MADISON, Wis. (WSAW)- Twenty-Five wrestlers from Central Wisconsin took the main stage for the semis. Only 11 are doing the March of champions.
SPASH wrestler Justin Groshek during a match at the state tournament in Madison, Wisconsin, on February 28, 2020.
Let’s meet the 11 who made it to the finals.
We’ll start in Division 1 at 120. Our lone wrestler to advance is SPASH’s Justin Groshek. He dominates his opponent with the near fall and 10-1 major decision. He’s back in the finals after a year hiatus.
“I’m not gonna be so like new to the surroundings,” said SPASH 113 pound senior Justin Groshek. “It’s not gonna be overwhelming me. Hopefully I stay composed and do what I do.”
In Division 2 at 120, Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee’s Blaine Brenner is a defending champion. Watch the hand slap. He proves his dominance with a fall in 3:53.
Another defending champion is Jake Rau at 220. He patiently waits for his opponent to shoot. That’s when he gets the two point takedown and the eventual 5-3 decision.
“I chased that target all my life,” said Medford 220 pound senior Jake Rau. “Once I get ahold of it, I don’t ever wanna let go of it. I go into every single match with the same thought. I’m gonna wrestle my match. I’m gonna score. Nothing they can do about it.”
Rau will face Nick Roller of Antigo. Roller with the aggressive two-point takedown into the three-point near fall. He eventually pinned his opponent in two minutes.
Moving to heavyweights, Tomahawk’s Tony Matti went to double-overtime. The senior avoided the takedown to advance to the finals.
Let’s switch to Division 3.
Stratford’s dominance continues. At 126, Gavin Drexler gets ahold of the opponents leg. From there, it’s history. An 11-3 major decision.
Drexler will matchup with Bo Niewiadomski of Rosholt. He uses all his strength to get the takedown and 8-4 decision over the No. 2 ranked wrestler in his class.
Up a class to 132, Stratford’s Max Schwabe flashes his top ranking. He snares the legs for a two-point takedown. It’s enough to get the 3-0 decision.
“It feels good for my dad,” said Stratford 132 pound senior Max Schwabe. “The other coaches and all my teammates. I got the best room in the state. Everybody pushing me. All these guys are wrestling great, too, so it’s just awesome.”
Dylan Baird is the only Auburndale wrestler at state. In his first appearance at state, Baird is going to the finals with an 11-6 decision because of huge reversal and near fall.
“I was just going off of feel,” said Auburndale 138 pound senior Dylan Baird. “I could tell that he was getting a little high, and then I grabbed him. I didn’t even realize I had him to his back. I was like ‘Oh my gosh. I got him to his back.’ Grabbed an arm. Held him there for a three-point near fall, and that was it.”
All the way up at 195, Trevor Dennee has a target on his back being the top ranked wrestler. No worries. He sticks his opponent in four minutes.
Finally at 220, Edgar’s Ethan Heil makes it look easy. Multiple three-point near falls help him to the 11-2 major decision.
These 11 wrestlers will be back in action tomorrow. The events kick-off at 5:30 p.m. Make sure to tune-in to NewsChannel 7 at 10 tomorrow night for full coverage.