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NON-CONFERENCE WRESTLING

Coleman Wrestlers Top 66 Team Field In Oshkosh

Coleman's wrestling team won the 66-team 2016 Lourdes Academy On the Water Classic at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Dec. 29 and 30, while Oconto Falls placed fourth.

No Cougar wrestlers were able to claim first place spots at the tournament, but a well-rounded effort was enough to give them a big team win over some quality teams. Coleman Head Coach Kevin Casper noted that his team had seven wrestlers in the semifinals and four moving onto the finals, the most Coleman had ever had.

Koltin Grzybowski (106) was one of four Cougars to lose the first place match and end up with silver. He started the day with a bye before he went on a run of three straight pins over opponents from Chippewa Falls, Wittenburg-Birnamwood and Ashwaubenon. In the semifinal, he faced 22-1 Luc Valdez from Andrew High School in Illinois, beating him 7-4 to reach the championship, where he would face 19-0 Eric Barnett from Hortonville, who pinned him to claim gold. Barnett, who took third at state last season in D1as a 106-pounder, was one of 14 undefeated wrestlers to reach the first place matches.

Caleb Gross took second at the 113 weight class. After his opening round bye, he won his opening competition by technical fall, and took a third round major decision, 15-5 over Waterford's Cody Welker. In the quarterfinal, he won another decision by a large margin, taking a 12-4 decision. In the semifinal, he beat 16-4 Zachary Beck from Ripon in sudden victory, 4-2. The first place match was another against an undefeated wrestler, which Gross lost in a 7-1 decision to Stevens Point's Brady Koontz, Wisconsin's D1 106-pound state champion last season.

Jake Baldwin (132) also placed second on the day behind three pin victories. He began with a bye, then went on to win his next four, with pins over opponents from Madison East, Valders and Oshkosh West, along with a decision win over Antigo's 15-4 Brandon Lucht. In the first place match, however, he met 19-1 Southern Door wrestler River Pawelski, who pinned him to win the class.

"Baldwin is just wrestling lights out. He's dominated everybody at the tournament going into the finals" He's wrestling so well, he's so explosive," Casper said of his 132-pound star before the championship match,

Coleman's final second place finisher was 170-pound Jordan Blanchard, who lost a tight 3-2 decision in the final against an undefeated opponent, Helton Vandenbush from Random Lake. Vandenbush, 19-0 on the season, is coming off a season in which he claimed individual gold at state in the D3 170-pound class. He also began this season by competing at the Cliff Keen USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals in Iowa. Blanchard moved up three weight classes this season. Last year he took fifth at state in the 145-pound class.

Wrestling in Blanchard's old 145-pound class was Bryce Karban. He took third for the weekend. He won his first live match by pin, took a major decision and a decision over two quality wrestlers and then faced off with Oconto Falls undefeated star Bryce Ash, who pinned Karban to remain unbeaten. Karban rebounded nicely in the third place match, which he won in a tight 9-8 battle over Germantown's Waymon McNeal, who holds a 20-2 record on the year.

At 285, Donovan Salewski captured fourth. He pinned his first two opponents, then won a close decision in the quarterfinal over 19-3 Adam Kinyon. In the semifinal, he was defeated via decision by the eventual tournament champion Donte Johnson of Fon Du Lac, who, like many Coleman opponents on the day, had yet to lose a match all season. He won by pin in the consolation semifinal, but lost the third place match in sudden victory to Kinyon, who took the 3-1 win and avenged his earlier loss.

Jacob Zeitler (220) placed sixth. He began strong with three straight wins following his bye, but he then dropped three straight to opponents from Ashwaubenon, Lomira and Omro to drop his meet record to 4-3.

Josh Pillath (182) came in eighth at his weight class, finishing 4-3 for the tournament as well, which includes a first round bye and three victories by decision. Kasey Casper (120) took 11th with a 4-3 record, which included victories in rounds one through three before falling in the quarterfinals to Dylan Koontz, last year's 113 lb. D1 champion. Casper won by injury default in the 11th place match. Billy Ganter (126) went 4-4 for 12th place. Ganter recorded two decision victories, a bye and a medical forfeit.

Also competing for first-place Coleman on the weekend were Ty Hoffman (138), John Bieber (152), Cody Champagne (160) and Brock Martinson (195).

Coach Casper said his team was wrestling "fantastic" as a whole. "That's what's nice, is everyone's contributed" I couldn't be more pleased with how we've been wrestling."

Two Oconto Falls wrestlers were able to claim individual gold. Bryce Ash (145) and Nate Trepanier (152) each took first in their respective weight classes to lead the fourth-place Panthers, who finished behind only Coleman, Lomira and Hortonville on the day.

Ash continued his undefeated season by winning six matches on the weekend. He won four of his five live matches by pin, including the win over Coleman's Karban in the semifinal. His other wins came against opponents from Watertown, Wilmot Union, Waterford and Hortonville. The 2016 state D2 fourth place finisher at 138 lb. won a tight quarterfinal match 4-3 over Waterford's AJ Guardiola. "He's come on very strong," Oconto Falls Head Coach Marc Kinziger said of Ash. "He had a strong finish last year, he qualified for state, but he's dominant this year."

2016 state champion Trepanier also went 6-0, though his matches were much tighter. Up a weight class from his undefeated 2016 run, but down one from early in the 2016 season, Trepanier won by pin in his first live match following a bye, pinned his opponent in round two, and then won four decisions in a row to claim the title. In those four decision victories, he faced opponents with a combined record of 72-12. The scores of the matches were 5-0, 3-0, 6-2 and 4-2.

"Nate matches up really well with stronger kids. It seems like the bigger and stronger they are, the better he matches up with them because of his style," Kinziger said of his state champion.

Kinziger said that Ash and Trepanier should finish the season at 145 and 152, respectively, going into the postseason. Each had begun the season a class higher than the weight they wrestled at in Oshkosh.

Dan Ausloos (285) took seventh for the Panthers, going 5-2 for the tournament, including a win via ultimate tiebreaker in the third round. Brice Delzer (170) also took seventh, Noah Stary (138) and Mac Winkler (182) came in ninth, and Tyler Budz (106) placed 12th. Also wrestling for the fourth-place Panthers were Brendan Konitzer (113), Collin Schindel (120), Wyatt Borkevec (126), Kenton Peterson (132), Connor Scray (160) and Garret Cole (195).

Kinziger said of his team's performance, "We came here with the idea that we wanted to prepare some of the guys for tougher competition as they go down the road individually, and I think they were tested really well."

No other local team fared as well as Coleman and Oconto Falls did. Wabeno-Laona came in 47th, Peshtigo took 52nd and Oconto came in 57th.

Placing for Peshtigo were Zack Wauters (113) and Cam Lepkowski (182). Wauters lost three matches for the tournament, while winning four and taking eighth place. His three defeats came from wrestlers with combined records of 55-6, including one undefeated opponent, Stevens Point's Brady Koontz, Wisconsin's 106-pound state champion in 2016, who also defeated Coleman's Caleb Gross in the championship. Wauters battled through an injury to compete in the seventh place match. Three of Wauters' victories came via pin, the quickest recorded in just 27 seconds. "Zack is wrestling really well. He really had it going today before the injury," said Peshtigo Coach Warren Howard.

Lepkowski lost in round three, but then took two decision victories, 5-2 and 6-3, to continue his weekend, before he lost his final three matches of the competition to finish in 12th place. He finished with a 4-4 record for the competition with his two decision victories and a 2:55 pin. "This was a great tournament for him," Howard said of Lepkowski.

Also competing for Peshtigo were Kyle Rivet, who was 1-2 at 106, Nick Parrett (120), Zack Jaworski (126), Max Rauch, who finished 2-2 at 138, Philip Graves (195), Seth Kuhn (220) and Blake VanVooren, who finished 2-2 at 285.

On the tournament as a whole, Howard said "This tournament is a tough tournament to get through when you get into the second day," calling it a "positive experience for the kids we brought down."

Wabeno-Laona entered just five wrestlers in the competition. Of them, just Dylan Houts (195) placed, as he took seventh with a 5-2 record on the day, including four pin victories. He pinned opponents from Mishicot, Chilton, Grafton and Fon Du Lac. His first loss came in sudden victory, 3-1, as he was defeated by Lomira's Collin Feucht, a 19-2 wrestler on the year. He was also pinned by West Bend West's Joe Leonhardt.

Oconto had four wrestlers in Oshkosh. Aiden Wusterbarth was the only one to place, as he took eighth. He began with a bye, then pinned an opponent and took an 11-3 major decision in round three. After winning an 8-1 competition in the sixth consolation round, he lost his final two due to medical forfeit, leaving him with a 4-3 record on the day, though he only lost the one live match.


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