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WRESTLING: Wrightstown Tigers come up short in battle of wrestling powerhouses

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With apologies to REAL wrestlers, professional wrestling legend Ric Flair said it best when he said ‘To be the man, you have to beat the man.’

In other words, if you want to consider yourself the best, you have to prove yourself against the best.

Tuesday night, two of the best high school wrestling teams in the state of the Wisconsin squared off at Wrightstown High School as the Tigers played host to the #3 ranked Random Lake Rams in the season opening meet for the Tigers.

Wrightstown battled match for match with the Rams, but in the end, the Rams were able to eek out a 31-30 victory over the Tigers.

“We wrestled the third ranked team in Division 3 tonight, and they are a tough team all the way through their line up,” said Wrightstown co-head coach Matt Verbeten. “We have a lot of new kids and a couple of freshmen that came and battled. They may not have won matches but they really got baptized. They fought through some matches with some state qualifiers and quality kids from Random Lake.”

Stetson Burmeister got things started on a positive note for the Tigers. The sophomore, who was just a few points away from being a state qualifier last season, earned a fall against Jordan Houpt at 170 to start the meet.

“Stetson is a tough kid, and he works as hard as anyone in the room,” Verbeten said. “With Bryce (Herlache) and those kids pushing him this year, he is going to be very good. Stetson is just a good hard-nosed kid that will do whatever it takes.”

Another wrestling that had a good match against Random Lake was AJ Craig, Wrestling at 220 pounds, the senior earned a technical fall against Chris Lewis by a score of 17-2.

“He is going to be a nice 220 pounder for us this year,” Verbeten said. “We are going to be alright at the heavier weights, especially with Craig wrestling well.”

Other Wrightstown wrestlers to earn victories against Random Lake were Dylan Micke at 113 (pin) Quentin Propson at 132 (14-1 major decision), Michael Bannach (120, 4-1) and Josh Verbeten (138 10-8).

“Verbeten and Micke are two of our quality kids,” the co-head coach said. “Micke worked real hard to make weight and to wrestle the way he did was outstanding. Josh is definitely a match wrestler. He turns it on in the matches.”

The Tigers start their conference season on December 5th with trip to Brillion to take on the Lions. Meet starts at 7pm.

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