Haase shines at state

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MTT News Desk's picture
Dennis Semrau/For the Times-Tribune
Middleton’s Nathan Dresen made his state debut last week at 160 pounds, but lost his opening match./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld


Shay Haase finished on the podium at the WIAA Division 1 individual state wrestling tournament at the Kohl Center last Saturday night.

That accomplished one of the goals for Middleton’s 152-pound junior this season.

However, Haase was dealt a bitter reminder that there is still a lot of work remaining to accomplish his goal of becoming the Cardinals’ next state champion after he got off to a stellar start in his second straight state tournament appearance.

“It felt good to be on the podium, but at the same time I was disappointed because I knew I could have done better and placed higher in the tournament,” said Haase, who placed sixth this season after losing his only match a year ago. “Next year I’m planning all offseason to be on top of the stage.”

Haase won his first two matches on Thursday, earning a 3-2 decision over Cedarburg sophomore Ryder Sigler in the preliminary round and pinning Pulaski sophomore Matt May in 3 minutes, 51 seconds in a quarterfinal match.

That set the stage for a rematch with Sun Prairie nemesis Jared Scharenbrock, who had prevailed in their two previous matches this season.

But Scharenbrock, who was the defending champion at 145 pounds, took exception to how he performed in his first two state matches and took out his frustration on Haase Friday night in their semifinal match.

Scharenbrock got out to a commanding lead and recorded a technical fall (17-0) in 4:32 en route to winning his second straight state title on Saturday.

“He was beatable as you saw in the finals,” Haase said of Scharenbrock, who was caught in a cradle, but escaped to win his state championship match. “But once he scored, it spiraled downwards. I wasn’t going to be able to catch him at that point.”

That loss sent Haase to the wrestleback round where he hoped to finish in third place.

However, Haase was pinned by Mukwonago senior Tommy Kolasinski in 2:59 in his next match.

“I was wrestling terribly at that point and I walked right into it and he got me to my back,” Haase said of Kolasinski.

That sent Haase to fifth-place match against River Falls senior Darius Wright, who recorded a 13-2 major decision to end Haase’s season.

“I learned there is always someone out there better who can push you to perform to the best of your abilities,” said Haase, who finished with a 27-5 record. “It will push me to be better. It makes me want to be better.”

Haase finished second in the Big Eight Conference behind Scharenbrock, a four-time champion, and won regional and sectional titles.

But Middleton coach Kent Weiler said an early-season groin injury that caused Haase to start slowly came back to haunt him in the state tournament.

“He ran into a couple of different buzz saws, but the expectation is that they get better and improve from the beginning of the year and he definitely did that,” Weiler said.

“Early on in the season he didn’t get some of the level of competition from our schedule. He missed Bi-State and a few others. He didn’t have that grind from competing in a lot of matches. When you get to the state tournament, that’s what you see.”

Weiler, though, was still pleased that Haase is returning next season as a state place-winner who can make a major impact in the practice room.

“He needs to work on his strength, that’s one big thing,” Weiler said. “But it’s just the basics when it comes to wrestling. It’s pretty fundamental when it comes to it. You need a good ride and a good turn and a good escape.”

Haase said he also plans to take a larger leadership role next season.

“I need to be in the weight room daily and in the practice room weekly. I need to improve my strength,” said Haase, who also trains at the Advance School of Wrestling. “We have a great chance of winning conference and going to state next year. I want the underclassmen to look up to me as a role model and a leader and as someone they can rely on.”

Middleton 160-pound senior Nathan Dresen also made his state debut, but it was a relatively short experience.

“I was excited for him to make it to state. He worked hard and had wrestled since he was young through our youth program,” Weiler said after Dresen lost a 6-4 decision to Hortonville senior Nate Rynish in preliminary round.

When Rynish then lost in the quarterfinals Dresen was eliminated.

“It was a really tight match. We had a game plan,” Weiler said. “Nathan did what we were looking for, but just ran out of time. He didn’t have an opportunity to have another match.”

Despite the disappointment, Dresen said his short-lived berth “was a great experience."

“It has always been my goal to make it to the state tournament since I was a little kid,” said Dresen, who finished third at conference and second at regionals and sectionals. “I made it to state for youth and really wanted to make it to state in high school so bad. That made it a good year. The best part was getting there and feeling the atmosphere knowing that you’re in the top 16 in the state.”

Dresen credited Haase with helping him achieve a life-time goal.

“I was fortunate to be his practice partner. That helped me make it to state, just having him with experience from going before,” Dresen said. “Hopefully he and his brother and some other guys can go next year.”

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