Four Tigers will try to repeat as state champions Saturday night
By Paul Lecker
MADISON — All four of Stratford’s defending state champions will get a shot at a repeat — and they will be joined by two teammates — after winning Division 3 semifinal matches at the 2016 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament on Friday night at the Kohl Center.
A.J. Schoenfuss (120 pounds), Jeremy Schoenherr (126), Mason Kauffman (152), and Kamren Bornbach (182) each won decisions for the Tigers to reach the Division 3 finals for the second-straight season.
The foursome will be joined by freshman Macey Kilty (103) and junior Tyson Kauffman (285) in the championship matches, which begin at 6 p.m.
“There were a lot of great matches tonight,” Stratford coach Joe Schwabe said. “I thought all of the kids fought hard. It’s a big state with a lot of great wrestlers, so we are thrilled to have six kids make the finals.”
Schoenfuss (48-3) beat Seth Schlegel (36-6) of Spring Valley/Elmwood 4-2 and will face Riley Blair (25-4) of Fennimore in the 120-pound finals. Schoenfuss won the 106-pound title last year.
Schoenherr, the 113-pound champ last season, remained undefeated at 40-0 after edging Tate Murty (35-2) of Cochrane-Fountain City in a 126-pound semifinal. He will face Alston Nutter (41-5), also of Fennimore, in Saturday night’s championship match.
Mason Kauffman ran his record to 50-0 — and 99-0 in his varsity career — with a 10-5 win over James Pfeiffer (38-8) of Cadott. He will face Bradon Roen (29-2) of Riverdale in the finals.
Bornbach (47-2) beat Rowdy Kochevar (40-5) of Flambeau 9-4 and will take on Garrett Joles (44-3) of Boycville in the finals.
Kilty (28-4) became just the second girl in WIAA state wrestling history to qualify for the finals after outlasting Bayfield/Washburn’s Zack Anglin (37-2) 5-4 in an ultimate tiebreaker. Kilty held on from the top position in the third overtime period to win. She will face Ryan Anderson (40-1) of Clear Lake in the opening championship match.
Tyson Kauffman (47-3) blanked Deven O’Brien (35-15) of Fennimore 4-0 in the semifinals and will take on Bennett Gunderson (43-9) of Bonduel in the last of the 14 Division 3 title matches Saturday.
“(Saturday) should be a great, exciting night,” Schwabe said. “I’m hoping a little history can be made.”
Two other Stratford wrestlers lost their semifinal matches on Friday night.
David Marquardt (37-12) lost to undefeated Wilder Wichman (43-0) of Johnson Creek 14-8. Marquardt moves on to a consolation semifinal against Athens’ Austin Engel (33-6) in Marawood Conference matchup on Saturday morning. The winner moves into the third-place match, while the loser will go for fifth place. Either way, Marquardt is assured of a top-six medal.
So too is Jake Drexler (46-3), who lost a 113-pound semifinal to Josh Depies (39-3) of Random Lake 3-1. Drexler faces Lucas Schevikhoven (40-6) of Shoreland Lutheran in the consolation bracket.
The WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament championship matches in all three divisions will be broadcast live on the Fox Sports Wisconsin Alternate Channel (Channel 682 for Charter, 1310 for Time Warner, 668-3 for DirecTV, 9519 for Dish, and 1745 for AT&T) as well as online at foxsports.com/foxsportsgo.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
2016 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Championships
Feb. 25-27, Kohl Center, Madison
Saturday, Feb. 27
11 a.m. – Consolation wrestlebacks, all divisions; followed by fifth-place and third-place matches in all divisions
6 p.m. – Championship matches, all divisions
Saturday’s matchups for local wrestlers
Division 2 Consolation Semifinals
182 pounds: Hunter Luepke (41-6) Spencer/Columbus versus Trent Smith (40-3) St. Croix Central.
Division 3 Consolation Semifinals
113 pounds: Jake Drexler (46-3) Stratford versus Lucas Schevikhoven (40-6) Shoreland Lutheran.
145 pounds: David Marquardt (37-12) Stratford versus Austin Engel (33-6) Athens.
Division 3 Championship Matches
106 pounds: Macey Kilty (28-4) Stratford versus Ryan Anderson (40-1) Clear Lake.
120 pounds: A.J. Schoenfuss (48-3) Stratford versus Riley Blair (25-4) Fennimore.
126 pounds: Jeremy Schoenherr (40-0) Stratford versus Alston Nutter (41-5) Fennimore.
152 pounds: Mason Kauffman (50-0) Stratford versus Bradon Roen (29-2) Riverdale.
182 pounds: Kamren Bornbach (47-2) versus Garrett Joles (44-3) Boyceville.
285 pounds: Tyson Kauffman (47-3) versus Bennett Gunderson (43-9) Bonduel.