For the Antigo Times
The Antigo wrestling team finished second in the GNC individual tournament on Saturday. Rhinelander won the tournament and the conference title. Antigo finished second overall in the conference standings for the season. Individual champions for Antigo included Ben Stimac, Brandon Lucht and Collinn Eldridge. Second place finishers were Billy Hull, Korbin Krueger and Nick Roller. Connor Dettman finished third.
“Antigo hasn’t had that many individual champions in decades. Ben Stimac has been wrestling at such a high level that teams seem to avoid him. He was great all day long. Brandon Lucht wrestled up a weight and beat some very good competition. He’s a senior so it’s nice to go out on top of the conference tournament. Brandon has been working towards this for four long years. Collinn Eldridge has had a turbulent season with injuries. Fortunately, he has been able to get healthy at the end of the season. He pinned his way through the competition and no one made it to the second period against him. Billy Hull had a heart breaking loss to Medford. He has been such a great surprise this season. He’s a senior and one of the captains. His example this season has been fantastic for the young guys. Korbin wrestled up a weight class on Saturday as well. He handled the fifteen pound disadvantage pretty well most of the day. It was just too much in the last match. He lost 7-6 and couldn’t quite finish a takedown at the end. Nick Roller had a good tournament. He’s only a sophomore so it’s great to see him place that high,” said Coach Ben Olsen.
“We finished ahead of Medford which was nice redemption after losing in the dual to them. Rhinelander has a very strong senior led team. We couldn’t quite catch them. All of the wrestlers performed well. They are definitely peaking at the end of the season. A great example of this was the last match of the tournament. Will Balis has been injured most of the season but came back in time for this tournament. He had lost his first four matches. We needed him to win against his Medford opponent to take second. He was taken down early but didn’t quit. He got a reversal and pinned his opponent. I let Will know the stakes going into the match. He said, ‘I know.’ It was a great effort.”
Antigo’s wrestling team goes to Green Bay West for Regionals Saturday, February 10. The other teams include: Bay Port, De Pere, Green Bay Preble, Green Bay West/East/Southwest, Pulaski, Shawano, and West De Pere. Wrestling starts at 10:30 a.m.