WIAA State Team Wrestling Tournament Preview

By TomM February 26, 2018 18:29

WIAA State Team Wrestling Tournament Preview

WIAA State Team Wrestling Tournament Preview

THE TOURNAMENT: The 27th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Team Wrestling Tournament will take place Friday and Saturday, March 2-3. The tournament is held at the Field House on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the tourney are $13 for the Friday session and $8 for the Saturday sessions.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE AND PAIRINGS: The single elimination tournament features eight teams in Division 1 and four each in Divisions 2 and 3. The Division 1 quarterfinals and semifinals are scheduled for Friday evening with the Divisions 2 and 3 semifinals and the finals for all divisions Saturday.

Friday, March 2

Division 1 Quarterfinals – 5:30 p.m.
Match-1: #1 Holmen (18-0) vs. Arrowhead (6-1)
Match-2: #4 Burlington (13-0) vs. Slinger (14-3)
Match-3: #3 Stoughton (21-1)vs. Marshfield (17-2)
Match-4: #2 Kaukauna (20-1) vs. Mukwonago (13-3)

Division 1 Semifinals – 7:30 p.m.
Match-5: Match-1 Winner vs. Match-2 Winner
Match-6: Match-3 Winner vs. Match-4 Winner

Saturday, March 3

Division 2 Semifinals – 10 a.m.
Match-1: #1 Ellsworth (15-6) vs. Chilton/Hilbert (16-6)
Match-2: #2 Luxemburg-Casco (20-0) vs. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro (10-5)

Division 3 Semifinals – 10 a.m.
Match-1: #1 Stratford (20-0) vs. St. Croix Falls (18-0)
Match-2: #2 Fennimore (16-2) vs. Random Lake (15-4)

Finals – 3 p.m.
Division 1 Championship Match
Division 2 Championship Match
Division 3 Championship Match

TOURNAMENT LIVE STREAM: The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of the WIAA State Team Wrestling Tournament will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a consumer subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $9.95 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscription image in the middle of the page. Archived streams of the events will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament without requirement of a subscription.

TEAM TOURNAMENT OVERVIEW: The first WIAA State Wrestling Tournament was held in 1940. Until 1992, team champions were determined by a point system based on individuals’ placing in what is currently the individual championships. For the first time in 1992, a team champion was determined by a separate tournament series involving dual matches. UW-Stevens Point hosted the first two championships, and West Allis Central hosted the meet from 1994-2004. Since then, the tournament has been held at the UW Field House. There were 334 programs entering the tournament series, including 127 in Division 1, 104 in Division 2 and 103 in Division 3.

LAST YEAR: Kaukauna won the Division 1 team title for the fourth year in a row. The Galloping Ghosts defeated Stoughton in the final for the third straight year, defeating the Vikings 35-27. Ellsworth won the Division 2 championship for the second consecutive season. The Panthers edged Luxemburg-Casco 27-26 in the title match. Stratford won the Division 3 team title with a convincing 49-13 victory over Fennimore.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD: Four-time defending champion Kaukauna is back at State for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons and for the 16th time overall. The Galloping Ghosts had a string of five straight appearances from 1999-2003 and have now surpassed that streak with their current run of six appearances. They have finished runner-up four times to go with their four titles, including 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2013. The Ghosts’ qualified for State with a 52-19 victory over Pulaski in the sectional final held at De Pere. Stoughton has finished State runner-up to Kaukauna the past three seasons. The Vikings are making their fifth straight appearance and their 12th overall. Prior to the team tournament format, the Vikings won seven State championships (1968, 1972, 1975-77, 1987-88). They have finished runner-up 10 times. This season, they earned their way into the quarterfinals with a 48-13 win over Elkhorn in the sectional final held at Elkhorn. Holmen is making its second straight appearance in the tournament field. The Vikings advance to the quarterfinals for the eighth time overall. The only two times they have advanced past the quarterfinals to the semifinals was last season and in 2012. The Vikings downed Waunakee 38-15 in the Mauston Sectional final to earn their berth in the final eight. Marshfield qualifies for the State team tournament for the third time overall and for the first time since the second of back-to-back appearances in 2003. The Tigers advanced to the semifinals in those two previous experiences before being eliminated from title contention, which represents their furthest advance in the tournament. They are the representatives from the Marshfield Sectional following their 41-36 victory over Hudson in the final. Arrowhead is making its eighth State appearance and its first since 2012. The Warhawks had a string of five successive appearances from 2004-2008. They have a pair of runner-up finishes on their ledger. Those came in 2005 and 2011. The Warhawks’ return to the tournament field comes by virtue of their 59-21 victory over Marquette in the Milwaukee Riverside Sectional final. Mukwonago advances to the State for the eighth time as well. The Indians’ last appearance came in 2016, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. The one other time they advanced to the semifinals came in 2011. This season, the Indians advance to the State quarterfinals by defeating Pewaukee 40-12 in the Waukesha South Sectional final. It’s Burlington’s fifth trip to the team tournament. The four previous appearances came in succession from 2012-15. The Demons’ furthest advance toward a title in those previous experiences was to the semifinals in 2014. They return to the team tournament after a two-year hiatus following a 51-25 win over Oak Creek in the sectional final held at Kenosha Bradford. Slinger is making its second consecutive appearance in the State Team Tournament, which also accounts for its overall total. The Owls posted a 47-24 victory over Port Washington in the final of the West Bend East Sectional to gain entry into the State field.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD: Two-time defending champion Ellsworth is back for the 13th straight year and for the 17th time overall. The Panthers have won eight State titles, capturing the crown in 1985, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016 and again last season. In addition, they also finished runner-up in 1999, 2001, 2008, 2012 and 2015. The Panthers qualify in pursuit of a three-peat following a 47-21 win over Spencer/Columbus Catholic in the sectional final held at Hayward. Last year’s runner-up Luxemburg-Casco is making its 17th appearance in the team tournament. The Spartans enjoyed a string of eight consecutive appearances that ended in 2008. They have won Division 2 titles 11 times (1992, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013). The Spartans also added runner-up finishes in 1991, 2007, 2011 and again last year. They return to the State semifinals in pursuit of the program’s 12th title by beating Lakeland 63-8 in the Freedom Sectional final. The Chilton/Hilbert co-op returns to the State meet for the second time. The co-op’s only other experience resulted in a loss in the semifinals in 2013. The Tigers edged Kewaskum 30-29 in the final of the East Troy Sectional to qualify for the tournament field. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro makes its debut in the State team tournament. The Red Hawks advance to the semifinals comes following a 31-30 decision over Lodi in the Viroqua Sectional final.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD: Last year’s champion Stratford will make its seventh appearance in the State Team Tournament. In addition to the championship they won last season, the Tigers’ have four runner-up finishes, including 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2016. The Tigers advance from the Coleman Sectional comes following a convincing 54-13 win over Coleman in the final. Last year’s runner-up Fennimore will make its fourth straight appearance, which accounts for its total number of appearances. The Golden Eagles look to return to the glory they achieved in 2016 when they won the State title. They defeated Darlington/Black Hawk 43-25 in the final of the Royall Sectional to earn the chance at a second title in three seasons. Random Lake returns to the State Tournament for the seventh straight season and for the ninth time overall. The Rams’ most notable appearance in the State Tournament was a runner-up finish in 2009. They posted a 32-29 triumph over Kenosha Christian Life in the sectional final held at Random Lake. St. Croix Falls will be making its inaugural appearance in the State team tournament. The Saints celebrate their advance to the State semifinals following a 34-23 victory over Clear Lake in the final of the Cadott Sectional.

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Team Wrestling Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaawr. Also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.

NEED THE QUALIFIERS?: All rosters of qualifying teams are available on the media restricted area of the WIAA website at: www.wiaawi.org.

NEED RESULTS?: The quickest way to get results will be to access the wrestling homepage on WIAA website and select the Tournament Information option, or access the TrackWrestling.com website directly.

Preview Courtesy WIAA Media

Page Photo: Abigail Ruckdashe

Social Media Photo: Paul Stumpf PS Portraits

By TomM February 26, 2018 18:29