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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Coleman Wins Sectional; Advances to Team State

Issue Date: February 10, 2021

Four Cougars and Lena's Comins Earn Individual D3 State Spots

The Coleman Cougars are headed to team state, while one Lena wrestler and four individual wrestlers from Coleman are headed to state competition after Saturday's D3 sectional at Valders.

Coleman won the 20-team sectional, finishing 88 points better than second-place Manawa.

Ray LeMieux (113), Karson Casper (145), Tyler Blanchard (170) and Spencer Karban (285) earned individual state berths.

Karban won his weight class after a 1-minute, 14-second pin of Crandon's Conner Lawrence, a 10-0 major decision over Andrew Elmhorst of Manawa and a 53-second pin of Menominee Indian's Saswaen Shawanokasic.

"His semifinal match against the boy from Manawa, we figured would be his stiffest competition but again, Spencer wrestled in dominating fashion and handled that wrestler with ease and then pinned the boy in the finals," Coleman coach Kevin Casper said, describing Karban's day as "phenomenal."

Elmhorst was 15-2 on the year and Shawanokasic was 11-4.

Karson Casper also won his weight class in dominating fashion as he continues his quest for back-to-back state titles.

Casper, who is 14-0 on the year, pinned Weyauwega-Fremont's Ethan Lamoureux in blazing speed and Wittenberg-Birnamwood's Bryce Zoromski in 1:28. He won the weight class with a 9-1 major decision over Bonduel's Tyson Bogacz, who was 14-3 on the year.

"Karson Casper wrestled fantastic, pinning his first two opponents and then won it convincingly in the championship 9 to 1," coach Casper said. "Karson is wrestling great and hopefully he can defend his title this upcoming week."

Karson Casper and Karban were Coleman's only two individual winners, with LeMieux and Blanchard taking second in their respective classes.

LeMieux won four of his five matches at 113. He pinned Crandon's Brayden Madl in 1:33 but lost to undefeated Kevin Klemm of Manawa by 9-0 major decision in the semifinal. He rebounded to pin Rosholt's Blake Peski in 4:51 and Wittenberg-Birnamwood's Andres Sanchez in 49 seconds and earned himself a shot at state in the second-place match.

He topped Reedsville's Kyle Schmalz by 7-4 decision to book his ticket.

"Ray LeMieux, taking second, did an outstanding job," coach Casper said. "He lost in the semifinals but then wrestled this way all the way back to second place and did a great job."

Blanchard was another one to lose his semifinal match but still earn a state spot.

At 170, Blanchard pinned Amherst's Tristan Schelvan in 1:01, but was pinned by Kewaunee's Mitchell Thompson in the semifinal.

Blanchard would go on to beat Manawa's Bryce Bartel by 7-2 decision. In the third-place match, he was scheduled to face Schelvan again, but WIAA rules give a wrestler the win if he or she has already beaten an opponent on the day, so Blanchard advanced to the second-place match, where he dispatched Dion Helser of Shiocton in a 36-second pin.

"Tyler Blanchard took a second and again lost in the semifinals, but thankfully got a wrestle back and wrestled his way and dominated at the same time back to second place," coach Casper said. "Looking for good things from Tyler this weekend."

Four Coleman wrestlers were third at sectionals, missing out on state by one place. Cameron Kimmell (106) went 3-2, with a decision loss to Lena's Dylan Comins in the second-place match, Brady Gross was 2-2 in live matches with his only losses to wrestlers with a combined 26-2 record and Brody Zahn pinned three of his four live opponents but missed out after a sudden victory loss in the semifinal to Reedsville's Cole Ebert. Zahn earned a spot in the second-place match, but Ebert did too, giving the Reedsville wrestler a no contest victory and a spot at state.

It was Coby DenRuyter that coach Casper said he felt "the most heartbroken for," however.

DenRuyter won his first two matches of the day to earn a spot in the first-place match, where he lost a last-second 5-4 decision to Mishicot's Joe Desotelle, who is 11-1 on the year.

DenRuyter then went on to get pinned by Shiocton's Dylan Larsen in the second-place match.

Casper called DenRuyter's finish a "gut punch," saying, "you feel bad for a lot of wrestlers that lose out on that opportunity to go to state, but that one was hard to take."

In a normal, non-COVID year, all third-place finishers would have made it to state, but the qualifiers were narrowed down for the 2020-21 season.

Luckily for DenRuyter and the others, they'll have one last time on the mat this year at team state on Saturday, Feb. 20, held at Wausau West High School.

Rounding out Coleman's sectional wrestlers, Chance Gruber was fourth at 132 with a 2-2 record, Will Bieber (138) was 2-1 but lost his opening match and a no contest in the third-place match, Cole Klimek (182) went 2-2 with two pins, Peter Kuchta (160) was fifth with a 2-2 record and two pins and Owen Kinziger was sixth at 152 after winning his opening match by pin but losing his next three matches, including two by decisions of three points or less.

"I'm very proud of all of our wrestlers and the great news is we're not done yet and have a chance to win back-to-back state titles," coach Casper said.

For Lena, Comins is headed to state after a second-place finish at 106. Comins pinned Weyauwega-Fremont's Isiah Schuh in 3:37 and beat Valders' Garrett Ulness by 5-3 decision. After a pin loss to Elias Glinski of Crandon, who is 18-1 on the year, Comins beat Coleman's Kimmell by 6-0 decision to stake his claim at a state berth.

Sam Marquardt (132) went 1-3 after winning his opening match by decision to finish sixth and Frank Desjarles (285) was 1-3 with a pin in his first consolation match. Jayden Belongia (113) lost his first two matches of the day by fall.

Division 3 Individual State will be held at Adams-Friendship High School on Saturday, Feb. 13.



Panthers Whiting and Pankratz Advance to D2 Individual State Tourney

Two Oconto Falls wrestlers qualified for state from Saturday's Division 2 sectional in Seymour.

Clayton Whiting and Graeson Pankratz have continued their wrestling domination of northeast Wisconsin all season, and Saturday's sectional was no different.

After two straight state titles to begin his career, the 182-pound Whiting has yet to lose this season. Saturday, he pinned Tomahawk's Issiah Scheffler in 1 minute, 24 seconds, Winneconne's Evan Miller in a minute, 51 seconds and Brillion's Colin Schuman in 2:27 to continue his march to state.

Pankratz (113) beat Tomahawk's Addison Piessig by 16-0 tech fall, Winneconne's Mason Sternard by 9-3 decision and Denmark's Brett Soquet in a 15-2 major decision to move on. Pankratz is 13-1 on the year.

The top two finishers at each weight class advanced to state, which will be held Feb. 13 at three different locations across the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Division 2 competition will be held at Adams-Friendship High School beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The Panthers' Jaden Ganter went 2-2 to take fifth at 126, Jeremy Caldwell was fifth at 152 with a 1-2 record and a bye and Trevor Schindel won two of his four to take fifth at 160.

Garrett Ganter (106) and Landon Budz (120) each went 1-3 to finish sixth and Mitch Kallies (285) did not place after two losses to start off.

For Peshtigo, Connor Thomas took fourth place at 195. Thomas pinned Denmark's Luke Abrahamson in 4:45 to open his day, but lost his next match to 17-2 Kade Wenninger of Tomahawk. After a major decision win in the consolation semifinal, he made it to the third-place match with an opportunity to advance to the second-place match, but he was pinned by Little Chute's Mathew Janssen in 3:02 to end his day.

Cole Sherman (106) did not place, losing both of his matches in early pins.

In a normal year, Marinette's Owen Suennen would have joined the two Oconto Falls wrestlers at state, but 2020-21 is far from a normal year, and Wisconsin high school wrestling is no different. Normally, three wrestlers advance from each sectional, but only two advance this year.

Suennen started his day with a loss, but won three straight matches in commanding fashion, including a 2:59 pin of Berlin's Devin Derleth, a 1:15 pin of New London's Mason Kloehn and an 11-1 major decision win over Seth Beaber of Antigo. Unfortunately for Suennen, he met Wrightstown's Kaiden Koltz, a 15-1 wrestler on the year, in the second-place match, where he lost a 6-3 decision.

Also for Marinette, Isaiah Walker (132) went 2-2 with two decision wins and two decision losses to finish fourth, Jonny Bieber was 2-2 with two pin victories and two pin losses to take fourth at 152, Josh Walker went 2-2 at 145 to take fifth and Dakota Cuff (182) lost both of his matches.

Winneconne and Denmark were first and second with Winneconne advancing to team state, to be held Feb. 20.


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