Pulaski Invitational Saturday at PHS

Pulaski Invitational Saturday at PHS

Pulaski High School wrestler Logan Bellow will be among those competing at Saturday's Pulaski Invitational.

The Pulaski High School wrestling team will host the Pulaski Invitational Saturday. Weigh-ins are from 8 to 10 a.m. Wrestling action begins at 10 a.m.

Stop by to see some great competition!

And to whet your appetite, here is a preview of the event graciously provided by Chris Gennrich, head wrestling coach, Hortonville High School.

● Entrants are subject to change without notice.
● Rankings are based off the wiwrestling.com, Jan. 18, 2018, edition.
NONE of the information offered below is intended to be my predictions, thoughts, or feelings on how the weight classes or final team standings will play out. It is simply a
breakdown of the weight classes based on current rankings and last year’s placements. This information was compiled only to help promote and generate excitement for the
49th Annual Pulaski Invitational wrestling tournament.

2018 Pulaski Invitational Wrestling Tournament
Teams and number of state-ranked individuals
Bay Port, 0
Coleman, 7
Denmark, 3
Elkhorn, 6
Freedom, 7
Hortonville, 2
Kaukauna, 6
Luxemburg-Casco, 11
New London, 1
Oconto Falls, 3
Peshtigo, 3
Port Washington, 2
Pulaski, 2
Reedsville, 5
Rhinelander, 4
Seymour, 2
Ranked Teams
DI: No. 2 Kaukauna; No. 11 Elkhorn
DII: No. 1 Luxemburg-Casco; No. 3 Freedom; No. 9 Denmark
DIII: No. 4 Coleman

It’s that time of year again! Time for wrestlers to get one last tough tournament challenge in before the state tournament run begins. For years, some of the best wrestlers in the state gather in the Pulaski fieldhouse to test their mettle, see where they stack up against some of the top competition, and figure out what may need fixing if they want that state tournament medal around their neck at the end of February.

Coconut bras, Polish sausages, and some of the best wrestling in the state make the Pulaski Invite a treat for fans and wrestlers alike. This year’s field of 16 teams boasts six ranked teams, including the No. 1 team in DII (Luxemburg-Casco), the No. 2 team in DI (Kaukauna), and the No. 4 team in DIII (Coleman). Certainly, these three teams are considered among the favorites to win this  ear’s title based not only on their team ranking but also on the sheer numbers of ranked individuals on their rosters. Last year’s team champion Kaukauna will enter with six ranked individuals headlined by the No. 5-ranked 160 pounder in the state and Cheesehead Champ, Zach Lee, and No. 1 ranked, returning state champ Keaton Kluever. Coleman, who finished third at the 2017 invite, will bring seven state ranked wrestlers to Pulaski. Most notable, the one-two punch of the state’s No. 1 ranked DIII wrestlers and returning state champs 113 pounder Koltin Grzybowski and 120 pounder Caleb Gross. Probably the favorite to unseat last year’s champs is Luxemburg-Casco.

L-C finished fourth at last year’s tournament but bring in the most ranked individuals with 11. This outstanding group is highlighted by two-time state champ, the No. 1 ranked DII wrestler at 126 pounds, Bryce Bosman. However, don’t sleep on a talented Freedom Irish team. The Irish bring in seven ranked individuals along with their No. 3 DII ranking. Coach Lancaster and crew looked extremely good at the tough -- and getting tougher every year -- Freedom Invite two weeks ago. Look for them to have a say in the team race. Also of note is a new comer to the Invite this year, Rhinelander. Coach Paul Ellenbecker has overhauled and strengthened the Hodag’s schedule to get his wrestlers battle-tested. They bring in a solid group from top to bottom and sport four ranked wrestlers. Look for their No. 3 ranked 152 pounder, Jacob DeMeyer, to turn some heads at his first Invite appearance.
Weigh Class Breakdown
Last year’s champ and runner up have both moved up a weight class, which may open the door for 2017 fourth-place finisher, Lucas Joniaux. Joniaux, the first of 11 Luxemburg-Casco ranked wrestlers, is the highest rated 106 pounder in this year’s invite at No. 3 in DII. No. 5 ranked Jaden Verhagen (DI, Kaukauna) and No. 10 Caleb Delsman (DIII, Reedsville) will no doubt provide some of the stiffest competition here. Honorable Mention ranked Payton Jacobson (DI,Elkhorn), Carsten McHugh (DII, Freedom) and Jager Eisch (DII, Oconto Falls) will also be looking for spots on the medal stand.

Six ranked wrestlers litter the field at this weight class, including the champ and runner at 106 of last year’s invite. Both incidentally went on to be state champs! DI No. 1 ranked and last year’s Invite champ Eric Barnett of Hortonville is one of the favorites here. The junior, and No. 4 ranked 113 pounder in the country, is looking for his third invite championship. Fellow DII state champ and last year’s runner up to Barnett, Koltin Grzybowski (No. 1 in DIII, Coleman) is sure to provide a strong challenge for the top spot on the podium. If these two can navigate the other landmines in this strong bracket, it is sure to be an exciting final. Standing in the way of this match are four wrestlers capable of winning the bracket themselves. Mason Campsure (No. 5 in DI, Kaukauna) was third behind Barnett and Grzybowski last year. Zach Wauters (DII, No. 7) from Peshtigo, Wyatt Kaczrowski (DII No. 8) of Seymour and Isaac Blohowiak (DII,  No. 11) of Luxemburg-Casco round out this weight class.

The second half of Coleman’s Dynamic Duo, No. 1 ranked and returning state champ Caleb Gross appears to be a clear favorite for the title at 120 pounds where only three current ranked wrestlers are entered. Gross was a runner-up here last year at 113 pounds. Freedom’s Colby McHugh (DII, No. 9) and Denmark’s Cole Tenor (DII, HM) will look to pull the upset and take home gold. Other spots on the podium seem up for grades in what could be a wide-open weight class for others to medal in.

Two-time state champ and two-time Pulaski Invite champion Bryce Bosman (DII, No. 1) of Luxemburg-Casco will be seeking his third Invite title in as many tries. A stiff test could come from the No. 2 ranked wrestler in DI Grant Truesdale of Elkhorn. Truesdale is up from 113 last year where he placed fifth at the Invite. Homegrown talent Cole Gille (No. 4 in DI, Pulaski) is hoping for the home mat advantage to help him claim gold at 126 pounds. Gille was third here a year ago at 120 pounds. Two other ranked wrestlers give this bracket decent depth. Newcomer, Rhinelander enters its first ranked wrestler here, Tyler Olson (DI, No. 11) and Reedsville’s Jordan Ingalls (DIII,  No. 10) are looking to find spots in the podium.

This weight class is the deepest as far as sheer numbers of ranked wrestlers. Eight wrestlers enter this year’s Invite with rankings at 132. Looking at the list, no clear-cut favorite appears, and it looks like several of these wrestlers are capable of beating the others at any given time. It may come down to who gets hot at the right time and makes a run. Division I ranked wrestlers here include No. 3 Daniel Stilling of Elkhorn, No. 4 Brandon Micksch of Kaukauna, and No. 6 Logan Bellow of Pulaski. Micksch was fourth in the 2017 Pulaski Invite, one spot above Bellow. Division II brings in three ranked wrestlers as well. Nathan Ronsman of Luxemburg-Casco comes in at No. 3. Garrett Ruckdashel brings a  No. 5 ranking from New London, while Denmark’s Ethan Schwartz comes in at  No. 7. Rounding out this loaded bracket are Billy Ganter (DIII, No. 9) from Coleman and Landon Kasper (DIII, Honorable Mention) from Reedsville. Ronsman and Ganter finished sixth and seventh respectively at 126 in 2017. While Ruckdashel placed fifth at 132.

Wide open would be the best way to describe this weight class. Three ranked wrestlers in Jake Baldwin of Coleman (DIII, No. 4), Cameron Lemmens of Luxemburg-Casco (DII, No. 6) and Josh Schuh from Reedsville (DIII No. 10), highlight the field. Baldwin may carry a slight edge over the rest of the entrants here as he placed third at the 2017 Invite at 132 pounds. However, Lemmens was not far off the pace also making it on the podium with a fifth-place finish at 138 in 2017.

Much like 138, 145 may be a case where we see Coleman and Luxemburg-Casco fighting for the top spot as they bring in the two highest ranked individuals. Coleman’s Tyler Blanchard, just a freshman, brings in a DIII No. 6 ranking and will look to make his mark in his first Invite appearance. However, Colton Worachek of Luxemburg-Casco (DII, No. 12) brings some Pulaski Invite experience with him as he placed sixth at 132 pounds last year. Two other ranked wrestlers will look to make some noise here. Coleman Karl (DI, No. 11) of Elkhorn and Max Rauch (DIII, HM) from Peshtigo will certainly figure into the podium picture.
This weight class may only have four ranked wrestlers, but three of those four are all ranked within one place of each other, so expect some fireworks at 152. Sam Peters (DII, No 2) from Freedom is the highest ranked wrestler here. However, right behind him is Luxemburg-Casco’s Reece Worachek, who brings in the No. 3 ranking in DII. Peters finished second at the 2017 Invite at 138 pounds behind eventual state champ Scott Cook of New London. Worachek who must have hit the weight room along with a healthy growth spurt was fourth last year at 120 pounds! Don’t count out newcomer Jacob DeMeyer from Rhinelander. He brings a DI ranking of No. 3 with him to his first very Pulaski Invite. Noah Stary (DII, HM) of Oconto Falls certainly has the ability to make an impact here as well.

Don’t get caught at the concession stand getting your Polish sausage when this weight class hits the mats, as it may be one of the most exciting classes here top to bottom. A total of six ranked wrestler with plenty of star power will certainly entertain you. Where to start? The highest ranked wrestler is Evan Vosters of Freedom (DII, No. 1). Vosters was third here last year. In front of Vosters in 2017 was Zach Lee (DI, No. 5) of Kaukauna. Lee was the Cheesehead champion this year. However, he may be up at 170 for the Invite. Shamus McLain (DIII, No. 4) of Coleman is the next highest ranked wrestler after Vosters. He will be wrestling in the Pulaski Invite for the first time. Division II brings in two more ranked wrestlers at 160 with Devan Vandenbush (No. 6, Luxemburg-Casco), a sixth-place finisher a year ago at 152. Also, Thomas Peters of Seymour (DII, No. 12), who finished sixth at 145 in 2017. Add division III’s No. 7 Brandon Stelzer of Reedsville, who placed seventh last year at 145 to the mix and you have the makings for a real meat grinder of a weight class.

According to the rankings this is another weight class that is wide open for the taking. There are three very closely ranked individuals that highlight the field. Keep in mind this could all change if Zach Lee enters here instead of 160. Hortonville’s Kirkland Hills (DI, No. 8) has the highest ranking. Meanwhile, DII brings in the No. 9 ranked wrestler in Jacob Zellner of Luxemburg-Casco and No. 11 Dakota Brockman of Freedom. Brockman was fourth last year while Zellner was seventh, both at 160 pounds. Hills did not place in 2017. Brockman does have a close win over Hills earlier this year.

Bryson Alsteen (DI, No. 3) of Kaukauna looks to improve upon his third-place finish a year ago at 160 pounds. Standing between him and the top spot on the podium is DII, No. 10 Brody Brozewski of Freedom, along with two ranked Division I wrestlers. Elkhorn’s Myles Schumaker (DI, No. 12) and Lukas Burke (DI, HM) of Port Washington. Schumaker and Burke both have experience on the Invite medal stand. Schumaker placed fifth at 195 a year ago, while Burke was eighth at 170.
Five ranked wrestlers will take the mats at 195 pounds. Leading the way is Matt Verhasselt (DII, No. 2) from Freedom. Matt is up a weight class from last year where he placed seventh. Division II is represented by two other ranked wrestlers: Luxemburg-Casco’s No. 4 ranked Austin Leroy and No. 11 Gabe Wertel from Denmark. Leroy and Wertel were both on the podium at this same weight class in 2017. Wertel was sixth and Leroy eighth. The other two ranked individuals come to us from DI, No. 3 Alec Kurtz from Rhinelander and Port Washington’s HM ranked Tristan Griswold.

There are no easy weight classes at the Pulaski Invite! Just because only two ranked wrestlers are entered here does not mean this class is short on talent. It only means we could potentially see a relatively unknown young man step up and catch some people’s eyes. Nate Lloyd of Luxemburg-Casco is the highest ranked wrestler here at No. 8 in DII. Right behind him is Colton Krueger at No. 9 in DI from Rhinelander. Lloyd was fifth last year at this same weight class, and Krueger is experiencing the Pulaski Invite for the first time. Don’t sleep on this weight class. It may give you an opportunity to see an up and comer burst on the scene and show he is ready to contend with the elite down the stretch run.

As an ex-Big Guy myself, the “Big Boys” always hold a near and dear spot in my heart! Trust me…get your 50/50 raffle tickets early because you will not want to be distracted during this weight class! (Those of you familiar with the invite know how distracting the coconut bra can be.) This weight class is loaded with Big Time talent, pun certainly intended. Leading the way is Keaton Kluever (DI, No. 1) out of Kaukauna. The University of North Carolina signee and returning state champ looks to add another title to go with last year’s. If the bracket plays out as the seeds will no doubt have it, the finals could be a repeat of last year. No. 1 ranked DII Josh Frerk of Denmark also returns and is looking to claim a title Kluever kept him from a year ago. The 2017 final was a barn burner that Kluever won 3-1 in SV-1. However, there are four other ranked guys standing in the path to the top of the podium, and all are capable of upsetting the seeding and turning this weight class on it’s head. Dan Ausloos of Oconto Falls (DII, No. 3) was third in 2017 behind Kluever and Frerk. Coleman’s Brock Martinson, the eighth-place finisher at 220 last year, has moved up a weight class and is currently ranked  No. 4 in DIII. Division II brings in yet another ranked 285 pounder in Gavin Brissette (No. 12, Peshtigo).
Rounding out the field of six ranked wrestlers is Hunter Hummel (DI, No. 9) of Elkhorn. Hummel was sixth at last year’s Invite.

(Information compiled by Chris Gennrich, Head Wrestling Coach, Hortonville High School. Pulaski Invitational tournament administrators sincerely thank Coach Gennrich for his time and effort given to promote this event.)