‘Grateful’: Englebert Falls One Win Short of State Title

Southern Door’s Grant Englebert chose an attitude of pride over disappointment despite falling one win shy of a wrestling state title Saturday.

After losing 18-7 to Random Lake’s Aiden Vandenbush in the Division 3 160-pound state-title match at Wausau East High School, Englebert looked collectively at a career during which he qualified for three consecutive state meets and won 132 matches.

“Right now I am very disappointed,” Englebert admitted. “I hope after I get a chance to sit down and think, I will be proud of what I have done. I am grateful to have the opportunity to wrestle at all this year, and making the final is a big accomplishment.”

Englebert opened the day strong with a 6-2 decision over Boyceville’s Tyler Dormanen, then pinned David Malin of Aquinas at 5:43 to set up his title match with Vandenbush.

“Last year I got some pretty bad anxiety before my matches [at state],” Englebert said. “This year I worked hard to control that. Last week [at the sectional meet], I was flat footed, and this week I got them moving. After I got the first win, I knew the second match would be even better.”

Vandenbush, who won the 152-pound state title last year with a 52-0 mark, entered the match having won 73 consecutive matches. During last year’s state meet, he won two matches by technical fall and the other by a pin. Vandenbush placed third at 152 in 2019 and finished with a 45-4 record.

Vandenbush opened the day with a pin over Bo Hanson of Mineral Point and followed that with another pin over Wabena/Laona’s Ryan Roy. 

Vandenbush started the title match against Englebert quickly and jumped out to a 6-1 lead early in the second period. After Englebert cut his deficit to 6-3, Vandenbush began trading takedowns for escapes and pulled away to the win.

“I wrestled hard against him,” Englebert said. “I know I gave it all that I had.”

Englebert said he is grateful for his experiences during the last four years.

“I would say my career has been a blessing,” he said. “My teammates, coaches, family and friends have offered me nonstop support for the last four years. That is something I am extremely grateful for.”

Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol Wrestlers Get Needed Experience

The Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol wrestling team’s season ended with regional-tournament competition for six wrestlers, all of whom were experiencing their first regionals. Senior captain Ben DeNamur capped off his senior campaign with a fifth-place finish in the 132-pound bracket. A workhorse in both the wrestling and weight rooms, he ended the season with a 7-2 record, including going undefeated in conference matches.

Sophomore 285-pound wrestler Ben Roman placed fourth during his first appearance at regionals.  

“Our coaching staff knew we would take some lumps on the day, but our kids were excited to finally be able to compete in a tournament,” said Coach Stephen Jacobson. “With five of our six wrestlers being freshmen or sophomores, we’re excited about the building blocks we have for this team going forward.”

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