Tomahawk wrestlers open conference duals 1-0, place 5th at Merrill
For the Tomahawk Leader
TOMAHAWK – Last week, the Tomahawk Hatchet wrestling team opened up the Great Northern Conference portion of their schedule by hosting Lakeland at Hatchet Fieldhouse.
Tomahawk also had a strong showing at the Blue Jay Challenge in Merrill, taking home a fifth-place team finish.
In their opening conference dual of the season on Thursday, Jan. 6, Tomahawk beat Lakeland 54-27.
Starting the dual at 138 pounds, Ryan Larson received a forfeit to give Tomahawk the first points of the dual, 6-0. Lakeland would win matches at 145 and 152 pounds by forfeit and fall, putting Lakeland up 12-6 after three matches. Mason Evans at 160 pounds tied the dual at 12 a piece with his fall.
Lakeland would take the lead again after receiving a forfeit at 170 pounds. At 182 pounds, Micah Arnott secured a fall for Tomahawk, bringing the team scores 18-18. Lakeland would win via decision at 195 pounds and fall at 220 pounds. Marcus Matti scored a fall at Heavyweight for the Hatchets, bringing the dual score to 27-24 in favor of Lakeland.
Starting back at the top of the lineup, the Hatchets would win the next five matches to close out the dual. Jack Derleth and Presley Gutbrod received forfeits at 106 and 113 pounds. Drew Tollefson scored a first period fall at 120 pounds. To close the dual, Addison Peissig and Blake Felser would both receive forfeits at 126 and 132 pounds to give the Hatchets a 54-27 victory over its conference opponent, and start off 1-0 in GNC duals, and 7-6 overall.
Blue Jay Challenge
On Saturday Jan. 8, Tomahawk competed in the 22-team Blue Jay Challenge in Merrill. Tomahawk would go on to place 5th overall as a team.
At 106 pounds, Derleth placed 11th for the Hatchets, going 1-3 overall. At 113 pounds, Gutbrod placed 5th and went 2-1 overall, including a major decision and fall. At 120 pounds, Tollefson placed 6th and went 1-2 overall, including a fall. At 132 pounds, Felser placed 4th, going 3-2, including three falls. At 138 pounds, Larson placed 6th, going 2-2 with a decision and a fall. At 145 pounds, Hudson Mattke placed 13th, going 2-3 with a fall.
At 152 pounds, Brayden Jones placed 16th. At 160 pounds, Evans was Tomahawk’s only finalist, and capping off his tournament with a first-place finish that included going 4-0 overall with two falls and a major decision. Evans also avenged one of his few losses on the season with a 19-9 major decision in the semifinals. At 170 pounds, Logan Bishop placed 3rd, going 4-1 overall with four falls. Bishop also avenged one his losses on the season with a fall in his third-place match. At 182 pounds, Micah Arnott placed 6th and went 2-2 with two falls. At 195 pounds, Matti placed 5th, going 4-1 with 4 falls.
The Hatchets scored 290 points overall in their 5th-place team finish.
Wrestler of the Week
Tomahawk’s Wrestler of the Week is junior Mason Evans.
Evans went 5-0 overall last week, winning three matches by fall, one by major decision, and a decision in his finals match at Merrill. Evans has improved to 20-3 overall during his junior campaign, including 12 falls. Evans is currently ranked 11th at 160 pounds by WI Wrestling, but will improve on that ranking as the season progresses further.
Evans has looked much like an athlete capable of placing at the State tournament, and he continues to look better each week. Already a two-time Sectional Qualifier, Evans should add to his accolades as the postseason approaches.
Tomahawk is in action again on Thursday, Jan., 13, as they head to Antigo to compete in their second GNC dual of the season. Varsity wrestling begins at 7 p.m.
Tomahawk will be in Markesan on Saturday, Jan. 15, competing in the 12-team Markesan Invite. Tomahawk has won the past four Markesan Invites, and looks to make it five-straight tournament championships. Wrestling starts at 9:30 a.m.