Hatchet Wrestlers End Big Week as Hornet Invite Champions: Also score wins over Shawano and Mosinee
By MATT TURKIEWICZ
After stomping Rhinelander, Tomahawk wrestling had the weekend off in preparation for this past week, and it paid off in a big way. The Hatchet grapplers competed three times and came away winners all three times. The week started by traveling to Shawano for a non-conference dual and trekking to Mosinee for their third conference dual of the season before finishing at Markesan competing in the eight-team Hornet Invite.
Tuesday night, the Hatchets traveled to Shawano in a rematch of last year’s dual hosted in Tomahawk. Last year, Tomahawk sent Shawano home with a big loss after beating their state-ranked wrestlers in dominating fashion. Shawano was looking to return the favor this year. The dual started at 120 pounds where Lance Knight opened up with a fall for the Hatchets to take the early 6-0 lead. Shawano countered with a decision at 126 pounds. At 132 pounds, Mason Evans scored the Hatchets second fall, before Shawano won again at 138 pounds. Alex Bishop wrestled up at 145 pounds for the Hatchets and earned Tomahawk’s third fall in five matches. Shawano took the lead by way of wins at 152, 160, and 170 pounds. Those would be the last three matches Shawano would win of the night, giving them the 23-18 lead with six matches to go.
At 182 pounds, Kade Wenninger scored the fourth Hatchet pin of the night to retake the lead in the dual. Austin Leinen, competing at 195 pounds, scored the quickest pin of the night at 56 seconds. At 220 was a battle of two top 10 ranked athletes – Erik Decker, ranked ninth at Division 2 at 195, and Keith Tourtillott, ranked 10th at 220 at Division 1. Decker scored first period and second period takedowns and held off a late charge to win a 5-2 decision. Heavyweight featured another top ten matchup, as Tomahawk’s Tony Matti, ranked 3rd at Division 2, faced off against Shawano’s Nick Kohn, ranked sixth at Division 1. Matti was also at a massive size disadvantage, being outweighed 206 to 283. After a scoreless first period, Matti and Kohn exchanged escapes in the second and third periods to force sudden victory overtime. In overtime, Matti took advantage of a tired Kohn and scored the go behind takedown to win 3-1. Addison Peissig scored a first period pin at 106 pounds, and Chris Bushong received a forfeit at 113 pounds. Tomahawk won the dual 48-23, including winning nine matches to Shawano’s five, and earning six pins to Shawano’s two.
Thursday night, Tomahawk traveled to Mosinee for their third conference dual of the season. The dual started at 126 pounds, where Mosinee picked up the decision in one of their only four wins of the night. Mason Evans received a forfeit at 132 pounds. Mosinee won a major decision at 138 pounds. Alex Bishop, wrestling up at 145 pounds, won a 13-4 major decision, and started what would become a Hatchet nine-match win streak. At 152 pounds, Isaiah Scheffler scored a first period fall. Tom Rigney received a forfeit at 160 pounds. Logan Bishop added a 12-4 major decision at 170 pounds to bring the score to 26-7 halfway through.
At 182 pounds, Kade Wenninger also came away with a 12-4 major decision. At 195 pounds, Erik Decker scored a second period fall. Austin Leinen and Tony Matti added forfeit wins at 220 pounds and Heavyweight. Addison Peissig also received a forfeit at 106 pounds. At 113 pounds, Tomahawk’s Chris Bushong faced off against Mosinee’s state-ranked Honorable Mention Kade Kmosena. Bushong attacked early and often, and they went into the second period scoreless. Kmosena scored an escape and takedown in the second period to take a 3-0 lead into the third period, where he rode out Bushong to keep his victory intact. It was a big match for Bushong as he held his own against a very tough competitor and had a chance to win the match. Mosinee also won at 120 pounds. The Hatchets won the dual 54-16 to advance to 10-1 overall and 3-0 in conference competition. In JV action, Mitchell Holloway and Hudson Mattke scored pins, and Brayden Jones won a 12-1 major decision.
Saturday morning, the Hatchet grapplers headed to Markesan to compete in the eight-team Hornet Invite. Starting at 106 pounds, Addison Peissig received a bye in the first round before winning a 5-0 decision to advance to the finals. Peissig was the first of nine Hatchet finalists. Peissig lost his finals match and took second for the Hatchets. At 113 pounds, Chris Bushong also received a first round bye before falling in the semifinals. In consolation action, Bushong scored two falls and took third. Lance Knight, at 120 pounds, lost a close match where he had his opponent locked in a cradle most of the second period. On the consolation side of the bracket, Knight received a medical forfeit and scored a pin, capturing third for Tomahawk. Luke Knight, at 126 pounds, scored a pin after his first round bye to advance to the finals. Luke met Poynette’s Cash Stewart; Luke got caught in a scramble and took second on the day.
At 132 pounds, Mason Evans became the Hatchet’s first champion of the tournament by way of a first round bye, a semifinals technical fall, and a 7-6 decision in the finals, highlighted by three swift takedowns and a perfect ankle pick to capture the first varsity championship of his young career. Alex Bishop, competing at 138, started his tournament with a first period fall before facing Poynette’s eight-ranked Gunnar Hamre. Bishop lost and was moved to the consolation side, where he scored another first period fall and won a 5-2 decision to claim third place. At 145 pounds, Micah Arnott was bounced to consolation early in the day and scored a fall in his last match to claim fifth place. Isaiah “Swamp Rat” Scheffler became Tomahawk’s second champion of the day at 152 pounds. Swamp Rat received a first round bye before winning an 11-4 decision to advance to the finals. In the finals, Swamp Rat won a 7-3 decision over Markesan’s Devin Brooks to capture the first tournament championship of his career.
Logan Bishop, at 160, spent a relatively short time on the mat in Markesan. After receiving a first round bye, Logan scored pins in the semifinals and finals, both in the first period, to claim first. Also competing unattached at 160 pounds was Tom Rigney. After losing a close 6-5 match to the number two seed, Rigney scored a fall in consolation action and took sixth. Returning to the lineup at 170 pounds after missing some time the past couple weeks was Mark Matti. After his first round bye, Matti scored a second period fall to advance to the finals. In the finals, Matti faced off against Markesan’s John Bartaszewicz. Matti scored an early first period takedown to take a 2-1 lead into the second period, where scoring opened up. After a few back and forth reversals and near fall points, it was Matti that came away with the 13-10 win and Tomahawk’s fourth individual championship.
At 182 pounds, Kade Wenninger received a first round bye before scoring a 20-second pin to advance to the finals. In the finals, Wenninger ended up on the wrong side of an upper body scramble and fell in the finals 7-2. Erik Decker, at 195 pounds, scored the Hatchet’s a 31-second pin in the semifinals after receiving a bye in the quarterfinals. After dominating the first one-and-a-half periods, Decker also found himself in a bad scramble and fell in his finals matchup. At 220 pounds, Austin Leinen scored a first round fall in 20 seconds. In semifinals action, Leinen matchup against Omro’s seventh-ranked Kyle Dietzen. Leinen went after Dietzen early, but Dietzen proved to be too much on top and came away with the win. On the consolation side of the bracket, Leinen scored two pins to capture a third place finish. At Heavyweight, Tony Matti received a first round bye before scoring a first period fall in the semifinals. In the finals, Tony met Markesan’s fifth-ranked Bryce Friday. Tony and Friday went into the second period tied 0-0. In the second period, Tony and Friday exchanged reversals and went into the third period tied 2-2. Friday scored an escape in the third period and held on to win 3-2, giving Tony his second loss of the year in a tough match between top five kids. Tomahawk won the overall team score 271.5 to second place Markesan’s 258. Tomahawk had nine in the finals, with four champions and 17 pins overall in 40 matches wrestled.
In JV action this past weekend, the Hatchet’s traveled to Wausau West to wrestle in the Wausau West JV Invite. Competing for the Hatchet’s were Mitchell Holloway, Hudson Mattke, Brayden Jones, Mason Peck, and Isiah Ristau. Jones and Peck took home first place finishes, Mattke took 2nd, Holloway took third, and Ristau ended up fourth.
The seventh-ranked Hatchet wrestling team has a relatively quiet week this week with a GNC conference dual against the Antigo Red Robins Thursday, Jan. 23 in Antigo. The varsity dual begins at 7 p.m. The Hatchets are done with tournament action until the GNU conference tournament Feb. 8 in Medford.