Badger Conference Preview 2015-2016
Badger Conference Preview 2015-2016
By ElectricGuy (Wisconsin Wrestling Online Forum)
Is it possible for the toughest / deepest conference in the state to get tougher & deeper? YES! Throughout last year, you had Milton and Stoughton swapping the 2 and 3 rankings for most of the year. With Stoughton getting the last victory, by squeaking out a dual team win 29-24 at the Verona team sectionals over Milton, Stoughton validated that ranking by closing out the season as the D1 state runner up to Kaukauna. During their march to the finals, they knocked off Badger Conference rival Sauk 36-30. Sauk also was ranked throughout the year in the top ten throughout all of last season.
Look for this year to even be more exciting and challenging. With the graduations of Kaukauna’s seniors, The D1 field is wide open more than ever. I would not be surprised to see, this year, Stoughton and Milton both swapping 1 and 2 rankings throughout the year. Also, Sauk returns a talented deep squad and should be considered a top 10 team throughout the year. In addition, I expect to see DeForest break through into the top 10 team rankings this year, with them returning the lion’s share of a very talented squad. Sum up – Badger could very possibly have 4 ranked D1 teams at year’s end. I don’t think you’re going to find another conference to match that.
On the team sectional side this year, you now have a talented DeForest team added to the Milton / Stoughton sectionals, adding some further intrigue.
In addition, I believe Mount Horeb could be a D2 sleeper team this year, returning 8 regular starters and 5 of those being experienced seniors. My preseason prediction is to expect that MH makes it through to the Team sectionals this year, though they will probably face a loaded Evansville team for a state title birth.
As for individuals: The Badger conference as a whole is returning 7 state qualifiers from 2015 tourney, 7 former state place winners, 3 state runner ups from 2015 tourney, and 2 former state champs. Need I say more?
Soph – Ringelstetter 15+ wins
Sr – Perez 20+ wins
Sr – Raymond 30+ wins / state qualifier
Sr – Duran 30+ wins
Sr – Pierce 25+ wins
Sr – Perez 23+ wins
Jr – Kluender 15+ wins
Key Losses: Porter, Mayllen, Goodreau, Gale, and Hanson – 135+ wins — This talented, graduating senior class leaves some large holes to fill with wins, points, and leadership. One big hit to the lineup is losing Hanson (3x qualifier / 1x place winner & leaves Baraboo as the all-time wins leader – 149 wins).
Incoming/Overlooked: They have a strong youth program, but not a lot of freshmen feeding in next year that will make immediate impacts to the varsity starting lineup. One freshman that may have an impact on the varsity lineup could be Pablo Ramirez at 106.
Odds/Ends: Probably a long shot for a ton of team accolades this year, but on the individual side, expect Baraboo to be sending through some of its experienced seniors on to state with Zach Raymond leading the way.
Soph – Fisher 20+ wins
Soph – Rauls 20+ wins
Jr – Gahnz 35+ wins / state qualifier
Jr – Hemauer 40+ wins / state 2nd
Sr – Schodin 20+ wins
Sr – Rauls 30+ wins
Sr – Kemp 38+ wins
Sr – Toppel 35+ wins / State 4th
Key Losses: Dubois, Endres, Chamberlin – 55+ wins
Incoming/Overlooked: Hemauer has consistently had a strong youth program, DeForest had a large group of youth represented at the WWF state tournament this last year, but it may be a long shot for any of the incoming freshmen to break through onto the varsity lineup in a way to add a lot of depth.
Odds/Ends: By returning the lion’s share of their lineup, they should be a very tough dual team throughout the season, especially with their senior leadership, along with a couple of very talented juniors. They have the talent to put a few through to state and maybe two in the state finals, though their Hwt hammer (aka Toppel) is going to have a challenging sectionals just to escape, matching up with Elkhorn’s and Badger’s HWT’s. That sectional in the Hwt division could very well be a foreshadowing of what we will see at the state finals.
From a team standpoint, don’t be surprised to see DeForest break into the top 10 rankings this year, looking forward to the Sauk / Deforest conference dual match-up this year!
Soph – Sigmund 20+ wins
Jr – B Kind 25+ wins
Jr – Willey 15+ wins
Jr – Worden 25+ wins
Jr – Willey 15+ wins
Sr – A Kind 20+ wins
Sr – Beavers 20+ wins
Key Losses: Talented graduating group of Foerster, Dunkleberger, and Agnew – 85+ wins in 14/15
Incoming/Overlooked: Probably one of their biggest impact makers could come from Nolan Kraus, a talented sophomore who is bound to make some noise in the lower weights. Also, you have a talented Nick Chapin who should see some more time in the varsity lineup this year. I have no information on incoming freshmen that may have a significant varsity impact.
Odds/Ends: Fort should see a good amount of success in its lower to mid weights as it returns everyone 152 and lower. They do have some significant holes to fill 160 lb and up, which is a common theme with many dual teams.
Soph – Pieper 15+ wins
Jr – Ehn-Howland 10+ wins
Jr – Moore 10+ wins
Sr – Williams 10+ wins
Key Losses: Omar Sacramento
Incoming/Overlooked: They did have 8 youth participate at WWF state, but they are still a few years from being part of the HS squad.
Odds/Ends: What has happened to Oregon? By all accounts, their youth program remains strong. In the HS ranks, they have fallen on hard times with numbers. I can’t get my head around the fact that this is the same vibrant club that ran WWF regionals for about 4 years straight. I kept expecting the reinforcements to arrive, but to no avail. Look for the core group of returning varsity wrestlers to build on last year’s experience. Sam Pieper had a very nice season last year and we would expect that he would be eyeing a sectional birth for the 15/16 season.
Soph – Suckow 15+ wins
Soph – Casey 10+ wins
Soph – White 10+ wins
Jr – D Golke 20+ wins
Jr – Routson 10+ wins
Jr – Emmerich 10+ wins
Key Losses: K McTier, M Golke, and their hammer and state champ Jacob Poches. Over 90 wins combined
Incoming/Overlooked: Rumor is they have a talented hardworking freshman class coming in that should provide a nice base for the future. Some may have overlooked that Portage has been moved back up to the D1 division, which will be a test for this young group.
Odds/Ends: They lost a lot to graduations, not only with wins, but with J Poches’ leadership. They are starting the season with a new head coach Shane Haak, the son of IL Hall of fame wrestling coach, Tim Haak (Portage’s new AD). According to the local papers up there, Tim is currently the assistant FB coach at Portage, so don’t be surprised to see Tim also joining Shane’s wrestling staff up at Portage. Also, I would suspect a few football players will be highly encouraged to go out for wrestling now. With this new leadership at the top and the synergy with the football team, don’t be surprised to see Portage’s program grow and thrive!
Jr – Dalton Shea 20+ wins / (state qualifier 14)
Jr – Harms 25+ wins
Jr – Garrett 30+ wins
Jr – Richards 15+ wins
Jr – Pitzner 35+ wins / state Qual
Jr – Chesmore 15 + wins
Sr – Woods 25 + wins
Sr – Prochazka 25 + wins
Key Losses: N Shea (6th@St), Chesmore (St Qual 14), Gohlke (St Qual), McCarthy, Wileman (St Qual), Maxwell, Nelson – 230 + wins graduated.
Incoming/Overlooked: The Milton Monsters youth program continues to feed into the HS program talented young wrestlers ready to hit the mat and compete at a varsity level. This year’s Fr that could have some varsity impact are Triston Shea (multi time youth state champ and runner up) and Tyler Kersten (youth state place winner and qualifier). Both should fall somewhere in the lower weights and have an impact.
They will fill some of the graduating holes with depth from their JV program, look for some noise from JV state competitors, Jerry Lipke and Scotty Mansur, to help fill some gaps in the upper weights and for Chesmore who saw varsity time last year to anchor the 220 or Hwt slots.
Milton will also get a tremendous boost this year. They have added to their roster, returning from injury, Evan Whitehead (state qualifier) and Janesville Craig transfer Vinnie Digennaro (who recently had a nice run at preseason nationals – knocking off 4 quality opponents). Also, expect Dalton Shea to return with a vengeance from an injury- plagued sophomore season.
Odds/Ends: I don’t know how a team graduates 230 + wins, yet is still positioned for a team state title, but Milton is lined up again to make some noise both on the individual side and team side. It’s a credit to Shea’s youth Monster program and to Head coach, Pat Jaunch. A very talented Junior / Senior group (Harms, D Shea, Pitzner, Garret, Richards, Whitehead, Woods, Prochazka) are now all experienced upperclassmen and that is a formidable base to be reckoned with! On the individual side, they have 6-8 wrestlers that could qualify and be standing on the podium at state.
MononaGrove / McFarland
Soph – K Gunderson
Soph – M Hoye
Jr – Torbleau
Jr – Z Long
Jr – A Edmunds
Sr – Steffen
Key Losses: Ryan Stube
Incoming/Overlooked: Though MGM has been sending a consistent 8-9 youth participants to WWF youth state the past couple years, most of those wrestlers are still a few years out, but when that next wave over the next 4 years does arrive, they will turn some heads. MGM does have a couple of experienced freshmen coming in, Carlos Gatica and Reese Baker, both should add some depth to the lineup.
Odds/Ends: I’m excited to be including MGM into this preseason report; this has been a long time coming. A lot of parents have poured a ton of time, effort, and resources into the MGM club for quite a few years with this vision. Hats off to those parents that helped raise wrestling from the dead at both McFarland and Monona Grove. MGM had a sectional qualifier last year, junior Zach Long, and I would look for him to repeat and would not be surprised for a couple teammates to accompany him with sectional births. The sleeper on the team may be Monona Grove football stud, Alex Edmunds, with another year under his belt. It would not surprise me to see him pull out some big wins this season.
Soph – Steinhoff 10+ wins
Soph – Czerwomka 10+ wins
Jr – Frisch 10+ wins
Sr – Frakes 30+ wins
Sr – Fame 20+ wins
Sr – Stram 25+ wins
Sr – Jones 34+ wins
Sr – Blome 35+ wins / 2nd @ State
Key Losses: Zimpel, Syvrud, Thompson – 65+ wins
Incoming/Overlooked: First thing I thought of about this team – Overlooked! They might have one of the deepest Senior groups in the Badger conference. On the youth side, they have a couple that competed on the WWF state tournament, but no one that I noticed that will be making an impact on varsity in the near future.
Odds/Ends: I would not be surprised to see Mount Horeb have a lot of success this year in the dual team format. Deep experienced team with good senior leadership is a recipe for a nice team run. On the individual side, look for 3 or more of their wrestlers to make an appearance at the state tournament this year, with Blome having an eye on a state championship after just coming up short. On the team side, I’m predicting Mt Horeb to get the sectional team birth out of its region.
Soph – S Kind
Soph – Wolf 10 + wins
Soph – D Foley 20 + wins
Jr – Murray 30+ wins
Jr – Allen 15+ wins
Jr – Arneson 20+ wins
Jr – Walter 15+ wins
Sr – Amacher 10+ wins
Sr – M Foley 10+ wins
Sr – Gorr 40+ wins / 4th @ State
Key Losses: None! Returning entire squad!
Incoming/Overlooked: Similar to Mt Horeb, this Monroe team may be overlooked. They may have a couple of freshmen that could break through and have some impact on the lighter varsity weights and bring some additional depth to this team. Also, with the expected return of David Andrews (Badger Conf 106 – 7th place in 2014) to their lineup, this will also give some much needed experience to the lower weights.
Odds/Ends: Monroe has some experience and talent returning, this might be one of their deeper squads that they have put on the mat in a few years. A look at the individual side of their team, I would expect they would send at least two on to individual state this campaign, with Traiten being on odds on favorite at 220 this year.
Soph – McMillen 35+ wins / state qualifier
Soph – McGlynn 15 + wins
Jr – Lewerenz 30+ wins
Jr – Haugen 30+ wins
Sr – Haugen 25+ wins
Jr – Hahn 40+ wins / state 4th
Key Losses: Bretsch 25+ wins
Incoming/Overlooked: Strong youth program, but didn’t see any youth that might have a varsity impact in 15/16.
Odds/Ends: Depth again will be their challenge to fill out for dual competition, but come individual tournaments, they have the fire power to put 5 on top of the podium each weekend. Their two Jr’s have a tremendous upside. Hahn does have some roadblocks at the 182/195 area with Breske and Rashka, if it wasn’t for that, I would be calling for a state championship from him. Look also for McMillen to improve on an impressive freshman season, which included 35 + wins and a state qualifying birth.
Soph – Z Smith 35+ wins
Soph – G Lankey 25+ wins
Jr – Fjoser 40+ wins / 5th @ state
Jr – Moore 10+ wins
Sr – Hankins 35+ wins
Sr – E Smith 45 + wins / 5th @ state
Sr – Vils 20+ wins
Sr – Powell 45+ wins / 4th @ state
Key Losses: Chrisler, Neumaier, Niemi – those three alone accounted for over 100 wins from their upper weights.
Incoming/Overlooked: Coach Smith always seems to have that depth hanging in the JV wings ready to step in. This year, for the gaps left in the upper weights, he will be leaning on Moore, Walsh, Batz, and McNeal, all who had some varsity mat time in the 14/15 season. Bryant Schaaf, who is ranked 9 by (WI Wrestling.com) on a list of incoming freshmen, should also add some depth in the upper weights. Schaaf finished as a runner up in USA nationals FS / GR during the 2015 season.
Odds/Ends: Smith’s squad is coming off another great year in both team and individual competition. Last year they just came up a bit short, losing in the quarterfinals to their south Badger rival, Stoughton, at team state. Sauk’s dual team will be tested this year when they represent Wisconsin out at the Clash and it will be a challenge to fill the holes in the upper weights. With all those thumpers up and down their lineup, they should make plenty of noise this year in individual and dual competition. Expect to see their dual team back at team state this year and don’t be surprised to see as many as 5 of their individuals standing on the podium at individual state.
Soph – Dow 40+ wins
Jr – Jenny 35+ wins / state qual
Jr – Klien 50+ wins / state champ
Jr – Louis 40 + wins
Jr – Model 45+ wins / state qual
Jr – Nelson 20+ wins
Sr – Groleau 15 + wins
Sr – Kraus senior 50+ wins / state champ & 2x 3rd
Key Losses: Benton, Hasselberger, Helland, Reilly – 160+ wins
Incoming/Overlooked: Stoughton has 3 former youth state champs coming in as FR – Hunter Lewis, Daunte Stiemitz, Cade Spilde & youth state 3rd place Drew Pashold. Also, JV state place winners – Runner-Up C Suddeth and 3rd place D Stenghen. In addition, this year, they have some depth and experience in the bigs with Harried Sr at Hwt (was starting Hwt last year before missing most of the season with an injury) and Jacob Groleau who had 15 wins before breaking his ankle just halfway through the season. Junior Josiah Nelson had 20+ wins in his sophomore campaign. Also, Aodan Marshall has been competing nationally this past summer and he will give some depth to the 220 / HWT slots.
Odds/Ends: Could the 15/16 season even be better for this Viking squad that had a dual record of 24-2, second place finish at team state, Badger State team title, Mid States team title, Badger Conference tournament team title, and a 7th place team finish at the Cheesehead? The Vikings will be challenged this year early on in the dual format with the possibility of facing Kaukauna at the Dells duals. If Stoughton can find a way to spread out the talent, this might be their deepest team yet in the past 3 years. On the individual side, Stoughton returns 6 wrestlers that were ranked in the top 8 at the end of last year, all with legitimate chances at state placements in 2016.
Soph – Statz 30 + wins
Soph – Hooker 25 + wins
Jr – Joseph 10+wins
Jr – Lorenz 25 + wins
Jr – Reefe 10+ wins
Sr – Ernst 40+ wins / State Qualifier & 6th Fr Yr
Sr – Schoepp 20+ wins
Sr – Statz 40+ wins / 2nd @ State
Sr – Ripp 30+ wins
Key Losses: C Hooker and Marek – 70+ wins
Incoming/Overlooked: A good youth program continues to feed talent into the Waunakee lineup. This year, it should be Ty Miller making an impact in the 106 range and I also expect Zach Marek to fill some holes in the lower weights. One of the more intriguing freshmen coming is Reed Ryan. Rumor is that this kid has a boatload of talent and could really turn some heads before his HS career is done. Not sure if there is an opening this year for him in the 160 – 182 range, but don’t be surprised to see him sometime this year out there for the varsity lineup.
Odds/Ends: Waunakee has a very good upperclassmen base with 7 contributing varsity members, now all being upperclassmen. Depth in their lineup will continue to hamstring them as a team. On the individual side, they have the talent to place 3 to 4 at state with Statz looking to make amends for his one point loss in last year’s state finals.
2014-2015 Badger Conference Tournament Scores
Mount Horeb 172
Fort Atkinson 104
Monona Grove McFarland 3
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