MADISON — Austin Wolfe gave everything that he had in the finale of his high school wrestling career. And that is all anyone can ask of themselves.
Unfortunately, the Boyceville senior fell heartbreakingly short of his dream, losing the Division 3 state title match at 106 pounds.
Freshman A J Schoenfuss of Stratford scored first and never trailed as he claimed the gold with a 7-2 decision Saturday evening, February 28 during the 72nd annual WIAA State Wrestling Championships here at the Kohl Center.
“I thought I went out there and wrestled the best that I possibly could,” said the long-faced senior of the match. “I give it 110 percent but just fell a little short of my goals.”
The first points of the match came just a minute in, when Schoenfuss caught Wolfe and took him to the mat for a pair of points.
“He ran into a really tough kid tonight,” said Boyceville head coach Jamie Olson. “He wrestled him tough.”
“The kid was big and strong and stayed in good position and got that first takedown on us and that was big.”
A few minutes later, in the middle of period two, Wolfe scored the equalizer on a nice reversal to make the score two all.
But it was a short-lived deadlock as the Stratford lightweight worked free just 23 seconds later to take a 3-2 lead, one that he would not relinquish.
Schoenfuss, who began the third period in the down position, worked a reversal on Wolfe with just a minute left in the match and then scored a two-point near fall on the bloodied Wolfe with just three second left to make the final score 7-2.
“I knew that he (Schoenfuss) kind of liked to wrestle from underneath and suck on elbows so I was trying to get one of my arms free but I just couldn’t get his grip off of it,” noted Wolfe, who had to deal with a bloody nose throughout the title match.
“It was kind of frustrating and disappointing but I gave it everything I had.”
That he did.
Wolfe capped his senior year with a 40-5 record and a state silver. Quite an exclamation mark for a remarkable career.
It had been one of his goals throughout high school to make a state finals.
“Coming in as freshman, I knew that it was one of my goals to be in the state finals but I could never imagine it or envision it. I am just happy that I got to experience it.”
Austin Wolfe finally accomplished what he hadn’t in his first two trips to the state wrestling tournament, qualify for a state championship match.
Boyceville’s 106-pound senior made sure that his third and final run at a gold medal would be the charm.
Wolfe dominated his Friday evening’s semifinal match against Aiden Wusterbarth at the Kohl Center, shutting out the Oconto sophomore ten nil to gain Saturday evening’s 106-pound state title match in Division 3.
“It feels amazing,” said a still breathless Wolfe just a few minutes after his win.
“All the hard work, all the time on the mat, and all the morning workouts, getting on the stair step every morning, it just feels so great for it to pay off.”
Wolfe worked Wusterbarth over in the first period until he found an opening and struck for a takedown with 37 seconds left.
Wolfe quickly added to the lead with two near fall points before the period closed.
After Wusterbarth chose to begin the middle period in the neutral (standing) position, Wolfe went on the attack again and scored a second takedown and two-point near fall to extend the lead to 8-0.
An illegal slam by a frustrated Wusterbarth in the third period gave Wolfe his ninth point with the tenth and final one coming on an escape with just 15 seconds left in the match.
“I knew I had to go in there and be aggressive on my feet,” Wolfe said of his strategy. “The kid was kind of a head thrower and had a couple of shots that I needed to watch out for.”
“I just went out there with my A’s and B’s and C’s (takedowns) and just performed well,” stated Wolfe.
Asked if he was relieved to finally make a finals, Wolfe said, “I am relieved to finally get my last weigh-in out of the way but there is a little bit of nerves but I am just going to go out and wrestle like it is any other match.”
Despite battling illness much of the week, Boyceville senior Austin Wolfe showed few signs of weakness as he dominated his quarterfinal’s match Friday morning, Feb. 27 to open his 2015 state tournament run.
Wolfe scored a pair of points in the opening 20 seconds of all three periods to post a 6-0 shutout win over Bonduel’s Jordan Boldt and advance to this evening’s 106-pound semifinals in Division 3.
It took all of 18 seconds for Wolfe to break the ice with a takedown for a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Bulldogs’ lightweight would double his lead in the second, taking Boldt to the mat just 11 seconds after the Bonduel Bears’ wrestler chose to start the period in neutral position.
Wolfe’s final two points came in the third period when he started in the down position and secured a reversal in just nine seconds.
Although Wolfe’s attempts for more points in the final minute were rebuffed, he held strong for the 6-0 decision and earned a ticket to the semifinals against Oconto sophomore Aiden Wusterbarth.
Wolfe finishes as a three-time state qualifier and two-time place winner at state. He took fifth in last year’s D3, 106-pound weight class.
“He’s been our leader all year,” said Olson. “He did everything right this year to get himself into this position in the state finals. I’m proud of his effort and accomplishments. His diet was good, his work ethic was tremendous and his leadership was phenomenal.”
“I am going to miss him next year,” stated Olson. “He has been a rock for us at the bottom of our weights.”