Four Jaguars wrestlers qualify for the WIAA State Tournament
By Murray Gleffe, Correspondent
GREEN BAY-Could anything top Regionals in which multiple athletes qualified for Sectionals?
Saturday’s Sectional at Green Bay Preble (Feb. 17) provided drama and entertainment that nobody could fathom unless you were one of the thousands in attendance.
Fernando Coronado, Noah Leisgang, Cody Minor, and Connor Ramage all showed their grit and tenacity in advancing to the WIAA State Wrestling Tournament held next weekend in Madison.
Each took a little different path to get there.
(Cody)Minor wasn’t about to concede that he had a State berth locked up.
The number one ranked wrestler at 106 pounds in the state of Wisconsin left no doubt in the first two rounds that he wasn’t messing around.
Minor put two technical fall match wins together where he outscored his counterparts 33-1 before they were stopped.
In the final, Minor went up against Jared Verhagen of Kaukauna who was coming off a stunning win in his semi-final round.
Much of the match was wrestled with counter-attacks from each wrestler making points hard to come by. Two takedowns in the first and third period was all it took for Minor to win a Sectional Title and punch his ticket to Madison.
“I have one goal and that is to finish first down at State in my classification,” added Minor. “I need to come out at the beginning of each match and battle for all six minutes. If I do that, I feel like things will take care of themselves.”
(Noah) Leisgang qualified under the most brutal of circumstances.
After defeating a very game Trent Francois of West De Pere, Leisgang was rewarded by having to face state ranked Sam Bruss of De Pere.
The match featured exquisite wrestling by both combatants and Leisgang made a great tactical move with just under a minute remaining in the second period to fall (pin) Bruss and move onto the Championship Match.
Next up, Eric Barnett of Hortonville who hasn’t lost a match all year.
Leisgang held his own and only trailed 3-1 with just seconds remaining in the match. Barnett slammed the door on the Jaguars wrestler by garnering a late takedown.
For all of his hard work, Leisgang then had to come back out for a wrestle back (based on the other half) to qualify for a state berth.
He remained focused and showed his steely determination in the northeast quadrant of the gym long before his match was to take place.
He was not to be deterred on this day.
Leisgang came out and falled (pin) Owen Heinz of Pulaski in dramatic fashion just 27 seconds into the final period.
Huge roars went up from the bleachers and those down at mat-side.
(Fernando) Coronado started his journey against Collin Derenne of Green Bay Preble and had a tussle on his hands midway through the second period.
Derenne kept the match within a couple of points until Coronado pulled away late.
In the semis, Coronado picked up a fall setting up the Sectional Championship match with Logan Bellow of Pulaski.
Bellow entered the contest 31-4 and Coronado knew he had to wrestle a great match to come out on top.
The Jaguars 126 lb. wrestler methodically put away his opponent building 2-0 and 4-0 leads after four minutes of action. Finally, late in the third, Coronado put together a near fall to enable him to win the title.
“I want to lead by example down at State,” said Coronado. “I feel the podium is within reach, but most importantly I want to be a good teammate and provide leadership to these other guys since this will be my third year down there.”
(Connor) Ramage proved at the end of the year that the number nine next to his name is just that…a number.
Ramage showed the ‘persistence of a pit bull’ in stamping that fourth and final spot.
In the first round, he went up against Will Hull of Antigo and dispatched him with only two points scored in the entire match.
Next, he took care of Zak Nelson of Green Bay United in a major decision.
Mind you, Nelson was a top seed coming in.
In the final, Ramage had the entire crowd buzzing after he took a late lead in the final match versus number one seed Brandon Micksch of Kaukauna. Ultimately, Micksch came out on top 5-3, but it wasn’t without controversy. Ramage punched his ticket to Madison by RULE, where he didn’t have to partake in the wrestle-back.
As a team, the Jaguars finished 3rd out of 16 teams with 82 points.
“I am just so happy for these guys today,” said Jody VanLaanen, Jaguars Head Wrestling Coach. “I had a good feeling about sending multiple guys through after Noah and Connor won their second-round matches. I am happy for Cody and Fernando as well. Some may forget but this will be Cody’s first go around as a sophomore in Madison. Fernando is the veteran of the bunch. I think with the right draws we can win matches down at State. We have to prepare in practice this week and be ready to go on Thursday.”
Note: WIAA Division 1 State Wrestling Tournament (Kohl Center)
Feb. 22 (3:00 p.m.)
Feb. 23 (10:00 a.m.)
Feb. 24 (10:00 a.m.)
WIAA D1 Sect. @ Green Bay Preble (Results for Ashwaubenon)
Cody Minor (42-1) placed 1st and scored 21.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Minor (Ashwaubenon) won over Tristan Warzynski (Bay Port) 21-20 (TF-1.5 0:00 (15-0))
Championship Bracket – Minor won over Jake Hendricks (West De Pere) 28-17 (TF-1.5 0:00 (18-1))
1st Place Match – Minor won over Jaden Verhagen (Kaukauna) 34-13 (Dec 4-0)
Noah Leisgang (38-5) placed 2nd and scored 20.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Leisgang (Ashwaubenon) won over Trent Francois (West De Pere) 29-13 (Fall 1:05)
Championship Bracket – Leisgang won over Sam Bruss (De Pere) 28-5 (Fall 3:43)
1st Place Match – Eric Barnett (Hortonville) 42-0 won over Leisgang (Dec 5-1)
2nd Place Match – Leisgang won over Owen Heinz (Pulaski) 23-9 (Fall 4:27)
Dominic Stichmann (7-15)
Championship Bracket – Cole Gille (Pulaski) 32-4 won by tech fall over Stichmann (Ashwaubenon) (TF-1.5 0:00 (16-1))
Fernando Coronado (39-3) placed 1st and scored 20.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Coronado (Ashwaubenon) won over Collin Derenne (Green Bay Preble) 23-13 (Dec 13-7)
Championship Bracket – Coronado won over Andrew Lopez (De Pere) 28-15 (Fall 5:18)
1st Place Match – Coronado won over Logan Bellow (Pulaski) 31-5 (Dec 7-2)
Connor Ramage (38-10) placed 2nd and scored 15.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Ramage (Ashwaubenon) won over William Hull (Antigo) 30-12 (Dec 2-0)
Championship Bracket – Ramage won over Zak Nelson (Green Bay West/East/Southwest) 27-5 (MD 10-1)
1st Place Match – Brandon Micksch (Kaukauna) 40-9 won over Ramage (Dec 5-3)
2nd Place Match – Ramage won over Nelson (Green Bay West/East/Southwest) (RULE)
Dawson Dembroski (32-11) placed 4th and scored 6.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Dawson Dembroski (Ashwaubenon) won over Brady Sorenson (Pulaski) 22-15 (Dec 5-0)
Championship Bracket – Brytton Goymerac (Appleton North) 39-5 won over Dembroski (Dec 3-2)
3rd Place Match – Hunter Bruecker (Kimberly) 30-15 won over Dembroski (Dec 3-1)
Marty Kiernan (20-16)
Championship Bracket – Max Bruss (De Pere) 40-4 won over Kiernan (Ashwaubenon) (Fall 0:55)
Nathan Moynihan (30-14)
Championship Bracket – Tommy Kratz (De Pere) 36-9 won over Moynihan (Ashwaubenon) (MD 12-2)
Jordan VandeHei (21-17)
Championship Bracket – Andrew Egnarski (Pulaski) 15-7 won over VandeHei (Ashwaubenon) (Fall 3:21)
Katayen Gardner (18-15)
Championship Bracket – Isaac Klarkowski (Green Bay West/East/Southwest) 38-5 won over Katayen Gardner (Ashwaubenon) (Fall 1:25)
Team Totals: (Top 5)
Kaukauna 134.5, Appleton North 89.5, Ashwaubenon 82, Pulaski 81.5, Green Bay United 71