Nick Roller Dominates His Way Into Finals At WIAA State Tournament
FOR ANTIGO TIMES
Having earned a first-round bye due to placing first at sectionals, Nick Roller continued his hot streak into the quarterfinal round of state. Matching up with Gunner Hoffmann, the second ranked wrestler, Roller knew he needed to wrestle a near perfect match to get the victory, and he did just that.
After a scoreless first period that saw Roller pushing the pace throughout, Hoffmann chose to start the second period on the bottom. Roller was given a stalling warning due to not improving his position on a single let from the top. Hoffman was then given a stalling warning for inactivity on the bottom, before finally being able to capitalize on a position and earn a two-point reversal. Roller was able to escape, and with 15 seconds remaining, used a snap down to earn a takedown and take a 3-2 lead into the third period.
Roller chose to start the third period on the bottom, and after a cradle attempt by Hoffmann, Roller was able to score a quick reversal. Due to inactivity on the bottom, Hoffmann was again cautioned for stalling, this time awarding a point to Roller. Roller was then able to secure a cradle and eventually earned the fall at 5:16.
This victory led to a semifinal match with Kyle Dietzen of Omro, who entered with a ranking of fifth. Roller left nothing to chance, earning his ticket to the finals with a completely dominant performance. 17 seconds into the match, Roller was able to secure a double underhook bearhug for a takedown and 3 nearfall. After a Dietzen escape, Roller was able to hit his signature fireman’s takedown for another 2 points and 3 nearfall. After another Dietzen escape, Roller hit his third impressive feet to back takedown, with a fireman’s carry into a headlock. The final time of putting Dietzen on his back was enough, as Roller earned the fall at the 2:00 mark.
Roller will meet familiar foe Jake Rau of Medford in the finals Saturday evening. Roller hopes to continue his incredible postseason, which has seen him pin every opponent he has faced thus far at regionals, sectionals, and the first 2 rounds of state. The final round of the tournament begins Saturday, February 29th at 5:30.