Watertown wrestlers fifth at E.H. Stech Invitational
WEST ALLIS — Watertown’s wrestlers finished fifth out of 25 teams in the 2018 E.H. Stech Invitational held at West Allis Central on Friday and Saturday.
“It was an impressive showing today,” Watertown co-wrestling coach RJ Dilcher said speaking to the wrestlers on the bus ride home after the first day of wrestling. “We really wrestled well. Every one of you contributed to the team score. That’s awesome.”
Despite being shorthanded, the Goslings finished in the upper tier of the points standings.
“We only brought 12 kids today,” Watertown co-wrestling coach Bob Logan said. “Everybody we placed behind brought more kids with potential to score than we did. Colman, Mukwonago, and Waterford are all state-ranked teams, and though Wisconsin Rapids is not currently ranked, they are a perennial powerhouse. We are very proud of the effort this weekend.”
The team was led by junior Edward Wilkowski (132 pounds) and senior Matt Brewster (220) who each placed second.
Wilkowski (15-2) pinned New Berlin’s Ben Medved in 2 minutes, 28 seconds, then won a 12-8 decision over Mukwonago’s Josiah Lynden in the quarterfinals.
He won a 9-1 major decision over Waterford’s Joshua Cherba (12-1) in the semifinals, then lost a 9-0 major decision to Coleman’s Caleb Gross (12-1) in the title match.
“Ed’s weight class was arguably the toughest class there,” Logan said.
“The bracket was loaded with tough kids and it was a great opportunity for Edward to test himself. His match against Lynden was a chess match. They have had many opportunities to wrestle in the off season and that level of familiarity often leads to a battle to control the pace. It was a great match.”
Gross was a state champion in Division 3 last season.
“Gross is tough,” Dilcher said. “We just couldn’t get in on him. He doesn’t make mistakes.”
Wilkowski lost a 3-2 decision to Gross last season at Oshkosh, and it is likely they will meet again over the Christmas break.
“It’s a great opportunity for our kids to battle the best kids in the state,” Dilcher said. “It gives them a measuring stick showing where they are and what they need to do to get to that next level.
“In this case, Gross isn’t going to be a factor for us at state because he is in a different division, but it is still awesome to have the opportunity to wrestle him. Maybe we’ll even have another shot at him in two weeks.”
Brewster (9-2) pinned West Allis Central’s Mattaeo Avila in 1:31, then won a 4-1 decision over Mukwonago’s Caleb Willman in the quarterfinals. He pinned Waterford’s Boyd Biggs at 3:11 in the semifinals, then lost by fall in 48 seconds to Brookfield Central’s Jacob Somlai (18-0).
“Brewster wrestled a great tournament,” Logan said.
“He’s still coming back from a hand injury, and that definitely has limited his options, but he is wrestling smart and learning to adjust his ties. In his semifinal match, Brewster got a chance to wrestle Biggs from Waterford. Biggs is ranked third in the state at 285 and Matt is ranked fifty at 220.”
The win over Biggs evened an old score for Brewster.
“Biggs pinned me at youth state when we were kids,” Brewster said. “He beat me at a bunch of tournaments.”
Logan remembered when the two were freshmen, they met at Fort Atkinson TKO Invitational and Brewster 14-0.
“They haven’t seen each other since in competition,” Logan said. “The match started off with the two of them fighting for position and there were a few near misses both ways before Matt got the first takedown. Biggs got up pretty quickly and they went into the second period 2-1. Biggs took down in the second and got a reversal on Brewster in the opening seconds.
“He managed to keep Matt broken down for a while, but Matt kept moving and managed to score a reversal and turn Biggs for the pin. It was a great win and a nice match against a top ranked kid.”
Somlai is the top ranked wrestler in the state at 220.
“Overall, there were some great tests for all of our kids this weekend,” Logan said. “We stumbled in some areas, but that will only help us to plug some of the holes in our techniques and tweak some of the things we are doing well.
“The last round was a pretty tough one to take as we lost all but one of our matches in the placement round. Still, we are very proud of the effort and hope to use it as a springboard into this week as we take on Monroe on Tuesday and Milton away on Thursday.
“Tuesday will be our youth and alumni night. They should be tough matches, but we are looking forward to seeing where we are at.”
Senior Nick Logan (15-2) finished 3-2 at 152 pounds and placed fourth. Senior heavyweight Alex Nachtigall (13-5) also went 3-2 and placed fourth.
“Both finished fourth in some very strong brackets,” coach Logan said. “Nick got taken down with about 15 seconds left in the match and lost to Grafton’s Ellis Pfleger in the semifinal match, and then got blanked by freshman Clayton Whiting from Oconto Falls.”
“Logan almost scored about four different times in that match, but they were on the edge,” Dilcher said. “He wrestled tough, but just needs to figure out those lanky kids. He’s a hard worker and a tough kid. He’ll bounce back.”
Nachtigall knocked off fourth ranked Austin Ertl from Wauwatosa in the quarterfinals 4-2 only to lose to him in the placement match 3-2.
“Alex wrestled amazingly well,” coach Logan said. “He had tough matches and wrestled several six-minute matches. That’s the goal with Alex is to push them into the third. Most heavyweights cannot hang for 6 minutes without blowing out a lung and gassing.
“That formula will work for Alex all year because he works harder than most anyone he will see. The key will be to get him picking up his attach, and staying in good position to avoid getting stuck under those big guys.”
At 145, junior Kolton Blome (13-7) continues to excel this season as he scored the lone placement round win to secure a fifth place finish, as well as the pinner award for the tournament.
Blome scored five pins on the weekend, leading the entire field.
“He’s wrestling really well,” Dilcher said. “He needs to fix a few things in his technique, but he is strong and catches a ton of kids on their back.”
Emilio Hernandez finished 0-4 at 106.
Walker Wichman placed sixth at 126. The freshman went 3-3 with three pins to move his record to 12-7.
Tyler Krakow finished 2-2 with two pins at 138.
Kasey Logan went 2-2 with two pins at 160.
Dylan Sippel finished 2-2 with two pins at 170.
Tanner Nachitgall placed fourth at 182. Nachtigall (12-6) went 4-2 with three pins and one decision.
Carson Triplett went 1-2 at 195.
Team scores: Coleman 279.5, Mukwonago 254, Waterford 187, Wisconsin Rapids 171.5, Watertown 158, Oconto Falls 123, Germantown 112.5, Janesville Craig 111, Racine Park 79.5, Whitnall/Greendale 78.5, Janesville Parker 76, Wauwatosa 74, Grafton 62.5, Franklin 57, West Allis Hale 55, Brookfield Central 53, Sussex Hamilton 47, West Allis Central 44, Milwaukee Lutheran 40.5, St. John’s Northwestern 28.5, New Berlin 28, Milwaukee Hamilton 16, Greenfield 13, South Milwaukee 7.