Boldt, Banker looking for 3rd state run

Bears competitive with large group this year
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Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Bonduel High School senior Jordan Boldt, left, is hungry for his third state run in his final year on the team. Boldt and senior Jacob Banker are leaders for the Bears with each having qualified for state twice.

With a strong senior group and talented freshmen, Bonduel’s wrestling program is expecting big results this year.

The team’s leaders, seniors Jacob Banker and Jordan Boldt, are both eyeing their third trip to Madison’s state tournament, and the rest of the group will be competing for a spot on the varsity roster.

“There’s going to some weight classes that I’m really excited to see wrestle-offs for,” head coach Chris Rank said. “It’s going to be week-to-week I think with the lineup. It’s going to be refreshing. We’ve had a couple of down years these past few years, and we’re hoping to get back on a winning track. I feel that this is the year for it.”

Last year, the Bears ended 13-10 overall and 5-4 in the CWC. Rank said the previous two years were the worst statistically under his 17 years coaching the team, but his team is vying for the top spot in the Central Wisconsin Conference this year.

“It’s always a really tough competition between Wittenberg-Birnamwood, Weyauwega-Fremont and Shiocton for the top spot,” he said, “but we’re shooting for the conference title this year. I think it’s a realistic goal.”

Adding even more competition to the lineup is the emergence of Pittsville.

“That’s going to make things interesting,” Rank said. “They have a solid wrestling program, so it just throws another strong team into our conference. So there will be five teams all competing for the top spot.”

Bonduel will get a taste of the conference as it kicks off its season against Shiocton and matches up with Weyauwega-Fremont and Pittsville shortly after.

“We’re going to find out really quick how competitive we are,” Rank said.

The seniors are also excited to see the team come together their final year.

“In years past, we haven’t had much competition in here,” senior Colin Wussow said. “But this year, with the freshmen, they’re going to give even upperclassmen a run because we expect a lot from them this year.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we do as a team this year,” Boldt said. “The years I’ve been here it hasn’t really been much of a team thing, but I want this year to be more team focused.”

Boldt’s excited for the team camaraderie, but he’s still very much focused on individual goals. For Boldt, not making state is not an option.

“I choked last year at sectionals, and I don’t want that to ever happen again,” he said. “It’s not happening.”

“Jordan and Jacob are top-notch wrestlers,” Rank said. “They know what it takes to win the big match. Very smart and very physical.”

Boldt, who already has offers to wrestle in college, put in extra training time leading up to the season to ensure that he has a leg up this year.

“I put more work in my offseason,” he said. “In the summer, I went to some camps and when I workout in the weight room I have a wrestling regime I do on my own. I’m really honing in on it this year.”

Boldt is also excited to end his high school wrestling career alongside Banker.

“We’ve been together since first grade,” he said. “It’s always been a competition between us because we’re both up there with our wins. We do everything together in and out of school, so to be on the same competitive level in wrestling all these years has been a lot of fun.”