The Antigo wrestling team lost to Rhinelander 44-25 on Thursday night. They were led by Connor Dettman and Collinn Eldridge who earned pins. Korbin Krueger and Billy Hull earned victories while Ben Stimac received a forfeit.
“Despite the loss, we wrestled well. I’m pleased with the effort. We lost several close matches to some decent wrestlers. Rhinelander is a good team and is led by seven seniors. Five of them have 100 career victories. We had a real shot at beating them but things didn’t quite work out the way they did last year,” Coach Ben Olsen said.
Sophomore Dylan Dykstra lost 6-3 to the 11th ranked wrestler in the state. Brandon Lucht moved up a weight class to take on Jake DeMeyer. DeMeyer placed at state last year and is currently ranked 3rd. Brandon lost 6-2 but threw DeMeyer to his back going out of bounds, a shock to the Hodag coaches and fans.
The team finished in 2nd place at the De Pere Duals Tournament. They defeated Green Bay United, Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol, Oconto, and North Fond du Lac/St Mary’s. They lost to De Pere in the championship match. Connor Dettman, Logan Edwards, and Ben Stimac went 5-0.
“We wrestled very well this weekend. Connor has now won twelve in a row. He’s really finishing the season strong. Ben Stimac continues to have a great season. It’s hard to find him tough matches. Lately, we’ve had the problem of other teams ducking our better wrestlers. It’s a nice problem to have. As a result, we have been moving guys like Brandon Lucht up a weight class to wrestle better competition. He lost a close match to the second ranked wrestler in the state. It was a great match for him to develop as a top tier wrestler,” said Olsen.
“We are definitely peaking at the end of the season. We have a pretty light schedule until the GNC tournament on February 3. Then, the WIAA tournament begins the following weekend. It’s exciting to be healthy at this point and have the wrestlers ready both mentally and physically.”