New Richmond's Mitchell Kern wins MBC heavyweight wrestling titleOn a team packed with young wrestlers, senior Mitchell Kern has been the shining example for the New Richmond wrestling team of what can be accomplished with patience and diligence.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
On a team packed with young wrestlers, senior Mitchell Kern has been the shining example for the New Richmond wrestling team of what can be accomplished with patience and diligence.
Kern, in his first year in the varsity lineup, earned the Middle Border Conference heavyweight championship on Saturday. The 2012 MBC meet was held at Durand High School.
Kern was one of three Tigers who reached the championship match in their flights. Freshman Derek Dowd took second at 106 pounds and junior Shane Blackman took second at 113 pounds.
Kern’s success has shown the younger Tigers some of the things that are needed to be successful. In addition to developing wrestling skills, Kern has worked to stay away from opponent’s strengths and attack their weaknesses.
Kern won two matches to earn the MBC title and in both cases, he had to adapt to his opponent’s style. In the semifinals Kern faced Ellsworth’s Brody Kemmerer, who had pinned Kern twice this season.
Tiger coach Mark Neumann said Kern worked to stay out of tie-ups and to avoid Kemmerer’s fireman’s carry. Kern was able to earn a 4-0 win.
In the finals Kern faced Somerset’s Alex Piletich, who brought a double-digit win streak into the match. Kern wrestled a completely different style, but with the desired result, a 4-1 win and a conference championship.
“Mitchell deserves a ton of credit,” Neumann said. “He paid his dues. Nobody recognized that. He was always there, he never missed a practice.”
With his wins Saturday Kern’s record now stands at 28-11.
Dowd wasn’t favored in the 106-pound semifinals against Ellsworth’s Cody Raebel, but Dowd proved himself by notching an 8-1 win, his 26th win of the season. In the finals Dowd couldn’t quite match Osceola’s John Olson, losing 11-3.
Blackman opened the tournament with a first period pin in the quarterfinals. Facing Prescott’s Josh Farr in the semifinals, Blackman got a takedown for the only points of the first period. Farr chose the bottom position for the second period, but Blackman spoiled that plan, turning Farr for two back points. Blackman finished strongly to win 4-1.
“Shane wrestled with great intensity,” Neumann said.
Blackman faced defending state champion Jens Lantz of Ellsworth in the finals, losing by technical fall.
The Tigers had two third place finishers. Freshman Austin Anderson at 120 pounds and junior Casey Schuh at 132 pounds both went 3-1 during the day to earn third place in their brackets.
Neumann said he thought the Tigers got nearly the maximum production out of their lineup on Saturday, finishing in fourth place in the team competition. Neumann said one of the highlights for him was the semifinal effort by first year wrestler Logan Dadez in the 182-pound bracket. Dadez faced top-seeded Derek Donnelly of Ellsworth. Dadez went out aggressively and took Donnelly to his back, nearly getting the pin. Donnelly was able to eventually win via pin, but Neumann said this showed the type of drive the Tigers displayed on Saturday.
The Tigers were without junior Abe Anderson, their most experienced wrestler in terms of varsity matches. Neumann said it was still unclear early this week whether Anderson would be able to take part in the WIAA Division 1 regionals this Saturday.
The Tigers will be competing in the Division 1 regional meet in Chippewa Falls. Wrestling is slated to begin at 11 a.m.