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Goff's perseverance not enough
Monroes Mason Goff tries to take down Miltons Craig Jenson during Thursdays 152-pound match. Goff had a big takedown late to pull off a 4-3 win, but it wasnt enough as Monroe lost the dual, 56-15.
MONROE - With Advanced Individual Training in his future with the National Guard, Monroe senior Mason Goff has shown he isn't afraid of taking challenges head on.

Goff, as a 152-pound senior on the Monroe wrestling team, came up with a big takedown before the buzzer sounded to defeat Milton's Craig Jensen, 4-3, to give the Cheesemakers their first win Thursday night. But, Milton, ranked third in the Crossface Division 1 wrestling poll, beat Monroe 56-15.

The Cheesemakers had several thrilling matches, however.

Jensen took Goff down to take a 3-1 lead with 48 seconds to go in the third period. Goff went to work from there by scoring on an escape with 32 seconds left and then sealing the win with a takedown.

"I just knew there was very little time left," Goff said. "I kept pressure in there and the head steal was there and I took it."

Monroe will host a regional wrestling tournament Feb. 13, but Thursday's dual meet against the Red Hawks marked Goff's final regular season match at home. He will ship out from Milwaukee June 16 to Georgia for training as a communications specialist.

Goff said it will be for either 16 or 22 weeks of training. Then he's hoping to go to college.

"Hopefully, I will then go to college unless my unit gets deployed," he said. "I think wrestling in particular as well as all the other sports I have been in have helped me and been great for my training."

The Red Hawks received pins from Kodah Long (140), James Miller (189), Chase Letson (215) and John Wells (112). Monroe (10-6, 2-2 Badger South) received two other wins from junior heavyweight Nick Walker and freshman Aaron Hesgard (103) after a Red Hawks' forfeit. The Cheesemakers wrestled with a short-handed lineup as junior Dylan Schwitz (145) was out with a medical condition.

"I tried to tell the team to stay up mentally," Monroe coach Jeriamy Jackson said. "They are a great team. There is a reason they are ranked No. 3 in Division 1. We are a good team too. They are just a notch up above us. It's where we are always striving to get to. Every weight class wrestled hard."

In another exciting match, Walker came back in the third period and pinned Garrod Mielke. Walker and Mielke started the third period tied at 1. Mielke came through with a clutch escape with 1:52 left in the third period to take a 2-1 lead. Walker then delivered as he scored on a takedown, which sparked the pin.

"I knew once he got the escape, I had to go to work," Walker said. "I just had to work hard and use what my coaches have taught me. When he shot, I thought I was in good position with my hips back. I thought I was in a good position to push into him and get a takedown."

Walker said the Cheesemakers wanted to wrestle as hard as they could.

"We wanted to wrestle six minutes, keep it as close as we could knowing how tough they are," he said.

Monroe senior Dillon Weckerly lost a tough match 5-2 to Michael Johnson. Weckerly trailed 3-1, but scored on an escape in the third period; he couldn't cap off the comeback at the end. Monroe freshman Kevin Klopfenstein (119) lost a heartbreaker, 3-2 to Shea Landon. Klopfenstein tied the match on an escape with 1:36 to go in the second period. Landon sealed the win as he scored on an escape with 16 seconds left.

"He thought he was up by one point," Jackson said of Klopfenstein at the end of the match. "That's why he didn't come up. It's a freshmen mistake. He will see him again at conference."

Monroe will wrestle at Fort Atkinson Monday in a make-up meet, then gear up for the Badger Conference tournament Friday and Saturday in Reedsburg.

Jackson said the meets against Milton and Fort Atkinson will be tune-ups for the conference tournament.

"You can say, 'You won't wrestle any tougher guys than that,'" Jackson said of the Red Hawks. "We honestly believe our conference is one of the toughest conferences around the state. Hopefully, we can beat Fort and take third behind two really good teams."