Somerset wrestling aiming high at Middle Border Conference meetEllsworth is the prohibitive favorite to win this Saturday’s Middle Border Conference wrestling tournament.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Ellsworth is the prohibitive favorite to win this Saturday’s Middle Border Conference wrestling tournament.
Somerset’s wrestling team has the belief that it will be one of the teams competing for second place in this year’s tournament, which will be held at Durand High School.
“I think we’re capable of getting second; third for sure,” said Somerset coach Mitch Flandrick.
The Spartans will have a new lineup for Saturday’s tournament. Bobby LeRoy, Austin Bushinger and Haydon Dvorak will be among the Spartans moving to new weights for the weekend. LeRoy and Bushinger are both moving down a weight class, to the weights they will be competing at in the WIAA tournaments. LeRoy will move to 120 pounds, Bushinger to 152 pounds.
Dvorak, who took second place at state last year, is looking for competition in the conference tournament. So he’s moving up from 182 to 195 pounds, figuring he can find better competition there. He’ll then move back down to 182 pounds for the WIAA tournaments.
The Spartans finished in fourth place in the conference dual meet standings, finishing their dual schedule with a 41-32 win at Osceola last Thursday. The match came down to the final match of the night, the 285-pound bout between Somerset’s Alex Piletich and Osceola’s Thor Reimer. The score stood at 35-32 and if the match would have ended in a tie, Osceola would have earned the team victory on criteria. Piletich made sure that didn’t happen. He pinned Reimer in the third period to lock up the win against their traditional rival.
Piletich has been one of the Spartans’ hottest wrestlers. After a slow start this season, Piletich has won his last eight bouts and all eight were finished with pins.
One of the efforts that was pivotal for the Spartans came in a loss. Osceola’s John Olson is ranked among the top light-weight wrestlers in the state. Somerset’s Marshall Rinartz put up a persistent battle, only letting Olson earn three team points in a 10-3 match. The score was 4-1 entering the third period.
“Marshall wrestled a heckuva match,” said Flandrick. “He’s been getting better all season long.”
Another big win for the Spartans came at 138 pounds. The coaches rested Gabe Flandrick last week to give him time to recover from some nagging injuries. Fred Mangine stepped into the 138-pound opening and earned his first varsity win, scoring a first period pin.
Also getting wins for the Spartans were LeRoy, Max Praschak, Bushinger and Tyler Lueck.