Large leads five Ozaukee wrestlers to Div. 3 state meet in group that also includes Cedar Grove-Belgium pair
Cole Large already holds most of the Ozaukee High School wrestling records.
Now, heâ€™s going to see if he can make some noise at the WIAA state individual tournament for a fourth time.
The 132-pound senior will be accompanied to this weekâ€™s Division 3 meet in Madison by three teammates making their second state trips â€” seniors Kevin Beckmann (160), Colton Kraus (126) and Taz Gottsacker (170) â€” and a first-timer, junior Daniel Watry (106).
Also reaching the state level in the same division are two Cedar Grove-Belgium wrestlers, senior Greg Wenzel (182) and sophomore Isaac Brockman (120).
The Madison-bound wrestlers all advanced by turning in top-three finishes at the Cedar Grove-Belgium Sectional last Saturday.
Large will try to better his career-best fourth-place finish in last yearâ€™s state meet.
In the sectional tournament, Large improved his season record to 39-4 by going 3-0 and outscoring his opponents, 49-17.
In the title match, Large scored a 19-6 major decision over Westfieldâ€™s Austin McCartney (31-11).
Beckmann (40-6) was Ozaukeeâ€™s other sectional champion. His three wins included a 2:40 pin of Westfieldâ€™s Jay Kaenel (36-0) in the title match.
In the semifinals, Beckmann defeated Random Lakeâ€™s Helton Vandenbush, 15-1.
As a junior, Beckmann placed fifth at state at 160.
Itâ€™s a sweet trip back to Madison for Gottsacker (28-13), who last reached state as a freshman. On Saturday, he was third in the sectional, winning his first two matches before losing twice, including a 6-4 loss to Kenosha
Christian Lifeâ€™s Ruben Hill (34-11) in the second-place final.
Watry (24-5) battled through a shoulder injury to earn a state trip with a runner-up sectional finish. He went 3-1, including a 27-second pin of Westfieldâ€™s Daniel Nelson (27-15) in the second-place match.
â€śDanielâ€™s had a tough go of it,â€ť Ozaukee coach Luke Gundrum said. â€śItâ€™s a pretty big deal that heâ€™s been healthy enough to qualify.â€ť
Kraus (34-6) continued a stellar season with a second-place sectional finish. His only loss in four matches Saturday was a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Random Lakeâ€™s Jon Mudlaff (41-5).
Two other Ozaukee wrestlers narrowly missed advancing to state after placing fourth. Colin Hughes (138 pounds) lost, 4-2, to Lomiraâ€™s Mitch Garriety (36-7) in the third-place final.
Also placing fourth was Ozaukeeâ€™s Adam Zichitella (152), who lost to Lourdes Academyâ€™s Adam Krause, 6-3, in the third-place match.
Rockets shine on home mats
Wenzel (35-5) claimed a sectional title with a 6-5 win over Westfieldâ€™s Tanner Akers (38-9).
â€śWe gave up a stalling call at the end which really didnâ€™t mean much,â€ť Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Trevor Peterson said.
â€śThat kid was pretty tough. Gregâ€™s wrestling real well right now.â€ť
On the way to the final, Wenzel won twice, including a 10-4 decision over Christian Lifeâ€™s Paul Hammand in the semifinals.
Wenzel earned his second trip to state after losing his first match there last season.
â€śHe got his experience and his match. Thatâ€™s kind of big for a lot of people,â€ť Peterson said.
â€śThe nerves in the big show scare a lot of guys. We got that out last year.â€ť
Brockman (31-14) qualified for state with a second-place finish. He won twice before losing, 2-1, to Random Lakeâ€™s Brandon Depies (44-2) in the title match.
Brockman nearly had a takedown for the lead, but Peterson said Depies managed to get out of trouble.
â€śIsaac wrestled real, real smart all tournament,â€ť Peterson said.
Peterson said one of Brockmanâ€™s goals this season was to reach the state level after not making it out of regionals last year.
The state tournament will be held from Thursday through Saturday at the Kohl Center.
Brockman will face Ocontoâ€™s Elton Kelsey (36-4) in a 7:15 p.m. first-round match Thursday.
Wenzel received a first-round bye and will face the winner of a match between Stratfordâ€™s Kamren Bombach (39-6) and Glenwood Cityâ€™s Blayze Wood (28-14) at 11:15 a.m. Friday.
In other 7:15 p.m. matches Thursday, Gottsacker will face Glenwood Cityâ€™s Isaac Tuttle (32-8), Kraus will meet Unityâ€™s Jarett Davison (28-12) and Watry will face Mondoviâ€™s Austin Fedle (27-11).
At 11:15 a.m. Friday, Large will face the winner of a match between Crandonâ€™s Morgan Krueger (39-1) and Mondoviâ€™s Trevor Giedd (32-5) while Beckmann wrestles the winner of a match between Spring
Valley/Elmwoodâ€™s Trent Miller (34-11) and Weston/Ithacaâ€™s Mason McCauley (39-7).
â€śAt this point, thereâ€™s no easy matches. Youâ€™re not going to take anything for granted,â€ť Gundrum said.
The championship bracket will continue with 7 p.m. semifinals Friday and 6 p.m. finals Saturday.
The consolation bracket continues at 2:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday morning and afternoon.
OZAUKEE SENIOR Cole Large defeated Cedar Grove-Belgiumâ€™s Devon Villareal, 19-7 on the way to a sectional championship in the 132-pound weight class at a WIAA Division 3 sectional meet Saturday. The title qualified Large for the state individual tournament for the fourth straight year. Photo by Sam Arendt