Titans have busy week facing top talent

Jacob Summers (145) wrestles during the Titan's busy week against top teams from around the state.

The Titan wrestlers put in a busy week, wrestling three tournaments and three duals with three different teams over the course of five days.

Titans pound La Crosse

Last Tuesday the Titans faced one of the state’s newest wrestling co-ops, which combines wrestlers from LaCrosse Logan and La Crosse Central.

The Titans, however, had their way with the newly formed La Crosse team, winning twelve of the fourteen matches in the dual on their way to a 62-7 victory.

Four Mel-Min/G-E-T wrestlers earned pins in the first period: Colton Sime (113), Hunter Anderson (132), Landon Lockington (182), Trevor Daffinson (195) and Josh Marciulionis (285).

The dual’s closest match was at 220 where the Titan’s Hunter Kastenschmidt needed a three-point rally in the third period to earn a 3-1 decision.

Titans at Tomah Scramble

Over the weekend, one Titan wrestling team competed in the 16-team Tomah Scramble while another team competed in the 24-team Wisconsin Dells Dual Classic.

Nine wrestlers competed in the Tomah Scramble and seven finished the day with winning records.

Senior Bailey Fitzl (113) and freshman Daffinson (195) both wrestled to 4-1 records on the day. The only loss for Fitzl came against undefeated Josh Frye of Viroqua 4-3.

At 195, Daffinson turned some heads when he lost his second match of the day then dominated the rest of the field, never allowing an opponent out of the second period.

Dan Slattery, Bryce Blaken and Nic Peterson all lost their first match of the day, but cruised through their brackets over the course of the next four contests. Slattery lost an 11-3 decision in the first round at 132 then used two pins and two decisions to finish with his 4-1 record. Blaken’s day started with a tough overtime loss in the opening round at 145. The Titan sophomore was on cruise control for the rest of the day, however, when he dispatched the next three opponents in under four minutes.

Like Blaken, Peterson also lost his first match then handled the rest of the 182-pound field with two pins and an 8-5 decision.

Dylan Mason (120) and Brett Jansen (152) lost two matches but regrouped to click off three wins each during the day.

The Titans finished twelfth in the team race.

“Although we had a few hiccups at the Tomah Tournament, we competed with confidence against some tough varsity competition,” coach Ernie Brodsky said.

Wisconsin Dells Dual Classic

For the first time competing in the tournament, the Titans were placed in the Wisconsin Dells Duals’ top pool, throwing their hat in the ring against some of Wisconsin’s top wrestling programs.

The Titans faced Freedom in the tournament’s opening dual. Freedom is currently ranked third among Division II wrestling teams and proved its mettle, winning eight of the fourteen weights in the dual. Bryce Burns (195) and Jack Marley (120) grabbed the team bonus points when they earned a pin and a 14-4 major decision in their respective weights.

Mel-Min/G-E-T was within striking distance, carrying a 25–24 lead into the final three weights. Freedom, however, had two state place-winners anchoring their lineup and finished the scoring with three pins and winning the dual 42-25.

The Titans jumped from the frying pan into the fire when they faced perennial Division 1 power Stoughton in the tournament’s second round coming away with a 58-15 loss.

Three of the Mel-Min/G-E-T wrestlers won matches. At 195 Burns grabbed his second win of the day when he shutout his opponent 5-0. Two other Titans won by pin. Jacob Summers (145) and Jaden Anderson (152) both polished off their opponents before the third period of wrestling.

In the third dual of the day, the Titans faced Slinger, who is currently ranked fifth among Division I wrestling teams.

Slinger was able to jump out to a quick lead before Marley chalked up a 7-3 decision at 120 and Julian Purney followed with a 15-0 technical fall at 126.

The Owls would continue the scoring blitz until the Titan’s Lockington would earn a pin at 182 and Burns would win his third match of the day, a 7-0 shutout at 195, to close out the dual. The Titans would lose the dual 53-17.

The Stratford Tigers came into the tournament with an impressive list of accomplishments. The Tigers are two-time Division III state team champions and two-time Bi-State Champions, while currently holding the number-one ranking among Division III wrestling teams.

The Titans were able to steal three wins from the Tigers, however. At 120 Marley earned his second 15-0 technical fall for the tournament, while Lockington (182) and Marciulionis (285) recorded pins. The Titans ended with a 59-17 loss.

“It was a great week of wrestling for us. Everyone on the team, from our newcomers to our state placewinners, found competition,” Brodsky said. “Going into the Dells Duals, we knew that we faced an uphill battle and that we probably out-kicked our coverage a little bit by taking on four ranked wrestling teams. But there’s no better way to give us a sense of where we’re at. It would have been really easy to put our heads down by the end of the day and just go through the motions. Instead, the guys continued to wrestle aggressively and with confidence.”

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Jackson County Chronicle editor

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