By David Paulsen


In a field featuring six ranked or honorable mention teams, the Burlington High School wrestling squad placed third at the Freedom Irish Invitational Saturday.

“I think that’s right about where we needed to be, although I didn’t think we had a great day,” head coach Jade Gribble said.

Bay Port won the meet with 266 points, followed by Two Rivers with 182.5 points and Burlington with 126.

“Right now, they’re both a little bit stronger teams than we are,” Gribble said of Bay Port and Two Rivers.

Bay Port is ranked No. 4 in Division 1 and Two Rivers No. 2 in Division 2.

The Demons had one grappler win his bracket – Brody Fitzpatrick at 138 pounds.

“He wrestled really well,” Gribble said. “He’s hopefully turning it on.”

One of the highlights of the day for Fitzpatrick came in the quarterfinals when he pinned Frank Frasseto of Oshkosh West. That win was Fitzpatrick’s 100th of his high school career. He is now 102-20 overall (26-4 this season).

Fitzpatrick added an 8-0 win in the semifinals, and then scored a 12-3 major decision in the finals over Tyler Turriff of DePere, the No. 10-ranked wrestler at 138 in the state. Fitzpatrick is ranked No. 8.

Ben Hornickle, at 120, and Josh Bird, at 126, each finished second, losing in the first-place match.

Hornickle, the No. 5-ranked wrestler in Division 1 at 113 pounds, was pinned in four minutes 27 seconds by Chase Farr, the No. 2-ranked wrestler in Division 1 at 120 pounds.

“He definitely got beat by a better wrestler,” Gribble said.

Bird, the No. 4-ranked wrestler at 120 in Division 1, lost a close 4-3 decision to Evan Garcia of Green Bay Preble/East, the No. 6-ranked wrestler in Division 1 at 126.

Cody Elsbury won three of his four matches to finish third, losing only by pin in the semifinal round.

Gribble noted that Elsbury led early in that match but had a mental lapse in the third period that led to getting pinned.

“Cody’s really improved this year,” Gribble added.

Hegeman Tiedt (182) and Tyler Kirkeeng (285) both finished fourth.


Vs. Westosha Central

The Demon boys had no trouble with the Falcons in a 67-3 Southern Lakes Conference victory Friday.

The Demons won eight matches by pin, one by technical fall, two by major decisions and two by decision.

The BHS grapplers will be at Wilmot on Thursday, Jan. 17, for a 7 p.m. dual that had been initially scheduled for Dec. 20.

On Friday, Jan. 18, the Demons will participate in the Homestead Invitational.