Hatchet grapplers win Waupaca Regional, advance 9 to Sectionals for shot at state
By Matt Turkiewicz
WAUPACA – Tomahawk claimed a second straight Regional Championship to advance as a team and qualified nine wrestlers to compete for a shot at punching their individual tickets to state after dominating at the WIAA Division 2 Regional Tournament held in Waupaca Saturday.
The top two wrestlers at each weight class advance to WIAA Individual Sectionals in Oconto Falls, of which, Tomahawk advanced nine including six individual champions after winning their weight classes. Tomahawk also is moving on as team to compete in the WIAA Team Sectionals in Wautoma after dominating at the seven-team Waupaca Regional.
Starting at 106 pounds, Addison Peissig finished third for the Hatchets earning a pin in his third-place match. At 113 pounds, Chris Bushong placed fifth and earned a pin. Lance Knight, at 120 pounds, also placed fifth with a pin for the Hatchets. At 126, Luke Knight placed third, also scoring a pin.
At 132 pounds, Mason Evans became the first of six Regional champions for the Hatchets, winning a 14-8 decision over Lakeland’s Zane Grams and winning a 5-3 decision over Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Bryce Zoromski in the finals. Alex Bishop, at 138 pounds, scored two falls before wrestling Waupaca’s eighth-ranked Colby Bernhardt. Bishop lost 8-2, but still advanced to Sectionals. At 145, Isaiah Scheffler placed third for the Hatchets, earning two pins. Logan Bishop, at 152 pounds, was Tomahawk’s second Regional Champion, beating Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s State Honorable Mention Will Urquhart 7-4 in the finals. Logan also won his semifinals match via pin. Tom Rigney, at 160 pounds, also advances to Sectionals after beating Wautoma/Wild Rose’s Colton Martin in a wild come from behind 12-10 decision.
At 170 pounds, Mark Matti scored two pins for the Hatchets and became the Hatchets’ third Regional Champion of the day. Kade Wenninger had a big day at 182 pounds, earning an 8-7 decision over Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s 11th-ranked David Gaudermann, and beating Nekoosa’s 12th-ranked Ben Elsen in the finals 6-2, also winning a Regional championship. Erik Decker scored a pin for Hatchets at 195 pounds to earn his third career Regional championship. Austin Leinen, at 220 pounds, scored a fall for the Hatchets before falling to Wautoma/Wild Rose’s 10th ranked Damean Netzler in the finals. At heavyweight, Tony Matti scored two falls in a tough Heavyweight bracket, including a wild scramble in overtime to earn his third Regional Championship.
As a team, the Hatchets outscored sixth-ranked Wittenberg-Birnamwood 262 to 198.5 to claim their second straight Regional title.
The Hatchets wrestle were back in action last night (Tuesday) as they competed as a team at WIAA Team Sectionals in Wautoma. The Hatchets wrestled Wrightstown in the first round for a shot at taking on the winner of Denmark vs. Oconto Falls for the Team Sectional championship with the winner advancing to the WIAA Team State tournament.
WIAA Individual Sectionals will take place in Oconto Falls this Saturday, Feb. 22. Starting off for the Hatchets at 132 pounds, Mason Evans will wrestle Tyler Budz (23-12) of Oconto Falls in the first round. At 138 pounds, Alex Bishop will face Ben Bredael (27-7) of Freedom. Logan Bishop, at 152 pounds, will meet Weston Borkovec (16-18) of Oconto Falls. At 160 pounds, Tom Rigney will see Adam Kilgas (34-1) of Little Chute. At 170 pounds, Mark Matti wrestles Eagan Babiash (17-17) of Denmark. At 182 pounds, Kade Wenninger will wrestle Caleb Moore (3-11) of Clintonville/Marion (CLMA). Erik Decker, at 195 pounds, faces Matthew Jansen (29-6) of Little Chute. Austin Leinen wrestles Travis LeGrave (25-11) of Luxemburg-Casco. At heavyweight, Tony Matti will see Darik McMahen (14-8) of Marinette. As usual, the regional Sectional is considered the toughest in the state, with six of the top 12 teams in the state competing. Wrestling starts at Oconto Falls Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
In JV action this week, Tomahawk sent five grapplers to compete in the Wisconsin Rapids JV Tournament Thursday. Competing for the Hatchets were Mitchell Holloway, Hudson Mattke, Brayden Jones, Isiah Ristau, and Mason Peck. Taking first for the Hatchets was Mitchell Holloway with two pins. Earning second place were Hudson Mattke and Isiah Ristau, and taking fourth were Brayden Jones and Mason Peck.