Zschernitz medals twice at U.S. Marine Corps Cadet/Junior National Wrestling Championships
By Paul Lecker
SPENCER — Following a terrific sophomore season for the Spencer/Columbus Catholic high school wrestling team, Logan Zschernitz was preparing to turn his attention to the track and field season in the spring and to train as usual and get ready for football and wrestling for the next school year.
After placing third in Division 2 at 285 pounds at the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament in Madison in February and finishing with a sparkling 39-4 record, Zschernitz and Spencer/Columbus head coach Jake Zschernitz, Logan’s uncle, were approached by Wisconsin Wrestling Federation junior coach Kevin Black to see if Logan would be interested in trying a different type of wrestling.
Logan ended up deciding to give it a shot and compete in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling in hopes of earning a spot on the Wisconsin national team.
Logan went on to win his division at the Freestyle and Greco-Roman State Tournament in Wisconsin Dells in June, earning a spot on the team and an entry into the U.S. Marine Corps Cadet/Junior National Wrestling Championships in Fargo, North Dakota.
A first-time representative of the state of Wisconsin in the national tournament, Logan came away with a pair of medals and a new appreciation for the sport.
Logan finished second in the Greco-Roman division and fifth in freestyle at the tournament, which was held July 14-22 at the FargoDome.
“There was a lot of wrestling, and it was a long time to be away from home, but it was a lot of fun,” said Logan, who competed in the cadet 285-pound class. “I made some new friends. At the tournament it was pretty much all wrestling, but at the hotel I met a new group of guys, and hanging out with them was a lot of fun.”
Logan lost 14-7 to Eli Pokorney of Indiana in the championship match of the Greco-Roman tournament and fell to Nash Hutmacher of South Dakota 12-0 in the quarterfinals of the Freestyle tournament.
“There were a lot of really good wrestlers there. It was pretty cool,” said Logan, who was the Cloverbelt Conference, regional, and sectional champion last season for the Rockets. “There were guys from 45 states there, so it was pretty crazy.”
Logan, a second-team all-Cloverbelt Conference offensive lineman a year ago, returned to the football field this week as the Rockets started practice. After another football season, and in what he hopes is another state tournament appearance in wrestling, the junior will move on to track and field and try to make a return to the WIAA state meet, where he finished seventh in the discus and eighth in the shot put in Division 3 this past June.
Though that makes a busy schedule for a high school athlete, Logan is not going to shy away from it. After all that, it is back to the Wisconsin team, he hopes, to make another trip to nationals.
“It was a confidence boost,” Logan said of his experience at the national tournament. “The extra training will help going into this season. I will try to continue with this next year.”
Paul Lecker is the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.