Coleman Dominates All-Conference Wrestling SquadIssue Date: March 28, 2019
As expected, the Coleman Cougars dominated the M&O Conference all-conference wrestling teams once again.
For Coleman all 13 varsity wrestlers who wrestled in the conference tourney made the first team, included seniors Jake Baldwin, Kasey Casper, Caleb Gross, Koltin Grzybowski, Bryce Karban and Brock Martinson, juniors John Bieber and Shamus McLain, sophomores Ty Blanchard and Spencer Karban and freshmen Karson Casper, Chance Gruber and Cole Klimek.
"To me, that was quite a statement," Coleman coach Kevin Casper said of his team going undefeated at the M&O Conference meet outside of one forfeit. "It was pretty nice for all those kids to accomplish that."
Jake Baldwin, who ended his senior season atop the Division III pedestal in Madison, was named the conference wrestler of the year.
"Jake Baldwin, what a dominating year he had," coach Casper said.
Baldwin lost only one match, a match when he was bumped up a weight class against Luxemburg-Casco and lost a controversial match by just one point.
On the way to a state championship of his own, Baldwin beat to other state champions: Oconto Falls' Clayton Whiting, the DII 152-pound champion, and Joey Bianchi of Two Rivers, who was a DII champion at 145.
"That's quite a statement when you think about it," Casper said. "Not only was he a state champion, but he beat two other state champions this year. Very, very deserving and just a hard-working kid that was denied a state title last year and was runner up."
Coleman 106-pounder Chance Gruber "had an awesome year as a freshmen," coach Casper said of the freshman, who took sixth at state. "He improved tremendously throughout the year."
At 113 was three-time state champion Koltin Grzybowski.
"What more can you say?" Casper said. "He had a dominating year throughout the entire year."
Caleb Gross also capped off his career with a third state championship, this time at 126.
"Very dominating throughout the entire season," Casper said. "He obviously had a great, great postseason winning a state title and having a pretty easy time for the most part throughout the whole tournament other than his first match down in Madison."
At 120 was Kasey Casper, who finished one match from going to state.
"Had he been in any other sectional in the state, there's no doubt he would've been down in Madison and probably placing quite high," coach Casper said.
Brother Kasey Casper was a first-teamer as well. He wrestled most of the year at 138, a tough weight class for a freshman, also spending some time at 132.
Casper made it to state as well, losing a one-point match to start the tournament.
"I'm very proud of him," coach Casper said.
Bryce Karban made state for the third time this season and was one win away from the podium. Casper described him as a "kid that would do anything for his team."
Ty Blanchard made state for the first time as a sophomore, taking sixth.
"He's definitely going to be a kid to be reckoned with in the next two years," Casper said.
Shamus McLain made his third trip to state as well, taking fourth last year. He lost a one-point match in the first round this season.
"Shamus had a very good year and he's got one more year left. I'm sure he'll be aiming for the top next year, Casper said.
Cole Klimek is one that will be aiming for state next year. He spent parts of 2018-19 on the varsity roster and showed what he could do.
"And he was wrestling probably light for his weight class," Casper said. Klimek, who weighed closer to 160, was often wrestling more than 10 pounds above his pay grade as just a freshman.
"He started wrestling a lot smarter toward the end of the year, so he was beating some very good kids and hanging right in there with the top kids, so I think the future looks very bright for Cole," Casper said.
John Bieber will be hoping to get back after making state as a sophomore but missing out as a junior by one win.
"He had a very, very good season," Casper said. "I think he won a couple tournaments this year and beat a lot of really good kids, it's just kind of unfortunate that he didn't make it down to Madison this year, but he's got one year left. He'll be there next year for sure."
Spencer Karban made it to state as a sophomore wrestling most of the year at 220.
"The whole thing with Spencer is he started to wrestle like a big boy," Casper said. "Sometimes he had a tendency to make some mistakes, but he started to wrestle a lot better in the postseason and ended up taking sixth in the state. He made it to the state semifinals, which is outstanding."
Brock Martinson spent part of the year ranked tops in Division III. He came back too soon from appendix surgery, Casper said, but once he got back in shape and got his mind into it, he rattled off the wins until the state semifinal, where he got caught and pinned.
Like Jake Baldwin, he beat two state champions on the year, wrestling athletes far heavier than he.
Martinson is one of six seniors graduating from the Cougar wrestling program this season.
"They'll go out as one of the best senior groups we've had, and we've had a few good ones," Casper said.
Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas had an all-conference first-teamer in sophomore Richard Feick and Alex Decoursin, a junior, was an honorable mention.
On Feick, coach Chad Misco said, "Richard has come a long way since last year." Feick wrestled as a heavy weight as a freshman and "took his lumps," but this year, "he was able to adjust a little better to wrestling on his feet with the big guys."
Feick led the team in wins and made it to sectionals, propelled by a weight increase that helped him hang with the heavyweights.
"His confidence grew with every victory and we have high hopes for next year," Misco said. "The plan is to hit the weight room hard and put on a few pounds of muscle in the offseason."
Gillett/Suring's Brody Zahn made the first team as a freshman and senior Sam Lemens, who qualified for state, ended up as an honorable mention.
"Brody is an up-and-coming student athlete who has the potential to be one of the best athletes in the area," coach Jeremy Krueger said. "Although he is young, Brody displayed a higher level of athleticism than most of the other athletes I've seen."
Krueger said he saw a lot of potential in Zahn from the beginning of the season "and he didn't disappoint."
He continued to say that Zahn improved with every week with more and more hours put in throughout the season, including yoga and muscle memory work.
Crivitz was led by first-team selection Joseph Tomaszewski, a senior. Junior Anthony Jopek was an honorable mention.
"Joseph was a team captain hard worker, showed up to every practice and is always willing to help with the little kids practices," said Crivitz Coach Scott Doyen. "Joe was dedicated to the sport of wrestling starting a wrestling club at Crivitz High School. He said he wanted to try and open the sport of wrestling to more of his peers. His passion and dedication to the sport was admired by everyone. He will be missed when he goes to college next year."
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