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 Saturday’s Cedar Grove-Belgium Sectional.
The host Rockets’ 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 Lomira’s Justin Michael in 3:00.
“It was a great day for us,” Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Trevor Peterson said.
The highlight was Schulz’s close call with Smith.
“That was a very tight match. We actually got a takedown in the last couple seconds to win,” Peterson said. “It was a very good, very close match. A lot of fun.”
Ozaukee coach Luke Gundrum concurred.
“The ref actually didn’t call the takedown until after the buzzer. It was kind of a close call,” he said.
“Logan was winning the match the entire time. He wrestled very well. That’s just the type of match it’s going to be.”
On his way to the final, Schulz (40-7) defeated Hustisford’s Jarred Vaughan, 7-5, and Princeton’s Jeremy Pulvermacher, 12-4.
Mueller (43-4) cruised to his final by pinning Dodgeland’s Daniel Fude in 48 seconds and Laconia’s Brady Cousins in 2:25.
“Matt had a great day. He’s wrestling really good,” Peterson said.
“I thought that Justin Michael was going to give him a little better match at the end. You can really tell Matt really wants it.”
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).
“Mudlaff really never scored a point on us. Cole got a takedown and he ended up getting a point for stalling,” Gundrum said.
“But Jon Mudlaff’s a tough kid. He’s very hard to score on.”
Large defeated Montello’s Dylan Gonzalez, 16-2, in the first round and capped the day with a 4-0 win over Lomira’s Cayden Wiese in the second-place final.
Brouillette (37-11) lost to Reedsville’s Colby Kasten, 10-2, in the first-place final, which Gundrum said was much closer than the score showed.
“Kasten scored early and opened up a little bit of a lead, and we had to get desperate trying to get back in it,” he said.
“We ended up giving up some more points.”
Before that, Brouillette edged Lomira’s Alex Sauer, 15-7, and scored a 17-2 technical fall over Palmyra-Eagle’s Alex Murn. Brouillette received second place by rule over Sauer since he defeated him earlier in the day.
Ozaukee’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 Lomira’s Tyler Scharschmidt, pinned Austin Scheder of Palmyra-Eagle and lost the third-place match, 7-2, to Random Lake’s Meyer (38-8).
Gottsacker finished the season 31-17.
Ozaukee’s Kevin Beckmann (152) was pinned by Laconia’s Mason Lind in the first round. Beckmann finished the season 20-6.
Tough state challenges next
Cedar Grove-Belgium’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 Lancaster’s Daniel Rice (35-12) and Edgar’s Brandon Manecke (35-5) of Edgar. Mueller will take on the winner of a match between Cashton’s Logan Schendel (37-11) and Athens’ Zachary Lemmer (32-9).
Ozaukee’s wrestlers will open with 7:15 p.m. matches Thursday.
Large takes on Cameron’s Cal Gerber of Cameron (38-7). The winner gets Lancaster’s Cole Martin (43-1).
Smith faces off with Nick Berg of Spring Valley/Elmwood (27-9). The winner will face Bonduel’s Derek Liebergen (32-8).
Brouillette wrestles Iowa-Grant’s Tucker Sarbacker (32-13). The winner gets Coleman’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: OZAUKEE’S LOGAN SMITH (left) and Cedar Grove-Belgium’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 week’s state tournament. Photo by Sam Arendt