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Freshmen fall at State
Monroe freshman Kevin Klopfenstein tries to take down Ellsworths Sam Huppert during the 119-pound preliminary round match at Thursdays WIAA Individual State Tournament. Huppert shut out Klopfenstein, 7-0, to move on.
MADISON - After a scoreless first period, Monroe freshman Kevin Klopfenstein might have had a case of deja vu in his rematch against Ellsworth senior Sam Huppert at the WIAA Division 2 state wrestling tournament Thursday night.

"I thought the match would end up like Bi-State," Klopfenstein said, recalling when he took Huppert (32-8), the state runner-up the last two years, to overtime before losing 4-2. "It didn't turn out that way."

This time the turning point in the 119-pound match came in the second period when Huppert, ranked fourth in the Wisconsin Wrestling Online poll, used a big surge to defeat Klopfenstein, 7-0, to end his season. Huppert came through with a cradle for a two-point near fall and a power half for a three-point near fall to take a commanding 5-0 lead.

"He got his legs in and I couldn't fight him off," Klopfenstein said.

Klopfenstein (40-11) had a historic season setting a school record with 40 wins. He was the first freshman to qualify for state since Steve Grossen in 1984.

"He got a taste of what it's like to be here," Monroe coach Jeriamy Jackson said. "I always tell guys, you are not guaranteed a chance to be here. You have to make the most of it."

Brodhead-Juda freshman Hunter Colden (145) lost a heartbreaking preliminary match to Pewaukee senior Mike Dusel, 7-5, in overtime. Dusel (43-10) scored on a takedown with 28 seconds left in the extra session.

"I kind of felt like I could come back and win," Colden said. "Things just don't go your way sometimes. I didn't get the call I wanted. I was trying to get that turn. I just couldn't get it in."

Like Colden, Klopfenstein had to work his way out of a hole after he fell behind in the second period.

"After the first period, I was feeling pretty good," Jackson said of the scoreless first period. "It was just like the last time at Bi-State."

Jackson said the difference was Klopfenstein couldn't score in the bottom position like he did on a reversal at Bi-State.

"We knew Huppert rides legs very well," Jackson said. "We practiced that all week. He's a lanky wrestler. It's tough to defend. He did a good job last time. He (Huppert) just got the best of us at state."

In Colden's preliminary match, he trailed Dusel 4-2 after the first period. Then, he scored on a takedown at the end of the second period to cut Dusel's lead to 5-4. Dusel was called for stalling in the third period, which tied the match at 5 and sent it into overtime.

After Dusel scored on a takedown in overtime, Brodhead-Juda coach Tim Colden had a message for his son.

"I told him what any dad would say," Tim said. "I told him I'm proud of him and I love him. He wasn't psyched out. Like coach (Dan) Lincoln said, 'He can wrestle with anybody here.'"

Colden (39-7) is the first freshman to qualify for state and the first Brodhead-Juda wrestler to make the trip to Madison since 2005. Both Klopfenstein and Colden plan to use their first trips to state as driving forces in the offseason.

"Wrestling is my favorite sport," Colden said. "It's basically my life."

Colden said he will attend three wrestling camps and work on getting stronger and quicker.

"Hopefully, I will get back and get up on that podium next year," he said.

Klopfenstein said his most memorable moments this year were taking sixth place at Bi-State and qualifying for state.

"It (state) was what I expected it to be," he said. "Maybe a little bigger. I think it will make me more ready for next year. Hopefully, I will be back here again."

Sugar River senior Ben Schmitt (35-0), ranked No. 1 at 160 pounds in the Crossface poll, will wrestle Valders' Caynen Klessig (34-10) in the quarterfinals today. Klessig beat Bloomer's Levi Nayes in a technical fall, 18-1. If Schmitt can win, he would wrestle in the semifinals tonight.

Darlington senior Devin Malott (38-2) at 119 is making his fourth-straight trip to state in Division 3. Malott, who is ranked fourth in Division 3, will wrestle Brillion sophomore Brock Kasten (34-9) in the quarterfinals today. Kasten defeated Lomira senior Don Robinson, 15-4.