A young Marshfield wrestling squad prepares for late season success
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield wrestling team is building for the future — not necessarily next year or the year after, but the immediate future of the big tournaments and matches at the end of this season.
With only three seniors on the roster and as many as seven freshmen in the lineup at any given time, the Tigers are trying to find their legs heading into the final two months of the season and the Wisconsin Valley Conference and WIAA tournaments coming in February.
Second-year head coach Jackson Hein said he is concentrating on the fundamentals as he tries to build an inexperienced squad into a group that must be reckoned with when the stakes are highest at the end of the year.
“We don’t show them a lot of confusing stuff, not a lot of crazy things,” Hein said. “It’s basic stuff, and I want them to be really good at it. I could care less about our age. It’s about making changes every day in practice and being ready to battle.”
The Tigers are looking for a consistent lineup among wrestlers that do not have much varsity experience.
Josh Lang, a fourth-place finisher at the WIAA state tournament last year at 195 pounds, is out with an injury suffered during the football season. Gerardo Zapet (220), Kyle Krizan (170), and Felipe Trejo (182) are the only other seniors on the roster, and they are not always in the varsity lineup.
Sophomore Alex Brost (152) and juniors Conner Peterson (182) and Anthony Kanable (132) are the only other wrestlers with varsity time under their belts for the Tigers.
So far this season the Tigers have had mixed results.
Both of Marshfield’s Wisconsin Valley Conference duals came down to the wire, but the Tigers lost the final match in each to start the season 0-2.
Freshman Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann recently won his first varsity tournament, taking the 145-pound championship at the Richland Center Invitational on Dec. 19. Nolan Hertel was a perfect 5-0 at 138 pounds at the Stoughton Duals on Dec. 5 and followed that up by going 3-1 at the Neenah Duals on Dec. 12. Kanable has been strong as he finished second at Richland Center and was also 3-1 at Neenah.
At the Stoughton tournament, Kanable toppled Fennimore’s Alston Nutter, who last season won the Division 3 120-pound state championship and finished 50-1.
Caden Dennee (106), Tanner Kanable (113), Kevin Cassidy (120), Caden Pearce (126), and Sam Mitchell (160) are among the many freshmen that have seen varsity action, and sophomores Brandon Koran (285) and Payton Young (170) have been thrown into the fray as well.
“We’re getting there. We’re not there yet,” Hein said. “Every match they get more experience, which is helping me. We have a really tough schedule. We’ve had Stoughton, Stratford, a lot of tough teams. We’re on the right track.”
The Tigers head into the Bi-State Tournament on Dec. 29-30 at La Crosse ready to gain even more experience against one of the best invitational fields of the season in Wisconsin.
“Some of the weight classes are better than the state tournament,” Hein said. “There are so many wrestlers that are ready to compete.”
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remaining Marshfield Wrestling Schedule
Dec. 29-30 — at Bi-State Classic, La Crosse
Jan. 7 — at Wisconsin Rapids
Jan. 14 — home vs. Merrill
Jan. 16 — at Freedom Invitational
Jan. 21 — at D.C. Everest
Jan. 23 — at Sparta Invitational
Jan. 28 — home vs. Wausau East
Feb. 6 — Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet at Merrill
Feb. 13 — WIAA Div. 1 regional at Wausau West
Feb. 20 — WIAA Div. 1 sectional at Wausau East
Feb. 25-27 — WIAA State Individual Tournament at Madison