Racine Park Wrestling
Dec. 5 at ITA (Box Score)
Park opened the 2019-20 season on the road at Indian Trails and although there were some great moments, the Panthers tied ITA 39-39 and lost on the 6th criteria because of forfeiting a weight class. Going into the meet, the Panthers knew is was going to be an uphill battle to win the dual. Starting at 126 lbs, Jojo Mendoza started his senior campaign on a familiar note-pinning his opponent to put Park up 6-0 to start off the dual. Over the next 3 weights, Park's was overmatched in all of them and Park quickly found themselves down 18-6. At 152 sophomore Ethan Wojciechoski stepped on the mat and gave the Panthers a spark. After 2 quick takedowns, Wojo dispatched his opponent with a pin putting Park within 18-12. At 160 and 170, the Johnson brothers-EJ and LaDainian, amped up the Park team with back-to-back pins to put Park up 24-18. It was EJ's first ever wrestling match and notched his pin in the 2nd period. LaDainian made quick work of Ethan Sanchez with a first period pin. At 182, Anthony Nielson out-muscled Dylan Connell and came out on top with an 8-3 victory to put park up 27-18. At 195 Dominic Ford lost a close 4-3 decision to bring ITA back to within 27-21. At 220, returning State Qualifier Jarrel Campbell was all over Daydien Cruz before getting a pin in the 2nd period to put Park up 33-21. After pins by ITA at 285 and 106, the score was 33-33. At 113, Park moved Jack Vick-Baker up in an effort to win the dual. Going into the 120 lb match, it was 39-33 in favor of ITA. At 120, Vick-Baker would be going against Thalia Sullivan. Jack took her down. Going into the 2nd period, he continued taking her down and putting her to her back but couldn't quite keep her there. The same happenend in the 3rd period. Vick-Baker took her down again later in the match to make it 19-5 and put her to her back. If he didn't pin her, he would win by tech fall which would only be 5 team points instead of the 6 they needed to force a criteria decision. Vick-Baker was finally able to put Sullivan's shoulders to the mat with :14 left in the match to forge the 39-39 tie. Unfortunately because of the forfeit at 113 lbs, the Panthers lost the dual. The young Panther wrestlers that were thrust into the lineup-many wrestling their first ever match-fought tough to give Park a chance in the end, however they came up short as a team.
Dec. 7 at Nicolet Scramble
Despite being short handed, the Panther wrestlers were still able to take 6th at the Nicolet Scramble because of several standout performances. Leading the way was senior Jojo Mendoza who took 1st at 132 lbs. It was Mendoza's 3rd straight Nicolet Scramble Championship. Mendoza had an absolutely dominating day despite wrestling up a weight class. His closest match of the day was a 15-3 major decision. With the major decision, Jojo also had a :46 pin and 2 tech falls, including a 17-1 thrashing of Danny Driessen of Hartford in the finals. Mendoza improves to 6-0 on the year. Mendoza also picked up his 100th career victory during the tournament. Park also had 3 wrestlers place 2nd at the tournament. At 182 lbs. Anthony Nielson went 4-1 on the day. In his 2nd place match, Nielsen stayed deadlocked with Will Dietrich of Nicolet at 1-1 during regulation with each only getting an escape at the beginning of the 2nd and 3rd periods. In OT, time was running down when Dietrich took a shot and Nielson sprawled and was able to get behind for the takedown and the win. Nielson improves to 5-1 on the year. At 220 lbs, senior Jarrel Campbell had 2 pins on the day on his way to a 2nd place finish. Campbell improves to 5-1 on the year. At 285, Marcos Valadez had his best day yet as a Panther finishing 4-1 on the day. In the finals, Valadez was beat by Cassius Rohadfox of Sheboygan North. Valadez had 3 pins on the day to improve to 4-2 on the year. At 170 lbs. junior LaDainian Johnson went 4-1 on the day to finish in 6th place. After losing his first match, Johnson won his next 4 matches with a major decision and 2 pins. LaDainian is now 5-1 on the year. Also finishing 4-1 on the day was senior Dominic Ford at 195 lbs. After losing his opening match, Ford also reeled off 4 straight wins-3 by pin-to end the day in 5th place. Ford is now 4-2 on the year. Wrestling in their first varsity tournament, Freddy Vitale picked up a win at 138 lbs, Ethan Wojciechowski got a win at 145 lbs, and Ryan Smithkey had 2 pins on the day.
Dec. 12 vs Franklin(Box Score)
Inexperience in the lineup again hurt the Panthers as they fell to 0-2 in the SEC for the year with at 51-27 loss to Franklin in the The Pit. The night started off in good fashion for Park with Marcos Valadez picking up a pin at 285 lbs to move to 5-2 on the year and put Park up 6-0. That would be Park's only lead of the night. Franklin swept 106 lbs thru 126 lbs with 3 pins and a FF win to put the team score at 24-6. At 132 lbs, Jojo Mendoza stayed undefeated for the year with a pin as time was expiring in the 2nd period to pull Park to 24-18. Mendoza is now 7-0. At 138 lbs, returning State Qualifier Dashawn Bolton made his season debut. Coming out very aggressively, he was overpowered Jacob Goldschmidt of Franklin for a first period pin to make the score 24-18. Franklin would once again take advantage of Park inexperience in the middle weights as they won the next 4 weights by pin to the put the dual meet out of reach at 48-18. At 182 lbs, LaDainian Johnson received a forfeit win and at 195 lbs Anthony Nielsen-wrestling up a weight class-earned a hard fought 4-0 win over Jack Baretz. Nielsen is now 6-1 on the year. 220 lbs featured the marquee match up of the night. State Qualifier Jarrel Campbell was up against Franlklin State Qualifier John Pekar. Pekar is currently ranked #3 at 285 in the State, and Campbell is ranked #12 at 220 lbs. After a scoreless first period, Campbell picked down to start the 2nd. Getting a reversal, Campbell went into the 3rd period up 2-0. Pekar picked down to start the 3rd and earned an escape. Pekar was then awarded a stalling point to even the score at 2-2. With 20 seconds left in the 3rd, Pekar was able to take Campbell down and rode him out to win 4-2. Campbell drops to 5-2 on the year.
Dec 14 at Whitewater Invite
Park had 3 finalists on the day as the Panthers finished 6th at the Whitewater Invite. Winning the championship was senior Jojo Mendoza, who improved to 12-0 on the year while again wrestling up a weight class at 132 lbs. Mendoza dominated his way into the finals with 3 pins and tech fall. He did get a scare in the semi's, getting reversed and put on his back, but fought his way out and eventually picked up the pin against Whitewater's Jaden Salmieri. In the finals, Mendoza faced off against Bradford's Corbin Ramos, a talented freshman who was a Kids Folkstyle National Champion. The match went back and forth, tied at 2 at the end of the 1st period, and tied at 7 at then end of the 2nd. Starting down to start the 3rd period, Mendoza was able to reverse Ramos to make the score 9-7 midway thru the 3rd. Jojo cut Ramos loose to make the score 9-8 with about 30 seconds left and was able to hold him off for the big victory. Junior LaDainian Johnson also had a big day. Making it to the finals of a tournament for the first time, LD started the day off with 2 pins and a tech fall. Winning a close 6-5 decison over Palmyra-Eagle's Austin Pogreba put Johnson into the finals. In the finals, LD faced a talented wrestler in Marshal Getchell of Janesville Craig. Getchell was too much for him to handle and LD had to settle for 2nd place. LaDainian is now 10-2 on the year. Anthony Nielsen also made the finals for Park. Starting the day with a pin, he toughed out close decisions in his next 3 matches. In the finals, it wouldn't be any different except that Nielsen was unable to come out on the winning side this time losing 4-2 to Will Liebbrand of Whitewater. The match was tied at 0 going into the 3rd and Nielsen gave up the escape. He was taken down and got a reversal to make the score 3-2 and then gave up another escape to make the score 4-2 in favor of Liebbrand. Nielsen took a shot with a few seconds left but ran out of time to complete the takedown and wasn't able to tie it up. Nielsen is 10-2 on year. Senior Dartell Joshua had a big day for the Panthers as well. Seeded 10th in his bracket, Joshua pinned the 4th and 3rd seeds in his first 2 matches and followed that up with a 16-10 win over Raul Rojas of Big Foot securing a spot in the top 3. Joshua lost his next 2 matches to finish 3-2 on the day in his first action of the year. At 285 lbs, Marcos Valadez finished 4-1 on the day and taking 5th, improving his record on the year to 9-3. Valadez had pins in all 4 of his matches. Finishing 3-2 on the day for the Panthers at 160 lbs was freshman EJ Johnson, who is now 4-3 on the year and making a strong impact in the varsity lineup despite it being his first year wrestling. He finished 5th. Senior Dominic Ford also finished in 5th place at 195 lbs, going 3-2 on the day and improving to 7-4 for the season. Ethan Wojiechowski went 3-2 on the day as well at 152 lbs with 2 pins.
Dec. 19 at Tremper(Box Score)
The Panthers finally got in the win column in the SEC with a win over Tremper by a score of 43-30. It was the second straight year Park beat the Trojans after a 12 match losing streak to them. The match started off at 138 lbs where Riley Dutton was able to pin Freddy Vitale of Park to give Tremper at 6-0 lead. At 145 lbs, Dartrell Joshua got Park on the board with a dominating 19-6 win. At 152 lbs and 160 lbs, Park's inexperience showed as Tremper was able to pick up pins in both matches giving them at 18-4 lead. However, Park would win the the next 5 matches. At 170 lbs, junior LaDainian Johnson won a hard fought 6-1 match to improve to 11-2 on the season. At 182 lbs Anthony Nielsen picked up his 3rd pin of the year making the team score 18-13 in favor of Tremper. Tremper would forfeit the next 3 matches giving Park a 31-18 lead that they wouldn't give up. Tremper was able to pick up pins at 106 lbs and 113 lbs to make it 31-30. There was a double forfeit at 120 lbs and Park's Quanah Norton picked up a forfeit win at 126 lbs cliniching the win for Park at 37-30. The last match of the night featured senior Jojo Mendoza picking up his 7th pin of the season while remaining a perfect 13-0 on the year.
Dec. 20 & 21 at E.H. Stech Invite
Senior Jojo Mendoza continued his dominating season as he won the 132 lb championship at the E.H. Stech Invite. In the finals, Mendoza beat #10 ranked Walker Wichman by a score of 3-2. In doing so, he improved to 18-0 on the season. Recieving a bye as the #1 seed in preliminaries, Jojo started off slow witha 17-10 win, but picked up the pace with a 13-0 win over Will Bieber of Coleman in the quarterfinals. In the semi's Mendoza dominated Ryan Sering of Wisconsin Rapids, jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first period with backpoints off his first takedown. Jojo kept in front and won 8-0. In the finals, Jojo got the only takedown of the match and controlled action on their feet the whole time to pick up his first Stech title. Mendoza is the first Park champion since Tristan Sacotte in 2008. Mendoza wasn't the only Panther to earn hardware on the weekend. Jarrel Campbell took 4th place to get his first Stech medal. Winning 5-2 in the prelims, Jarrel also won 5-2 in the quarterfinals over Brody Zahn of Coleman. In the semi's, Campbell lost a rematch to West Allis Central's Amir Blevins 4-1 setting up a match with Brady Shenk of Janesville Craig. Again controlling the match, Jarrel again wno 5-2 to advance to the 3rd place match where he lost a 2-0 decision to Caleb Willman of Mukwonago. Campbell is now 9-4 on the year and ranked #11 in the state at 220 lbs.
Dec. 27 & 28 Oshkosh On The Water
Jarrel Campbell led the Panther wrestlers at the Oshkosh On The Water Tournament with a 9th place finish. Campbell went 5-2 in the 2 day tournament, going 3-0 on the first day. Making it to the quarterfinals, Campbell beat the #7 seed Damean Netzler of Wautoma/Wild Rose in overtime to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarters, Jarrel lost a close 2-1 match against D2 #1 ranked Marcus Orlandoni of North Fon du Lac. On the 2nd day of the tournament Jarrel lost his first match of the day but won his final two matches by decision. In the 9th place match, Jarrel beat D2 #5 ranked Kyle Dietzen of Omro by a 7-4 decision. Also making it to the 2nd day was senior Dominic Ford. Ford went 3-2 in in the tournament with 2 pins finishing a match short of placing.
Jan 9th vs Horlick(Box Score)
Park continued it's domination over Horlick, romping over the Rebels by a score of 66-12. Only 5 matches were wrestled on the night and Park won 3 of them. Ethan Brannon pinned Joe Lynch in the first actual match of the night at 160 lbs. LaDainian Johnson also picked up pin on the night. After more forfeits, Jack Vick-Baker also scored a pin making the score 54-0 at that point. Horlick won matches a 126 and 132 lbs, before forfeiting the final 2 matches again.
Jan. 16th at Oak Creek(Box Score)
Park went into Oak Creek hoping to pull some upsets and hand Oak Creek a home loss, but were overmatched and lost 46-20 to the Knights. The night started with the marquee matchup of the night at 220 lbs. with #2 ranked Ben Kawczyski of Oak Creek vs returning State Qualifier Jarrel Campbell of Park. After a scoreless 1st period, Kawczynski escaped in the 2nd to take a 1-0 lead. To start the 3rd period, Campbell started down and was able to escape. Campbell had a few chances to score but was unable and the match went into overtime tied 1-1. After a scoreless overtime period, the wrestlers went into consecutive 30 second tiebreakers. Kawczynski was able to escape when he started down to start taking a 2-1 lead. Campbell then started down to start the second :30 overtime, but was unable to score and lost 2-1. Campbell falls to 21-7 on year. At 285 lbs Marcos Valadez used an escape and a takedown in the 2nd period to win 3-1, controlling the match for the final 2 periods. After wins by Oak Creek in the next 3 weights to take a 21-3 lead, it was senior Jojo Mendoza beating up on Brady Schmidt with a 15-0 tech fall to improve to 24-0. After wins by OC at 132 and 138, Dartrell Joshua was able to shoot in on a low single and after a brief scramble, Joshua was able to lock up a cradle on OC's Brady Holz and secure a first period pin to improve to 11-5 on the year. The Panthers would lose the next 4 matches. Park's Jaydin Jaramillo would win the final match of the night at 195 lbs. by forfeit for the Panthers.
Jan. 18 at Badger Scramble
Jarrel Campbell won his first tournament of the year, going 5-0 at at 220 lbs at the Badger Scramble to lead the Panthers. After a heart breaking loss on Thursday to the #2 ranked Ben Kawczyski of Oak Creek in overtime, Jarrel came out firing picking 2 pins in his first 2 matches of the day, the senior dominated the #1 seed Frederick Kyles of Brookfield Central 13-5 in the finals. Campbell is now 26-7 on the year. At 126 lbs, Jojo Mendoza took 2nd for Park, suffering his first loss of the season. After rolling thru his first 2 opponents with tech fall wins, Mendoza met up with #2 ranked Mason Campshure of Kaukauna. After trailing 3-2 going into the 3rd, Mendoza was able to lock up a cradle for 3 critical backpoints and take a 5-3 lead and would go on to win 5-4. After another tech fall win, Mendoza again went up against Bryce Jankowski, who beat Mendoza last year in the finals. Unfortunately, the final result was the same as Jojo lost to Jankowski 10-5 in overtime. Mendoza is now 28-1 on the year. At 182 lbs, LaDainian Johnson-who was wrestling up a weight, wrestled smart and stormed his way to the finals. In the final, the match was tied at 4-4 when Johnson was put on his back and gave up near fall points. The final was 7-4. LD went 4-1 on the day while finishing 2nd. He is now 19-8 on the year. Placing 4th on the day were Dashawn Bolton at 145 lbs and Marcos Valadez at 285 lbs. Dominic Ford also went 3-2 on the day and took 5th, and is now 20-10 on the year. Ethan Wojciechowski also went 3-2 on the day for Park. Anthony Nielsen picked up 2 wins on the day as well and improved to 20-11 on the year.
Jan. 23 vs Case(Box Score)
In the final home dual meet of the year the Panthers powered past Case on the strength of 8 pins to beat the Eagles 57-12. It was the 4th win in a row vs Case for Park and the 5th win in the last 6 meetings. Starting the meet at 145 lbs, senior Dartell Joshua locked horns with Lucas Jackson. Joshua went into the 3rd period up 3-2. After an escape by Jackson to tie the score at 3-3, Joshua got a takedown but was reversed to make it 5-5. But with :30 left, Jackson locked his hands to give Joshua a 6-5 lead and the eventual win, putting Park 3-0. Joshua is now 12-5 on the year. Case got a pin at 152 lbs giving them a 6-3 lead. At 160 lbs, Ethan Brannon stepped on the mat for Park vs Diego Fuentes. On the strength of 3 takedowns, Brannon got the win 9-7 making the score 6-5 in favor of Case. Park was deducted a team point during the match. It would be the last lead of the night for Case as Park started pouring on the pins. At 170 lbs, Jaydin Jaramillo dominated Cristian Servantez before a 2nd period pin. At 182 lbs, senior Anthony Nielsen controlled his match until he notched a pin in the 3rd period moving him to 21-11 on the year. The team score was now 17-6 in favor of Park. At 195 and 220 lbs, seniors Dominic Ford and Jarrel Campbell both came up with 2nd period pins. Ford is now 21-10 and Campbell is 27-7. At 285 lbs Marcos Valadez wasted little time in getting the fall vs Jesus Arias in the first period making the team score 35-6. Valadez is now 17-10. After a win by Case at 106 lbs and a double forfeit at 113 lbs, Jack Vick-Baker got in on the fun and notched a 1st period pin as well. At 126 lbs freshman Josh Brendal put up lots of points getting 6 takedowns and 3 nearfalls to win 22-10 over Ben Whalen making the team score 45-12. At 132 lbs senior Jojo Mendoza moved to 29-1 on the year with a first period pin, his 11th on the year. At 138 lbs, Freddy Vital ended the night in style with a 1st period pin over Cody Deiner to make the final score 57-12.
Jan. 30 at Bradford(Box Score)
Before the dual meet against Bradford started, it was thought that it would be a close dual meet that could come down to bonus points. It wasn't close at all. Wrestling aggressively all night, the Panthers went to Kenosha and ended a long winless streak vs the Red Devils and pummeled them 54-18. The win locked up a 4-3 SEC record on the year. This is the 3rd straight year the Panthers have had a winning record in the SEC. That is the first time has happened since 2001-2004. The night opened on a positive note at 182 lbs as senior Anthony Nielsen came out and got a pin the 2nd period to put the Panthers up 6-0 and improve to 22-11. Dominic Ford took a forfeit win at 195 lbs making it 12-0. Returning State Qualifier Jarrel Campbell made quick work of his opponent and moving to 28-7 on the year by getting a 1st period pin to make the score 18-0 in favor of Park. At 285, Marcos Valadez lost a hard fought battle 9-4 to make the score 9-4. Next up were two swing matches that at the time had a chance to give the momentum back to Bradford. At 106, freshman Jesse Bailey-Prescott got a win in an absolutely bonkers match that had total of 49 points scored! In the end, Bailey-Prescott prevailed 28-21. Yes, 28-21. Riding the high of the win, freshman Jack Vick-Baker came out and after starting slowly, put it all together and got a pin in the 2nd period to put park up 27-3. After a forfeit for Park at 120 lbs to make it 27-9, senior Jojo Mendoza came out and won 9-1 making it 31-7. Mendoza is now 30-1 on the year. At 132 lbs Bradford got a pin making it 31-15. At 138 lbs the match of the night occured. Bradford's Abel Castillo who was 30-5 on year vs returning State Qualifier Dashawn Bolton. Castillo would end the night 30-6. After a few shots by both wrestlers, Castillo got in on a body lock on Bolton. However, Dashawn hooked Castillo's leg so he couldn't bring him down in his favor. When Castillo tried to lift again, both fell to the mat and in the quick scramble Bolton was able to secure a tight headlock and secure a pin to make the score 37-15. At 145 lbs, senior Dartrell Joshua got another 1st period pin for Park to make it 43-17. Dartrell is now 13-5. After a win by Bradford at 152 lbs, Ethan Brannon on the strenght of 6 takedowns and a couple of 3 point nearfalls tech falled Eli Douglas. At 170 lbs, LaDainian Johnson ended the night in style with a 1st period pin as well, improving his record to 20-8 and making the final team score 54-18.
Feb. 8 at SEC Championships
Senior Jojo Mendoza at 126 lbs and junior LaDainian Johnson at 170 lbs led the way for the Panthers coming away with Southeast Conference Championships in their weight classes. It's only the 3rd time Park has had 2 conference champs since 2004. Mendoza, seeded first, won his 3rd straight conference with ease. After a first round bye, the senior quickly pinned Franlin's Jack Bonney in the first period. In the finals Mendoza faced off against Horlick's Damarion Mccray who was no match for Jojo. Ahead 12-1 on the strenght of 2 takedowns and 3 near falls, Mendoza pinned Mccray in the first period to improve to 33-1 on the year. At 170 lbs, LaDainian Johnson won his first conference title. After a quick :38 pin in the first round, LD pinned Zach Heiden of Oak Creek in the semi's in the 2nd period. In the finals Johnson faced off against Tanner Rivard of Franklin, the #1 seed at 170 lbs. Getting the first takedown, Rivard escaped and got his own takedown to make the score 3-2 going into the 2nd period. In the 2nd, LD started down and was able to get an escape and huge takedown on the edge of the mat to make the score 5-3 going into the 3rd. Rivard picked down and escaped making it 5-4. With both wrestlers jockeying for position time was running down as LD held the lead. With :05 Rivard shot for takedown on the edge of the mat and was given 2 points as time expired. However, after the officials conferred the takedown was waived off as Rivard had gone out of bounds to give LaDainian the win 5-4! Johnson heads into Regionals next week at 23-8. Park also had 3 other wrestlers in the finals. At 182 lbs, Anthony Nielsen was seeded 2nd. After needing 2 overtimes to win his first round match, in the semi's he faced off against Bradfords Myles Smith. After finding himself down 5-0 early in the match Anthony clawed his way back won 11-9. In the finals, the score was tied 1-1 late when Oak Creek's Will Haeger got in on a shot. As the clock ticked down, Nielsen was unable to fight it off and Haeger was awarded the takedown as time expired, handing Anthony a 3-1 loss. Nielsen is now 24-12 on the year. At 195 lbs, Dominic Ford had a first round bye and was able to beat Franklin's Jack Baretz in the semi's 10-7. In the finals Ford was outmatched by Oak Creek's Sam Paar and wasn't able to come out with the victory. The senior is now 24-11 on the year. At 285 lbs, Marcos Valadez was seeded 3rd. Getting a pin in the first round, he faced off against ITA's Mason Kochersberger. Tied 1-1, the match went to overtime. Marcos was able to get a reversal in overtime when he started down and was then able to control Kochersberger when he was down, giving the win to Marcos. In the finals, Valadez went up against Venecio Vasquez of Bradford. Marcos battled him tought in the dual meet last week, but today was Vasquez's day as he was able to turn Marcos over and get a pin leaving Marcos in 2nd place. Jarrel Campbell finished 3rd for the Panthers with 2 pins on the day. As a team, Park finished in 4th place.
Feb. 15 at Regionals
The beginning of the State Tournament Series is the what the wrestlers have worked for the entire year and it's now here. Park sent 9 wrestlers to the Regional being held at Oak Creek and 7 Panthers advanced to next weeks St. Cats Sectional. Leading the way for Park was senior Dashawn Bolton. Having missed much of the year, he's getting back on the mat at the right time. A State Qualifier last year at 152 lbs, Bolton was back down at 138 lbs for this year and didn't disappoint. Bolton repeated as Regional Champ going 3-0 on the day and moving to 8-2 on the year. Starting off slow in his first round win, he picked up the pace picking up a pin in the semi's and in the finals defeated Hunter Ruzinski of Waterford 13-6. Bolton dominated the match, constantly putting Ruzinski in a near side cradle position and getting back points. At 126 lbs Jojo Mendoza was rolled thru his first 2 matches of the day unsurprisingly before meeting up with the much anticipated match of day against 2x State Champion Hayden Halter of Waterford. Coming out aggressive, Mendoza was able to take Halter down in the first period to get on the board 2-0. Halter escaped making it 2-1 as the match moved to the 2nd period. Jojo was ridden out in the 2nd and in the 3rd period Halter picked down and escaped, making the score 2-2. As the drama mounted, there was a quick scramble that Halter came out on top and getting a takedown for a 4-2 lead and the eventual win. A great match by 2 great wrestlers. Mendoza's record now stands at 35-2 on the year. At 195 lbs Dominic Ford also took 2nd for Park. After a 1st round bye, Ford made quick work of Zach Cruz of St. Cats with a first period pin. In the finals Dominic was overmatched and was pinned. He did need to wrestleback for 2nd place, however. In the 2nd place match, Ford faced Jack Barentz of Franklin and took control right away. Leaving no doubt, Ford pinned Barentz in the first period to secure 2nd place. Jarrel Campbell finished 3rd for Park. After a first round bye, Campbell faced Caleb Willman of Mukwonago in the semi's. Despite being in on several shots, Campbell was only able to get 1 takedown. The match was tied at 2-2 and went into overtime. After no score in the first overtime, Campbell picked down for the first :30 ovetime and wasn't able to escape. In the second :30 overtime, Willman was able to get an escape and win the match 3-2. Campbell got a quick fall in the 3rd place match. The senior is now 31-9 on the year. At 285 lbs Marcos Valadez also finished in 3rd. After a first round bye, Marcos lost in the semi's to John Pekar of Franklin. In the 3rd place match, Valadez found himself tied 4-4 with Sebastian Brodowski of Oak Creek. In the first overtime, Marcos was able to get a takedown as time winded down to secure 3rd place. Marcos is now 20-13 on the year. Finishing in 4th place for the Panthers and advancing to next week were Ethan Wojciechowski at 152 lbs and Anthony Nielsen at 182 lbs.
Feb. 22 at Sectionals
Jojo Mendoza became Park's 14th all-time 3x State Qualifier by finishing 2nd at Sectionals. Improving his record to 37-3 on the year, Mendoza hammered away at Thomas Cook in the quarterfinals with a 16-6 victory, followed by a 16-6 victory over Damarion McCray of Horlick in the semi's. In the finals Jojo faced off again against 2x State Champion Hayden Halter of Waterford. Jojo was unable to to pull of the upset and fell short of a Sectional Championship. Jojo did not have a wrestleback and did not have to wrestle another match. 4 other Panther wrestlers also their quarterfinal matches and advanced to the semi-finals. At 138, Dashawn Bolton won his first round match 5-3 over Riley Dutton of Tremper but in the semi's was unable to outlast Abel Castillo of Bradford and lost 6-4. Bolton defeated Jared Lawrence of Mukwonago in the 3rd place match but did not get a wrestleback. Bolton ends his senior year 10-3. At 195 lbs, Dominic Ford was locked in a tight battle with Dylan Connel of Indian Trail in the quarterfinals. In the 3rd period of a tight match, Ford was able to put Connel to his back and get the fall. In the semi's, Ford was defeated by Zach Wallace of Burlington and in the 3rd place match Ford was beaten by Trae Ford of Union Grove to finish in 4th place. At 195 lbs, Jarrel Campbell dispatched Corbin Spencer 11-6 in the quarterfinals before facing off against #2 ranked Ben Kawczynski of Oak Creek. In what has become a theme at the 220 lb weight class, Campbell lost a close 2-1 decision. In the 3rd place match, Jarrel beat Zeke Tiedt of Burlington to force a wrestle back with Caleb Willman of Mukwonago who Jarrel lost to in overtime last week. In another match that went to overtime, Jarrel wasn't able to pull out the win and lost. The senior ends the season 33-11. At 285 lbs, Marcos Valadez won his first match by pin. In the semi's Marcos was pinned by Tyler Pitcel of Mukwonago. In the 3rd place match Marcos lost to Venecio Vasquez of Bradford 6-1 ending his junior season at 21-15. Senior Anthony Nielsen and sophomore Ethan Wojciechowski also made it to Sectionals but did not win their first match and they were eliminated from the tournament.
Feb. 27-29 at State Tournament
Park only sent 1 wrestler to the State Tournament in Madison, but that 1 wrestler did a heck of a job. Jojo Mendoza went 4-2 over the 3 day tournament to finish 5th in the State at 126 lbs. Opening against Alex Wintheiser of Muskego, Mendoza scored an 11-6 win the in the preliminaries to move on to the quarterfinals vs Ethan Pogorzelski of Menomonee Falls. Pogorzelski finished 5th in State last year. In a low scoring match, the match was tied 1-1 late in the 3rd period when Pogorzelski was able to get a takedown with about 35 seconds left. Jojo got an escape, but was unable to muster any more offense and lost 3-2 and sending him to the wrestlebacks. In the first round of wrestlebacks, Mendoza faced Blake Heal of DC Everest. In a match that was mostly controlled by Jojo, he picked up the 4-1 win moving him into a bloodround matchup vs Jordan Craft of Manitowoc Lincoln. Scoreless after the 1st period, Craft chose bottom for the 2nd period and Jojo rode him out. Mendoza chose down the 3rd and got an escape to up 1-0. With under a minute left, Mendoza was able to get a takedown and secure a 3 pt nearfall. As time wound down Jojo got off of Craft to give him an escape but it wouldn't matter as Jojo would win the match 6-1. This secured his spot on the podium and gave Park their second state place winner in the last 3 years. In the consolation semi-finals Jojo would face off against a familiar foe in Hayden Halter of Waterford. Halter was again too much for Jojo and won 7-1, sending Jojo into the 5th place match. In the 5th place match he would face Pogorzelski once again. This time the outcome would be very different. After a scoreless 1st period, Pogorzelski escaped to start the 2nd period. However, Jojo used a high crotch takedown about 40 seconds into the period to go up 2-1. On a restart, Jojo was able to get an arm bar and turn him over and get the pin for the win! Jojo ends his career as one of Park's all time greats. His 137 career wins are 3rd most all time. He ends with 59 pins,19 tech falls, and 330 takedowns. In addition, he set the single season record for most 3 pt near falls at 42. He is Park's 14th 3x State Qualifier.