Bonduel, Witt-Birn each go 1-1 at double dual

Each team falters against state power Coleman
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Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Isaac Banker, top, wrestles Coleman’s Jonathon Bieber on Tuesday at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School. Banker went on to claim an 8-4 decision win.

Early season tests are something teams are always looking for. The Bonduel and Wittenberg-Birnamwood high school wrestling teams got quite the early season test Tuesday — squaring off against Division 3 state powerhouse Coleman at a double dual at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School.

Coleman sent seven individual wrestlers to state last season, none of which were seniors. This means the Cougars will likely be one of the best Division 3 teams again this winter.

While Coleman topped both the Bears (55-21) and Chargers (62-15), the coaches for Bonduel and Wittenberg-Birnamwood got a good idea of where their teams stand at the early juncture of the season.

“We have to work on our conditioning,” Witt-Birn coach Troy Ostrowski said. “It’s the beginning of the year, so a lot of kids need to work on that. It’s tough to tell right now because a lot of kids are not where they are going to be at the end of the year — with all teams, not just ours. We are getting better every week, and that’s the main thing.”

Bonduel’s Isaac Banker topped Coleman’s Jonathon Bieber 8-4 in an entertaining matchup at the 195-pound weight class. Jacob Giese (220), Phil Hert (285) and Logan Majewski (126) all earned forfeit wins for the Bears.

Bonduel’s Luis Lagunes (120) hung tough in a 7-2 decision loss, while Tristan Tomashek (182) and Max Sokolski (132) lost by technical falls.

Coach Chris Rank said Sokolski was eager to face his cousin Caleb Gross — one of Coleman’s state qualifiers from a season ago.

“To be able to be the best, you have to wrestle the best,” Sokolski said. “I put in the work every day and hope I can compete at the level I want to. You can always learn from tough opponents. You need to learn from the better wrestlers because that’s how you can get better.”

The rest of Bonduel’s wrestlers were pinned against Coleman, but coach Rank believes his team will keep putting in the hard work in order to take down those same Coleman wrestlers and more of the state’s best by the time regionals come around.

“That’s what we are working toward. We obviously have some work to do,” Rank said. “We have some talented kids on our team and are young. Our focus right now is to continue to work hard each week and get better for not only this year, but for years to come. I’m excited about how we have started the season; we certainly have a long way to go, but we are happy about what we have accomplished so far.”

Pierson Potrykus (106) earned Witt-Birn’s lone non-forfeit win against Coleman, claiming a hard-fought 2-0 decision over Chance Gruber. Potrykus, a freshman, is hoping to build off his early season win.

“Knowing that he was one of the top competitors in the state, that helps your confidence grow a little bit,” he said.

“We have a handful of talented state qualifiers, but the team looks like they are dying (late in matches),” Potrykus said. “I feel that if we can get our energy and conditioning up, we can be one of the top competitors in D3, or at least our sectional.”

Allen Uttecht (285) and Chad Moegenburg (120) each won by forfeit for the Chargers. Zach Johnson (145) came up on the short end of a 3-2 decision, while Will Urquhart (152) was topped in a technical fall.

The Bonduel and Witt-Birn teams each had their way against a Gillett/Suring co-op roster with low wrestler numbers. Bonduel earned a 59-12 victory; Witt-Birn claimed a 60-9 final.

Giese (285), Banker (220), Kaden Bergsbaken (170) and Moises Lagunes (152) all won by pin for the Bears, while Luis Lagunes (120) cruised to a 21-5 technical fall victory. Jakob Froeming (160), Jayson Toellner (138), Sokolski (132), Majewski (126) and Gavin Bougie (113) all won by forfeit.

“There’s definitely been a lot of improvement from our sophomores and younger wrestlers,” said Giese, a senior, on the progress thus far of the Bears young team. “They are more aggressive; they attack. They’re not afraid anymore. They get after it and give it everything they’ve got.”

Witt-Birn had Jeremy Landowski (182), Evan Stanislawski (170), Urquhart (152), Moegenburg (120) and Uttecht (285) win by pin over Gillett/Suring, with Stanislawski and Uttecht claiming theirs in under a minute. Potrykus (106), Austin Worzalla (113), Bryce Zoromski (132), Alex Lorbecke (138) and Kyle Linke (160) won by forfeit.

Bonduel returns to the mat Thursday, traveling to take on Shiocton in a dual. Witt-Birn will head to Eau Claire North High School on Saturday to compete in an invitational.