Welcome to HodagSports.com
Girls Basketball
Lakeland - 58
Hodags - 47

Boys Basketball
Northland Pines - 38
Hodags - 70
WIAA Sectionals - 6th/7
Girls Hockey
Northland Pines - 5
Edge - 2

WIAA Sectionals - Hodags - 9th/16

RHS: Wrestling
Hodags Finish at State, Johnson Takes Fifth
By Student Writer - Connor Kuczmarski | Published: 02/24/2013

     The Rhinelander High School wrestling team wrapped up their season in Madison on Saturday, finishing an up and down year on a high note. With the support of an entire community behind him, Connor Johnson (195) was the last remaining Hodag alive competing for a state place finish. Following a tough start to the day Johnson ultimately ended his year well, taking fifth place.

"It was a good tournament for Connor," RHS wrestling coach Paul Ellenbecker said. "He wrestled a lot of tough competition obviously down at state, and fought through a lot of adversity."

Johnson competed diligently throughout the early goings of the tournament, defeating Brett Samson of Oconomowoc (No. 13, 34-10) by a major decision 15-5, followed by a quick pin over P.J. LeClaire of Brookfield East (No. 12, 39-13) at just the one minute 55 second mark of the first round. Johnson then fell to Nick Osowski of Oshkosh West (No. 4, 43-4), and ultimately found himself in a position to possibly wrestle back to third place.

Unfortunately for Johnson he ran into Kyle Smith of Franklin (No. 7, 43-5) and fell by a score of 10-0. Johnson couldn't get the momentum going in his favor throughout the match, and was consistently foiled by his older and larger opponent. This pushed Johnson deeper within his bracket, with the best possible outcome to come back for fifth place.

"He wrestled Smith, who was a big strong kid who king of just overpowered Connor," Ellenbecker said. "I think the big thing for Connor is he is giving up a lot of weight. He weighed in at 185 pounds and just kind of got worn down."

Johnson then took on Alec Ingold of Bay Port (No. 3, 37-7) to see who would become the final top five finisher in the Badger state. Ingold had an extremely similar start to the tournament as Johnson, compiling a 2-0 record following the first day of competition.

     Ingold defeated Nick Somers of Beloit Memorial 9-4, followed by Caleb Sisbach of Sauk Prairie 7-6. Ingold and Johnson were two of the final four individuals competing for a state title before falling on hard times, losing to Eric Peissig and Nick Osowski respectively to find themselves in a position to battle back for third.

However, they both tasted defeat in the next round to find themselves battling for fifth place.

Johnson notched the first takedown of the match to set the pace early, but Ingold did not go away quietly. The two battled for dominance the entirety of the match and in the closing seconds Johnson hit an escape that would turn out to be the difference maker. As the clock hit zero Johnson came out on top, defeating Ingold by a score of 6-5.

"He beat a really tough kid who is going to be a monster in the future," Ellenbecker explained. "It a good setting of the tone for next year. He physically controlled the match. He wrestled like we have seen him wrestle all year long. For him it was a great way to end an awesome year. To place fifth as a junior down here is pretty impressive. He wants to make a run next year. He is a special wrestler and has a year left. We are excited."

The Hodags other state qualifier, senior Richard Klaver (152), didn't find the same success as Johnson, but can still return to Hodagland with a sense of pride. Klaver competed in one of the toughest brackets at the state competition, and lost his opening round match in a tight decision 7-4. Despite the defeat, Klaver sported one of the best records on the team, going 36-7 and finishing his career where he so strongly desired.

"It was really cool for Richard to get down to state," Ellenbecker smiled. "He wrestled all four years in high school and is a very good wrestler. For him to end his career in Madison is great. It was no story book ending, but hopefully the other kids can see how his hard work payed off and can prepare you for an opportunity to get down here. All weekend he was glowing. He had that sense of belonging, that he had finally made it. We would have liked to see him place, but he had a great senior year."

Johnson and Klaver can return to Rhinelander with their heads held high, knowing they competed with and defeated some of the most talented grapplers in the state.

Hodag Sports Library
01/15/2015 Close win for the Hodags
12/30/2014 Hodags Wrestling Well at the 30th Annual Northern Badger Wrestling Classic
12/30/2014 Hodag Wrestlers Finish Northern Badger Wrestling Classic with class, finish 3rd
12/11/2014 Tigers Beat Hodags in home opener
03/26/2014 Wrestling Wrap Up
03/02/2014 Connor Johnson: 4th place at state
02/28/2014 Johnson Wrestles Well, Advances to Saturday's Competition
02/24/2014 Hodag Wrestling Johnson advances to state
02/17/2014 Hodag Wrestling finishes 5th: 7 advance to sectionals
02/10/2014 Hodags shine with first ever conference championship

Hodag Place 6th at Regionals 02/14/2015 After sweeping the Great Northern Conference a week earlier, the now back-to-back champion Hodags advanced to the WIAA Division 1 Regional which was held at Marshfield High School on Saturday, Februar
Hodags Are Back to Back Champions! 02/07/2015 The Rhinelander Hodags hosted the Great Northern Conference Tournament on Saturday at the Jim Miagza Community Gymnasium. It would be a 7 hour tournament that would end with Rhinelander hoisting the G
Hodag Wrestles Stomp Robins in 64-9 Senior Night Blowout 01/22/2015 The Hodags were ready for the Red Robins on Thursday at the Jim Miagza Community Gymnasium night in the last regular season meeting between the two teams. Thursday night was dedicated to the senior wr

Back to Previous Page

Contact Us
Photo Gallery
Event Calendar
Play By Play Audio Archives
Play By Play Video Archives
Hodag Pride Wall
Hodag Hall Of Fame
Rhinelander WI Information
Advertising Information
YMCA Of The Northwoods
Great Northern Conference
Rhinelander School District
Rhinelander Basketball Association
Rhinelander Ice Association
Northwoods Nordic Ski Club
Rhinelander Soccer Club
  Rhinelander High School
RHS Photo Gallery
Play By Play Audio Archives
Play By Play Video Archives
Fall Sports
Winter Sports
Spring Sports

JWJHS Photo Gallery
Fall Sports
Winter Sports
  Youth Sports
Youth Sports Photo Gallery
Little League
Babe Ruth
BMX Racing
Pop Warner Football
Little League Softball
Pine Car Derby
Punt, Pass, Kick
Rhinelander Rebels Baseball
Youth Wrestling
  Adult Sports
Adult Sports Photo Gallery
Suburban Lawn Jarts
Horse Shoes
Extreme Sports
Alumni Basketball Tournament
YMCA Volleyball
YMCA Basketball
  Information Center
Play By Play Audio Archives
Play By Play Video Archives
Hodag Sports Photo Gallery
Hodag Sports Radio Network
Play by Play Broadcast Schedule
YMCA Of The Northwoods
RHS Activities Calendar
Contact Us

©2015 By Request / HodagSports.com
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. By Request Web Designs shall not be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless.

Site Design By:


Magazines.com, Inc.

Apple iTunes

Office Depot, Inc