Waterford High School

Wolverine wrestlers set for state

Waterford’s Josh Cherba wrestles his way to a 12-6 win over Charlie Millard of Homestead in the third-place match at 138 pounds during the WIAA Division 1 State Individual Tournament in Kaukauna Saturday. Cherba and the Wolverines will compete in the state team tournament this Saturday. (Photo by Mike Ramczyk)

Halter, Cherba lead team into tournament

By Chris Bennett


The Waterford Union High School wrestling team will compete with two top-five state place winners Saturday when the Wolverines participate in the WIAA Division 1 Team Wrestling State Tournament at Kaukauna High School.

Kaukauna High School is hosting the tournament due to the pandemic. Team state is usually held at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

The Wolverines are seeded seventh, and open the team state tournament against No. 2-seeded Stoughton in the quarterfinals. The winner will face either No. 3-seeded Holmen or No. 6-seeded Slinger in the semifinals.

On the opposite side of the bracket No. 1-seeded Kaukauna opens against No. 8-seeded Brookfield East and No. 4-seeded Waunakee wrestles No. 5-seeded Marshfield. The winners wrestle in the semifinals.

Hayden Halter (14-2) finished second at 126 pounds and Joshua Cherba (16-3) came in third at 138 Feb. 13 in the state individual tournament at Kaukauna High School.

Evan Danowski (170) wrestled two matches and did not place.

Halter lost by a 13-1 major decision to Kaukauna’s Greyson Clark in the state title match.

“I think if he wrestles him again, the outcome is different,” Waterford coach Tom Fitzpatrick said. “He just never got his offense going.”

Fitzpatrick said Clark (20-0) wrestled aggressively, scored points on Halter early and put the Wolverines senior in a place from which he could not recover.

Halter defeated Beaver Dam’s Kyle Neuberger by a 16-1 technical fall in 5:22 in the semifinals.

Halter finished third last season at 126 as a junior. Halter won a Division 1 state title at 120 as a sophomore and a Division1 state title at 106 as a freshman.

Cherba also qualified for state in each of his four years. Cherba beat Homestead’s Charlie Millard 12-6 in the third-place match.

Cherba beat Millard 11-5 in his opening match and lost 1-0 to Waunakee’s Sam Lorenz in the semifinals.

“He had a couple of key opportunities where he was in on some shots,” Fitzpatrick said. “Unfortunately, he let those points slip away, and he couldn’t get a takedown at the end.”

Cherba pinned Marshfield’s Gabe Pugh in 4:34 in a wrestleback match before beating Millard for third.

Cherba finished third in Division 1 at 132 last season as a junior.

Fitzpatrick said Danowski (12-5) wrestled a fine tournament, but faced a stacked lineup. Danowski opened with a 6-3 loss to DeForest’s Brady Hemauer and then lost 5-0 to Holmen’s Carter Vetsch.

“Sometimes, you’ve got a strong bracket and, sometimes, everyone in there is very, very good,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think he had a nice tournament.”

Danowski, a junior, qualified for state last season as a sophomore at 160.

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