State Wrestling Update: Joles jubilant after semifinal’s win
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MADISON – Garrett Joles is following in the footsteps of Micah Johnson.
A year after Johnson made the finals and won a state wrestling champions, Joles, a current Boyceville freshman Joles, figure why couldn’t he try and do the same.
Joles is now just one match away from completing that mission after he scored a thrilling 5-4 win over defending state champion and second-ranked Luke Nowak of Iowa-Grant/Highland at the Kohl Center Friday night in the Division 3, 170-pound state semifinals.
Nowak defeated Boyceville’s Bryor Hellmann in last year’s 160-pound championship.
“Micah Johnson really inspired me last year,” said Garrett Joles shortly after his semifinal win. “I thought, I can hang with this kid and go with him in the (wrestling) room. I just thought, ‘If Micah can do it, I can do it as well’. We will just have to see what happens tomorrow.”
Tomorrow will bring another daunting test for Joles as he will have to contend with number-ranked Devin Lemanski of Edgar. The unbeaten Lemanski edged Reedsville’s Elliot Ebert 1-0 in the other semifinal.
Joles and Nowak battled to a scoreless draw after one period of wrestling Friday night. But Nowak would break through for a takedown 23 seconds into the second period. Joles would be given an escape and then another to start the third and final period. Those escapes would come back to haunt Nowak.
Tied at two apiece, Joles hit Nowak with a takedown at the 4:30 mark of the match. Nowak came back with a reversal some 40 seconds later to knot the match once again.
But it took Joles less than ten second to come up with his third and final escape for a 5-4 advantage. He would make it stand as he turned away several of Nowak’s takedown attempts.
“Someone asked me the other day what is wrestling me?” Joles recalled. “Working hard for something that you really don’t care about is called stress. You have to love the sport.”
“For me, working for something you love is called passion. And that is what it is all about right now.”
“I just have to thank everyone that helped me get to this point.”
Joles is 31-4 on the season.