By Jerry Englebert
Saturday’s Cutler Classic Wrestling Tournament in New London was a good day for Southern Door. This tournament has varsity and JV in the same gym so the coaches can see most matches. They also allow coaches to move wrestlers between the two to get the best match ups.
Southern Door’s best finishers were Kyle Conard (106) and Griffin Slezewski (113) both finishing runner up. Their brackets were very similar. Both were the #3 seed and started with a bye followed by a pin, then a tough win by decision to make the finals where they met some of the best in the state.
Kyle’s win in the semi’s was a come from behind victory that really showed a lot of poise for a freshman. After giving up a take down and near fall Kyle battled back with a reversal and near fall of his own in the second to close the gap. In the third period he scored more near fall to take the lead and control of the match. In the finals Kyle faced Carter Greening of Weyauwega Freemont who is currently ranked #4 in division III. Greening is very solid on top and rides legs much like Kyle. Unfortunately Kyle doesn’t have the defensive experience needed yet to counter Greening.
Griffins win in the semi’s was also a very good win. Last week we worked on a position he feels comfortable in but wasn’t scoring from. With the minor adjustment we made in practice Friday he was able or not only score the take down but also get back points out of it in the first period to set the tone and control the match. In the finals Griffin faced Koltin Grzybowski of Coleman who is a returning state champion and currently ranked #1 in division III. Grzybowski is one of the most technically sound and explosive wrestlers we’ll see in any division. Griffin started out strong getting to a leg on Grzybowski but was unable to finish. Griffin did earn a couple escapes but could not match up to difference in experience.
This was a perfect tournaments for both as they pulled upsets it the semi’s and then were able to see how they compared to Wisconsin’s top wrestlers in the finals. The type of bracket that really allows a young wrestler to gain confidence and the motivation to keep improving. Very proud of the fight and determination both showed to avoid getting pinned in the finals as well. Both are very coachable and we’ll watch the film, work on the improvements in practice and keep trying to close the gap.
Another highlight for the day was Austin Falish in the JV 106-113 bracket. Wrestling behind Kyle and Griffin, and naturally weighing about 106, Austin finds himself having to wrestle up at 120 or share time on varsity in duals. Today, Austin was in a 6 man round robin bracket where he was finally able to wrestle at the right weight which gave him the opportunity to work on his technique and gain valuable mat time experience. Austin’s only loss was buy decision to a familiar opponent in Ben DeNamur or Sturgeon Bay. Ben is typically Sturgeon Bay’s varsity 113 wrestler and wrestled for the Southern Door Middle School program last year.
A little short handed today as Grant Englebert (138) earned a first round win by pin but then headed home with the flu. Santtu Kiljunen (285) was also home with the flu and Seth Suess (182) is recovery from an elbow injury he sustained in his win Thursday night.
Next up is Peshtigo on Thursday. Next Saturday will be the Sheboygan North Raider Invite for the varsity and Bayport for the JV.