Wrapping up the regular season, the Lakeland wrestling team held Senior and Parent Night on Tuesday.
“A big shoutout for the leadership and dedication of our seniors,” coach Adam Bremer said. “It’s nice to enjoy the opportunity to interact with parents. High school athletics don’t work without the support of parents.”
The Thunderbirds defeated Crandon 45-14 in their final dual before conference.
“Ending the season with a win like this is nice,” Bremer said. “Crandon’s had some really strong wrestlers in the past. They’re going to be back strong in the next couple of years.”
Because of forfeits, the Thunderbirds led 18-0 early. When it came to their first win, Henry Evenhouse pinned Silas Denee in the 182-pound weight class in 4:10.
“Henry Evenhouse had a come from behind win. He gave up a couple points early on, but wrestled back into it,” Bremer said. “He had a huge pin for us, a momentum shifter.”
At 160 , Nick Rybicki took on Breed Shepard Jr. In 2:38, Shepard Jr. pinned Rybicki.
“Nick Rybicki had a very tough opponent,” Bremer said. “Nick is really a first year wrestler and I am really grateful for his effort and toughness.”
Later at 113 , Hutson Kane and Ben Nemcek had their match on the mat. Kane won by a 16-0 technical fall, resulting in five points. Nemcek did a good job of not getting pinned in the situation.
“It’s the small things like Ben Nemcek giving up a technical fall and not a pin (that are important),” Bremer said.
Harry Nemcek followed him with a win over Cole Shepherd at 120. He won by a 4-3 decision.
“This was his second time he wrestled that wrestler,” Bremer said. “When you have to compete against an opponent more than one time in a season it becomes tough.”
Up next at 126, Brady Abb pinned Carsyn Mayer in 2:30 for six more points for the Thunderbirds.
“Brady Abb had a phenomenal match, dominated the wrestler,” Bremer said. “I was excited to see Brady get the finish there, an emotional boost.”
The last match of the day might’ve been the most competitive at 132. Brett Palubicki defeated Zane Grams in a 6-4 victory that ended up going to overtime.
“It was an incredibly good back and forth match, a turning point for Zane in the season,” Bremer said. “We’re super excited to see him build on that and have a good tournament run.”Conference
With the regular season passed them, the Thunderbirds will travel to Medford for conference on Saturday, Feb. 8.
Preparing for conference, Bremer will have the Thunderbirds focus on the mental approach of the game.
“I think a lot of these guys have the technical approach they have for the season,” Bremer said. “Can we get ourselves in a position to channel some of the nervous energy into the wrestling.”
In addition to the mental side, they will work on situational wrestling to be ready for any situation presented to them.
“We’ll work on some situational wrestling like overtime or what to do if you’re up three or down three so mentally you’re not surprised by them in a match,” Bremer said.
The two favorites for conference come from Medford and Tomahawk.
Medford went 5-0 in conference, led by top wrestlers such as Jake Rau, Eric Rehbein, Dane Higgins and Zeke Sigmund.
Tomahawk went 4-1 in conference, their only loss to Medford on Jan. 30. The Hatchets are led by Mason Evans, Isaiah Scheffler, Kade Wenninger and Tony Matti.
“Medford and Tomahawk are heads and tails above the conference,” Bremer said. “Mosinee, Antigo, Rhinelander and us will be duking it out to rise up to that third place.”
The Great Northern Conference meet gets underway at 10 a.m. at Medford Area High School.Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].