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Raiders continue to rule the regional, advancing 9 to sectionals

Raiders continue to rule the regional, advancing 9 to sectionals Raiders continue to rule the regional, advancing 9 to sectionals


The Medford wrestlers had little trouble defending their 2019 WIAA Division 2 regional championship Saturday, qualifying nine wrestlers for sectional competition and winning four weight class titles at this year’s meet hosted by Regis-Altoona in Eau Claire.

Seniors Dane Higgins and Zeke Sigmund earned their fourth sectional appearances with Higgins winning his fourth regional title. Sigmund won his third.

Clay Bowe returns to his second straight sectional after winning his first regional title. Carson Church won the 132-pound bracket and will appear in his first sectional.

Defending state champion Jake Rau, Eric Rehbein and Emett Grunwald are headed back to sectionals after secondplace finishes, while Dalton Krug and Ty Sova will make their individual sectional debuts.

In the team standings, Medford scored 246 points to easily outscore Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee (181.5), Neillsville-Greenwood-Loyal (180), Abbotsford-Colby (131), Regis-Altoona (131) and Spencer-Columbus Catholic (106.5).

“Overall it was a great day,” Medford head coach Brandon Marcis said. “You never have a perfect day. You never have it exactly the way you envision it. But it was a good day.”

The individual sectional is set for Saturday in Osceola with competition starting at 10:30 a.m. The top three finishers in each weight class will advance to the Feb. 27-29 state tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Medford’s regional title put it in the WIAA Division 2 team sectional in Baldwin-Woodville Tuesday, where the Raiders won their semifinal meet 63-16 over Northwestern and lost 35-28 to Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro in the championship dual (see page 1).

Higgins (32-6) coasted to the 138-pound title with a pin in 1:02 over freshman Garrett Learman of the Neillsville Coop and a victory by injury default over Russel Dorn of Stanley-Boyd in the final. He’s seeking a fourth straight trip to Madison. His sectional bracket includes third-ranked Charlie Stuhl of Ellsworth, fourth-ranked Sam Johnson of G-E-T/MM, who he beat 8-3 Tuesday and 25-6 Mason Tylee of Amery.

Sigmund (35-4) went 2-0 as well at 145 pounds, pinning Tucker Bethea of the Neillsville Co-op in 22 seconds in the semifinals and shutting out Joseph Mc-Dermond of Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee 8-0 in the final. As Sigmund aims for a third straight trip to state, wrestlers like Jared Stricker of Ashland (41-0), Walker Ingham of Amery (33-3) and Bryce Blaken (32-9) of G-E-T/M-M could provide some resistance.

Bowe’s 182-pound title included pins of 1:26 over Caden Koepl of Stanley-Boyd/ Owen-Withee and 1:25 over Abbotsford-Colby’s Andrew Jeske. At 34-6, Bowe was ranked fourth in the state coming into the regional. At Osceola, he’ll be a favorite, but the field includes tough wrestlers like Jacob Summers of G-E-T/M-M (36-7), who pinned Bowe Tuesday, Isaac Nichols of Northwestern (15-4) and Blaine Guthrie of Baldwin-Woodville (32-6).

Church (21-3) was a 6-1 winner in the 132-pound semifinals over Jose Rodriguez of Abbotsford-Colby and an 8-1 winner over Keeghan Anding of the Neillsville Co-op in the finals. His road to state continues Saturday with a first-round matchup against Prescott’s Sam Murphy (25-11) in the first round. The 132-pound sectional favorites will be 43-1 Sawyer Best of Bloomer-Colfax and 34-2 Jordan Penard of Amery.

Rau (30-2) suffered his second loss of the year at 220 pounds and both losses have come to Neillsville Co-op freshman Gunner Hoffmann (34-1). Hoffman edged Rau 3-2 in Saturday’s title match. Rau pinned Spencer-Columbus’s Sawyer Kilty in 11 seconds in his semifinal. After falling to Hoffmann, he pinned Henry Theisen of Regis-Altoona in 1:44 in the second-place wrestleback to advance.

Rau and Hoffmann could see each other again in Saturday’s sectional championship match.

“We have a plan for him,” Marcis said. “We’ll see if it works. I think it’s going to.”

At 126 pounds, Rehbein (25-12) had to win two matches to get to the final. He pinned Thomas Tomesh of Regis-Altoona in 1:02 and then earned a 16-6 major decision over Gage Ludovic of the Neillsville Co-op to set up a title bout with Abbotsford- Colby’s River Halopka (28-5). Halopka won 10-2. With Ludovic winning the third-place match, Rehbein did not face a wrestleback.

He gets a tough opening draw Saturday against Baldwin-Woodville’s Jordan Bonte (26-5). Halopka, Evan Wolfe of West Salem-Bangor (36-6) and Northwestern’s Markus Brown (36-2) are among the 126-pound favorites.

Grunwald pinned Carter Schoengarth of the Neillsville Co-op in 50 seconds in his regional semifinal before falling 8-4 to 36-2 Payton Kostka of Regis-Altoona in the final. Grunwald (33-9) opens Saturday with 31-5 Carter Huppert of Ellsworth. Kostka and 40-3 Bowen Rothbauer of Bloomer-Colfax are on the other side of the bracket.

Krug earned his second-place finish at 195 pounds by pinning Evan Meeker of Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee in 1:16 in the semifinals and Connor Luedtke of Spencer-Columbus in 1:49 in the secondplace wrestleback. Abbotsford-Colby’s sophomore standout Carter Grewe (22-4) pinned Krug (24-17) in 3:01 in the final.

Krug’s first sectional matchup is against Hayward-Northwood sophomore Calvin Mansheim (31-9). He’s in a tough sectional bracket, led by 39-3 Bryce Burns of G-E-T/M-M.

Sova, a freshman, fought his way back through the consolation bracket to get second at 106 pounds. He opened with a pin in 1:32 over Deaglan O’Connell of Regis- Altoona but was pinned in 4:22 in the semifinals by eventual champion Luke Dux of the Neillsville Co-op (31-4). Sova (22-11) pinned Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee’s Justin McManus in the third-place match and earned a 6-4 win over Spencer-Columbus freshman Ty Woodkey (13-10) to advance to Osceola.

There, he gets a tough first-round match with the Luck Co-op’s Nolan Johnson (32-6). Carson Koss of G-E-T/M-M, who beat Sova 12-3 Tuesday, is on Sova’s side of the bracket as is 32-6 Tommy Brown of Northwestern.

Senior Jake Brunner (26-12) placed third at 160 pounds. He was tipped 4-2 by Tommy Friemoth of the Neillsville Co-op (27-11) in the semifinals and pinned Matt Mauer of Regis-Altoona in 2:55 in the third-place match, but Friemoth’s loss in the final to Preston Potaczek of Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee prevented a wrestleback.

Hayden Johnson was denied a repeat trip to sectionals with his third-place finish at 170 pounds. He opened with a pin in 3:27 over Joe Neider of Spencer-Columbus but he was pinned in the semifinals by eventual champion Nathan Buchanan of the Neillsville Co-op. Johnson (20- 17) won his third-place match 13-5 over Abbotsford-Colby’s Brandon Vincente, who was 25-9, but Caden Weber of Regis-Altoona, a 32-9 freshman beat Johnson in the second-place wrestleback 10-8.

Blake Schilling (2-20) was third in a three-man 120-pound bracket, getting pinned in 1:21 by Spencer-Columbus sophomore Treyton Ackman in his only match. Matthew Gebert (7-14) was pinned in 1:54 by Connor Mattison of Regis- Altoona but pinned Lucas Baumann of Abbotsford-Colby in 2:41 in the fifthplace match.

WIAA Div. 2 Osceola sectional wrestling brackets

106 pounds

Nolan Johnson, Jr., Luck Co-op (32-6) vs.

Ty Sova, Fr., Medford (22-11)

Carson Koss, Fr., G-E-T/M-M (38-7) vs. Tommy Brown, Fr., Northwestern (32-6) Luke Dux, Fr., Neillsville Co-op (31-4) vs. Cole Braasch, Fr., Baldwin-Woodville (26-12) Carter Schulz, So., Rice Lake (31-8) vs. Cale Ekholm, So., Ellsworth (21-15) 126 pounds

Jordan Bonte, Sr., Baldwin-Woodville (26-5) vs. Eric Rehbein, Sr., Medford, (25-12) Evan Wolfe, So., West Salem-Bangor (36-6) vs. Austin Defoe, So., Ashland (28-6) River Halopka, Jr., Abbotsford-Colby (28-5) vs. Tyler Hantsbarger, Sr., Somerset (34-5) Markus Brown, Jr., Northwestern (36-2) vs. Jackson McCormick, So., Black River Falls (34-8) 132 pounds

Sawyer Best, Sr., Bloomer-Colfax (43-1) vs. Mason Ecklor, So., Barron (13-17)

Carson Church, Jr., Medford (21-3) vs. Sam Murphy, So., Prescott (25-11) Braden Trautt, Jr., Northwestern (28-10) vs. Jordan Penard, Jr., Amery (34-2) Bailey Poellinger, Sr., Ellsworth (27-14) vs. Keeghan Anding, Fr., Neillsville Co-op (26-12) 138 pounds

Mason Tylee, So., Amery (25-6) vs. Sam Johnson, Sr., G-E-T/M-M (34-10) Tanner Kaufman, Fr., Northwestern (31-7) vs. Russel Dorn, Jr., Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee (10-6).

Charlie Stuhl, Sr., Ellsworth (35-2) vs. Hunter Gartman, Fr., Baldwin-Woodville (19-13) Dane Higgins, Sr., Medford (32-6) vs. Isaak Livingston, Sr., Ashland (33-8)

145 pounds

Walker Ingham, Jr., Amery (33-3) vs. Joseph McDermond, Sr., Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee (24-13) Bryce Blaken, Sr., G-E-T/M-M (32-9) vs. Tjay Ziebaerth, Sr., Northwestern (21-18) Zeke Sigmund, Sr., Medford (35-4) vs. Aaron Schmidt, Sr., Osceola (19-12) Jared Stricker, Jr., Ashland (41-0) vs. Braden Matzek, Jr., Ellsworth (25-10) 152 pounds

Bowen Rothbauer, So., Bloomer-Colfax (40-3) vs. Aaron Diamond, Ashland (26-11) Payton Kostka, Jr., Regis-Altoona (36-2) vs. Daniel Slattery, Sr., G-E-T/M-M (22-19) Brandon Meister, So., Spooner-Webster (29-9) vs. Grant Cook, Fr., Amery (27-10) Carter Huppert, Sr., Ellsworth (31-5) vs.

Emett Grunwald, Jr., Medford (33-9) 182 pounds

Blaine Guthrie, Jr., Baldwin-Woodville (32-6) vs. Isaac Nichols, Sr., Northwestern (15-4)

Clay Bowe, Sr., Medford (34-6) vs. Bret Kostka, Sr., Osseo-Fairchild Co-op (5-2) Carter Melton, Jr., Spooner-Webster (31-8) vs. Parker Shackleton, Fr., St. Croix Central (29-10) Jacob Summers, Sr., G-E-T/M-M (36-7) vs. Andrew Jeske, So., Abbotsford-Colby (18-11) 195 pounds

Kale Hopke, So., Amery (34-2) vs. Luke Fischer, Jr., Osseo-Fairchild Co-op (32-8) Calvin Mansheim, So., Hayward-Northwood (31-9) vs. Dalton Krug, Jr., Medford (24-17)

Bryce Burns, Sr., G-E-T/M-M (39-3) vs. Nick Carlson, Jr., Osceola (32-8) Carter Grewe, So., Abbotsford-Colby (22-4) vs. Shane Schiff, So., Northwestern (20-15) 220 pounds

Josh Bair, Jr., St. Croix Central (24-13) vs.

Jake Rau, Sr., Medford (30-2)

Kyle Anschutz, So., Ellsworth (26-12) vs. Brennen Werner, Jr., Northwestern (24-10) Gunner Hoffmann, Fr., Neillsville Co-op (34-1) vs. Mason Baribeu, Fr., Baldwin-Woodville (8-21) Kayden Warren, Jr., Rice Lake (9-9) vs. Kaleb Dobson, Sr., Black River Falls (29-14)