Germantown — The respect that has been shown three-time WIAA state wrestling champ Jesse Thielke of Germantown is apparent everywhere.
From the unique deal that was struck last summer with the University of Wisconsin that will allow him to delay his entry into school by a year so he can pursue his Olympic dreams at the training center in Colorado, to the way he easily jokes and chats afterwards with opponents he's just dominated, he exudes dignity.
According to his father Jeff, the only thing going wrong this successful senior season is a lack of competition. Thielke has pinned all but one of 23 opponents in this current high school season, including five, all in the first period, at the powerhouse Oshkosh On The Water Tournament on Dec. 29 and 30.
That achievement earned him an unprecedented fourth straight most valuable wrestler award at the 59-school tournament and helped the Warhawks to an impressive 11th-place showing in the team standings.
Yes, he is that good, but a closer inspection of his bracket showed that people seem to be going out of their way to avoid the talented Mr. Thielke.
Not that his father blames them.
"We made it public in October that Jesse was going to stay at 130 pounds all season, and people (at tournaments) have asked us to move up or down (to 135 or 125 in order top create more competition), but we didn't think that would be right, to say one thing and do another," said Jeff.
"It was just a little unfortunate that the caliber of competition at 130 was lower than it could have been, but we didn't want any pretense."
Thielke (23-0) didn't face anyone with double digit wins on the season at the Oshkosh tournament until his fourth match when he downed Devin Bera of Freedom (15-5) in a semifinal that took only 1:35 to conclude.
But Jeff Thielke was impressed by Jesse's finals' opponent, 2010 state placewinner Brock Kasten of Brillion (14-2), who moved down two weight classes from 140 just to see how he could fare against the Warhawk powerhouse.
"The kid really wanted to challenge himself," said Jeff Thielke. "Jesse really appreciated that. It showed that not everyone is running from him."
The match lasted all of 1:50 and created another memory for Warhawks coach Casey Gabrielson.
"(It's) another example of how special Jesse Thielke is to this sport and our program," Gabrielson said. "He really is at another level."
That victory led the Warhawks to a 179.5-point total as Coleman dominated the meet with 322 points. Hortonville grabbed second with 241.5.
Gabrielson was impressed with the entire team's performance, as the Warhawks turned in a best-ever finish.
Other fine efforts for Germantown included a sixth from Cody Szohr (17-4) at 119. Szohr went 5-3 in the exhausting two-day event. Gabrielson said that Szohr is headed towards a fine state finish with the way he's competing now.
Also turning in good showings were Danny Krause at 152 (13-8, 6-3), Jon Trapp at 171 (7-11, 6-3) and Joe Multerer at 285 (18-7, 5-3), all of whom were 10th. Both Trapp and Multerer recorded four pins apiece while Krause had three technical falls.
Brian Kuhlenbeck (17-8, 4-4) was 12th at 135, recording three pins.
"Our goal was to place top 15 this year as a team and place four individual wrestlers minimum," said Gabrielson. "We achieved each goal with the 11th place team finish and six individual place winners. This was a great way to end 2010."
Gabrielson was especially impressed with the efforts of Krause, Trapp, Szohr and Kuhlenbeck. He said that Kuhlenbeck had the toughest weight class in the tourney.
Following his triumph in Oshkosh, Thielke made a quick trip over to Kaukauna where he watched his old pal Alex Dieringer of Port Washington (18-0) turn in a dominant effort in winning the 145-pound crown at the Cheesehead Invitational. Germantown will host Cedarburg in a North Shore dual on Thursday (7 p.m.) and then will be at the West Bend West Duals on Saturday (9 a.m.)
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