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MADISON – Trett Joles has been on a mission since last year’s state tournament.
After finishing third at 182-pounds as a freshman, Joles set his sights and goals on claiming the state title that eluded him in his first trip to Madison.
“He is on a mission,” said Boyceville head coach Jamie Olson following Joles’ state semifinal win Friday night. “He was really down about last year’s finish and he is kind of on a mission now and it shows.”
And as fate would have it, Joles was given not only an opportunity to wrestle for gold but redemption at the same time.
The Boyceville sophomore and top-rated wrestler in this year’s Division 3, 182-pound weight class would be facing none other than second-ranked Lancaster senior Troy Klein in this year’s championship match. Klein had knocked Joles out of gold-medal contention with a pin in last season’s state quarterfinal’s bout.
Although Joles got his revenge, returning the favor and pinning Klein in the following day’s third-place match, he was not satisfied.
“He’s got one more match to wrestle like that”, said Olson of Joles’ pinfall in the semifinals. “And Klein is the kid that pinned him last year. I think that is awesome. That is the kid he wants to wrestle. It is going to be a good one and hopefully Trett keeps rolling like he has been.”
Joles’ mission, however, looked to be in peril early in Saturday night’s championship match in the Kohl Center.
With under 30 seconds remaining in the opening period, Klein (39-8) took Joles to his back. Although Joles flipped around, the move gave the Lancaster wrestler a surprising 4-0 lead after two minutes of wrestling.
Klein would escape to start the second period to go up 5-0 but Joles soon took control.
He rallied to take a 10-6 lead by the end of the middle period with a pair of five-point moves.
Then came the clincher.
After scoring an escape to open the third period, Joles saw an opening and took it. Catching Klein in a Cement Mixer, Joles spun his opponent to the mat and pinned him at 4:53.
A year’s mission had been successfully completed.
Joles, who capped a perfect 50-0 season, claimed the Division 3, 182-pound state title at the 76th annual WIAA Individual State Wrestling Championships that culminated in Saturday‘s title matches in all three divisions at the Kohl Center in Madison.
“I knew that I wanted to get rid of him as quick as I could,” said Joles of his championship match against Klein. “I saw that chance for a Cement Mixer and I took it.”
“It just kind of happened,” stated Joles. “I saw my moment and I just went for it and got it.”
Joles, however, was not entirely pleased with his gold-medal performance.
“Not happy at all,” said Joles succinctly when asked his thoughts immediately following his championship win. “I would have liked to look a little better.”
“I wrestled a little sloppy in the finals but I will get past it,” added the pedantic sophomore.
“Trett is a perfectionist and was not happy with his performance in the final, he really wasn’t,” said Olson. “I was (pleased). We didn’t start out the way we wanted to but sometimes that happens when you go upper body, test a kid that is really good at upper body.”
“We knew he (Klein) was good up there but Trett is good up there too,” continued Olson. “So Both Coach Day and I thought there could be some fireworks in the match and there was. Trett came out on 95% of those big moves. To pin that caliber of a kid is pretty impressive.”
“He (Trett) is a phenomenal athlete that was super motivated to win this title and he wanted to do it perfectly,” said Olson. “To get a pin as a sophomore at 182 pounds, in the finals, against a senior is most impressive.”
Things could have easily spiraled out of control for Joles.
But the gritty sophomore battled back, overcoming the deficit with a pair of takedowns and corresponding three-point near falls to vault to a 10-6 advantage over Klein by the end of the second period.
Klein opted to give Joles the escape to open the final period.
On his feet, Joles quickly went to work probing his opponent’s defenses eventually finding an opening and scored a takedown. Just ten seconds later the match was over. Joles’ use of the Cement Mixer put Klein to his back for the quick pin.
“The (Klein) kid is kind of hard to wrestle, really hard to wrestle for me,” admitted Joles. “The way I wrestle and the way he wrestles, he caught me on my back there a couple of times in the final’s match. I definitely should have wrestled better.”
Joles did admit that it felt good to be a state champion.
“It feels good,” he said finally. “I didn’t want to take him three periods. It took a little longer than I thought but I ended up with the pin.”
But to get to the top of the podium, Joles first had to defeat a pair of other opponents both of whom were ranked among the top five wrestlers in his weight bracket.
Joles opened his second state tournament in Friday’s quarterfinal round against a fellow sophomore, Isaac Banker of Bonduel, who he admitted made him nervous.
Banker’s height was a challenge for Joles but he responded with an 8-2 decision for the win.
“That Banker kid probably is the best kid (Trett wrestled) and probably the second best kid in the bracket. It was a tough opening draw,” stated Olson. “The kid was 6’ 4” and a good wrestler and those kids are hard to wrestle but Trett did fine. He was careful and just did his thing and didn’t force anything.”
Joles scored a takedown and two-point near fall on Banker in the first period and went on to a add a takedown in the second and anohter in the third period. Banker’s only scores came on a pair of escapes.
Banker, who came into the state tournament ranked fourth, went on to finish third.
The victory vaulted Joles into Friday night’s semifinal round for a tilt against fifth-ranked Chase Beinborn of Boscobel. The 45-9 senior simply was no match for Joles, who built a 7-1 advantage after the first period and made it 9-1 before scoring the pinfall at 3:39 of the middle period.
“Trett is a hard kid to scout because he’s got so many things he can throw at you,” said Olson.
All those moves proved important and secured Joles, who is an impressive 96-2 overall his first two seasons, his coveted and long awaited state championship.