Intense rivalry, intense match: Hatchet wrestlers host Medford
By Autumn Peissig
TOMAHAWK – The Tomahawk Hatchet wrestling team hosted their Great Northern Conference rivals from Medford Thursday, Dec. 17 at Hatchet Fieldhouse. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, the amount of people in attendance was severely decreased; however, the anticipation of two powerful teams squaring off was still evident in the atmosphere.
The evening started off at heavyweight, where 2020 state qualifier Erik Decker of Tomahawk beat Dalton Krug 9-2. At 106 lbs., Presley Gutbrod received a forfeit.
The 113 lb. weight class was a very tight matchup between Tomahawk’s Addison Peissig and Jude Stark. The match went all three periods, in a close one where each wrestler had their opportunity to take the advantage. In the end, Peissig came up with a 5-4 victory, putting the Hatchets in the lead 12-0.
At 120 lbs., Ryan Larson of Tomahawk took on a seasoned wrestler in Ty Sova from Medford, and Sova was able to get a pin, making the score 12-6. Tomahawk’s Mitchell Holloway controlled Itsiel Medina Fuentes from Medford and cruised to a 16-2 victory at 126 lbs. Blake Felser from Tomahawk got caught in a throw in the 1st period and was pinned by Corey Lindahl.
At this point, the dual meet score was 16-12 in favor of the Hatchets. At 138 lbs., Hudson Mattke was pinned by 2020 Regional Champion Carson Church, and Kayden Dassow of Medford was also able to get a victory over Micah Arnott of Tomahawk 16-4, bringing the team score to 22-16, Medford.
Easily, the best individual matchup of the evening was at 152 lbs., where Mason Evans of Tomahawk was pitted against Emmet Grunwald. The entire first period was shot and counter shots with no one getting a takedown. In the 2nd period, Evans chose down and earned an escape to go up 1-0. Grunwald was able to accomplish the same feat in the third period, bringing the score to 1-1 at the end of regulation.
The 1-minute overtime period proved to be a battle of offense and defense by each wrestler with no change in score. In the first 30 seconds of double overtime, Evans was able to get to his feet and get another escape, to bring the score to 2-1. The final 30 second overtime period had Grunwald getting to his feet and Evans performing a lift and taking him back down to the mat, where he was unable to unlock his hands quick enough, giving Grunwald a point, bringing the score to 2-2 with 10 seconds left. As action was restarted in the middle of the mat, Grunwald was able to get an escape with three seconds left, sealing the 3-2 victory and giving Medford a 25-16 lead.
Logan Bishop (2020 Regional Champion) of Tomahawk would pin Trevon Drallmeier at 160 lbs. in the first period to bring the score to 25-22, Medford. The 170 lb. weight class featured a couple of talented young wrestlers in Ethan Trayes from Tomahawk and Logan Kawa from Medford. Kawa would eventually get the pin, advancing Medford’s lead to 31-22. Marcus Matti of Tomahawk would receive six points for the team by earning a forfeit.
With two matches remaining, Medford had the advantage in the team score, 31-28. At 195 lbs., Isaiah Scheffler of Tomahawk would bump up in weight to meet up with Hayden Johnson. The extra weight would prove to be too much, as Johnson would get the pin and seal the dual meet victory for Medford by raising the score to 37-28.
The final match of the night featured Kade Wenninger (2020 state qualifier) of Tomahawk against Braxton Weissmiller. Wenninger imposed his will on Weissmiller, pinning him in the 1st period.
Final team scores were Medford 37, Tomahawk 34.
The Hatchet grapplers are back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 29, when they travel to Wausau West. The JV match begins at 5:45 p.m., followed by varsity at 7 p.m.