3 Bears reign as Central Wisconsin Conference champs

Bonduel places 3rd at conference meet
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Three Bonduel wrestlers took the Central Wisconsin Conference title to lead the Bears to a third place team finish at Saturday’s conference meet.

Seniors Jordan Boldt (126 pounds) and Jacob Banker (182) are three-time conference champions after their victories.

“It feels really great to be able to win it three times in my high school career,” said Boldt, who pinned his first two opponents in the finals in 19 and 50 seconds, respectively. “I actually wish I would’ve done better, because we had a bet to be on the mat for no more than four minutes total, and in the last match it took me all three periods.”

Boldt (34-4) dominated Shiocton’s Jared Jahnke in the championship match by a 15-6 major decision after struggling at the start.

“I got a one count on me and I could hear all the Shiocton people yelling and cheering,” he said. “I told myself that I needed to prove these people and this kid wrong. So with a minute left, I just had had enough and took him down five times in a row.”

Conference champ isn’t the only accomplishment Boldt achieved at the meet. He surpassed 150 high school career wins during the tournament and is just four wins shy of breaking the 157-win record for second-most in Bonduel High School history.

“Last year, I noticed that I’d have a chance of beating that record, so I’ve been using that as my motivation to push really hard these past two years,” Boldt said. “It’s pretty special, because many people can’t say they’ve won even 100 matches and stayed 100 percent healthy through all four years of high school, and I’m able to have achieved that.”

“You can see how hard he’s been working this year,” head coach Chris Rank said. “He’s really hungry for it and he’s passionate about it. It was great to see him pass 150 wins, because he deserves it.”

Banker (29-1), who is eyeing his third state run alongside Boldt, pinned Tri-County’s Patrick Leibsle in 45 seconds before winning the championship match in a tie breaker over Blake Johnson, of Shiocton.

“Jacob is just a phenomenal wrestler,” Rank said. “He’s always been really strong for us, so him and Jordan (Boldt) really have led this team and it’s great to see them both, along with (Jacob) Giese, get those conference titles.”

Junior Jacob Giese was the other first-place finisher for the Bears at 195 pounds. He defeated Menominee Indian’s Darius Wayka by 10-2 major decision for the title. It’s Giese’s first conference title after taking third his freshman year.

“It felt pretty good to get first place after taking a year off wrestling,” said Giese, who took a break from the sport sophomore year. “It’s nice to know I didn’t lose my skill.”

Second-place finishers for the Bears include Isaac Banker at 170 pounds and Max Sokolski at 106. Jayson Toellner placed third at 120 pounds, and Colin Wussow (220) and Luis Lagunes (113) finished fourth. Chris Salerno (138) took fifth and Moises Lagunes (145) rounded out the Bears with a sixth-place finish.

The Bears placed third as a team after having five wrestlers make the finals, and their three champions tied with Weyauwega-Fremont for the most individual titles at the meet.

Shiocton took the conference title, followed by Weyauwega-Fremont. Wittenberg-Birnamwood placed fourth, behind the Bears, and Pittsville rounded out the top five.

Rank expected the outcome of the meet given the adversity the team has faced this season.

“It just kind of seemed like it was one bad thing after another this season,” Rank said. “With snow days and pushing matches back and kids getting injured and a couple guys quitting, it was just a lot of unexpected things this year. But they performed very well Saturday, and I was very pleased.”

With five teams in the conference ranking in the top 11 in the state — Bonduel at No. 11 — Rank said the CWC meet was one of the toughest he’s experienced.

“I think most coaches would agree that this conference is by far the toughest,” he said. “These kids are really up against some of the best in the state. So it was a really exciting day for wrestling, and the energy and competitiveness for the kids was just great.”

The Bears head to WIAA Regionals at Coleman on Saturday, and will be in competition with the host to move on to team sectionals.

“Coleman is a really strong team,” Rank said, “but I think we’ll give them a run. They’ll be our toughest competitor, and all of our kids are really hungry to beat them. I expect there to be a lot of blue and green in the finals.”

Central Wisconsin Conference Meet

1. Shiocton, 181 points; 2. Weyauwega-Fremont, 179; 3. Bonduel, 160; 4. Witt-Birn, 129; 5. Pittsville, 121.5; 6. Rosholt, 91.5; 7. Manawa, 83; 8. Amherst, 74; 9. Menominee Indian, 57; 10. Tri-County, 49; 11. Almond-Bancroft/Pacelli, 21.