Luke Peterson grapples with a Burlington wrestler at 106 pounds during a Dec. 19 Southern Lakes Conference meeting in Union Grove (Mike Ramczyk/Southern Lakes Newspapers).

By Tim Wester
Correspondent

Luke Peterson’s patience has certainly been tested the past two seasons.

Two years ago, as a sophomore, Peterson patiently waited for his chance while freshman standout Cade Willis dominated at 106.

Then Cooper Willis entered the program and dominated in the same fashion last year. Now with both Willis boys moving up weight classes, Peterson is finally getting his chance at 106.

And the senior is making the most of chance.

Last week, Peterson beat Burlington Nolan Myszkewicz 15-0 in a conference dual meet before taking third at the Wickersham Memorial Christmas Classic in Beaver Dam.

Peterson’s strong week helped the Broncos finish third at the 16-team tournament with 316.5 points Saturday Dec. 21 after falling 53-20 to the Demons Thursday, Dec. 19.

Freshman Travis Moore was equally impressive last week pinning Burlington’s Owen Shenkenberg in 4:12 before taking third at 145 in the tournament.

The development of the Broncos’ roster will be vital to help complement the Willis brothers.

Cooper (17-0) beat Burlington’s Jaden Bird 7-0 and then pinned three wrestlers in less than a minute and then pinned Carlyle Lyga of West Salem/Bangor in 1:43 in the 120 championship.

Cade, meanwhile, did not wrestle in the Broncos’ dual meet with Burlington but came back to roll to a championship at 170 in the tournament.

Cade beat Cael Erickson of Cedar Grove/Belgium, who is ranked third in the state in division 3, 8-7 in the championship match. The junior was knotted at 6 with Erickson before scoring a takedown to grab an 8-6 lead. Willis then hung on from there to get the 1-point victory.

Willis’ road to the heart-pounding championship started by pinning two wrestlers and winning 19-3 and 16-2 in the next two matches.

Thomas Cook (126) and Trae Ford (195) each took third to round out the top Bronco finishers in Beaver Dam.

Senior heavyweight Connor Esch, who pinned Burlington’s Reese Schultz in 3:30 in the conference dual, was injured in the tournament and was unable to finish his afternoon.

The Broncos get another chance to test their skills today at the Mid-States Classic at UW-Whitewater. The annual tournament features some of the top teams and individuals in the state. After that, the Broncos get time off before traveling to Wilmot Jan. 9 for a conference dual meet.