After waiting over two months from their normal starting date, the Waunakee prep wrestling team finally stepped on the mat last Friday. The Warriors traveled Holmen for a quadrangular.
“It was great to get back on the mat, after having to wait to start our season late,” Warrior coach Mark Natzke said. “For some of our kids it was their first competition since last February. With limited events that we can have it was also great that we were able to compete against multiple teams and get in multiple matches. Most of our kids with some exhibition matches were able to wrestle four matches on Friday night. A month ago, we were just hoping to wrestle four matches in the regular season, and we did that in one night. We were also able to get good quality matches for each kid. Our No. 1 goal going in was to give every kid some opportunities to wrestle against some good competition and we were able to do that.”
Waunakee made the most of the opportunity. The Warriors claimed a pair of wins and dropped a close dual with one of the top teams in the state.
The Warriors hammered Badger North Conference rival Baraboo 58-18 and thwarted Aquinas 57-29.
Waunakee was looking for revenge against fourth-ranked Holmen. The Vikings defeated the Warriors 55-19 in a WIAA Division 1 team sectional last season.
The dual was much closer this time around, but Holmen prevailed 48-36.
“Even though we lost to Holmen, they are ranked in the state and we are looking to challenge our kids and we were able to compete with them,” Natzke said. “In the dual, we won six of the 14 matches. So, we are close and just have to work on making ourselves better.”
The Warriors opened the dual with Aquinas with a pair of wins and led from beginning to end.
Waunakee’s Sam Lorenz received a forfeit at 138 to open the dual with Aquinas and then 145-pounder Gabe Guralski pinned Mark Craig in 24 seconds.
After Aquinas got a pin at 152, Warrior 160-pounder Braysen Ellis struck David Malin in 1:52.
After forfeiting at 170, Waunakee rattled off four straight victories. Kaden Hooker (182) started the run by recording a fall in 4:52 against Riley Klar.
In between forfeit wins by 195-pounder Daniel Ford and heavyweight Jackson Reischel, Waunakee 220-pounder Jack Schweitzer pinned Will Hansen in 43 seconds.
The Warriors lost by technical fall at 106, but ++113-pounder Jayden Freie and 120-pounder Coltan Nechvatal then received forfeits.
Kolby Heinz had the final win for the Warriors. The 126-pounder edged Robert Flege 5-4.
Aquinas had a pin in the final match of the dual.
The Warriors dominated the lower weights against Baraboo, as 106-pounder Max McKinley, Freie, Nechvatal, 126-pounder Dane Spencer, Heinz and Lorenz all captured wins.
McKinley pinned Oscar Ramirez in 3:15, while Freie earned a 9-0 major decision over Alexis Winecke. It took Nechvatal just 20 seconds to pin Nolan Cavazos, while Spencer struck Jacob Gaffney in 1:59. Heinz earned an 8-1 decision over Connor Coorsky, while Lorenz won by injury default over Talan Pichler.
Ellis, Hooker, Ford, Schweitzer and Reischel also had wins against the Thunderbirds.
Ellis defeated Carlos Chavez 6-2, while Hooker pinned Bronson Schultz in 1:29. Ford received a forfeit.
Schweitzer registered a fall in 37 seconds against Riley Martin, while Reischel pinned Michael Byl in 1:16.
The Warriors garnered six wins against Holmen.
McKinley and Freie had back-to-back wins at 106 and 113, respectively. McKinley pinned Cowan Lambert in 1:13, while Freie struck Dom Ammerman in 3:33.
Ford and Schweitzer also had back-to-back wins. Ford took care of Griffin Banks in 1:55, while Schweitzer struck Carson Weber in 45 seconds.
Lorenz and Ellis had the only other wins for Waunakee. Lorenz thwarted Xavier Palmer in 39 seconds, while Ellis recorded a fall in 2:59 against Kyle Gerold.
“Braysen Ellis and Sam Lorenz both stood out as both seniors went undefeated on the night, including a win for both of them over a state qualifier,” Natzke said. “Jack Schweitzer was also undefeated with three pins.”
Waunakee travel Friday. to Watertown for a 7 p.m. dual.