The Rhinelander High School wrestling team sent five seniors to the 2018 WIAA Division 1 State tournament, and finished with three top-five finishes to cap off their stellar season and final high school meet at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Jacob DeMeyer and Alec Kurtz each finished their season placing third in their brackets at state. While Reuben Guzik finished fifth overall. Colton Krueger and Tyler Olson also advanced to state, but both lost Friday morning in the first round of the consolation bracket. DeMeyer
In the opening round on Thursday afternoon, DeMeyer defeated senior Zach Gordon (Holmen) in an 8-1 decision. In the second round Thursday evening, DeMeyer found himself up against Great Northern Conference rival Brandon Lucht of Antigo. DeMeyer cruised to a 12-2 major decision before falling 5-1 to senior Drew Scharenbrock (Sun Prairie). Scharenbrock went on to win his second state title and finished the season with an impressive 51-0 record.
Saturday in the wrestleback round, DeMeyer edged senior Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) in a 3-2 decision to advance to the third/fourth place match. And in the third-place match, DeMeyer found himself facing Lucht for the third time this season. DeMeyer ended his high school career with a 9-0 major decision win over Lucht to earn third place.
DeMeyer would finish the season with a 47-2 record and went 162-20 throughout his high school career. He also was also able to finish one position higher than last season at state and also marked the best Rhinelander finish at the WIAA state tournament since 2005 when Eddie Stefonek earned runner-up at 152 pounds.
At 195, Kurtz won his opening round Thursday afternoon and pinned Kyle Bowens (Kenosha Bradford/Reuther) at 3:31. In the Thursday evening match, Kurtz was placed in the wrestleback after falling in a close 7-5 decision to Alex Mischka (Kimberly).
Friday Kurtz made his way through the wrestlbeback and would make short work of senior Derek Polczynski (Arrowhead) and pinned him in just 50 seconds. He would then fend off senior Josh Nowak (Kettle Moraine) for a 2-1 decision and made it the placement rounds.
Kurtz would then pine Adam Jones (South Milwaukee) only 19 seconds into the second period Saturday morning and would advance to the 3rd place match in a rematch against Mischka. Kurtz turned the tables after falling earlier in the tournament and earned a physical 3-1 decision over Mischka to earn third place at 195.
Overall Kurtz went 48-2 his senior season and also finished his high school wrestling career as Rhinelander's all-time pin leader with his other accomplishments. Guzik
Guzik started the day strong with two straight wins in the opening rounds; first pinning Jake Stritesky (Badger) only 16 seconds into the second period. The second win was against Michael Parker (Slinger) in close 10-9 decision. He then fell in a 15-0 technical fall to junior Eric Barnett (Hortonville). Barnett, a Unviersity of North Carolina recruit went on to win the 113 D1 title and finished the year with a 46-0 record.
Saturday morning, Guzik was looking to push for a third-place finish, but was majored 12-2 by Noah Leisgang (Ashwaubenon). But still in the placement rounds, Guzik rallied back strong and finished his senior season with a 7-4 decision over Mason Dutcher (Milton) to finish in fifth place. Guziik would finish this season with a 38-12 record.
At 120 pounds, Olson was unable to advance to the placement rounds. After winning his opening match with a 6-4 decision over senior Sam Winski (Waterford), Olson would fall to runner-up Dominic Dentino (Arrowhead) to be put in the consolation bracket. Olson would then finish his run at state after falling to Edward Wilkowski (Watertown) by technical fall. Olson would finish his senior year with a 41-8 record. Krueger
Krueger was also unable to join his teammates in placement rounds, and fell in his opening match. Brock Danielski (Appleton North) defeated Krueger by a 12-4 major decision to send him to the consolation bracket. Krueger would then fall Friday morning to senior John Wright (Oak Creek) in a 9-4 decision. Krueger finished his senior season with a 37-9 record.
All five seniors have made a huge mark on RHS wrestling program and helped lead the team to three Great Northern Conference championship titles and also added an impressive 10 WIAA state appearances.