By David Paulsen
Union Grove High School sophomore Cole Ryan received some great news Monday.
He was notified by UGHS head wrestling coach Andy Weis that he would be competing at the WIAA Division 1 Individual State Wrestling Championship Thursday.
Ryan had finished third at the Racine Case sectional Saturday, but when Franklin’s Gavin Devine was unable to go to state, Ryan was bumped up one spot.
“We’re pretty happy for him,” Weis said. “He’s pretty happy as well.”
Ryan is the first Bronco grappler in several years to go to state, and the first ever to compete at Division 1.
In the sectional quarterfinals, Ryan defeated Jake Brycki of Oak Creek 4-1, but then was pinned by Devine in the semifinal.
He came back to earn a 5-2 win over La’Ryan Johnson of Kenosha Bradford for third.
Ryan, 24-11, faced a very tough opponent, undefeated Tyler Schmidt of Merrill, in the opening round at state Thursday.
“He got an opportunity,” Weis said. “This is only going to make Cole better over the next two years.”
The other three Bronco wrestlers competing at the Division 1 WIAA sectional Saturday at Racine Case fell short of their bid for a trip to state.
The top two finishers in each weight class advanced to state, which is being held Thursday, Feb. 21, through Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Tony Beck, at 285, lost in the semifinals and finished fourth.
“He had some problems with his hand following the regional match with Tyler Kirkeeng,” Weis said.
It was discovered that Beck had a broken bone in his right ring finger. He was able to compete, although the finger was taped during Beck’s second and third matches.
Beck opened with a pin in one minute 49 seconds over Romel Turner of Milwaukee Pulaski/Arts/Juneau/Ronald Reagan but then lost a 13-6 decision to Cavontae Klyce of Racine Park/St. Catherine’s in the semifinal.
Beck’s season came to an end in the third-place match when he lost a 3-2 decision to Isaiah Watkins of Milwaukee Bradley Tech/Carmen. Beck, a junior, finished 40-5.
“Overall, he had a great season,” Weis said.
Evan Storm-Volts (170 pounds) and Adam Braley (182) both lost their opening-round matches.
Storm-Volts had placed fifth at regional, but was able to compete at sectional since the third-place wrestler, Burlington’s Kyle Crayton, was unable to compete due to injury. Crayton’s injury moved Storm-Volts into the No. 4 position.
Storm-Volts lost a 13-1 major decision to Jake Regazzi of Oak Creek in his only match, while Braley dropped a tight 7-6 decision to Maurice Lowe of Milwaukee Bradley Tech/Carmen.
“(Storm-Volts) got some experience,” Weis said, adding that Braley was right in his first match but could not pull it out.
Thurston Lovell was scheduled to compete at 145 pounds, but was unable to do so. Weis indicated he had soreness in his knee prior to sectional and while warming up at sectional his knee locked up.
Weis said Lovell will have surgery this week on the knee.