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Cheesehead Invitational at Kaukauna to feature some of state and country's top wrestlers

01/04/2019, 2:30pm CST
By Nate Woelfel

Hayden Halter won a state title at Burlington last year but now wrestles for Waterford

Some of the nation’s best high school wrestlers and teams will once again converge upon Kaukauna High School for the 21st annual Cheesehead Invitational.

Nearly two-thirds of the teams are ranked in their home states.

Eleven of the 14 weight classes feature at least two wrestlers that are ranked No. 1 in their state. Seven of those 11 have three or more No. 1s.

Action begins at 5:15 p.m. Friday and resumes at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

The Teams

The 2018 field is comprised of 30 teams from seven states. Five squads are nationally ranked in the InterMat Fab 50.

That group is headlined by two-time champion No. 14 Southeast Polk (Iowa). Their fourth-place team finish at last year’s event is tops amongst the returning clubs. The Rams last captured the Cheesehead team title in 2015.

The other nationally noted teams include: No. 21 Simley (Minn.), No. 23 Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.), 2016 champion No. 25 Mt. Carmel (Ill.) and No. 50 Stoughton.

Nineteen of the teams in attendance are ranked in their home state. This includes seven of Wisconsin’s top clubs:

D1 No. 1 Stoughton

D2 No. 1 Freedom

D2 No. 2 Wrightstown

D3 No. 3 Fennimore

D1 No. 4 Kaukauna

D1 No. 5 Mukwonago

D2 No. 9 Two Rivers

Other in-state teams competing include: Waterford (who is honorable mention in D1), Arrowhead, DeForest, and Pewaukee.

Wausau West was the last Wisconsin team to win the Cheesehead. That victory came back in 2008. In total, only three Wisconsin schools have ever laid claim to top honors in Kaukauna. Wisconsin Rapids has bested the Cheesehead field on three occasions (2003, 2004, 2005). The host Galloping Ghosts won it in 2006

Kaukauna was the highest-placing team at last year’s event, finishing seventh.

The top Wisconsin team at Cheesehead has gone on to win a Team State championship in five of the last eight seasons. Two of the remaining three finished second.

The Wisconsin squad with the best finish at this event has wrestled in a championship match at Team State nine of the last 11 years.

The Wrestlers

A total of 124 of the wrestlers competing in Kaukauna this weekend are ranked in their home states. Twelve of them are ranked nationally by Intermat, while an additional five are ranked by FloWrestling and/or The Open Mat

Up to six of last year’s finalists could be back in 2019. Kaukauna’s Bryson Alsteen is the lone returning finalist from the Badger state. He was runner-up at 182 a season ago, falling to Jared Krattiger of Waterford in an all-Wisconsin final.

Just two returning champions could return this season: Edwardsville’s Luke Odom and Daniel Kerkvliet of Simley.

Odom won it all at 126 last year, while Kerkvliet took the crown at 220. However, Kerkvliet has yet to wrestle during the folkstyle season.

Twelve of the 14 weight classes feature ranked wrestlers from at least four different states. All 14 weights have ranked wrestlers from at least three states.

There is at least one ranked Wisconsin wrestler in each weight class.

Below is a weight-by-weight breakdown of the ranked competitors.

Note: National Rankings reflect latest InterMat Rankings. All rankings are as of 1/2/19.

106 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (1): No. 6 Nicolar Rivera, Stoughton

State ranked wrestlers (7):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Nicolar Rivera

Stoughton

1

2 (113)

Joel Mylin

Aurora Christian (Ill.)

1A

3

Ayden Kingery

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

6

Logan Kuhel-Trimmer

Joliet Catholic (Ill.)

2A

6

Lucas Johnson

Waterford

1

8

Cody Goebel

Mukwonago

1

9

Brendan Schaaf

Wrightstown

2

10


113 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (1): No. 15 Colton Drousias, Mt. Carmel (Ill.)

State ranked wrestlers (7):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Colton Drousias

Mt. Carmel (Ill.)

3A

2

Devin Harmison

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

2

Logan Vaughan

Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.)

2A

3

JT O’Rourke

Smithville (Mo.)

2

3

Brody Lee

Fennimore

3

5

Jaden Verhagen

Kaukauna

1

7

Tyler Goebel

Mukwonago

1

11



 

120 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (3): No. 6 Matthew Ramos, Lockport (Ill.); No. 12 Noah Surtin, Edwardsville (Ill.); No. 17 Cullen Schriever, Mason City (Iowa)

State ranked wrestlers (13):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Matthew Ramos

Lockport (Ill.)

3A

1

Cullen Schriever

Mason City (Iowa)

3A

1

Tariq Hornbuckle

Desert Vista (Ariz.)

1

1

Noah Surtin

Edwardsville (Ill.)

3A

2

Chase DeBlaere

Simley (Minn.)

2A

2

Hayden Halter

Waterford

1

2

Carsten McHugh

Freedom

2

2

Robby Horsman

Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.)

2A

3

Jack Finnegan

Joliet Catholic (Ill.)

1A

3

Mitchell Mesenbrink

Arrowhead

1

4

Joel Jesuroga

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

5

Eli Rocha

Platte County (Mo.)

4

5

Kaden Verbeten

Wrightstown

2

7


126 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (1): No. 18 Anthony Molton, Lockport (Ill.)

State ranked wrestlers (12):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Cameron Johnson

Aurora Christian (Ill.)

1A

1

Dean Hamiti

Joliet Catholic (Ill.)

1A

1

Cody Holmes

Two Rivers

2

2 (138)

Nic Cantu

Albert Lea (Minn.)

3A

3

Mason Lull

Fennimore

3

3

Anthony Molton

Lockport (Ill.)

3A

4

Kaiden Koltz

Wrightstown

3

4

Colby McHugh

Freedom

2

5

Brandon LaRue

High Point (N.J.)

NJ

6

Carter Martinson

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

7

Luis Fierro

Simely (Minn.)

2A

9

Luke Eliszewski

Mukwonago

1

11

 

132 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (0)

State ranked wrestlers (14):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Noah Vilarreal

Aurora Christian (Ill.)

1A

1

Braeden Whitehead

Stoughton

1

1

Devan Lewis

Smithville (Mo.)

2

1

Fabian Lopez

DeKalb (Ill.)

3A

2

Ryan Sokol

Simley (Minn.)

2A

2

Brandon Micksch

Kaukauna

1

2

Matthew Harfmann

Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.)

2A

6

Alex Birchman

Fennimore

3

6

Koy Murphy

Freedom

2

7

Camden Baarda

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

8

Josh Cherba

Waterford

1

8

Matt Bianchi

Two Rivers

2

8 (145)

Josiah Lynden

Mukwonago

1

10

Sean Rietz

Wrightstown

2

12

 

138 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (1): No. 8 Luke Odom, Edwardsville (Ill.)

State ranked wrestlers (11):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Luke Odom

Edwardsville (Ill.)

3A

1

Hunter Lewis

Stoughton

1

1

Nathan Marchand

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

1

Colby Schruever

Mason City (Iowa)

3A

2

Cael Berg

Simley (Minn.)

2A

2

Aidan Nutter

Fennimore

3

2

Nick Filger

Platte County (Mo.)

4

3

John Diener

Kaukauna

1

3

Bailey Thielen

Two Rivers

2

3 (132)

Noah Martin

Pewaukee

1

9

Lucas Benn

Mukwonago

1

12

 

145 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (0)

State ranked wrestlers (10):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Joey Bianchi

Two Rivers

2

1

Ryan Hampton

Smithville (Mo.)

2

1

Luke Mechler

Stoughton

1

2

Ben Durocher

Wrightstown

2

2

Alfonso Martinez

Desert Vista (Ariz.)

1

2

Antonio Everett

Simley (Minn.)

2A

3

Zeke Marshall

Aurora Christian (Ill.)

1A

3

Jack Ganos

Arrowhead

1

5

Ryan Strickland

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

5

Nate Stokhaug

Mukwonago

1

9

 

152 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (1): No. 16 Lance Runyon, Southeast Polk (Iowa)

State ranked wrestlers (8):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Keegan O’Toole

Arrowhead

1

1

Lance Runyon

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

1

Jay Cee Gonzalez

Aurora Christian (Ill.)

1A

1

Gavin Model

Stoughton

1

2

Bennett Berge

Kasson-Mantorville

2A

3

Baylor Fernandes

Lockport (Ill.)

3A

3

Gavin Nelson

Simley (Minn.)

3A

3

Trevor Wanek

Fennimore

3

4

 

160 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (1): No. 14 Cade Devos, Southeast Polk (Iowa)

State ranked wrestlers (9):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Cade Devos

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

1

Jacob Hageman

Simley (Minn.)

2A

1

Sam Peters

Freedom

2

1

Preston Cameau

Desert Vista (Ariz.)

1

1

Ashton Breen

Mt. Carmel (Ill.)

3A

2

Jack Certa

Aurora Christian (Ill.)

1A

4

Alex Guardiola

Waterford

1

7

Matthew Maitland

Wrightstown

2

7

Cade Spilde

Stoughton

1

9

 

170 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (2): No. 5 Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.); No. 13 (160) Joshua Otto, Arrowhead

State ranked wrestlers (7):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Patrick Kennedy

Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.)

2A

1

Joshua Otto

Arrowhead

1

1

Jacob Boumans

Neuqua Valley (Ill.)

3A

3

Maguire Fitzgerald

Fennimore

3

3

Quincy Klister

Wrightstown

2

4

Nolan Wanzek

Simley (Minn.)

2A

5

Luke Geister-Jones

Stoughton

1

11


182 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (1): No. 10 Zach Glazier, Albert Lea (Minn.)

State ranked wrestlers (8):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Zach Glazier

Albert Lea (Minn.)

3A

1

Quayin Short

Simley (Minn.)

2A

1

Bryson Alsteen

Kaukauna

1

1

Dalton Andrist

Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.)

2A

4

Danny Benoit

Mt. Carmel

3A

5

Justin Brindley

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

7

Will Ahnen

Fennimore

3

7

Ryan Krimpelbein

Mukwonago

1

12


195 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (1): No. 18 Gabe Christenson, Southeast Polk (Iowa)

State ranked wrestlers (6):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Gabe Christenson

Southeast Polk (Iowa)

3A

1

Bryan Boyd

Smithville (Mo.)

2

1

Blah Dahnweih

DeKalb (Ill.)

3A

2

Bennett Rabor

Simley (Minn.)

2A

2

Armando Delgado

Desert Vista (Ariz.)

1

2

Grant Parrish

Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.)

2A

4

Brooks Empey

Stoughton

1

4 (220)

Julian James

Aurora Christian (Ill.)

1A

4

Justin Eichler

Mukwonago

1

8


220 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (0)

State ranked wrestlers (4):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Josh Anderson

Edwardsville (Ill.)

3A

2

Garsen Schorr

Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.)

2A

2

Angel Jaimes

Aurora Christian (Ill.)

1A

3

Aaron Ragel

Fennimore

3

11


285 pounds

Nationally ranked wrestlers (0)

State ranked wrestlers (8):

Name

School

Class/Division

Rank

Daniel Kerkvliet

Simley (Minn.)

2A

1

Troy Monahan

Mason City (Iowa)

3A

1

Justin Hull

St. Charles East (Ill.)

3A

1

Brett Johnson

Desert Vista (Ariz.)

1

1

Ethan Witcpalek

Wrightstown

2

7

Braydon Leffler

Fennimore

3

10

Manny Cedano

Two Rivers

2

11

Grant Williamson

Freedom

2

12

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