Wrestling team state: (3) Marshfield 39, (6) Burlington 26

Burlington battles in back-and-forth battle, but injuries too much to overcome

Senior Zach Weiler (left) competes at the state tournament. He was a leader on and off the mat for Burlington. (Tim Burd/SLN)

 

By Mike Ramczyk

sports@southernlakesnewspapers.com

It was a season riddled with injuries for the Burlington wrestling squad.

Despite that, the Demons still won the Southern Lakes Conference and enjoyed a school-record four medals at the individual state tournament.

At the WIAA Division 1 team state tournament March 1 at the UW-Field House in Madison, the Demons fought hard despite not being fully healthy and fell to Marshfield, 39-26, to effectively end their season.

Marshfield went on to lose to Mukwonago, 44-17, in the next round, and Stoughton beat Mukwonago, 42-24, for the Division 1 state championship.

Burlington head coach Jade Gribble like the matchup with Marshfield and knew it would be a close dual.

“I expected us to wrestle close duals at team state,” Gribble said. “We needed everyone healthy and ready to go and unfortunately we didn’t have that. It’s always disappointing to lose when you feel you could have done better, but I have never questioned the effort this team puts forth.”

Facing a senior-loaded team that came in wrestling with a lot of confidence, Burlington captain Zach Weiler opened the match with a 13-3 major decision at 132 pounds over Ryan Dolezal, a fellow state qualifier.

But Marshfield quickly answered with three straight decisions to take a 9-4 lead.

“We weren’t able to capitalize on some opportunities and came out on the losing end,” Gribble said.

Then, Jake Skrundz pinned Brenden Braund in only 51 seconds, and Qwade Gehring followed with a major decision at 170 to put Burlington back in front, 14-9.

Next, Marshfield got two straight pins, including state champion Sam Mitchell over Burlington’s John Kubiak at 195 in 1 minute, seven seconds.

Gribble moved Kubiak to 195, Brian Konz to 220, where he received six points for a forfeit and Wyatt Hayes to heavyweight.

Hayes came through with a big 3-1 victory to give Burlington a 23-21 lead with only four matches left.

But then the Demons got pinned at 106, and Jaden Bird succumbed to a rib injury he sustained at individual state. The 12-point swing gave Marshfield a commanding 33-23 lead.

“At 106 we were in position to win several times, but the tide ended up switching and we got pinned,” Gribble said. “Jaden tried to do everything he could for his team but had hurt his ribs at individual state and was not able to continue.”

Grant Koenen’s 10-6 decision at 120 cut the lead to 33-26, but Marshfield finished with a pin to close the match.

Despite the loss, it’s the second straight year at team state and a second consecutive year with at least 10 individual state qualifiers for the Demons.

Gribble said the program is at a point where it can compete for conference titles, team state and individual state medals each year.

Overall, it was a banner season for Burlington.

“We had high goals this year and the injuries limited what we were able to do, but I will always remember the team and individual successes we were able to accomplish this season,” Gribble said. “We competed against tough competition, brought home four state medals, a conference championship and qualified for team state.”

“I would say we had a successful season.”

 

Marshfield 39, Burlington 26

132: Zach Weiler (BUR) over Ryan Dolezal, Maj 13-3. 138: Tanner Kanable over Ben Kumprey (BUR) Dec 7-1. 145: Caden Pearce over Cody Welker (BUR) Dec 9-5. 152: Nolan Hertel over Max Ehlen (BUR) Dec 8-4. 160: Jake Skrundz (BUR) over Brenden Braund, Fall 0:51. 170: Qwade Gehring (BUR) over Bradley Hendrickson, Maj 18-5. 182: Bentley Schw.-Ostermann over Zach Wallace (BUR) Fall 3:10. 195: Sam Mitchell over John Kubiak (BUR) Fall 1:07. 220: Brian Konz (BUR)

Forfeit win. 285: Wyatt Hayes (BUR) over Samual Haessly, SV-1 3-1. 106: Sirius Conrad over Ty Kiesler (BUR) Fall 3:49. 113: Keagan Cliver over Jaden Bird (BUR) Inj 2:00. 120: Grant Koenen (BUR) over Shane Westerhausen, Dec 10-6. 126: Gabe Pugh over Ben Stevenson (BUR), Fall 2