Practice partners finish illustrious careers in style

Jared Krattiger was 196-5 in four seasons at Waterford. He’ll compete for the Wisconsin Badgers in the fall. (Tim Burd/SLN)


By Chris Bennett

Sports Correspondent

Well into the ride home from Madison, Jared Krattiger realized he was still wearing his medal. After four years of waiting, it’s hard to blame him for not wanting to take it off.

In his final match as a Waterford Union High School wrestler, Krattiger finally won the state title that eluded him the three previous years.

Krattiger defeated Holmen’s Isaac Lahr (49-4) by a 14-6 major decision to win the WIAA Division 1 state title at 182 pounds on Feb. 24. The WIAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament took place Feb. 22-24 at the Kohl Center in Madison.

The Wolverines’ Jack Trautman III, Krattiger’s practice partner, finished second at 195. Trautman lost a 7-4 decision to Neenah’s Beau Yineman (45-0) in the title match.

Wolverines’ coach Tom Fitzpatrick said Krattiger stayed focused and composed while wrestling at state.

“This was his last high school match,” Fitzpatrick said. “That was the biggest thing to overcome for him. His talent level has always been there. For some reason, at the state tournament, things just didn’t go his way.

At state, Krattiger finished fifth at 160 as a freshman. He finished third at 170 as a sophomore and third at 182 as a junior. He did not waste time taking control of the match against Lahr.

“Once I got those three takedowns in the first period I knew I was just going to keep rolling and score more points,” Krattiger said. “I felt confident. I wasn’t scared.”

Krattiger pinned Stoughton’s Brooks Empey (31-22) in 1:13 in the semifinals. Krattiger beat Homestead’s Jacob Zupke (41-6) by technical fall (17-1) in the quarterfinals and pinned Burlington’s Nate Crayton (46-7) in 2:20 in his opening match.


An untouchable run

Krattiger finished with a record of 50-1 as a senior, and went undefeated against Wisconsin opponents. His only loss as a senior is a 3-2 decision against Jack Jessen of Willowbrook High School, which is in Villa Park, Ill. Krattiger suffered the loss Dec. 23 at the Al Dvorak Invitational at Harlem High School in Harlem, Ill.

Jessen is ranked second at 182 in the latest FloWrestling national rankings, and will attend Northwestern next season. Krattiger is fourth in the same rankings, and will attend Wisconsin next season.

Krattiger finished his time as a Waterford wrestler with an overall record of 196-5. His sparring partner Trautman finished with a record of 135-36.

“The state title would have been the icing on the cake,” Trautman said. “Waterford was really in a rut when me and the 2018 class got here. We brought them back to the team state tournament (2017), and we put more qualifiers up on our qualifier board than in years prior.”

Both Fitzpatrick and Trautman said the senior left everything on the mat. The match against Yineman was tied 4-4 with 15 seconds left, and fatigue bested Trautman.

Both Fitzpatrick and Trautman said Yineman prefers to use the cradle for takedowns. Fitzpatrick said Trautman dipped his head too low and got caught in a cradle by Yineman, who scored a three-point near fall.

“When you get tired and you get in the last part of a match, sometimes your technique flounders,” Fitzpatrick said. “He certainly cannot hang his head. He had one heck of a state tournament.”

Had Trautman escaped, he would have scored a point and won the match. Trautman also said he could have waited until overtime. Both he and Fitzpatrick agreed – Trautman was physically and mentally spent.


Jack Trautman dominates his opponent during last weekend’s state individual wrestling tournament. (Tim Burd/SLN)

Trautman finishes brilliant career seconds from gold

Yineman and Trautman were ranked 1 and 2, respectively, at 195 for much of the season in Wisconsin Wrestling Online’s Division 1 state poll.

In losing to Yineman, Trautman lost to the only wrestler in Wisconsin who might have been consistently better than him this season, and it took until the final seconds of the state title match for the decision.

“I stayed up until 4:30 that night,” Trautman said. “Every time I closed my eyes, I just kept seeing the match.

“I’ve been in the situation of big matches most of my high school career – I’ve wrestled in a lot of big tournaments. I just can’t really dwell on it.”

Trautman advanced to the finals after beating South Milwaukee’s Adam Jones (43-6) by technical fall (17-1) in the semifinals.

Trautman beat Watertown’s Stephen Maule (34-3) 7-0 in the quarterfinals and defeated Holmen’s Kyle Burchardt (35-18) by technical fall (15-0) in his opening match at state.

A total of seven members of the Wolverines’ squad advanced to state.

In his only match Joshua Cherba (27-19) lost 7-4 to Slinger’s Michael Parker (37-14) at 113 and Sam Winski lost 6-4 to Rhinelander’s Tyler Olson (41-8) at 120 in his only match.

Alex Guardiola (33-7) lost 10-9 to Green Bay Preble’s Cade Kummings (40-9) at 152 and Zach Kaminski (24-19) lost to West Bend East’s Cooper Schlosser (41-8) by a 9-0 major decision at 160 in their only matches. At 285, Boyd Biggs (36-11) was pinned in his only match by Arrowhead’s Travis Case in 5:18.


To read the complete story see the March 1 edition of the Burlington Standard Press. The newspaper is available at retail outlets throughout the area. For weekly delivery click the following link: SUBSCRIBE