Tigers’ Ehrike, Spencer/Columbus’ Ackman ousted in prelims
By Paul Lecker
MADISON — Two of the four local athletes wrestling in the Division 2 and 3 preliminary rounds won on Thursday at 2017 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament at the Kohl Center.
Stratford junior Aiden Hoffman (195 pounds) and senior Tyson Kauffman (285) moved on with first-round wins in Division 3 action on Thursday night.
Stratford sophomore Kade Ehrike (170) in Division 3 and Spencer/Columbus freshman Ashton Ackman (106) in Division 2 lost their prelims and were eliminated from the three-day tournament.
Hoffman (35-9) led the entire way against Reed Guenther (31-11) of Blair-Taylor, earning a takedown in the first minute and adding another in the final six seconds of the first period to take a 4-1 advantage.
Hoffman closed out the match with an escape and a takedown in the third period to win by major decision 12-4.
Hoffman will wrestle in a D-3 195-pound quarterfinal Friday afternoon against Caleb Johnson (36-7) of Riverdale.
Kauffman stayed alive as he tries to defend the Division 3 285-pound title that he won last year.
Kauffman (13-5) tipped Brandon Klimek (35-7) of Cashton 1-0, earning an escape midway through the second period for the match’s only point.
Kauffman has been battling an arm injury, limiting him to just a few matches all season, and Stratford coach Joe Schwabe said he is taking it match by match. With three more wins, he can be a double state champion.
“We knew Aiden would be in a good position to win,” Schwabe said. “Aiden came out and wrestled smart, wrestled hard, and came out with a major decision.
“Tyson’s been pretty beat up all season. Just to get here was a plus. He had a pretty tough opponent, so to get a win right off the bat and continue in this tournament, we’re pretty proud of him. It’s one match at a time for him, and we’re going to try to keep him healthy and enjoy this last tournament of his.”
Kauffman will wrestle against Zenaido Capetillo (37-8) of Reedsville in a quarterfinal match Friday.
Ehrike (23-7) got off to a great start against Daniel Kocourek (41-5) of Reedsville before losing the 170-pound prelim 8-4.
Ehrike had a takedown and a two-point nearfall early in the first period to take a 4-0 lead. However, that would be all he could muster against the Reedsville senior.
Kocourek earned a reversal and a nearfall prior to the end of the first period and then had a pair of nearfalls in the second period to jump out to the 8-4 lead that he held on to the rest of the way.
“Kade wrestled a tough senior,” Schwabe said. “(Kocourek) was able to do what he does well, and that’s how he got here. I think it was a nice taste for Kade to get to experience what the Kohl Center and getting down to state is all about. Hopefully, he can keep building from that.”
Ackman got his first taste of the state tournament but was eliminated after losing his Division 2 106-pound bout to Quintin Gehrmann of Jefferson (34-5) by major decision 8-0.
Ackman finishes his season with a 35-8 record.
S/C’s Hunter Luepke (195 pounds) and Logan Zschernitz (285) will compete in D-2 quarterfinal matches early Friday afternoon. They earned first-round byes by winning sectional titles last Saturday at Amery.
A total of 10 Stratford wrestlers will compete in D-3 quarterfinals, which take place simultaneously with the D-2 quarterfinals, beginning at approximately 11:15 a.m.
Quarterfinal losers will wrestle in consolation matches beginning at 2:45 p.m. Winners move on to the semifinals, which start at 7 p.m.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)