Meicher, Hoffman headed to state

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton wrestlers Kevin Meicher (left) and Joseph Hoffman both qualified for the state tournament, which begins Thursday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Kevin Meicher and Joseph Hoffman have wrestled together since the third grade.

They are practice partners at Middleton High School. And they avid supporters of each other.

Now, the two senior standouts will end their high school careers at the state tournament together.

Meicher won the WIAA Division 1 Verona Sectional championship at 152 pounds last Saturday, while Hoffman finished second at sectionals at 145 pounds. Both wrestlers earned places at the state tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday at the UW Kohl Center.

“I’m super proud of (Hoffman),” Meicher said afterwards. “We’ve been working hard since third grade together. Seeing him make it his senior year is really cool. We both push each other. It’s great seeing him make it since we’ve been (practice) partners since third grade.”

Meicher qualified for state for a fourth straight year and earned his third sectional championship. Hoffman qualified for his first-ever trip to state.

“We’ve just know each other for so long through wrestling,” Hoffman said of his relationship with Meicher. “That’s kind of been our bond for all these years. I’ve seen him get some success. Now it feels good for him to feel like he boosted me here as well.”

Meicher won a state title at 126 pounds as a freshman in 2016, finished second at 138 in 2017 and was fourth at 152 pounds in 2018. Meicher will now try becoming the first two-time state champion in school history.

“I’m going there to win,” Meicher said.

Meicher improved to 31-0 this year with another impressive performance at sectionals.

First, Meicher pinned La Crosse Logan/Central’s Dallas Kapanke in 1:43 in the quarterfinals. Meicher then pinned Holmen’s Wyatt McCutchen in 1:34 in the semifinals.

In the finals, Meicher won by injury default over Madison Memorial’s Kaden Reetz.

“For Kevin today, it was business as usual,” Middleton coach Kent Weiler said. “We don’t have to say much to him at this point. Hopefully that continues into next week. For Kevin, it remains one match at a time. He’s ready to go.”

Meicher, who will wrestle collegiately at the University of Minnesota, now heads back to the Kohl Center for one final time as a prep athlete.

“I’m just going to cherish every moment of it,” he said. “I’m just going to wrestle one match at a time.

“Some people when they get to state are just content at being at state. Some of my past teammates were just happy they got there and didn’t really seem like they wanted to wrestle farther than that. I feel some people, if they really want to be at state, will push through it. Others are just happy to make it to state.”

Hoffman (25-12) earned his first-ever state appearance after a strong performance at sectionals.

Hoffman defeated Holmen’s Carter Vetsch, 6-2, in the quarterfinals, then edged Waunakee’s Ty Miller, 5-3, in the semifinals. In the finals, Baraboo’s Carlos Chavez pinned Hoffman in 5:38.

“It just feels good,” Hoffman said of qualifying for state. “I felt pretty good after I beat (Miller). I still wanted to win sectionals. It didn’t happen. But this (getting to state) has been a goal for me for a long time. I feel pretty clutch for getting it my last year.”

Hoffman’s coaches and teammates were thrilled he made it to state in his final season.

“Joe Hoffman has never won a tournament, and he’s going to the state tournament,” Weiler said. “Obviously, you want to win a tournament and have a wall chart. But let’s say he doesn’t win a tournament, but comes up second next week, that’s a lot of improvement.”

Meicher will have a bit of advice for his longtime friend and practice partner.

“There’s nothing like the atmosphere (of state),” Meicher said. “It’s crazy. But you have to be composed and have fun with it. It’s the best part of the season. All of the hard work has already been put in. You just have to execute.”

Hoffman is optimistic he’ll do just that.

“It’s definitely great to be going (to state) with a teammate,” Hoffman said. “I can’t overthink it. It’s just wrestling like all of the other wrestling I’ve done. I’ve just got to go out there and compete and that’s that.”

Middleton had eight other wrestlers at sectionals, and that group fell short of qualifying for state.

Elliot Zanon (22-13) placed third at 182 pounds, while Gavin Adler (28-9) was fourth at 220.

Hunter Grimm (20-13) at 113 pounds, John Ndoyi (5-10) at 126, Jesus Quechol Ramirez (18-12) at 138, Remington Lockwood (21-9) at 160, Cole Olmsted (12-18) at 195 and heavyweight Jack Briggs (7-7) all lost their first match.

But the Cardinals were excited to be sending more than one wrestler to state.

“We got a lot of team wins and a lot of dual-meet wins with this group of seniors,” Weiler said. “To get two kids like that to state, that’s when it becomes bittersweet at this time of year. Seeing the seniors move on, that’s pretty special.

“It’s good when you have teammates qualify, and practice partners. Normally, it comes in pairs. It’s special this time of year when you can see the life-long fruition that comes to a head.”



113 -- Hunter Grimm (20-13) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.

Championship Bracket - Alex Pellowski (Holmen) 40-9 won by fall over Hunter Grimm (Middleton) 20-13 (Fall 2:18)

126 -- John Ndoyi (5-10) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.

Championship Bracket - Jessie Tijerina (Portage) 38-2 won by forfeit over John Ndoyi (Middleton) 5-10 (For.)

138 -- Jesus Quechol Ramirez (18-12) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.

Championship Bracket - Eli Davidson (Baraboo) 29-13 won by fall over Jesus Quechol Ramirez (Middleton) 18-12 (Fall 4:46)

145 -- Joseph Hoffman (25-12) placed 2nd and scored 14.0 team points.

Championship Bracket - Joseph Hoffman (Middleton) 25-12 won by decision over Carter Vetsch (Holmen) 28-14 (Dec 6-2)

Championship Bracket - Joseph Hoffman (Middleton) 25-12 won by decision over Ty Miller (Waunakee) 27-7 (Dec 5-3)

1st Place Match - Carlos Chavez (Baraboo) 35-8 won by fall over Joseph Hoffman (Middleton) 25-12 (Fall 5:38)

2nd Place Match - Joseph Hoffman (Middleton) 25-12 won by rule over Ty Miller (Waunakee) 27-7 (RULE)

152 -- Kevin Meicher (31-0) placed 1st and scored 24.0 team points.

Championship Bracket - Kevin Meicher (Middleton) 31-0 won by fall over Dallas Kapanke (La Crosse Logan/Central) 27-11 (Fall 1:43)

Championship Bracket - Kevin Meicher (Middleton) 31-0 won by fall over Wyatt McCutchen (Holmen) 32-10 (Fall 1:34)

1st Place Match - Kevin Meicher (Middleton) 31-0 won by injury default over Kaden Reetz (Madison Memorial) 32-3 (Inj. 0:02)

160 -- Remington Lockwood (21-9) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.

Championship Bracket - Marques Fritsche (Tomah) 42-7 won by major decision over Remington Lockwood (Middleton) 21-9 (MD 8-0)

182 -- Elliot Zanon (22-13) placed 3rd and scored 12.0 team points.

Championship Bracket - Elliot Zanon (Middleton) 22-13 won by fall over Nick Blum (Onalaska/Luther) 11-7 (Fall 0:57)

Championship Bracket - Drake Schams (Holmen) 38-10 won by fall over Elliot Zanon (Middleton) 22-13 (Fall 3:07)

3rd Place Match - Elliot Zanon (Middleton) 22-13 won by decision over Austin Rider (Sauk Prairie) 17-20 (Dec 5-2)

2nd Place Match - Drake Schams (Holmen) 38-10 won by rule over Elliot Zanon (Middleton) 22-13 (RULE)

195 -- Cole Olmsted (12-18) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.

Championship Bracket - Kaden Hericks (Tomah) 31-13 won by fall over Cole Olmsted (Middleton) 12-18 (Fall 1:11)

220 -- Gavin Adler (28-9) placed 4th and scored 8.0 team points.

Championship Bracket - Gavin Adler (Middleton) 28-9 won by fall over Colby Von Haden (Tomah) 24-18 (Fall 2:20)

Championship Bracket - Garet Pfaff (Sparta) 29-9 won in sudden victory - 1 over Gavin Adler (Middleton) 28-9 (SV-1 4-2)

3rd Place Match - Reece Bierstaker (Sauk Prairie) 32-16 won by decision over Gavin Adler (Middleton) 28-9 (Dec 7-6)

285 -- Jack Briggs (7-7) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.

Championship Bracket - Jesse Fiers (Holmen) 40-10 won by fall over Jack Briggs (Middleton) 7-7 (Fall 0:49)



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