Three Ellsworth Panther wrestlers were in action at the WIAA individual state tournament Thursday evening in Madison. Seniors Bailey Poellinger and Carter Huppert at 132 pounds and 152 respectively, as well as sophomore Kyle Anschutz at 220, all wrestled and lost in the Division 2 preliminaries.
At individual state, the top-four seeded wrestlers in each weight class are given byes for the first round. The other eight wrestlers all wrestle a preliminary round, which is single elimination, but every round after that is double-elimination. Poellinger, Huppert and Anschutz all had their state tournaments come to an end with their first-round losses.
Poellinger (30-16) wrestled Bailey Thelen (36-3) of Two Rivers and lost by an 8-0 major decision. Huppert (33-8) lost to Reece Piontek (36-8) of Denmark by a 7-5 decision. Anschutz (29-15) fell to Kyle Dietzen (36-9) of Omro by an 8-0 major decision.
Seniors Charlie Stuhl (138) and Logan Peterson (285) received first-round byes and do not wrestle until early Friday afternoon around 11 a.m. Stuhl (38-2) will wrestle Colby Bernhardt (34-9) of Waupaca and Peterson (37-8) will face Troy Leibfried (40-6) of Cuba City/Benton/SW. Bernhardt beat Maverik Ott (39-7) of Chilton/Hilbert by a 17-8 major decision Thursday night while Leibfried defeated Sam Bautz (24-5) of Catholic Memorial by fall in 3 minutes, 51 seconds.
Last year, Stuhl took third at 132 while Peterson placed fifth at 285. Huppert went 0-1 last year as well.
Should Stuhl and Peterson win, they would advance to the championship semifinals Friday night which start at 7 p.m. If they lose, they would drop to the consolation bracket and wrestle again later on Friday afternoon around 3 p.m. The consolation semifinals, fifth-place, third-place and championship matches are all on Saturday.