SUN PRAIRIE — Sun Prairie’s Drew Scharenbrock reached the top of the awards podium after taking the 138-pound crown at last season’s WIAA Division 1 wrestling tournament.
The senior wants to enjoy that view from the top again. He said he’s worked extra hard to improve his technique on the mat and his strength in the weight room.
He’s off to a strong start. Scharenbrock won the 145-pound title at Sun Prairie’s 53rd annual “Bob Downing Scramble” on Saturday — pinning Kewaskum’s Eric Bauer in 4 minutes — and was named the 24-team invitational’s most valuable wrestler by the coaches.
“I felt really good,” Scharenbrock said. “Things were clicking. I just want to continue doing what I have been doing. I’m working hard and trying to get back to the podium.”
In the semifinals, Scharenbrock pinned his cousin, Appleton East senior Zach Scharenbrock, in 3:42 in their first wrestling meeting outside of “messing around at the holidays,” said Drew Scharenbrock, who also picked up top honors at last week’s tournament in Kimberly.
“To be named the most valuable wrestler at the Papermaker Invitational and at the Bob Downing Scramble is very impressive. It is a testament to him as a person and a testament to him as a wrestler,” Sun Prairie coach Jim Nelson said.
Scharenbrock signed to wrestle at the University of Wisconsin, where next year he will be reunited with his brother, Jared, a redshirt junior.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Drew Scharenbrock said. “It will be good to be back wrestling with my brother.”
Burlington (670 points) was the team champion. Sauk Prairie, led by second-place finishes by Zeke Smith (120) and Dylan Herbrand (126), was second with 525 followed by Wisconsin Rapids (480) and Fennimore (443).
River Valley, which was fifth with 432 points, had two champions: senior Zach Licht (132) and junior Shane Liegel (182). Licht pinned Burlington’s Zach Weiler in 3:41 in the final.
“I felt great,” Licht said. “It was good to scrap with all the other guys.”
Licht said he “definitely wants to win it all” this season after finishing second at 132 pounds in the WIAA Division 2 state tournament last season. He’s focused on improving his riding technique after he said an error he made doing that resulted in him losing the lead and an 8-6 decision in the final seconds of last season’s title match.
“That gives me a little motivation,” Licht said.
Liegel earned a 16-6 major decision over Burlington’s Nate Crayton in the 182-pound final. Liegel was last season’s Division 2 160-pound state champion.
“Obviously, I’d like to do it again. I’ve got a target on my back now. That motivates me to do better,” said Liegel, who anticipates dropping to 170 pounds.
DeForest senior Austin Rauls won at 152 with a 9-0 major decision over Wisconsin Rapids’ Bergh Diebel.
“My main focal point was to always be attacking,” said Rauls, adding he needed increased intensity moving up in weight after winning at 145 at this meet a year ago.
Lodi junior Garrett Moll defeated Herbrand 7-5 in sudden-victory overtime to win the title at 126.
Lodi also picked up a second place from senior Max Barreau (170), while Marshall senior Justin Chadwick was runner-up at 220.