Congratulations to Kenny Fesenmaier on winning the sectional at 195 lbs. and advancing to the state tournament! Submitted photo
Congratulations to Kenny Fesenmaier on winning the sectional at 195 lbs. and advancing to the state tournament! Submitted photo

INDEPENDENCE, WI – For Spring Valley senior Kenny Fesenmaier, getting the opportunity to advance to the WIAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament is incredible, but to go there as a sectional champion is beyond expectations.

Fesenmaier is the lone Cardinal wrestler that advanced to state for the Spring Valley-Elmwood squad this year. He has had the opportunity to go to state before, as a member of the teams that went to the Team State tournament, but this is his first, and last, chance to go as an individual.

Fesenmaier, who is also the student body president in Spring Valley, has always been a person that does whatever is needed for the team, in whatever sport he plays. He earned first team honors on the football field as a defensive end and offensive lineman this past season, first team honors for offensive lineman as a junior, honorable mention honors as an offensive lineman as a sophomore, and let’s be honest, there is not much glory as a lineman,

But the senior has been able to put it together this year for wrestling when the time is right. He came into the WIAA Regional Tournament in Cadott with a record of 28-10, but has hit the right moves at the right times during the post-season run.

Last weekend, Fesenmaier had his work cut out for him. He moved up a weight class from 182 to 195 for the tournament, and adding weight gives him the opportunity to add muscle and energy. Fesenmaier was up against some tough competition in his sectional matches, most of the wrestlers he faced were ranked higher than he was.

The senior opened the tournament facing off against Blake Siebert, a freshman from Cumberland, whom he defeated 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals, where he battled with Blake Hoffman of Bruce. Hoffman was ranked ahead of Fesenmaier, coming into the tournament, and had also defeated Cody Gilbertson of Durand, who had been ranked 12th.

Fesenmaier defeated Hoffman with a 6-4 decision in the semifinals to advance to the championship match, where he faced Flambeau sophomore Bryce Best. The SV/E senior took the match with a win by fall in third period for the championship win and the right to advance to the state tournament this weekend in Madison at the Kohl Center.

Fesenmaier, by way of being a sectional winner, earned the right to not wrestle on Thursday. He will face the winner of the match between Aaron Duenk of Cedar Grove-Belgium and Aaron Ragels of Fennimore. The two juniors will wrestle on Thursday while Fesenmaier waits. Fesenmaier will wrestle beginning at 11:15 on Friday morning.

The senior wasn’t the only Cardinal wrestler competing last weekend, sophomore Brady Webb and freshman Kaleb Casey also competed.

Casey, wrestling at 106, won his first match of the day by fall over senior Tyler Dicus of Ladysmith in the first period. The freshman lost the semifinal match to Luke Thaement of Saint Croix Falls by fall in the second period. Thaement would lose the championship match to Josiah Berg of Boyceville, but would still qualify for the state tournament in third place.

Wolf, competing at 138, lost his first match of the day to Reid Olson of Cumberland. Olson moved down a weight class from 145 and is ranked number one in the state at 138. Olson won by fall in the first period. Wolf then lost to Dresden Lambert of Cochrane-Fountain City to be eliminated.