If Kameron Bourgeois does not win a single match this weekend, he’ll still rank as one of the best wrestlers Whitnall has ever had to offer.
The 103-pound senior, however, has no intention of being shut out at the WIAA Division 1 State Individual Wrestling Tournament, which begins today at the Kohl Center in Madison and runs through Saturday.
“I want to place in the top three,” Bourgeois said. “That’s my ultimate goal, and winning it would be great.”
Bourgeois (44-1) is one of three seniors in the 16-team field and his 44 victories are the second most behind Hartford Union sophomore Bobby Nachreiner’s 48. Nachreiner is 48-2 and considered the tournament favorite.
“He’s got a great chance of placing, and a great chance to get to the finals,” Whitnall co-head coach Craig Austin said of Bourgeois. “I’ve watched film on a lot of guys he’ll probably face, and I think he’s better than them. He faced a pretty good guy at sectionals in Ferriez (Johnson, of Bradley Tech), who was ranked better than KB, and KB dominated the entire match.”
Bourgeois will face Manitowoc Lincoln freshman Zac Youngchild (41-2) in a first-round match at 3 p.m. Thursday. The winner wrestles Thursday evening. Semifinals are 7 p.m. Friday and the championship match is 6 p.m. Saturday.
In his first state appearance last winter, Bourgeois lost both his matches, including his opening-round bout with Nachreiner.
“Last year he told me he had huge butterflies,” Austin said. “This year, he knows what it’s like and he’s a little bit more determined. I said you need to go show the freshman that you’re the senior and make him have the butterflies and make him know you want to get to the medal round.”
“He’s grown so much from last year. … I think, because he’s a senior, he seems like he’s got so much more confidence every match that he has."
on the school’s all-time career win list with 134 and his 44 wins represent the fifth-best single-season total in school history.
Adding to those totals this weekend is simple, according to Bourgeois.
“Stay really aggressive, keep hitting all the shots, stick to what I’m good at and bury kids,” he said.