By Reagan Hoverman On Saturday, Feb. 5, the Middle Border Conference held its annual conference championship meet to determine a team conference champion, as well as respective individual champions …
By Reagan Hoverman
On Saturday, Feb. 5, the Middle Border Conference held its annual conference championship meet to determine a team conference champion, as well as respective individual champions for each weight class. The Ellsworth Panthers had three individual champions, including Louie Jahnke at 182, Carson Wright at 106, and William Penn in the 126-pound weight bracket.
It was a successful day for the Ellsworth Panthers wrestling team, as they compete in a notoriously strong wrestling conference that has produced state champions regularly throughout the last ten years, including the Amery Warriors, last year’s state champions.
At the Middle Border Conference meet on Saturday afternoon, Ellsworth finished in third place out of seven total teams with a total team score of 192 points. Other notable results include Baldwin-Woodville’s first-place finish with 256 points, Saint Croix Central’s secondplace finish with 212 points and Prescott’s sixth place finish with 83 points.
While Ellsworth didn’t come out on top in the total team score, the aforementioned three wrestlers of Jahnke, Wright and Penn all performed at a high level in what was one of the biggest meets of the year so far.
Starting with Wright at 106, he advanced to the 106-pound championship after pinning Prescott’s Benny Olson in the semi-final match. In the championship match, Wright won an 8-2 decision over Drake Gartmann of Baldwin-Woodville to secure the individual title for the conference.
Moving to the 126-pound weight bracket, Penn of Ellsworth also secured an individual conference title. Penn defeated William Schmitt of Saint Croix Central via pinfall in just over three minutes to advance to the championship. Then in the title match, Penn had a hard-fought battle against Hunter Bonte of Baldwin-Woodville that went the full distance. Penn managed to secure a 3-2 victory to win Ellsworth’s second individual title.
The third and final individual champion for Ellsworth was the aforementioned Jahnke, who won all of his matches via pinfall. His dominance was on display early against Isaac Campeau of Osceola, who he pinned in just under two minutes to advance to the title match. In that championship match, Jahnke again secured the pin, dropping Parker Shackleton in just over two minutes to secure the individual championship at 182.
For the Prescott Cardinals, notable results include Benny Olson’s third-place finish as an individual in the 106-pound bracket. Olson battled back in the bracket after losing to Ellsworth’s Wright in the semi-final match.
Perhaps the most dominant wrestler on Prescott’s squad, senior Sam Murphy, had a tough go of it in the 152-pound bracket against tough competition. In the semi-final match, Murphy won a 5-1 decision against Addison Uddin of Osceola. Then in the championship match, Murphy went nearly two full rounds with Owen Wasley of Saint Croix Central. Just before the final buzzer sounded in the second round, Murphy got pinned and received second place in the 152-pound bracket.
Prescott senior Alex Holt earned a fifth-place finish in the 160-pound bracket after defeating Ethan Osborn of Somerset in one of the consolation matches to fill out the bracket. Overall, it’s been a tough year for Prescott due to injuries and changes to the roster rotation. Forfeits have hurt the Cardinals all season and that certainly had an impact on their bid for a Middle Border Conference title this season.
Moving forward, wrestlers will advance to regionals on Saturday, Feb. 12, in Arcadia. That tournament is scheduled to be an all-day event that will determine which teams and wrestlers advance to sectionals.