By Paul Lecker
The Marshfield, Spencer/Columbus Catholic and Stratford wrestling teams are moving on to team sectionals after winning regional titles on Feb. 10 in their respective divisions.
Marshfield won the Division 1 regional at Wisconsin Rapids, Spencer/Columbus was first in the Division 2 regional at Medford, and Stratford won its fifth-straight Division 3 regional title by taking first at Auburndale.
All three were in action at team sectional tournaments on Feb. 13. A total of 36 wrestlers from the four local schools will compete at individual sectionals Feb. 17, in hopes of qualifying for next week’s WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Marshfield won its second-straight regional title by outlasting Wisconsin Rapids by 20 points.
Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (170 pounds) and Sam Mitchell (182) each won individual titles for the Tigers, who will pass 13 athletes into the individual sectional on Feb. 17 at Wausau West.
Marshfield finished with 232.5 points to move into the team sectional tournament against Hudson. Hudson defeated Marshfield 36-33 to qualify for the team state tournament last season.
“Some guys really stepped up their game and continue to impress me with their improvements made throughout the week,” Marshfield coach Jackson Hein said. “We look forward to another matchup against Hudson at team sectionals and another opportunity to represent the Marshfield community. At this time of the year, it is important for each wrestler to be resilient and learn from mistakes, then put it behind them and continue to move forward.”
Schwanebeck-Ostermann improved to 35-2 this season after pinning Bradley Leiskau of Merrill in 3:21 in the 170-pound championship match.
Mitchell, a state tournament qualifier a year ago, is now 39-2 after a pin of Justin Bonke of Wausau West in 5:07 of the 182-pound title match.
Marshfield had seven runner-up finishes, two others that were third, and two more taking fourth to reach individual sectionals.
Tanner Kanable (29-13, 126 pounds), Caden Pearce (35-7, 138), Nolan Hertel (26-5, 145), Payton Young (26-13, 152), Alex Brost (27-7, 220), and Connor Berry (23-10, 285) all lost championship matches for the Tigers to finish second.
Isaac Slark also finished second for Marshfield at 195 pounds. He won the third-place match with a pin of Walker Bathke of Merrill in 3:56, then won a second-place wrestleback over Layne Kalata of Wisconsin Rapids 3-0.
Gabe Pugh (33-5, 113) and Spencer Wirthlin (15-14, 132) both finished third, and Caden Dennee (24-10, 120) and Riley Wilcott (4-4, 106) each were fourth for Marshfield to also qualify for the individual sectional.
Spencer/Columbus Catholic had five individual champions and three others finish second as it won the Medford sectional title.
The Rockets scored 249.5 points to easily outdistance second-place Medford, which had 218 points.
Dominick Wichlacz (113 pounds), Bryce Shaw (145), Carson Hildebrandt (170), Hunter Luepke (220), and Logan Zschernitz (285) all won regional titles for the Rockets to move on to the Division 2 individual sectional Feb. 17 at Amery.
Ashton Ackman (106), Leo Rodriguez (120), and Caden Schillinger (152) each finished second for Spencer/Columbus to also qualify for the sectional.
“We really have been wrestling our best these past two weeks,” S/C coach Jake Zschernitz said. “Every guy is contributing and scoring team points. Obviously, our top guys are driving us, but without the guys on the backside of the bracket and the guys taking third and fourth, we wouldn’t be doing as well as a team, they are putting us over the top.”
Stratford won eight individual titles and qualified 12 for the individual sectional Feb. 17 at Shawano with an impressive performance at Auburndale on Feb. 10.
All 14 of Stratford’s wrestlers finished in the top three in their weight classes as the Tigers racked up 296.5 points to win the team title. Athens was second with 179 points.
Stratford seniors A.J. Schoenfuss and Jeremy Schoenherr, who are both shooting for their fourth-straight individual state title, rolled through the field at their respective weight classes to win regional titles.
Schoenfuss (35-3) beat Matthew Grossman of Pittsville 5-0 in the 126-pound championship match, and Schoenherr (28-0) won by technical fall over Tyler Dammann of Pittsville 22-7 in the 138-pound final.
Manny Drexler (36-2, 106 pounds), Karter Stuttgen (34-5, 113), Max Schwabe (34-6, 120), Derek Marten (24-5, 132), Jake Drexler (38-2, 145), and Dylan Schoenherr (39-2, 220) also won regional titles for Stratford.
Jordan Becker (34-7, 160), Trevor Dennee (33-5, 170), Aiden Hoffman (25-3, 195), and Hector Rojas (20-12, 285) each finished second for Stratford after losing championship matches.
Dennee also had to survive a second-place wrestleback against third-place match winner Keller Wolfe of Auburndale. Dennee won 8-1 to advance to sectional competition; while Wolfe’s terrific senior season ends with a 36-8 record.
Auburndale’s lone sectional qualifier is sophomore Dylan Baird (26-13), who placed second at 120 pounds. He lost the championship match to Schwabe of Stratford, 8-1.
Auburndale finished fifth out of the seven teams at the regional with 86 points. Isaiah Hasenohrl placed third at 126 pounds and Samuel Hasenorhl was fourth at 285 for the Apaches.