CADOTT — The Cadott wrestling team defended its home turf on Saturday in crowning five individual champions as a part of a tournament title at the program’s home invitational.
Brayden Sonnentag, Tristan Drier, Cole Pfeiffer, Dawson Webster and Gavin Tegels each won their respective weight class championships and as a team the Hornets finished with 487 points to best Glenwood City (424) and Regis/Altoona (398) for the top team position.
“Everybody’s scoring points and fighting,” Cadott coach Josh Spaeth said of his team. “Even if we’re not winning to continue to fight to earn as many team points as we can in search of the best thing, I think every wrestler won a match today even on the JV side of things. At the end of the year that’s going to be the difference that we can get 14 guys in our lineup healthy and willing to fight. It was a good day.”
Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe’s Troy Duellman won a weight class title as well for the Wolfpack.
The two-time defending state champion Sonnentag was dominant as expected at 126 pounds, winning his three matchups by pinfall and capped the day by pinning Glenwood City’s James Knight in two minutes and 58 seconds for the title. The junior won at the Northern Badger Wrestling Classic over the holiday break and was ranked first in Division 3 in the latest Wisconsin Wrestling Online state poll.
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Drier utilized two pinfall wins and a 7-2 decision over Prescott’s Sam Murphy in the championship match at 152 to win his title. The junior Drier was ranked fourth in the latest state poll and spent time at number one earlier in the season. Pfeiffer made sure none of his three matchups at 160 made it out of the first period as the junior was victorious with three first-period pinfalls. The last of those three was a win in 1:06 over Glenwood City’s Noah Brite.
Webster pinned his way to a title as well at 170 as two wins in 1:12 or quicker moved him to the finals where he pinned Menomonie’s Nick Haviland in 3:53. Gavin Tegels had three pinfall wins on his way to the 220 crown as the defending state champ won his first two matches in 52 seconds or fewer before a pin over Menomonie’s Cody Kwak at the 3-minute mark clinched the title for the top-ranked wrestler in the latest Division 3 poll.
Kaleb Sonnentag and Wyatt Engel were runners-up in their respective weight classes. Sonnentag earned pinfall wins in the 138 quarterfinals and semifinals to advance to the championship match where he fell by a 15-4 major decision to Menomonie’s Kellan Aure. Engel picked up a pinfall and decision win in earlier round matches at 182 before suffering a pin defeat to Regis/Altoona’s Brayden Albee in the finals.
Nick Fasbender took third at 132, overcoming a semifinal loss to Neillsville’s Hudzon Sebesta-Opelt to take third with his second pinfall win of the day in the third-place match.
Levi Lindsay finished fourth at 195, Caden Kingston was fifth at 182 and Kane Mengel was sixth at 285 as the other top finishers for a Hornets team ranked sixth in the latest Division 3 team poll. The Hornets were without four starters on Saturday but the team’s depth shined through as Cadott won its home invite’s team title for the second time in three years with last year’s tournament being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re just trying to get better, stay healthy and hopefully have a little bit of luck as the season continues to go on,” Spaeth said.
Cadott advanced to the Division 3 team state tournament last season for the first time since 2007, falling in the semifinals to Coleman. The Hornets bring back the vast majority of the roster from that team and once again have high expectations. Cadott is slated to host its Division 3 regional on Feb. 12, a challenging group of teams including Boyceville and Glenwood City. If the team wins its regional title to advance to team sectionals, the Hornets are also scheduled to host that event as well on Feb. 15 but would once again have to contend with a strong roster of other teams as it seeks to get back to the team tournament.
“As a coaching staff we haven’t talked about it, we’ve let the kids do the talking and the goal is to get back to team state and it’s not going to be an easy feat,” Spaeth said.
Duellman wrestled his way to victory at 145 for Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe as he won all four of his matches Saturday with three pinfall wins to take him to the finals before a 12-5 decision win against Regis/Altoona’s Tommy Tomesh. Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe coach Greg Sonnentag said Duellman has found his confidence and is learning his go-to moves and that has led to success.
“Troy ended the (last) year pretty strong place at sectionals,” Sonnentag said, “we knew coming into the year he had the ability to put some good things together and we hit midseason and he finished strong at the (Northern) Badger (Wrestling Classic). He placed there which he was our only placewinner but I think he’s just getting the confidence now as a sophomore which is good to see.”
Preston Fredrickson came home fourth at 126 for the Wolfpack, winning his quarterfinal contest by pin over Regis/Altoona’s Mark Mauer before losses in the semifinals and third-place match. Braeden Person finished seventh at 152, winning his first match of the day by pin and his last by 4-0 decision. The Wolfpack finished 15th as a team with 113 points.
Thorp/Owen-Withee’s Nathan Zarins led the team with a fourth-place finish at 285, winning his first two matches of the day by pinfall. Cera Philson took fifth at 113 as a part of a 3-1 effort with one win by pinfall, decision and technical fall. Wyatt Wulff took sixth at 220 for Thorp/Owen-Withee, winning two matches by pin as the team was 13th overall with 142.5 points.