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The State Champion Amery Warrior wrestling team was welcomed home Sunday, February 21. Front row L-R: Coach Mike Kelly, team assistant Mike Ingham, Joe Kelling, Koy Hopke, Brendan Burke, J.C. Wentz, Carter Nielsen, Samuel Kelling, Robert Beese, Mason Tylee, Kale Hopke, Jordan Penard, Russel Bagley, Walker Ingham, Chance Schroeder, Austin Schleusner, team assistant Byron Hopke, team managers Alexis Werle and Abby Bushinger. Second row L-R: Trevor Hinz, Wyatt Ingham, Grant Cook and Cole Andren. Back row L-R: Assistant Coach Vinny Zeiher, Timmy Kelling, Maverick Goulet and Hunter Beese. See story on page 14A.

The goals for the Amery wrestling team this season were easy. 

Win the Middle Border Conference. Check. 

Win Team Regionals and Team Sectionals. Check.

Which led to the ultimate goal: A team State Championship. Check. 

The Warriors (14-0 overall) won its first-ever state team title Saturday defeating Kiel 52-22 and Prairie du Chien 40-31 in the Division 2 Team State Tournament at Adams-Friendship High School. 

“I feel great satisfaction with what we have accomplished,” said coach Mike Kelly. “I worked these guys harder than anyone else would ever dream of, and they responded with a State Championship.” 

The Warriors tangled with Prairie du Chien in the championship match. 

State Champion Koy Hopke started with a pin at 220 pounds within the first 25 seconds of his match against Kyle Quick, which Kelly said was a huge momentum builder. 

Robert Beese responded with a 7-0 decision over Jayden Johnson at 285 pounds. 

“He wore his guy down so much, he had to be helped off the mat,” Kelly added. 

One of the turning points in the match, Kelly said, came at 106 pounds as Brendan Burke won 13-5 over Mason Baumgartner

“He won a match many had him losing,” Kelly said. 

The Blackhawks won the next two matches at 113 and 120 pounds via pins. 

At 126 pounds, Wyatt Ingham wrestled Ryder Koenig for the second time in a week as the two wrestled at Individual State. For the second straight week, Ingham pinned Koenig.

The Blackhawks won at 132 pounds, by decision, making the team score 19-15 at the point. 

The Warriors responded with three wins over the next four matches. Jordan Penard in his final match pinned Kurt Wall at 138 pounds. Mason Tylee earned an 8-3 decision over Luke Kramer at 145 pounds. Walker Ingham, in his final match, at 160 pounds earned the win via disqualification. 

 “Jordan and Walker getting us six points was huge,” Kelly said. 

With the team score 34-21 at this point, Prairie du Chien picked up a major decision and a pin in the next two matches, cutting the deficit to three. 

State Champion Kale Hopke received a forfeit at 195 pounds in the final match, officially clinching the title. 

In the semifinal match against Kiel, the Warriors had an easier road. Kale Hopke started off with a pin at 195 pounds against Kiel’s Hunter Westemeyer within the first minute.

The team score jumped to 30-0 quickly, as Amery won the next three matches via forfeit along with Sam Kelling’s pin at 113 pounds over Ethan Vandermeer.

Kiel tried mounting a comeback with two pins and a major decision win over the next three matches. 

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A rowdy red section celebrates the State Champion Amery Warriors.

The Warriors slammed that door shut with wins over the next five matches. Jordan Penard won 9-1 over Ezekiel Sippel at 138 pounds. Mason Tylee pinned Jose Capetillo at 145 pounds. Timmy Kelling won 12-6 over Connor Faust at 152 pounds. Walker Ingham earned a 7-0 win at 160 pounds. Grant Cook completed the scoring with a pin over Connor Meyer at 170 pounds. 

“Kale Hopke starting off with a pin was huge and then Sam and Timmy Kelling’s wins kept us so pumped up,” Kelly said. 

The Warriors will graduate Walker Ingham, Jordan Penard and Timmy Kelling. 

“They really built this program from the ground up,” Kelly concluded. “We are going to miss them greatly, but they have taught the others how to get it done. So, I believe we will continue to win at Amery.”

Amery 40, Prairie du Chien 31

220 – Koy Hopke (A) pinned Kyle Quick (PdC),: 21; 285 – Robert Beese (A) dec. Jayden Johnson (PdC), 7-0; 106 – Brendan Burke (A) maj. dec. Mason Baumgartner (PdC), 13-5; 113 – Drake Ingham (PdC) pinned Sam Kelling (A), 1:37; 120 – Rhett Koenig (PdC), pinned Trevor Hinz (A), 1:23; 126 – Wyatt Ingham (A) pinned Ryder Koenig (PdC), 3:24; 132 – Maddox Cejka (PdC) dec. Joseph Wentz (A), 8-5; 138 – Jordan Penard (A) pinned Kurt Wall (PdC), 1:54; 145 – Mason Tylee (A) dec. Luke Kramer (PdC), 8-3; 152 – Matt Rogge (PdC) pinned Timmy Kelling (A), 1:07; 160 – Walker Ingham (A) DQ over Brogan Brewer (PdC); 170 – Chase Fisher (PdC) maj. dec. Cole Andren (A), 10-2; 182 – Bradyn Saint (PdC) pinned Grant Cook, 3:18; 195 – Kale Hopke (A) received forfeit. 

Amery 52, Kiel 22

195 – Kale Hopke (A) pinned Hunter Westemeyer (K), :48; 220 – Koy Hopke (A) received forfeit; 285 – Robert Beese (A) received forfeit; 106 – Brendan Burke (A) received forfeit; 113 – Sam Kelling (A) pinned Ethan Vandermeer (K), 4:52; 120 – Eyan Dessellier (K) pinned Wyatt Ingham (A), 1:44; 126 – Andrew Schad (K) pinned Hunter Beese (A), 3:03; 132 – Joah Lund (K) maj. dec. Joseph Wentz (A), 11-0; 138 – Jordan Penard (A) maj. dec. Ezekiel Sippel (K), 9-1; 145 – Mason Tylee (A) pinned Jose Capetillo (K), 1:00; 152 – Timmy Kelling (A) dec. Connor Faust (K), 12-6; 160 – Walker Ingham (A) dec. Alex Kleinhans (K), 7-0; 170 – Grant Cook (A) pinned Connor Meyer (K), ;57; 182 – Isaac Vandermeer (K) received forfeit. 

See more wrestling coverage in next week’s paper.

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