WAUNAKEE — There’s a decent chance that Middleton’s Kevin Meicher and Sauk Prairie’s Drew Fjoser could be seeing a lot of each other as the prep wrestling season winds down.
For the moment, though, Saturday’s showdown at 138 pounds saw one add a WIAA Division 1 regional title to his resume, and left the other with an awful lot of motivation.
“End of season, there’s no reason to save any energy for the next guy,” Fjoser said. “Just leave it all out there.”
Fjoser lived up to that mantra, with disappointing results. A frantic final minute had the Sauk Prairie senior trading points with last year’s 126-pound state champion, but a flurry of moves in the final seconds sent Meicher to the top step of the awards podium — and left Fjoser face-down on the mat, unconscious.
“My coach told me not to tie up with him,” the Middleton sophomore said. “I accidentally tied up with him and he got me on my back, but I just tried not to panic and I knew what to do to get off my back. It just happens that I got him on his back when I reversed him.”
Neither wrestler could pinpoint exactly what happened as the match ended, but Fjoser was motionless in the moments after, before being helped to his feet by trainers and coaches.
Fjoser was forced to settle for third place after being held out of a wrestleback that might have earned him the runner-up spot.
Overall, it was a dominant day for Sauk Prairie, as the Eagles cruised to the team title and sent all 14 wrestlers on to sectional competition, with no one finishing worse than third in his respective weight class.
Zeke Smith (106 pounds), Dylan Herbrand (113), Gavin Lankey (126), Miguel Elizondo (145), Matt Bradley (160) and Hayden Batz (195) each won regional championships.
“It’s hard to argue with that,” said Sauk Prairie coach Scott Smith, whose team won the Badger North Conference meet last week but was forced to share the conference title with Waunakee after dropping a dual meet to the Warriors earlier in the year.
“It kind of helped change our guys’ mindset a little bit. Waunakee earned what they got, and our kids did something about it then. It gave them that little extra motivation for the rest of the season. Credit to our kids for turning something bad into something good for them.”
Waunakee finished second in the team competition on Saturday, with Middleton third.
Nate Lorenz (152), Reed Ryan (220) and Alan Olkowski (285) won individual titles for the Warriors, while Meicher, Christophe Rogers (132) and Dion Huff (170) took home top honors for the Cardinals.
Madison La Follette was the only other school with multiple individual champions, as seniors Francesco and Salvatore Schiro won at 120 and 182 pounds, respectively.
It’s safe to say that next weekend’s Tomah sectional will have plenty of entertaining matchups.
Meicher and Fjoser could be headed for a rematch in the semifinals.
“It’ll be a good battle next week,” Fjoser said.
“Next week is when it really counts and really matters. Just gotta work this week so I can beat him next week.”