tournament,” coach Suchocki states. “Both wrestlers had tough state draws. They each had a past state champion to start with. Noah Bolling and Devon Schultz both winning conference titles and qualifying for state were highlight performance of the year. We had some talented seniors but low numbers, illness, injury and having a young team were some challenges.”
2017-18 Outlook: “We need to continue building sound basics and concentrate on improvement,” Suchocki notes. “With our inexperience, we need to control things that matter like conditioning, technique and preparing each and every day for competition. We have some sophomores, juniors and seniors that have been around for a while. They lead by their work ethic and now it’s their opportunity to show what they can do. As usual the Wisconsin Valley Conference and our particular sectional will be very challenging. We will need everyone competing at a high level to perform well. We have three home duals this year and hope to get a great turn out. The home duals are against DCE, SPASH and Wausau West. Each dual will be competitive and should be fun to watch.”
A Final Word From The Coach: “Being my third year as the Merrill head wrestling coach, it is again exciting to start the season. All the coaches and wrestlers are looking forward to a new challenge. We want to put our stamp on the season. While we may be inexperienced in some weight classes and young throughout we will compete hard and we have some exciting wrestlers looking to accomplish some goals they have set for themselves. Our theme this year is ‘Two Great Legacies Riding to the Top…’ We will represent Merrill wrestling with class.”
Merrill Wrestling Schedule 2017-18
Saturday, Dec 2, 2017 – @ Kimberly High School, 8 am
Thursday, Dec 7, 2017 – vs. D.C. Everest, 7 pm
Thursday, Dec 14, 2017 – @ Wausau East, 7 pm
Saturday, Dec 16, 2017 – @ Mount Horeb High School, 7:30 am
Thursday, Dec 21, 2017 – vs. Wausau West, 7 pm
Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 – Invite @ Merrill High School, 8 am
Friday, Dec 29, 2017 – Invite @ Merrill High School, TDB
Friday, Jan 5, 2018 – @ Marshfield, 6 pm
Saturday, Jan 6, 2018 – Invite @ Merrill High School, 8 am
Thursday, Jan 11, 2018 – vs. SPASH, 7 pm
Friday, Jan 12, 2018 – @ St. Croix Central, 5:30 pm
Thursday, Jan 18, 2018 – @ Wisconsin Rapids, 7 pm
Saturday, Jan 20, 2018 – @ Whitnall High School, 7 am
Saturday, Feb 3, 2018 – @ Wausau East, 10 am