The Baraboo wrestling season ended with four members of the Thunderbirds earning All-Badger North Conference recognition.
Aiden Estes, John Gunderson and Pablo Ramirez each received first-team all-conference honors, while Jacob Kimpfbeck earned a second-team nod.
Gunderson compiled a 40-9 record and was named first-team all-conference at 132 pounds. The freshman was the runner-up in his weight class at the Badger Conference Tournament on Feb. 3, reaching the 132-pound final before falling to Fort Atkinson senior Draven Sigmund by a 3-0 decision. Gunderson went on to take second at the WIAA Division 1 Waunakee sectional on Feb. 17, despite wrestling with a broken hand. Gunderson’s season came to an end with an 8-7 loss to Mukwonago’s Lucas Benn in the opening round of the WIAA individual state meet on Feb. 22 in Madison.
“We’ve got him for another three years after this,” Baraboo head coach Joe Bavlnka said of Gunderson after the conference meet. “He’s going to make a lot of noise here.”
Ramirez earned first-team honors at 138 pounds. The junior took second at the Badger Conference Tournament, suffering a 7-5 loss to Stoughton’s Gavin Model in the finals. Ramirez also took second at sectionals to earn his third trip to state. His junior season came to a halt with a 19-8 loss to Oak Creek senior Veliko Kochiu in the opening round of the state meet.
“He’s got his senior year left and hopefully this continues to motivate him in the offseason,” Bavlnka said of Ramirez, who went 44-7 on the season.
Estes made a huge leap in his sophomore season, going 28-9 and earning first-team all-conference honors at 182 pounds after competing on junior varsity last season. Estes took second at the conference tournament, dropping a 12-8 decision to Monroe’s Dempzy Foley in the 182-pound championship match. Estes was a win away from qualifying for state but suffered a 10-6 loss to Reedsburg’s Brady Fry at sectionals.
“He had a great year, and nobody really knew who he was at the start of the year,” Bavlnka said of Estes.
“Once that confidence started rolling there and he got a couple of big wins, the rest is history.”
Kimpfbeck earned a second-team nod at 195 pounds. The senior took fourth at the Badger Conference Tournament after dropping a 4-1 decision to Sauk Prairie sophomore Marcus Hankins in the third-place match. Kimpfbeck opened sectionals with a pin before dropping back-to-back matches to fall short of state, finishing his senior year with a 30-12 record.
“I’m just proud of Jacob and how hard he worked as a senior,” Bavlnka said of Kimpfbeck after sectionals.
The quartet led Baraboo to a 4-3 record during the Badger North Conference dual season. The T-Birds also took fourth out of 15 teams at the Badger Conference Tournament, trailing only Stoughton, Waunakee and Sauk Prairie.
ALL-BADGER NORTH CONFERENCE WRESTLING
106 – Sam Lorenz, fr., Waunakee. 113 – Zeke Smith, sr., Sauk Prairie. 120 – Dylan Herbrand, sr., Sauk Prairie. 126 – Mason McMillen, sr., Reedsburg. 132 – John Gunderson, fr., Baraboo. 138 – Pablo Ramirez, jr., Baraboo. 145 – Colton Grindle, so., Waunakee. 152 – Austin Rauls, sr., DeForest. 160 – Ben Statz, sr., Waunakee. 170 – Ky Kalscheur, sr., Mount Horeb. 182 – Aiden Estes, so., Baraboo. 195 – Marcus Hankins, so., Sauk Prairie. 220 – Max Olinger, jr., Mount Horeb. 285 – Alan Olkowski, sr., Waunakee.
106 – Dawson Enge, so., Sauk Prairie. 113 – Dietrich Jaeckel, so., Beaver Dam. 120 – Jessie Tijerina, so., Portage. 126 – Gavin Lankey, sr., Sauk Prairie. 132 – Caden Fry, so., Reedsburg. 138 – Dylan Casey, sr., Portage. 145 – Ardit Beluli, sr., DeForest. 152 – Bryce Bierman, sr., Reedsburg. 160 – Jared Stuttgen, jr., DeForest. 170 – Jacob Pape, sr., Sauk Prairie. 182 – Luke Hooker, sr., Waunakee. 195 – Jacob Kimpfbeck, sr., Baraboo. 220 – Reed Ryan, jr., Waunakee. 285 – Matt Piekarski, sr., Beaver Dam.