Panthers need two good efforts two win state title (State Team Wrestling Preview)If the problem for the Ellsworth High School wrestling team in last year’s WIAA State Team Tournament was putting all their effort towards one match, they will not have that problem in this year’s state tournament.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
If the problem for the Ellsworth High School wrestling team in last year’s WIAA State Team Tournament was putting all their effort towards one match, they will not have that problem in this year’s state tournament.
EHS head coach Jack Radabaugh says this year’s Division 2 field is one of the toughest he’s seen in several years, which Ellsworth will need the same strong effort for their state semifinal meet against Pewaukee as they will against Lodi or Oconto Falls.
The No. 4 ranked Pirates are first up for the No. 2 ranked Panthers this Saturday at 1 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Fieldhouse in Madison.
Pewaukee brought a truckload of wrestlers to the state individual meet, nine in all, and saw several of them place, including 189-pound state champion Josh Mohr, along with Josh Berg at 103, David Phillips at 152 and T.J. Decker at 171.
Both teams are particularly solid in the middle and upper weights. The Pirates made their first trip to state last year.
“Pewaukee has a very good team,” Ellsworth head coach Jack Radabaugh said. “They brought a lot of wrestler to the state individual tournament with good records. They have a state champion in (Mohr). They were down in Madison last year so they have tournament experience and are well led by veteran coach in Ed Kurth. They must be doing something right.”
But Radabaugh feels the Panthers match-up well with Pewaukee. The challenge will get tougher when facing either the defending state champs and No. 1 ranked Lodi or No. 3 ranked Oconto Falls, making its first-ever trip to state.
Ellsworth knows the Blue Devils well, and they be led by Einerson
brothers, state champs Keegan at 103 and Logan at 152 along with brother Kasey at 112 who placed sixth at state and could have done better if he had not been injured there. The Devils also have state qualifiers like Ryan Lehr at 119, runner-up Cody Endres at 215 and Brock Miller at heavyweight.
Oconto Falls also had a good contingent at state led by two-time state runner-up Cullan Morrissey at 119, Aaron Heidersheid at 135, Ben Sasma at 145, and Codi Ness at 160.
Oconto Falls has been beating top-ranked teams all season. They won the regional over then No. 3 ranked Seymour and downed No. 6 Luxemburg-Casco and No. 5 Mosinee in the toughest team sectional in the state. The Panthers also beat Division 3, No. 1 ranked Mineral Point at the Northern Exposure holiday duals tournament in Merrill this season but also lost to Lodi in that same tournament.