Young SFHS wrestling team makes its mark

Inexperienced Falcons came of age on the mat with strong effort
by Steve Ottman
Falls News Correspondent


THE MEMBERS OF THE 2016-17 Sheboygan Falls High School wrestling team are (front row, left to right) Isabelle Kulow, Evan Moon, Riley Spencer, Evan Pierce, Liz Sirvio, Lily Beaudoin, Anthony Xiong, Yuepheng Xiong, Izzie Schamburek, Allison Klemme; (second row) Assistant Coach Jim Rodriguez, Lyndsie Christenson-Schwab, Megan Austreng, Head Coach Brad Knecht, Tess Mauer, Hannah Schleicher, Arnu Phonnachit, Assistant Coach Rob Davidson; (third row) Parker Schamburek, Justin Burt, Nicho Cotcher, Kaleb Ison, Garret Rau, Brandon Hill, Isaiah Richards, Giovanni LaBine; (top row) Hayley Mueller, Connor Pierce, Max Kuplic, Vincent Hoderny, Scott Klemme, Luke Morgen, Aaron Schleicher, Dylan Nice. Not pictured are Assistant Coach Dan Akright, Alex Rodriguez, Ari Schuren. – Photo by Network Photography THE MEMBERS OF THE 2016-17 Sheboygan Falls High School wrestling team are (front row, left to right) Isabelle Kulow, Evan Moon, Riley Spencer, Evan Pierce, Liz Sirvio, Lily Beaudoin, Anthony Xiong, Yuepheng Xiong, Izzie Schamburek, Allison Klemme; (second row) Assistant Coach Jim Rodriguez, Lyndsie Christenson-Schwab, Megan Austreng, Head Coach Brad Knecht, Tess Mauer, Hannah Schleicher, Arnu Phonnachit, Assistant Coach Rob Davidson; (third row) Parker Schamburek, Justin Burt, Nicho Cotcher, Kaleb Ison, Garret Rau, Brandon Hill, Isaiah Richards, Giovanni LaBine; (top row) Hayley Mueller, Connor Pierce, Max Kuplic, Vincent Hoderny, Scott Klemme, Luke Morgen, Aaron Schleicher, Dylan Nice. Not pictured are Assistant Coach Dan Akright, Alex Rodriguez, Ari Schuren. – Photo by Network Photography The new look Sheboygan Falls High School wrestling team turned in a solid 2016- 2017 season.

Falls lost key members of a large senior class that made school history with five wrestlers claiming medals at state in 2016.

The 2016-17 Falcons finished in fourth place with a 3-3 record in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference (7-7 overall).

They also finished fourth at the EWC Meet with one champion and second at the regional meet, while sending seven wrestlers to the sectional meet.

Falls junior Kaleb Ison (88- 45 overall) returned to state for the second time after earned a sixth-place state medal in 2016.

Ison went 1-2 at state and didn’t medal this year. Ison won his first EWC title, while placing first at the regional meet and second at the sectional meet.

“Ison wrestled hard at state, but came up short,” said Falcons’ head coach Brad Knecht. “He has great leadership skills and his ability work with this relatively new group was a great help to our coaching staff.”

Knecht felt that the tough schedule helped the team get better throughout the year.

“We had a lot of new faces replacing the eight seniors that left our program last year,” Knecht related. “I think we placed where I expected, but I feel we could have competed better against Chilton and Valders.”

Falls had good dual wins against Plymouth, North Fond du Lac and Sussex Hamilton.

The Falcons will lose five seniors to graduation.

Anthony Xiong (88-65) had an outstanding career that saw him advance from inexperienced to an aggressive wrestler and competitor.

“Anthony was in the lunch room one day, decided to wrestle and turned into a stud on the mat,” Knecht said.

Xiong won his regional in 2016 to qualify for the sectional meet.

Brandon Hill (38-70) hung around the Falcons wrestling program for a long time.

“You could always count on him to give his all,” remarked Knecht. Hill qualified for the sectional meet in 2016 and 2017.

Isaiah Richards (50-67) started his varsity career as a freshman and always worked hard to get better.

“He’s tough as nails, never gives up and got better against great competition,” stated Knecht.

Richards won his regional meet in 2016 and qualified for two sectional meets in his career.

Vincent Hoderny (36-36) spent only two years on varsity, but he was always was ready to give 100 percent.

“He worked hard to pick up this sport, having very little experience,” said Knecht.

Max Kuplic (2-1) wrestled for the first time on varsity and had to work through some injuries.

“The injuries slowed him down, but he always wanted to be here,” replied Knecht.

Junior Parker Schamburek (72-51) qualified for his second sectional meet, while sophomore Garret Rau (10-20), sophomore Scott Klemme (18- 19) and freshman Evan Pierce (13-17) qualified for their first sectional.

Other new faces made an impact on the varsity squad, including juniors Giovanni LaBine, Yuepheng Xiong, sophomores Evan Moon, Riley Spencer, Connor Pierce and Justin Burt.

“We have a lot of positives going into next year,” expressed Knecht. “These guys gained a lot of experience and had some success.”

Knecht expects next year’s freshman class to be hungry with a few possibly making it into the varsity lineup.


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