Bulldogs take 2nd in West Hancock

Published 9:19am Monday, February 10, 2014

The Lake Mills wrestling team qualified for regional duals Thursday at the sectional tournament in West Hancock, according to a press release.

The Bulldogs placed second out of the eight teams in the sectional and snuck into regional duals by beating 14th-ranked Central Springs by six points.

Lake Mills head coach Alex Brandenburg said it was a pleasant surprise.

“To be honest, I did not even think about the team race coming into it because Clarion-Goldfield and Central Springs had great teams,” he said. “Our kids wrestled unbelievably and scored enough points to get the job done.”

The team will wrestle at 6 p.m. Tuesday night in Manly in a four-team regional to determine who will qualify for the state duals.

“I am very proud of how much our kids improved,” Brandenburg said. “This was definitely a rebuilding year for our team, but our wrestlers worked hard to improve as the season went along. I’m happy for the kids, as they reached what they thought was an unattainable goal.”

Another thing making the feat more surprising was the absence of injured senior Andy Nicholson, who had beaten both 182 district qualifiers and likely could have been champion.

“Andy has given a lot to this program with his success on the mat,” Brandenburg said. “It was hard to see him not wrestle today, and we will miss him next year.”

Several individuals had a great day as Lake Mills qualified six wrestlers for districts. It is the most the Bulldogs qualified in the last 10 years. Brady Schmidt, Noah Irons and Andrew Olsen were all crowned champions. Michael Olsen, Slade Sifuentes and Tyler Mary each finished second to advance to districts.

Krister Beal and Grant Boehmer both battled back after semifinal losses to get a wrestleback, but both lost and finished third.

The individual district qualifiers will compete at noon Saturday in Clarion to secure a place in the state tournament.