Three Hortonville wrestlers will try to make Championship Saturday the biggest in school history. Eric Barnett, Jacob Barnett and Elliot Luker will try to make the impact Friday in the Semifinals.
“To put three in the Semifinals makes is a real special night Friday” said Hortonville Coach Chris Gennrich. I have put two in at the same time, but this is awesome.”
With the exception of not making it back to Team State this year, the trio can make the 2017 wrestling season the best in school history with wins.
Eric Barnett will get his chance right away as he returns to the Semifinals for the second straight year putting his perfect 43-0 record on the line against Sauk Prairie’s Zeke Smith. The two have met before in the WIAA season when they wrestled at the Team State dual last year. Barnett won that match 17-4, but it was not enough to lift Hortonville over Sauk Prairie.
Senior Jacob Barnett will experience the Semifinals for the first time. In his first three years, Barnett has been 3-6, and will be wrestling on Saturday, and taking home a medal for the first time. Barnett will wrestle Caleb Ziebell, a 43-2 wrestler from Slinger. The match will be a rematch of this year’s Oshkosh on the Water title match which Barnett won 5-1 in the second overtime.
Senior Elliot Luker was the first Polar Bear to secure the fourth straight trip to State after he won the Sectional Championship in Kaukauna last weekend.
“Each one does not want to be the odd guy out so they set the tone for each other tonight.”
In other notes for the Division 1 Semifinals, 9 wrestlers from the Kaukauna Sectional are wrestling for a ticket to the State Finals on Friday. They include the Hortonville trio along with Cole Gille of Pulaski, Beau Yineman of Neenah, Ben Kitslaar of Bay Port and three from Kaukauna (Brandon Micksh, Keaton Kluever and Trent Leon.)
The Fox Valley Assocaiation has 7 wrestlers in the Semifinals.
“Wrestling in our area is outstanding and that is a fact, but we always say our schedule gets us ready to win matches down here.”
Other things to watch in Division 1, Stevens Point twins Brady Koontz and Dylan Koontz both look to win their semifinal and return to the Finals to defend their titles. 9 wrestlers in Division 1 Semifinals are defending State Champions.
Area Division 1 Semifinal Matches
106- Eric Barnett-Hortonville (43-0) vs Zeke Smith-Sauk Prairie (44-3)
113- Cole Gille-Pulaski (37-3) vs. Dalton Shea-Milton (42-7)
120-Brandon Micksh-Kaukauna (38-7) vs. Keegan O’Toole-Arrowhead (38-4)
126-Jacob Barnett-Hortonville (42-3) vs. Caleb Ziebel-Slinger (43-2)
132-Trent Leon-Kaukauna (41-6) vs. Brandon Klein-Stoughton (51-3)
160-Elliot Luker-Hortonville (40-2) vs Jesse Fryda-Hamilton (37-3)
182-Beau Yineman-Neenah (43-1) vs Billy Pitzner-Milton (46-4)
220-Ben Kitslaar-Bay Port (43-0) vs. Cole Godbout-Hudson (36-4)
285-Keaton Kluever-Kaukauna (45-3) vs Ej Mastrocolla-Waterford (41-10)
Division 1 Wrestlebacks Friday
Hortonville’s Nathan Lichtfuss won two matches by decision on Friday morning to guarantee a spot in the top six at 138 pounds.
Pulaski’s Jake Gille earned a 3-2 win in the final wrestleback round on Friday. Gille will wrestle for placement on Saturday.
Kaukauna’s Bryson Alsteen and Bay Port’s Brady Shulfer won two matches on Friday and will bring home a placement medal.
Kaukauna’s Zach Lee lost in overtime, one match short of a placement match. Mason Van Asten was pinned and fell one match short of placing.