An increase in numbers afforded Verona and coach Bob Wozniak the opportunity to fill most of the weight classes in the season opener against Big Eight Conference rival Madison West on Thursday, Dec. 5.

Sophomore Jay Hanson won the heavyweight division at the Tom McGarvie Earlybird Scramble on Saturday, Dec. 7, in Watertown. Verona finished 10th out of 17 teams with 201 points.

Tom McGarvie Earlybird Scramble

All four of Hanson’s victories came via pin. He pinned Winneconne’s Mitchell Braun in 9 seconds, West Bend West’s Casey Biertzer in 1:13, and took down DC Everest’s Gus Johnson twice (1:25 and 2:12). Winneconne’s Ethan Welsh pinned Hanson in 4:59.

Verona’s Adam Murphy finished fourth at 220 pounds with a 2-3 record. Murphy pinned Horicon’s Shayne Fluhr in 2:52 and Winneconne’s Logan Johnson in 2:42. He was pinned in the first period of his next two matches, then lost an 8-4 decision to Beloit Memorial’s Jaime Flores.

Cael Wozniak finished fifth at 145 with a 4-1 record. Wozniak pinned Waukesha North’s Kaleb Hannes in 1:01, but lost a 15-4 major decision against DC Everest’s Demitrio Covarrubias. He pinned New London’s Ian Standerfer in 4:52 and Watertown’s Kasey Logan in 3:02, and earned a 6-0 decision against Two Rivers’ Connor Reed.

Caden Page (170) placed sixth with a 3-2 mark. Page pinned DC Everest’s Dalton Gribowski in 5:47 in the championship bracket, and took down West Bend West’s Jacob Totten (1:55) and Pewaukee’s Joe Kane (3:49) in the consolation bracket.

Eric Blum won three consolation matches to finish the day 3-2 at 152. He pinned Clinton’s DJ Vernon in 4:45 and Winneconne’s Isaac Birschbach in 5:26, then earned a 16-2 major decision over Waukesha North’s Nathan Ripple.

Logan Neuroth (138) went 2-3 on the day. He pinned Westosha Central’s Angel Flores in 14 seconds and Pewaukee’s Charlie Opie in 2:46. Neuroth was pinned in his three losses.

Atticus Marse (145) finished 1-3, as he pinned Beloit Memorial’s Sylon Southall in 3:19. Austin Conrad was injured in his second 126-pound bout. Achilles Mendes (182) was pinned in all four of his matches.

Perennial powerhouse Mineral Point won the team title with 485 points.

Verona 45, Madison West 24

The Wildcats won five of the nine contested matches and earned four forfeit victories in a home win over the Regents.

“Our numbers are up from 16 to 24,” Bob Wozniak said. “We should have the kids to fill all the weight classes. We also bumped up three guys, and it was good to see Cael (Wozniak) get a win.”

Four of the Wildcats’ wins came via first-period pins. Conrad pinned West’s Leonarda Pribanic in 47 seconds at 126 pounds, and Cael Wozniak pinned Joe Harris in 1:09 at 152 pounds. Ben Grandau pinned Andres Villalobos in 1:19, and Hanson (285) worked for a pin of Demarion Thompson in 1:29.

Verona’s other victory came at 170, as Spencer Lokken earned a 10-5 decision over Patrick Burke. Lokken used a takedown and a pair of escapes in the second period to take a 5-2 lead he would not surrender.

“I thought our shape looked pretty good, and I saw a lot of good movement,” Bob Wozniak said. “We saw a couple moves that guys were working on in practice.”

The Wildcats’ forfeit wins came at 113, 182, 195 and 220. The Regents picked up a forfeit win at 113, and both teams forfeited at 132.

The dual started with an overtime match at 145, as West’s Valentino Corona edged Marse 7-5. Marse scored two takedowns in the third period to tie the bout, but Corona had a takedown with 25 seconds left in the extra period.

Verona’s Blake Herburger nearly pinned Jaime Nava late in their 106-pound match, but couldn’t overcome an early deficit in a 10-8 loss. Herburger had an early takedown, but Nava scored a reversal, takedown and a pair of back points to take a 6-2 lead after the first period.

Neuroth had three takedowns in the first period of his 138-pound match, but Dylan Chambers battled back to earn the pin in 3:50. The 160-pound bout between Blum and West’s Daniel Brown included six takedowns before Brown earned the pin in 3:01.

“We need to have a little better movement off the bottom,” Bob Wozniak said. “A couple of guys reached over the top, and they need to get underneath the arms. They know that.”