Watertown wrestlers eighth at OTW Classic
OSHKOSH — Watertown’s wrestlers finished eighth out of 67 teams with 162 points at the Lourdes On The Water (OTW) Classic held Friday and Saturday.
“This tournament is a great opportunity for our younger kids and newcomers to the varsity level to measure themselves against the standards that we expect them to be at next year,” Watertown co-wrestling coach Bob Logan said. “Every kid came to wrestle and used this opportunity to learn and grow. They didn’t contribute to the team points, but there were many learning points to be gleaned from this weekend and they actively supported their teammates who continued in their wrestling.”
Junior Edward Wilkowski (132) and senior Matt Brewster (220) led the Goslings with fifth place finishes.
Wilkowski (23-4) went 5-2 at the tournament. He scored a 19-3 technical fall over Southern Door’s Griffin Slezewski, won an 11-2 major decision over Slinger’s Aidan Ford and lost by fall to Ashwaubenon’s Noah Leisgang at 1 minute, 4 seconds of the quarterfinals.
From there, Wilkowski won a 12-3 major decision over Green Bay Preble’s Collin Derenne, pinned Waupaca’s Colby Bernhardt at 2:42, lost a 6-3 decision to Reedsburg’s Caden Fry and won a 6-4 decision over Memononee Falls’ Ethan Pogorzelski in the fifth place match.
“Ed wrestled some great matches this weekend,” Logan said. “They didn’t all turn out the way we would have liked, but he’s likely to see Leisgang and Fry later in the year and getting a look now is important.
“Placing fifth at a 68 team invitational is a great achievement and it is making us stronger.
Edward upgraded his sixth seed to earn his fifth place medal. He continues to learn and grow as a competitor. When he is focused and wrestling his style, he is tough to beat. As coaches, we need to continue building his confidence so that he trusts in his training and preparation.”
His win against Collin Derenne of Green Bay Preble marked Wilkowski’s 100th career win. He joins assistant coach Justin McFarland as only the second wrestler we have ever had to reach that mark during his junior year, and he is on pace to eclipse McFarland’s career win record.
Coming into this season, Watertown had only had 11 wrestlers reach the 100-win mark.
“This season, we are adding three to that number with Nick Logan (No. 12) making it at the Waunakee tournament earlier this year, Edward (No. 13) hitting it today, and another wrestler, Matt Brewster, closing to within four matches of that mark with a great chance of earning it this season.
“The culture on our team has transformed in the past four seasons and our kids expect to win. They are upset when they do not. They equate hard work and preparation to success. I’m so blessed to have the staff we have and cannot speak more highly of coaches RJ Dilcher, McFarland, and Ryan Abbott and the hard work they continue to put in to make this a strong wrestling family. I feel a great deal of pride for what we have built and continue to improve upon. We have a great team of kids.”
Brewster (18-4) went 6-2.
He pinned Hortonville’s Evan Roach in 21 seconds, lost an 8-5 decision to Wautoma/Wild Rose’s Damean Netzler, won a 17-2 technical fall over Omro’s Kyle Dietzen, won a 6-2 decision over Berlin’s Adam Sobieski, won a 3-1 decision over Germantown’s Jack Pluta and another 3-1 decision over Antigo’s Nick Roller, lost a 7-2 decision to Slinger’s Bennett Connolly and won a 5-3 decision over Mishicot’s Frank Koeppel in the fifth place match.
“Matthew wrestled well,” Logan said. “He lost two matches by decision to Damean Netzler of Wautoma/Wild Rose (honorable mention at 285) and Bennett Connolly from Slinger (third ranked at 220). He also defeated Germantown’s Jack Pluta (honorable mention) and fifth ranked Frank Koeppel to claim his fifth place medal. Matt has great potential. We introduced some new techniques to his arsenal over the break and he had a chance to try them out at Oshkosh. We expect to see continued growth in the weeks to come.”
Senior Nick Logan won five out of eight matches and placed sixth at 152.
Logan (22-6) opened with pins over Wautoma/Wild Rose’s James Barbarich in :26, Valders Dylan Conrad at 1:05 and Hartford’s Jared Stark at 1:00. He lost a 3-1 decision in the first period of Sudden Victory to Berlin’s Preston Morgan in the quarterfinals.
From there, he won an 8-0 major decision over Southern Door’s Grant Englebert, won a 2-0 decision over Princeton’s Guenther Hebbe, lost a 3-2 decision to Coleman’s Bryce Karban and lost an 8-6 decision to Wabeno-Laona’s Derek Morvaec.
“Nick wrestled a tough tournament,” coach Logan said. “He beat the No. 1 seed Guenther Hebbe from Princeton, who came into the tournament undefeated and ranked second in the state in D3 at 160. He lost a tight 3-2 decision against Bryce Karban from Coleman (second ranked in Division 3 at 152) as the clock ran out just short of earning the match winning takedown.
“The competition was tough, but Nick wrestled well. Nick is a competitor. I’d take him any day to wrestle the toughest kids in the state. We couldn’t ask for a better leader by example in the midst of adversity and disappointment. He has high goals for himself and when he falls short, he bounces back to support his team even when it might not be the first thing he wants to do. All but two of his losses this year have been very close matches and with minor adjustments, he has the potential to beat anyone.”
Senior heavyweight Alex Nachtigall went 4-2 with three pins and one decision and placed seventh to move his record to 19-8 overall.
His losses were a 14-4 major decision to Coleman’s Brock Martinson and a 4-2 loss in the first period of Sudden Victory to Slinger’s Charlie Covert.
“Alex had an amazing tournament this weekend,” coach Logan said. “His only losses were to the second and third ranked heavyweights in the state. Brock Martinson (No. 2 in D3) was the eventual champion, but Alex managed to upgrade his loss by pin from the Ed Stech tournament two weeks ago to a hard fought loss by major decision today. Against Charlie Covert (No. 3 in D1) we just slipped up in overtime. Alex wrestled a flawless match up until that point and he is learning that the game plan works when applied. He is an athletic 285 pounder who only weighs about 208. He gets better at sticking to the plan each week. I couldn’t be more proud of him than I am this weekend.”
Freshman Walker Wichman (17-10) went 4-2 with two pins, one major decision and one decision at 120.
“Walker continues to impress with his tough wrestling style,” coach Logan said. “He’s making mistakes now that will be fixed by the end of the season. He’s a sponge that takes in everything we are telling him. Mistakes made in one match get fixed quickly and he always strives to get better.
“He just needs to wrestle his style and great things are going to happen. In his loss to Francois he was taking great shots on the legs, and then finishing in upper body. He can’t do that. We talked to him about that right after his match and his next three matches he was on a roll.
“His final match against Kyle Silzer from Andrew was just a matter of being out gunned. We’ll review the match and build on it, but anytime we can get a freshmen into Day 2 it is a big accomplishment. Walker brings a wealth of pedigree and mat-time into the room and he has a bright future. His attitude is infectious and he has found an important niche in the room. He follows our leaders’ direction, but he also contributes to the winning attitude on the team. He is emerging as a ‘leader from the middle’ and we anticipate his growth to continue. He will be ready for February.”
Tanner Nachtigall (15-9) was slammed by Ripon’s Joe Kain and had to medically forfeit his remaining matches.
“Tanner was our only undefeated wrestler this weekend,” coach Logan said. “Unfortunately, he had to injury default out of the tournament after being slammed in his second round. He appeared to be doing well the rest of the weekend and we hope to get him back for Friday’s senior night, but concussion protocol is driving this now. The fact that he has been asymptomatic since shortly after the match in which he got injured makes me hopeful, but with all the concerns around concussions, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Emilio Hernandez went 0-3 at 106. Mason Fritsche went 1-2 at 113. Tyler Krakow went 0-2 at 126. Kolton Blome went 2-2 with two pins at 145 and is currently 17-9. Kasey Logan went 2-2 with a technical fall and a major decision at 160. Dylan Sippel went 1-2 with one pin at 170. Carson Triplett went 2-2 with two pins at 195.
“We had strong showings from Kolten, Kasey, Dylan, and Carson,” coach Logan said. “Each added to the team score by winning one or more matches, and they wrestled tough. It was a great experience.
“Given the kids we lost to graduation, the fact that we forfeited 138, had to medical forfeit out of the tournament at 182, and were missing starters at 170 and 195, I felt our athletes did an amazing job this weekend. This is a great tournament to test ourselves at the perfect time of the year. We hope to get a chance to ease into the New Year and mend some injuries so that we can finish the second half of the season in top form.”
Dilcher’s applauded the team’s improvement from last year’s tenth place finish at this tournament.
“It was a strong team effort,” Dilcher said. “We went into Day 2 in 14th place and we managed to climb despite a very tough field of competition.”
Watertown hosts Monona Grove/McFarland on Friday.