Trautman falls in final seconds

Jared Krattiger is a state champion after a dominant season. (Rick Benavides/SLN)


By Mike Ramczyk

Jared Krattiger envisioned this moment in the fall when he bypassed playing football for the first time in his high school career in order to heal up for wrestling season.

A University of Wisconsin wrestling recruit, the Waterford senior’s absence was felt in the football team’s backfield, but the driven, dominant Krattiger had a big goal in mind – a state championship.

After tearing his shoulder freshman year, Krattiger finally got surgery in April, and by October, the pain was gone.

On Saturday night at the Kohl Center in Madison for the WIAA Individual State Wrestling tournament, all the sacrifice and dedication to his craft paid off.

Krattiger, the top-ranked grappler in the state at 182 pounds, jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in the state title bout and never looked back, piling on points for a 14-6 victory over second-ranked Isaac Lahr of Holmen.

Krattiger pointed to the sky with pride moments after Saturday’s match.

“It feels incredible, I’ve worked so hard for this for so many years,” he said. “It’s been pretty tough, but I still love the sport, and I’m happy right now.”

Krattiger ends his historic season 50-1, with his only loss to an out-of-state opponent.

His championship concluded an impressive state run, which began Thursday with a second-round pin and included a 17-1 technical fall and a first-round pin in the semifinals.

It’s sweet redemption for Krattiger, who took third at state as a junior.

It was Waterford’s first state individual championship since Max Fisher in 2015. It’s the first state title under head coach Tom Fitzpatrick.


Burlington freshman wins gold

Hayden Halter may be a freshman, but his performance at state proved he’s a season veteran on the mat. (Tim Burd/SLN)

Ranked high at 106 pounds all season, Burlington freshman Hayden Halter saved his best for the state tournament.

After suffering a rare loss at the Southern Lakes Conference meet, second-ranked Halter ripped through the field, culminating with a 5-1 victory over Stevens Points sophomore Justin Groshek Saturday.

Halter scored an early takedown and never trailed, riding Groshek and keeping his face buried in the mat most of the match.

Halter (48-2) survived a scare with a 6-3 win over top-ranked Cody Minor of Ashwaubenon, a sophomore, in the quarterfinals, but he bounced back with a first-period pin in the semifinals.

The dominance continued Saturday, as Halter led 4-0 and didn’t allow Groshek any daylight.

It is Burlington’s first state championship since Josh Bird, another lightweight, in 2015.

Jake Skrundz (145) and Nate Crayton (182) both landed on the medal stand for Burlington, taking sixth and fourth, respectively.

Also at 106 pounds, Union Grove freshman Cade Willis (44-7) took fifth place with a 9-2 victory over Sam Lorenz of Waunakee.


Trautman falls in thriller

A year after placing third in the state at 195 pounds, Waterford senior Jack Trautman was determined to bring a gold medal back to western Racine County.

In fact, he has been getting better thanks to sparring partner Krattiger, who pushes his friend and teammate to the limit every day in practice.

On Saturday night, Trautman nearly won it all.

In a classic 1 vs. 2 showdown, top-ranked Beau Yineman of Neenah broke a 4-4 tie with a near fall just before time expired, knocking off Trautman, 7-4, for the state title.

Yineman capped an undefeated season at 45-0.

Trautman (47-4), who opened with a 2-0 lead, led 3-2 before Yineman spun swiftly and took Trautman down early in the third period to take the lead at 4-3.

Yineman tried to ride out the victory, but Trautman tied things up at 4-4 after a second stalling call on Yineman.

With 15 seconds left, Trautman began down, but when he stood, Yineman jumped on his back and slapped on a cradle, yanking Trautman down for a dramatic near-fall to close out the third period.

Trautman dominated his bracket before Saturday, with 15-1, 7-0 and 17-1 victories.

Jack Trautman, in control here at the SLC tournament, finished an illustrious career Saturday night. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)

Another area winner

East Troy’s Tommy Larson, the No. 2-ranked sophomore at 106 pounds in Division 2, also captured a state championship Saturday night.

He built a 4-3 lead over Jefferson’s Quintin Gehrmann, ranked No. 1, and cruised to an 8-3 victory.

Larson popped up after his grueling match and fired off a back-flip to celebrate his stunning accomplishment.

Larson (47-4) avenged a sectional loss to Gehrmann (47-3).