M&O is still a Green Zone
Coleman is heavy favorite to add to its wrestling gold
Tuesday, January 07, 2014 6:00 PM
COLEMAN - Not much has changed in the M&O Conference wrestling title chase over the past decade.
Coleman is poised to win its 11th consecutive M&O mat title, and the race is for second.
M&O wrestling will begin Thursday with two duals - Coleman at Lena, and Crivitz at Gillett/Suring.
Peshtigo - the last team other than Coleman to win the title - will battle Crivitz for second. A rash of injuries may prevent Gillett/Suring from contending for second.
"We're going to have some good conference meets," Peshtigo coach Warren Howard said.
Coleman is one of several teams with a shot at the Division 3 state team title, but first things first - the M&O.
"It's always on your list as one of the things to accomplish," Coleman coach Kevin Casper said. "Peshtigo will be a good, solid match for us, no doubt."
Here's a look at the five M&O varsity lineups:
106 - Darick Teteak, so.
113 - Jordan Blanchard (17-3), fr.
120 - Brandon Champagne, jr.
126 - Jensyn Schaal (12-1), jr.
132 - Marc Lansin (19-2), jr.
138 - Jackson Margis (21-1), sr.
145 - Trevor Seewald (20-1), sr.
152 - Kevin Lansin, so.
160 - Dexter Karban (18-2), sr.
170 - Alex Stodola, jr.
182 - Hunter Stodola, so.
195 - Abraham Nowak, fr.
220 - C.J. Pillath (18-5), jr.
285 - Donovan Salewski, fr.
Schaal, Marc Lansin, Margis, Seewald, Karban and Pillath are all returning state medalists. Blanchard, Nowak and Salewski are part of a strong freshman class.
Margis, a three-time state qualifier, is wrestling at his best, according to Casper. Seewald is pinning nearly all of his opponents, and Schaal is getting back to 100 percent following an injury.
"I feel they have the potential to be a very good team," Casper said. "We have some darn-good individuals. The sky's the limit.
But depth is a concern, so the Cougars need to stay healthy to reach their goals.
"I don't think we can afford injuries," Casper said.
106/113 - Jordan St. Germain, fr.; & Hunter Tate, fr.
120 - Tim Sotka, sr.
132 - Luke LaCroix, fr.
138 - William Faulkner, fr.
145 - Nick Timblin, so.
152 - Billy Retza, so.
170 - Nicholas Chapman, so.
182 - Danny Tomaszewski, sr.
195 - Matt Tomaszewski, jr.
220 - Austin Ducaine, so.
Zach Timblin, a quality 285-pounder, is out for the season due to a torn ACL.
"He would've been our anchor," Crivitz coach Matt Bernier said. "I think our outlook would've been a lot different if we had our heavyweight."
Danny Tomaszewski and Chapman are two of the best wrestlers on the team.
A senior class that won a regional title in 2011 is gone, but the Wolverines are reloading around a good group of underclassmen. The team runs the gamut of experience between the upperclassmen and first-year wrestlers.
"Going into our first match we had five guys who had never worn a singlet," Bernier said. "We have some wide dynamics on our team right now. They're all good kids. There's lots of learning going on, but they understand that as a team they've got a lot to learn."
113 - Preston Fischer, fr.
120 - Garrett Kohls, so.
126 - Zach Moede, so.
132 - Jeremy Cibulka, sr., & Austin Perkins, fr.
138 - Grant Fischer, jr.
145 - Alex Zeitler, so., & Parker Wanish, so.
152 - Colin Weiss, jr., & Mitch Umentum, so.
160 - Bryce Cibulka, sr.
170 - Brett Milhans, so.
182 - Broden Bennin, so., & Tanner Rehn, so.
195 - Tyler Herning, sr.
220 - Jon Hoeft, fr.
285 - Jacob Timm, so.
Mitch Szwet, who took second at state for Coleman 10 years ago, has taken over as Gillett/Suring's head coach. His assistants are former Cougar wrestlers Ben Cherney, Ryan Cherney and Greg Zeitler.
"We've all wrestled in the Coleman tradition and have the same beliefs," Szwet said.
Preston Fischer is sidelined because he had his appendix removed. Moede is mending a broken collarbone, Bryce Cibulka is sidelined by a concussion, and Timm is out with a dislocated shoulder.
"We're battling some injuries up and down the lineup," Szwet said.
Sophomores comprise the backbone of the team, according to the head coach.
"I think we lack experience but we're making up for it with hard work," Szwet said. "We have a ton of potential on our team. They have to really buy into the program and wrestle each match like it's our last."
106 - Haley Cruz, sr.
170 - Blaik Fischer, sr.
182 - Dylan Garrigan, so.
285 - Matthew Crozier, sr.
As a Menominee Maroon sophomore two years ago, Cruz became the first female wrestler from the U.P. to qualify for Michigan's state tourney.
Fischer was an honorable mention all-M&O wrestler last year.
106 - Brian Krouth, fr.
113 - Damien VanSleet, so.
120 - Nadine VanSleet, sr.
126 - Brian Shevy, jr.
132 - Hunter Madden (21-6), sr.
138 - D.J. Messenger (21-7), sr.
145 - Colin Heckel, fr.
152 - Tyler Brissette, so.
160 - Shane Marquardt (18-7), jr.
170 - Steven Strojny, jr.
182 - Paul Lemke, fr.
195 - Cameron Lepkowski, fr.
220 - Michasel Gable, sr.
285 - Andy Johnston (22-1), sr.
A couple of late additions have filled the entire Bulldog lineup. The Bulldogs lost Jake Veness, a senior team leader, for the season due to a shoulder injury.
"My seniors are really good leaders," Howard said. "Everything we've shown, they want to practice. The kids have a real good sense of camaraderie."
Johnston suffered his first loss of the season in the finals of Saturday's Green Bay Trocat Scramble, but Howard is impressed with his progress.
"This year he is a lot more aggressive," the coach said. "His hips are really strong for a heavyweight, and he's very fast."