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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo's Lepkowski Heads To State; OFalls Sends Six Led By Trepanier/Ash

Cam Lepkowski will represent Peshtigo at the state wrestling meet in Madison this weekend after he placed third at the WIAA Division II Sectional in Seymour on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Lepkowski (182) lost his opening match to 30-8 Derrick Rotta of Waupaca, with Rotta taking the 2-1 decision. Lepkowski rebounded to win a 4-2 decision over Wautoma/Wild Rose's Lucas Hackney, who is 25-6 on the year. Lepkowski locked up his spot at state with an injury default win over Garret Cole of Oconto Falls after 2:11. He was slated to face Rotta again in the second-place match, but Rotta was given the win by rule based off of his earlier win.

Lepkowski defeated Cole due to an illegal slam from the Oconto Falls wrestler, which left Lepkowski unable to move his shoulder or finish the match. Lepkowski said "I didn't know it was an illegal slam until they raised my hand. I thought my season was over."

He separated the AC joint in his shoulder, but said he would "for sure" be available to wrestle in Madison for the state competition, as the doctors told him it would be his call on whether to continue wrestling or not.

On reaching state competition, Lepkowski said "I'm proud of myself. It was one of my goals."

Zack Wauters (113) also competed for the Bulldogs, though the junior lost both his matches. He was pinned in his opener by Luxemburg-Casco's 43-3 star Bryce Bosman, and lost by 17-1 tech fall against 33-4 Josh Ehster of Mosinee.

Oconto Falls also competed at the sectional, sending six wrestlers to state competition. Advancing to state for the Panthers were Tyler Budz, Bryce Ash, Nate Trepanier, Brice Delzer, Mac Winkler and Dan Ausloos.

Budz (106) placed third. He began the day with a pin over Wautoma/Wild Rose's Dylan Hughes, but lost in the semifinal to Two Rivers' Cody Holmes, 43-3 on the year, via 12-0 major decision. He won in the consolation semifinal, 9-1 by major decision over Antigo's Neil Bretl. In the third-place match, with a state berth on the line, he won by 6-4 sudden victory over Freedom's Zach Lahay. Budz lost to 33-12 Lucas Joniaux of Luxemburg-Casco in the second-place match by 3-1 decision.

Ash (145) received a bye in the quarterfinal and won his next two matches by tech fall and major decision. He won by 19-2 tech fall over Luxemburg-Casco's Garrett Jeanquart in the semifinal, needing 5:35 to do so. In the first-place match, he won a 15-5 major decision over 28-9 Laken Duerschmidt of Two Rivers. Ash returns to the state mats having placed 4th at 138 lbs. a year ago.

Trepanier (160) placed first in his class, winning three straight matches to claim the top spot. He opened with a 5:18 tech fall over Tomahawk's Matt Turkewicz, by a score of 17-2. He advanced to the semifinal on an injury default from Wrightstown's Ben Klister, where he would pin Seymour's Justin Krull in 1:18. Trepanier is 43-1 on the year and a returning state champion have won the Division 2 145 lb. championship in 2016.

Delzer (170) came in second, opening with a pin of Little Chute's Ryan Janssen in 1:23, followed by a 6-4 semifinal decision over Max Schmitz of Denmark, who is 32-12 on the season. He dropped the first-place match to Dalton Smerchek of Luxemburg-Casco, losing a 6-0 decision before a rebound in the second-place match, pinning 32-10 Matt Verhasselt of Freedom in 1:59.

Winkler (182) placed second after winning three of his four matches. He began with a 10-2 major decision victory over Dalton Becker of Two Rivers in the quarterfinal and then pinned Ieon Diver of Lakeland in 49 seconds. He lost the first-place match to Bryce Herlache of Wrightstown, 31-3 on the year, by 7-2 decision, but claimed second after he was slated to face Becker in the next matchup, so he was given the win by rule.

Ausloos came in third at 285 despite losing in his opening match, where he was pinned by Lux-Casco's Phil Rasmussen in 5:49. He pinned his next two opponents, however, taking care of Omro's Mitchell Potratz in 1:44 and Jose Mohr of Mosinee in 1:30. He had already locked down a spot at state when he lost a 10-9 decision to Denmark 34-4 wrestler Josh Frerk.

Also wrestling for the Panthers were Bryce Peterson (120), Wyatt Borkovec (126), Garret Cole (195) and Trent Peetz (220). Cole and Peetz each took fourth at their respective weight classes. Cole won two matches, with one in the quarterfinal and one in the consolation semifinal, but then had to default in the third-place match to Peshtigo's Cam Lepkowski just 2:11 into the match.

Peetz went 1-2 with a win of Denmark's T.J. Weidman in 3:28, sandwiched between two tough decision losses, including one by a 2-0 score to Omro star Jack Dietzen, who is 40-3 on the season, and Zach Wilson of Berlin, a 30-12 wrestler who defeated Peetz 4-3 in the third-place match.


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