2 Bears land on state podium

Boldt clinches 1st, Giese 3rd in D3 tourney
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Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Bonduel High School senior Jordan Boldt celebrates after winning the Division 3, 126-pound state championship in a 4-3 ultimate tiebreaker over Stratford’s A.J. Schoenfuss on Saturday at the WIAA state tournament.

Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Bonduel High School junior Jacob Giese receives his medal on the WIAA state podium after placing third in Division 3 at 195 pounds on Saturday.

Bonduel senior Jordan Boldt hoped he’d meet three-time state champion A.J. Schoenfuss in the WIAA state finals after defeating the Stratford senior at the Divison 3 sectional tournament a week earlier.

“I’d love for that to happen,” Boldt said ahead of the state tourney in Madison Thursday through Saturday. “I’d love to be able to take away his fourth title. That’d be a way to go out for sure.”

Boldt not only accomplished the feat to clinch the 126-pound title, but did so in an ultimate tiebreaker that captured the attention of a packed Kohl Center arena.

Boldt (44-4) heard the excitement from the crowd as he and Schoenfuss battled into the overtime periods, with Boldt ultimately riding out Schoenfuss in the final 30-second period for the 4-3 victory.

“The crowd was what kept me going,” Boldt said. “I looked around when we were going into extra periods and saw that the other matches were done, so I knew all the noise was for my match. The crowd just got me like, ‘Okay, let’s go another round, I can keep going. As long as the crowd’s into it, I’m into it.’”

“That crowd was electric,” Bonduel head coach Chris Rank said. “That was one of the most exciting matches I’ve ever seen in my life. You could see both wrestlers physically drained out there, and it really came down to the mental aspect of it. Both were giving everything they had, but Jordan was just able to grit it out.”

Boldt’s mentality was fueled by redemption. The senior missed the state cut last year after qualifying his first two seasons.

He defeated Schoenfuss in the 120-pound sectional semifinal his sophomore year to advance to state, but Schoenfuss went on to win the state title.

“I’ve had my mind focused on getting back (to state) since sectionals last year,” he said. “I told myself I was not going to miss it again. It wasn’t happening, and I wanted to meet up with (Schoenfuss) at state because I beat him at sectionals last time but he still won state that year. So I beat him at sectionals this year, but I wanted to finish it out.”

“He was in a groove the whole weekend,” Rank said. “He knew what he wanted to accomplish here and he made it happen.”

Rank knew Boldt could take it all the way after watching his 5-2 semifinal victory over Fennimore’s Aidan Nutter on Friday night.

“A couple guys asked me (Friday) night when we were celebrating the big win (over Nutter) — there are times you know kids are going to win — and they asked me, ‘Coach, do you think he’s going to win tomorrow night?’ and I said absolutely. I knew the moment he stepped off the mat last night, I knew he was going to be a state champ.”

Boldt secured the Bears’ seventh state wrestling championship. He also ends his career at Bonduel with the second-most wins in school history at 162. He surpassed the former second-place holder, Rich Schmidt (156 wins), and sits behind Ben Tauchen, who holds the record at 168.

Junior Jacob Giese (44-7) also took the podium with at third-place finish at 195 pounds after defeating Stratford senior Aiden Hoffman in the third-place match. Giese, who didn’t wrestle last year, had his first experience at state.

“That was my goal,” Giese said. “I wanted to make it here and finish in the top-three. Now that I’ve done that, I’m want to take the championship next year. I’ll definitely be working toward that.”

Freshman Isaac Banker and senior Jacob Banker also represented the Bears in the state tournament. Isaac Banker dropped a 3-0 decision in the 170-pound consolation wrestleback and three-time state qualifier Jacob Banker’s state run was cut short after an injury in the first round on Thursday.

“I’d say it was a pretty successful year,” Rank said. “We got two guys on the podium and four total to state. We had a few unforeseen circumstances this season and some of our goals weren’t met, but this was a great to cap the season.”