By Alex Strouf, The Denmark News
When the top two of anything match up, you know you’re in for a treat.
That exactly was the case Friday night, as the top ranked 120 pound wrestler in division two, Brock Bergelin, went face-to-face with the second ranked competitor, Sawyer Strom of Ellsworth.
Bergelin, a two-time Wisconsin state champion, is no stranger to these types of matches. The last two years, this match has been his most effective of both state tournaments.
This year, it was the same narrative.
Following a 90-second scrapping period where neither competitor took control, Bergelin did his thing. A nearfall at the bottom of the first period would lead to Bergelin’s first three points.
Then the ball got rolling.
Despite some head-to-head contact that left a large bulge above Bergelin’s eye, he showed why he holds the top ranking at his weight class. Bergelin continued to make move, which eventually led to a 10-0 major decision.
“He does this pretty funky move,” said Bergelin.
“We hit heads and I was out of it for a while thinking I might of had a concussion.”
Obviously Bergelin stopped experiencing the lightheadedness and the only symptom was the aforementioned bulge.
Battle wounds… 1 more match to go😈 pic.twitter.com/SMq0ja0LIy
— brock bergelin (@BergelinBrock) February 25, 2017
Bergelin will face Julian Purney of G.-E.-T. in the state finals match on Saturday night at around 5:30 P.M. Purney, 41-11, knocked off Mike Smith of Amery in the semifinals, 9-3. Purney is a short, strong, and fundamentally sound competitor, while Smith is tall, strong, and quick.
“I would rather face somebody with my body style and wrestling style than somebody lanky who could get me caught in something dumb like a cradle,” said Bergelin of his finals match.
The Denmark senior is on a mission to add to the list of 57 wrestlers in WIAA history that have won three state championships.
Bianchi and Bosman: Chapter Two: Sophomores Joey Bianchi of Two Rivers and Bryce Bosman of Luxemburg-Casco will go head-to-head for the 113 pound state championship in division two. Last year, the pair wrestled for the 106 pound title, which Bosman won. I imagine this rivalry will continue to be something special, so take in the ending of chapter two.
Herlache Going for Gold: Wrightstown senior Bryce Herlache, the top ranked 182 pound wrestler in division two, is going to have a chance to prove his ranking on Saturday night. Herlache wrestled his way to the 182 final after beating a 42-6 senior in Lucas Fugate. Herlache, 35-3, has put on an extremely impressive showing since coming back out. The best way to cap that off is winning one final match.
Rasmussen in Final: Luxemburg-Casco senior Phil Rasmussen is in the 285 pound championship match in division two. Rasmussen, 43-8, beat odds by knocking off two solid wrestlers in the quarter and semifinals. Rasmussen will wrestle the final match of the state tournament against the top ranked heavyweight in the state, Cody Jacobson of Ripon.