Larz Gough, of Wilmot, raises his arm after he was declared the winner at 160 in his match at Westosha Central (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

By Jason Arndt

Although the Wilmot Union High School wrestling team faced an early deficit Jan. 25 at Westosha Central, Panthers coach John Watson did not panic, in fact, the start of the match is where he thought his squad would be.

The Panthers, down 18-13 after five matches, eventually rattled off seven consecutive wins to propel them to a 59-18 Southern Lakes Conference victory.

“It went very much as expected because of where we started at 160,” said Watson. “We knew that we would be behind until we got to the lighter weights.”

At 160 pounds, Larz Gough put the Panthers ahead 5-0, courtesy of a technical fall decision to Colton Soto.

In the following match, Westosha Central’s Bryce Sekey pinned Taylor Edson at 3:05 to give the Falcons a 6-5.

Meanwhile, at 182, Falcons coach Jason Ladd made an unexpected decision, moving senior Zach Bell up to 195 to avoid facing Hunter Valach, who regularly wrestles at 170.

“I had bounced one of my best wrestlers in Valach up in the hopes of wrestling one of Central’s best wrestlers, but they bumped him up, so that got away from us there,” Watson said.

Without a competitor for Valach at 182, the Panthers senior earned a forfeit win, which pulled Wilmot ahead 11-6.

The Falcons then produced back-to-back pins, starting with Bell at 182, where he sent Jacob DuChemin to the mat at 4:53 followed by Reid McNeill, who defeated Jason Rullman in 1:31.

The Falcons 18-11 edge, however, diminished after the Panthers went on a streak.

Chain of succession
After Panthers Andrew Tucknott pinned Corbin Spencer at 285, the match went to the lower weights, where Wilmot scored back-to-back forfeit wins from Kolby Moudy (106) and Benson DuChemin.

In the next two matches, the Panthers won both on pins.

Joey Graham, at 120, defeated Jack Weis at 0:52 followed by a 0:30 win from Gabe Handorf, who defeated Evan Glasiel.

The following match, however, the showdown took a different turn, when the Panthers won the 132-pound bout on a disqualification.

Against Panthers’ Drew Hebior, Westosha Central’s Keegan Jones received an ejection from the match due to flagrant misconduct after a handful of warnings from the referee.

With the ejection, Hebior was awarded six points, and the Falcons were docked three.

The disqualification, according to Watson, comes at an unfortunate time of the season.

“When you are disqualified from a match, you have to miss the next scheduled event, and that is the conference tournament,” Watson said about the opposing wrestler.

“I think he just momentarily lost his cool there,” he added.

The Panthers capped off their winning stretch at 138, where Mason Diedrich pinned Jefferson Kearby in 1:31.

Westosha Central’s Dennis Grubb, however, stopped the streak with a 5-0 decision against Kyler Moudy.

At 152, Panthers Logan Pye won his match by pinning Sean Gulliksen with less than 20 seconds left in the match.

The Panthers finished their SLC slate at 3-4. Westosha Central concluded its dual meet season at 1-6.


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