Website Manager


News Detail


Feb, 2024

Three Warriors battle at the Kohl Center

Mason Spear has been there before. For Jackson Lenzendorf and McCoy Smith, competing at state wrestling was a mind-blowing experience.

“It was a good experience,” said Lenzendorf, who went 1-2 at state in the 285-pound division and was in awe looking around the Kohl Center at the crowd. “It was insane. One of our coaches, Tanner (Weber, a volunteer coach, who also serves as the police liaison at the high school), said, ‘You have to breathe.’”

Lenzendorf got off to a strong start, pinning Nicolet’s Evan Held in 59 seconds. Appleton North’s Brock Arndt, the No. 2, then pinned Lenzendorf in 1:47, before the Waunakee heavyweight dropped a 6-3 decision to D.C. Everest’s Oscar Latendresse to close his state experience.

Still, Lenzendorf was able to drink in the state experience.

“It’s definitely something I’ve been working for my whole life,” said Lenzendorf, a junior, who finished the 2023-24 campaign 43-9. “It was a great feeling winning at sectionals. It’s something every kid dreams of, and mine came true.”

Spear, a sophomore, advanced to state as a freshman last season. He lost his one and only match at this year’s state meet, losing 5-1 to Reedsburg’s Treynor Curtin.

“It was a little bit better experience this year, because I wasn’t losing so much weight,” said Spear (34-12), who explained that the match against Curtin was tighter than final score indicated.

“It was 2-1 in the first period,” said Spear. “Then, he got a takedown. I’m happy I made it to state.”

Smith dispatched New Berlin’s Thomas Perra in a 6-4 decision in his opening match, before being pinned by No. 2 seed Garrett Kawczynski and Appleton North’s Blake Miller to wrap up a 31-13 season.


“It was everything I hoped for and way more,” said Smith, a sophomore. “It was a surreal experience, just looking around the Kohl Center. It was a dream come true.”

Smith said he knew he could win that first match, as the two have tangled in the past. He knew he had to get down to business, but Smith added, “Before the match, I was soaking it all in.”

Mark Natzke, Waunakee’s head coach, said it was good to get three individuals to finish at state.

“You always hope for more, you always wish for more,” said Natzke, “but everybody put their heart into battle all season, and that’s all you can ask for.”

It was quite a year for the Warriors, who won a regional championship and an outright Badger Large Conference title.

“The great thing is, everybody contributed somewhere along the line,” said Natzke. “It was not just six or seven doing everything. That was the most rewarding out of everything.”

What’s even more gratifying is that, except for two seniors, everyone will be back next season.

“It’s always sad to see the seniors go, but we had 12 guys in the regional lineup who are coming back, so that’s also exciting.”

Copyright © 2024 Waunakee Wrestlebackers  |  Privacy Policy |  Terms of Use  |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In