Weisner, Berger cap prep careers with titles
By CONOR NICHOLL
By CONOR NICHOLL
Plainville High School senior 170-pounder Dylan Wiesner flexed to the Cardinal section and wore a perpetual smile after he won a Class 3-2-1A state title Saturday at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
"I came out and I took care of business, and I wrestled to the best of my abilities, and I was very proud of how I did," Wiesner said. "I had good teammates, I had good coaches to get me here. I had a lot of help to get me here."
Wiesner, who finished 37-2 after a runner-up showing as a junior, believes his career is far from over. He called a state title a "goal achieved," but still has some left. He wants to win Fargo, S.D. and Virginia Beach tournaments, two elite high school tournaments.
"Then I want to win a college national championship," Wiesner said.
Wiesner hasn't picked a school, but didn't discount Fort Hays State University. "I haven't made a decision yet," he said. "They are all up for options right now."
Gassmann scores big upset
Perhaps no title was more surprising than Oakley junior 220-pounder Dylan Gassmann.
"I saw myself placing fifth or sixth to be honest," Gassmann said. "I didn't think I would make it past the second round the first day."
Gassmann injured his shoulder in football season and never gave it a break entering wrestling. Second week of the season, Gassmann slammed it against the mat and separated the AC joint. He had to wear a big brace for most of the year, including regionals and state. Gassmann sat out the two weeks before the first tournament, sat out the week before Christmas all the way to Bob Kuhn Senior Prairie Classic in mid-January, and then sat out another two weeks. Gassmann came out of a tough regional where all four wrestlers placed. He had lost to Norton freshman Jacob Green twice this season, but delivered a 5-2 victory to move into the state championship.
"I just had nothing to lose in the semis," Gassmann said. Gassmann finished 22-6 and defeated Marysville's Kyle Palic, 3-2, in the championship. The wrestlers got caught up at the end of the match and it appeared Palic possibly scored, but no points were awarded.
Berger wins first title
Senior 285-pounder Fritz Berger won the first title in Sylvan-Lucas history when he pinned Beloit senior Bryce Black in the final and finished 36-3. Last week at regionals, Berger pinned Black in overtime. This time, the match was close before Berger earned a pin at the 5:47 mark.
"I just came into the match with a positive attitude and knew that whatever was going to happen would happen and no matter what, I was placing in the top two of the state and it everything worked out," Berger said.
Black had joined the Beloit team late in the season and finished 7-2. There was some controversy after regional whether Black had enough matches and practice time to compete at state, but Beloit presented its case in front of the Kansas State High School Activities Association and won.
"Most of it just affected the match because he was a little out of shape, and he didn't have the best technique, but I commend him for making it as far as he did with as little practice as he had," Berger said.