RICHLAND CENTER — First-year Belmont/Platteville head coach Andrew Campbell experienced both the highs and lows of sectional wrestling this past weekend with his two best pupils.
Campbell shared in the joy of winning with Platteville senior Vinny Anderson, while he was left to console disappointed Belmont junior John Hentrich.
Anderson went 2–1 and finished second at 182 pounds to emerge from Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 Richland Center Sectional with his first trip to the WIAA state wrestling tournament, which begins Thursday night at the Kohl Center in Madison at 7:15 p.m.
Meanwhile Hentrich went 1–2 and ended his season with a fifth-place finish at 138 pounds.
Anderson (26–8) began his sectional tournament with a 3–2 first-round decision over eventual state qualifier Tyler Shrake of West Salem/Bangor.
He then advanced to the final, which guaranteed him a spot at state, with a 6–2 victory over Brodhead/Juda’s Gavin Baade.
“I was very happy with the way Vinny wrestled this weekend,” said Campbell. “He lost to a very tough kid from Sparta in the finals and did not wrestle his best, but I believe that he was still enjoying the fact that he was already going to state.
“I dont know if he could have beaten the Sparta wrestler, but I think he could have kept it close enough to give himself a chance to win it in the third.”
Sparta’s Kyle Burkhalter handed Anderson a 15–5 major decision to claim the 182-pound sectional crown.
Shrake worked through the consolation bracket to finish third, so there was no wrestleback and Anderson was awarded second place by virtue of his first-round victory over Shrake.
Anderson will open his state tournament with a quarter-final match against Melrose–Mindoro/G–E–T’s Danny Dobbs (34–6).
Hentrich (21–15) won his first-round match Saturday, a 7–4 decision over Brandon Schilling of Lakeside Lutheran, but dropped back-to-back matches to eventual state qualifiers Kevin Klopfenstein of Monroe and Tristan Zurfluh of Sparta.
Hentrich dropped a 3–0 decision to Klopenstein, who finished second, in the semifinals. He was then eliminated with an 8–1 loss to Zurfluh, who finished third, in a consolation semifinal.
“After his last match I talked to John and let him know that while it hurts to get this close to state and just miss out he still had a heck of a year,” said Campbell. “He went from being one match above .500 as a sophomore to being one match away from state as a junior.
“I told him to take a few days to rest and let all his bumps and bruises from the year heal up, but as soon as he is ready training for next year needs to start as soon as possible. Now that we know how close he is to making it to state we need to make sure we work hard enough this offseason so that we do not come up short again.”
WIAA Division 2 Richland Center Sectional
(from Saturday, Feb. 16 @ Rich. Center)
Belmont/Platteville state qualifiers
182 — Vincent Anderson (26-8) placed 2nd and scored 14.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Vincent Anderson (Belmont/Platteville) 26-8 won by decision over Tyler Shrake (West Salem/Bangor) 36-11 (Dec 3-2)
Semifinal - Vincent Anderson (Belmont/Platteville) 26-8 won by decision over Gavin Baade (Brodhead/Juda) 28-7 (Dec 6-2)
1st Place Match - Kyle Burkhalter (Sparta) 38-6 won by major decision over Vincent Anderson (Belmont/Platteville) 26-8 (Maj 15-5)
2nd Place Match - Vincent Anderson (Belmont/Platteville) 26-8 won by rule over Tyler Shrake (West Salem/Bangor) 36-11 (RULE)
Belmont/Pla. other sectional qualifiers
138 — John Hentrich (21-15) tied for fifth and scored 2.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - John Hentrich (Belmont/Platteville) 21-15 won by decision over Brandon Schilling (Lakeside Luthern) 36-5 (Dec 7-4)
Semifinal - Kevin Klopfenstein (Monroe) 42-5 won by decision over John Hentrich (Belmont/Platteville) 21-15 (Dec 3-0)
Cons. Semi - Tristan Zurfluh (Sparta) 23-8 won by decision over John Hentrich (Belmont/Platteville) 21-15 (Dec 8-1)