Thursday, March 4, 2010

Marshall gets two champions, valuable experience

When Steve Theobald won the Class C state wrestling title at 145-pounds in 1984, he became Marshall High School’s first individual state wrestling championship. Ever since then, the Cardinals have been waiting for another wrestler to claim a title.

The drought ended Feb. 27, when sophomore Hunter Weber dismantled Clinton’s Daniel Banh, 7-1, in the Division 2 112-pound WIAA individual state final. Weber’s win vindicates a second place finish in last year’s Division 3 103-pound weight class.

“[It feels] a lot better than losing last year in the finals,” Weber said, still catching his breath from the championship match.

Marshall did not have to wait nearly as long for their next champion because junior Spencer Meinholz gave those watching a “thrill” winning the 160-pound weight class in overtime, 6-4, beating Jacob Morrissey of Oconto Falls.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen in overtime,” Meinholz said. “That was definitely a thrill.”

The Cardinal wrestler joked about the motivation to win after seeing his teammate take the 112-pound championship.

“Last year he was in the finals,” Meinholz said of Weber. “This year, I told him you can’t have all the glory.”

Meinholz and Weber will have an opportunity to defend their titles next year. They may even have company in the late rounds of the state tourney next year.

Freshman Cole Hansen (130 pounds) finished sixth at the state meet. He lost in the semi-finals to Cullan Morrissey of Oconto Falls. Morrissey finished runner-up to Tomahawk’s Zach Zehner.

The top two finishers in the weight class are seniors and won’t be around next year when Hansen works to get back to the state meet, and he has plans to qualify again.

“My goal was just to make it to a state meet,” Hansen said after the fifth-place match. “Now I know what it’s like. I have that experience.”

Sophomore Thurston Schuster caught some tough matches in his first trip to the state meet. Next time around, he’ll be a year older and a year wiser. Plus, his coach has all the confidence in the world in the 145-pound wrestler.

“Thurston is as great a wrestler as we got,” coach Doug Springer said during the state meet, adding a couple of momentum shifts simply went against his sophomore grappler.

With all the Cardinal state qualifiers having at least another year of school, the team has a lot of upside. Other Marshall wrestlers have state meet potential as well.

Freshman Devin Weber, Hunter’s brother, placed fourth at the Richland Center sectional at 103-pounds. Junior Zach James also qualified for the sectional meet at 285-pounds.

With a lot of returning wrestlers, Springer’s comments about Hansen’s trip to state can likely be applied to all the young mat men.

“It’s good experience,” Springer said of Hansen’s season. “When he comes back in the future, it’s not new. He knows what to expect.

“It’s an experience and it’s something to build on.”

1 comment:

  1. Weber's win over Banh is quite impressive. I saw the Clinton 112-pounder wrestle at the Rock Valley Conference Meet last month. He won his 100th career match that day and looked unstoppable.


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