Three Eagles reach 100-win wrestling milestone
JEFFERSON — Three Jefferson Eagles crossed the 100-win milestone within a week of each other.
All three view the accomplishment differently. All three reacted differently. All three are looking at the last two months of their season differently.
But all three have entered an echelon that few Jefferson wrestlers have ever reached.
Seniors Quintin Gehrmann and Weston Wright, as well as junior Dean Neff, each won their 100th matches before the end of the 2018 calendar year.
“It’s a major accomplishment no matter how you look at it,” said Jefferson co-head coach Devin Weber who shares duties with E.J. Pilarski. “If you look back at Jefferson’s wrestling heyday when you had the Gehrmann brothers (Quintin’s dad and uncle) and (current sophomore) Aaron Heine’s dad, they didn’t get to wrestle as many matches, so they didn’t have as many opportunities to get wins.”
Weber and Pilarski have taken advantage of the difference in eras and increased the amount of opportunities the wrestlers have to engage on the mat. In doing so, accomplishments like this are more possible.
The trio achieved this one year after seeing former teammate Jake Neff, who graduated in 2018, pick up his 100th win last year.
“It’s definitely cool,” Wright said. “It’s great to have your teammates pushing you to achieve your own goals while they’re pushing themselves to do the same. It’s always cool and nice to have (good teammate) so you’re not just on your own on (a bad) team.”
Dean Neff downplayed the achievement.
“It’s really just a landmark along the way,” the 160-pounder said. “I mean, it’s cool that I’m an interview right now, but it’s not much more than a landmark to me.”
Neff isn’t alone in feeling that way. Gehrmann finished his junior season an 8-3 decision away from winning the WIAA Division 2 106-pound championship against East Troy sophomore Tommy Larson, who he beat four times in the previous calendar year. Wright took fourth place in the East Troy sectional last year and just missed being the fourth wrestler to qualify for the state tournament.
“I know (Gehrmann) wants to get back (in the title match),” said Wright, who called placing at state his top goal this season. As Gehrmann’s primary wrestling partner, Wright knows firsthand the type of work necessary to secure a spot on the podium. “You don’t need to say anything. You can tell the other guy — when they’re working hard to push themselves to do better for themselves and their own sense of pride — it’s important to them.”
Then there’s Neff who took fifth place last year at 145 pounds.
“The goal is (to get to) state, and once you get into the placing round where you know you’re going to place, another tally is how high can you get up on that podium,” Neff said. “My goal is to move up (the podium).”