Emmeck fourth at state; planning for Japan trip
Somerset senior Darrin Emmeck capped his high school wrestling career by taking fourth place at 285 pounds in the Division 2 WIAA State Wrestling Championships in Madison.
Emmeck's focus will quickly switch from wrestling back to football. Next week he and classmate Bryan Witzmann will be leaving to play in the 2009 Global Challenge Bowl. The football game between top American high school seniors and a select team of Japanese players will be played on Saturday, March 21, in Kawasaki, Japan.
Emmeck had an opening round bye at the state meet, by virtue of winning the championship at the Osceola sectional meet. That meant he would face Logan Figueroa of Valders in his first match at state. Figueroa was a smaller heavyweight, but very quick. Emmeck tried several of his best moves against Figueroa, but each time Figueroa was able to counter. In the second period Emmeck tried to execute a cradle hold, but Figueroa turned it into a tight headlock and pinned Emmeck at the 3:09 mark.
Somerset coach Mike Kappers said Emmeck used the opening round loss to inspire himself. Emmeck went out and pinned his next two opponents. His first opponent was Matthew Reitman, a large heavyweight from East Troy. Emmeck was able to pin Reitman midway through the second period. That win assured Emmeck of a place on the state tournament awards podium.
Next up for Emmeck was Kit Conrad from Wisconsin Dells. Emmeck was all business as he drove Conrad to the mat, getting the pin just before the end of the one-minute first period.
That moved Emmeck into the third place match, where again he faced Figueroa. Emmeck changed his tactics for this match and it seemed to be working. He took down Figueroa in the first period, then rode him all the way through the second period to take a 2-0 lead into the third period. Emmeck was on top for the third period and he tried to pull Figueroa's arm out to turn him for back points. Figueroa was able to sit up during this attempt, reversing Emmeck to his back for a five-point move.
Emmeck fought off his back and got a reversal with 10 seconds left. That left him taking a 5-4 loss and finishing in fourth place.
Emmeck finishes the season with a 23-6 record.