Ben Stimac Won in the Semi’s, Advanced to Championship Match!
FOR ANTIGO TIMES
Ben Stimac capped off an extraordinary day of wrestling with a come from behind victory with a late match takedown to punch his ticket into the championship finals. Stimac is the first Antigo wrestler to wrestle in a state final since his Uncle, Todd Stimac, won a state championship in 1993.
Stimac’s match in the semi finals was against 43-3 Zach Weiler of Burlington. Weiler got on the board first with a takedown 31 seconds into the first period, and Stimac scored an escape to bring the score to 2-1.
Later in the first period, with 11 seconds remaining, Weiler was able to score his second takedown. Stimac was able to quickly escape to narrow the gap to 4-2.
Stimac chose bottom to start the second, and escaped in 7 seconds to close the lead to 4-3. Stimac followed with a takedown of his own 51 seconds later to gain the lead 5-4. Weiler escaped, and scored his own takedown. Stimac was able to hit a quick reversal, and in the view of every Antigo fan and coach in attendance, should have also been awarded nearfall. Unfortunately, Stimac was only credited with the reversal, and after a quick escape by Weiler the score was 8-7 in favor of Weiler.
Weiler chose bottom to start the third, and Stimac chose to give him the point and start neutral. Wanting to win the match in regulation, Stimac knew he needed to score two takedowns. He scored his first takedown with 58 seconds remaining, and immediately let Weiler go. With the score 10-9 in favor of Weiler, Stimac shot in with 30 seconds to go and nearly was awarded a takedown, but was ruled out of bounds. Then, with 15 seconds remaining, Stimac was able to gain control with a late takedown, and rode Weiler out to win 11-10.
Ben will wrestle Saturday evening against 46-2 Jalen Spuhler of Hartford Union. The final round will start at 5:30 pm.
Also competing on Friday was Collinn Eldridge, in a consolation match against Jacob Zupke of Homestead. Eldridge fought hard, and despite a late surge in the third period with a takedown, dropped a 13-5 decision. Eldridge’s successful senior campaign came to a close with the loss.