Local Division 3 qualifiers include three from Ozaukee, two CG-Belgium champions
Three wrestlers from Ozaukee High School and two from Cedar Grove-Belgium are headed back to Madison this week with their eyes on the prize.
The five all earned return trips to the WIAA Division 3 state individual tournament by placing in the top three in their weight classes at last Saturdayâ€™s Cedar Grove-Belgium Sectional.
The host Rocketsâ€™ qualifiers are seniors Zach Schulz (126 pounds) and Matt Mueller (220), who both won sectional titles.
Ozaukee will be represented by runners-up Cole Large (106) and Ethan Brouillette (132) and third-place finisher Logan Smith (126). Large is a sophomore, and Brouillette and Smith are juniors.
Schulz gained some revenge by edging Smith, 6-5, in the 126-pound title match after losing to Smith, 8-6, in a regional meet the previous week.
Mueller needed no such drama, pinning all three of his opponents in a combined time of just over six minutes. He capped the day by defeating Lomiraâ€™s Justin Michael in 3:00.
â€śIt was a great day for us,â€ť Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Trevor Peterson said.
The highlight was Schulzâ€™s close call with Smith.
â€śThat was a very tight match. We actually got a takedown in the last couple seconds to win,â€ť Peterson said. â€śIt was a very good, very close match. A lot of fun.â€ť
Ozaukee coach Luke Gundrum concurred.
â€śThe ref actually didnâ€™t call the takedown until after the buzzer. It was kind of a close call,â€ť he said.
â€śLogan was winning the match the entire time. He wrestled very well. Thatâ€™s just the type of match itâ€™s going to be.â€ť
On his way to the final, Schulz (40-7) defeated Hustisfordâ€™s Jarred Vaughan, 7-5, and Princetonâ€™s Jeremy Pulvermacher, 12-4.
Mueller (43-4) cruised to his final by pinning Dodgelandâ€™s Daniel Fude in 48 seconds and Laconiaâ€™s Brady Cousins in 2:25.
â€śMatt had a great day. Heâ€™s wrestling really good,â€ť Peterson said.
â€śI thought that Justin Michael was going to give him a little better match at the end. You can really tell Matt really wants it.â€ť
Large (44-4) lost a rematch with Random Lake freshman Jon Mudlaff, 4-3, in the first-place final. In the regionals, Large had scored a 6-4 win over Mudlaff (34-5).
â€śMudlaff really never scored a point on us. Cole got a takedown and he ended up getting a point for stalling,â€ť Gundrum said.
â€śBut Jon Mudlaffâ€™s a tough kid. Heâ€™s very hard to score on.â€ť
Large defeated Montelloâ€™s Dylan Gonzalez, 16-2, in the first round and capped the day with a 4-0 win over Lomiraâ€™s Cayden Wiese in the second-place final.
Brouillette (37-11) lost to Reedsvilleâ€™s Colby Kasten, 10-2, in the first-place final, which Gundrum said was much closer than the score showed.
â€śKasten scored early and opened up a little bit of a lead, and we had to get desperate trying to get back in it,â€ť he said.
â€śWe ended up giving up some more points.â€ť
Before that, Brouillette edged Lomiraâ€™s Alex Sauer, 15-7, and scored a 17-2 technical fall over Palmyra-Eagleâ€™s Alex Murn. Brouillette received second place by rule over Sauer since he defeated him earlier in the day.
Ozaukeeâ€™s other two sectional qualifiers faced stiff competition.
Taz Gottsacker (120) placed fourth in one of the toughest brackets. He won his first match, lost on a 16-0 technical fall to Lomiraâ€™s Tyler Scharschmidt, pinned Austin Scheder of Palmyra-Eagle and lost the third-place match, 7-2, to Random Lakeâ€™s Meyer (38-8).
Gottsacker finished the season 31-17.
Ozaukeeâ€™s Kevin Beckmann (152) was pinned by Laconiaâ€™s Mason Lind in the first round. Beckmann finished the season 20-6.
Tough state challenges next
Cedar Grove-Belgiumâ€™s state qualifiers are ranked No. 2 in their weight classes and received first-round byes in the tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday at the Kohl Center.
At 11:15 a.m. Friday, Schulz will face the winner of a match between Lancasterâ€™s Daniel Rice (35-12) and Edgarâ€™s Brandon Manecke (35-5) of Edgar. Mueller will take on the winner of a match between Cashtonâ€™s Logan Schendel (37-11) and Athensâ€™ Zachary Lemmer (32-9).
Ozaukeeâ€™s wrestlers will open with 7:15 p.m. matches Thursday.
Large takes on Cameronâ€™s Cal Gerber of Cameron (38-7). The winner gets Lancasterâ€™s Cole Martin (43-1).
Smith faces off with Nick Berg of Spring Valley/Elmwood (27-9). The winner will face Bonduelâ€™s Derek Liebergen (32-8).
Brouillette wrestles Iowa-Grantâ€™s Tucker Sarbacker (32-13). The winner gets Colemanâ€™s Mitch Mergener (40-2).
The state tournament will culminate Saturday with consolation finals in the afternoon and first-place matches at 6 p.m.
Image Information: OZAUKEEâ€™S LOGAN SMITH (left) and Cedar Grove-Belgiumâ€™s Zach Schulz battled for first place in the 126-pound weight class at a Division 3 individual sectional Saturday. Schulz won, 6-5, but both wrestlers qualified for this weekâ€™s state tournament. Photo by Sam Arendt