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‚Äôs Cedar Grove-Belgium Sectional.
The host Rockets‚Äô 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‚Äôs Justin Michael in 3:00.
‚ÄúIt was a great day for us,‚ÄĚ Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Trevor Peterson said.
The highlight was Schulz‚Äôs close call with Smith.
‚ÄúThat was a very tight match. We actually got a takedown in the last couple seconds to win,‚ÄĚ Peterson said. ‚ÄúIt was a very good, very close match. A lot of fun.‚ÄĚ
Ozaukee coach Luke Gundrum concurred.
‚ÄúThe ref actually didn‚Äôt call the takedown until after the buzzer. It was kind of a close call,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúLogan was winning the match the entire time. He wrestled very well. That‚Äôs just the type of match it‚Äôs going to be.‚ÄĚ
On his way to the final, Schulz (40-7) defeated Hustisford‚Äôs Jarred Vaughan, 7-5, and Princeton‚Äôs Jeremy Pulvermacher, 12-4.
Mueller (43-4) cruised to his final by pinning Dodgeland‚Äôs Daniel Fude in 48 seconds and Laconia‚Äôs Brady Cousins in 2:25.
‚ÄúMatt had a great day. He‚Äôs wrestling really good,‚ÄĚ Peterson said.
‚ÄúI thought that Justin Michael was going to give him a little better match at the end. You can really tell Matt really wants it.‚ÄĚ
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).
‚ÄúMudlaff really never scored a point on us. Cole got a takedown and he ended up getting a point for stalling,‚ÄĚ Gundrum said.
‚ÄúBut Jon Mudlaff‚Äôs a tough kid. He‚Äôs very hard to score on.‚ÄĚ
Large defeated Montello‚Äôs Dylan Gonzalez, 16-2, in the first round and capped the day with a 4-0 win over Lomira‚Äôs Cayden Wiese in the second-place final.
Brouillette (37-11) lost to Reedsville‚Äôs Colby Kasten, 10-2, in the first-place final, which Gundrum said was much closer than the score showed.
‚ÄúKasten scored early and opened up a little bit of a lead, and we had to get desperate trying to get back in it,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúWe ended up giving up some more points.‚ÄĚ
Before that, Brouillette edged Lomira‚Äôs Alex Sauer, 15-7, and scored a 17-2 technical fall over Palmyra-Eagle‚Äôs Alex Murn. Brouillette received second place by rule over Sauer since he defeated him earlier in the day.
Ozaukee‚Äôs 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‚Äôs Tyler Scharschmidt, pinned Austin Scheder of Palmyra-Eagle and lost the third-place match, 7-2, to Random Lake‚Äôs Meyer (38-8).
Gottsacker finished the season 31-17.
Ozaukee‚Äôs Kevin Beckmann (152) was pinned by Laconia‚Äôs Mason Lind in the first round. Beckmann finished the season 20-6.
Tough state challenges next
Cedar Grove-Belgium‚Äôs 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‚Äôs Daniel Rice (35-12) and Edgar‚Äôs Brandon Manecke (35-5) of Edgar. Mueller will take on the winner of a match between Cashton‚Äôs Logan Schendel (37-11) and Athens‚Äô Zachary Lemmer (32-9).
Ozaukee‚Äôs wrestlers will open with 7:15 p.m. matches Thursday.
Large takes on Cameron‚Äôs Cal Gerber of Cameron (38-7). The winner gets Lancaster‚Äôs Cole Martin (43-1).
Smith faces off with Nick Berg of Spring Valley/Elmwood (27-9). The winner will face Bonduel‚Äôs Derek Liebergen (32-8).
Brouillette wrestles Iowa-Grant‚Äôs Tucker Sarbacker (32-13). The winner gets Coleman‚Äôs 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‚ÄôS LOGAN SMITH (left) and Cedar Grove-Belgium‚Äôs 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‚Äôs state tournament. Photo by Sam Arendt