By David Paulsen

SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

The Waterford High School wrestling squad evened its Southern Lakes Conference dual record at 2-2 with a 44-30 win over Union Grove on Dec. 22. Overall, the Wolverines are 6-3 in dual meets.

Francisco Mata got the team off to a great start by pinning Jack McCann in just 36 seconds.

Union Grove won the next three matches, two by pin (at 220 and 106) and one by forfeit to take an 18-6 lead.

The Wolverines clawed their way back with five consecutive wins.

Nick Lancaster pinned A. J. Ramos in 2:42 at 113. Ty Konwent scored a 15-0 technical fall over Zach Rassmusen, and Kody Azarian won an 11-6 decision over Grove’s Turner Albrecht.

Azarian normally wrestles at 120, but head coach Nick Weinkauf moved him to 126 to face Union Grove’s best wrestler, and Azarian pulled out the win.

At 132, Max Fischer continued to impress by pinning Jared Bach in 3:04.

At 138, Waterford won by forfeit.

Those five wins gave the Wolverines a 32-18 lead they would not relinquish.

Waterford’s final two wins came at 152 and 160.

At 152, Austin Christenson pinned Cody Strak in 4:40, while at 160, Cody Nannemann pinned Louis Geiss in 3:37.

“I didn’t think we wrestled real well,” Weinkauf said. “It’s always a hard-fought battle whenever Waterford and Union Grove get together.”

Weinkauf added that his guys did not have a lot of energy, possibly because they were wanting to make sure they made weight the next day at the Badger State Wresling Invitational.

 

Badger State

The Wolverine boys finished in the middle of the pack at the Badger State Wrestling Invitational held at Stoughton Dec. 23. In the 19-team event, Waterford placed ninth with 106.5 points. Merrill won the event with 184.5 points.

Waterford had one champion, one second, two fourths and one fifth.

‘We had a good day,” Weinkauf said.

Azarian led the team by winning the 120-pound weight class.

In the opening round, Azarian won by technical fall (19-2). In the second round he had a 16-3 major decision over previously undefeated Scott Arneson of Merrill.

Azarian’s toughest match was the semifinal against Evan Green of Owatonna, Minn. Azarian won it in a 12-9 decision, and followed that up with a 17-4 major decision in the championship match.

With the wins, Azarian remains undefeated this season at 16-0.

“Kody had an unbelievable day,” Weinkauf said, adding that he also had the toughest bracket.

As a reward for his stellar wrestling, Azarian was voted the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament by all the coaches.

“That’s quite an accomplishment,” Weinkauf said.

Christenson took second, losing by pin in the championship match to a wrestler from Sycamore, Ill.

After a pin in the opening round, Christenson won a 17-2 technical fall in the quarterfinal and a 12-7 decision in the semifinal.

Fischer and Cody Dolata (138) each finished fourth. Both won their first two matches, but lost the next two.

Nannemann placed fifth, winning four of five matches. The only match he lost was in the quarterfinal.

Liam Pritchard won three of five matches and finished seventh at 182.