Wrestling team manager Mike Chisholm honored for his workEL PASO — The seniors on the Ellsworth High School wrestling team gathered for a group picture just after they had claimed their second WIAA state championship in their fourth straight state team tournament.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
EL PASO — The seniors on the Ellsworth High School wrestling team gathered for a group picture just after they had claimed their second WIAA state championship in their fourth straight state team tournament.
Head coach Jack Radabaugh made sure that Mike Chisholm was a part of that picture.
Chisholm may not have been a wrestler, but his work as team manager for the past four seasons is seen as just as valuable as the points scored, titles won and wins piled up by the Class of 2009.
Chisholm received the same accolades at the team’s recent banquet on March 30th at the El Paso Bar and Grill.
“He was as just as important to our success as any of our wrestlers.” Radabaugh said.
Right off the bus
Chisholm was just an eighth grader on the same bus as his brother Jon, an Ellsworth wrestler (now currently the assistant coach at West Salem-Bangor), which was driven by his father down to the Bi-State Classic in La Crosse back in 2004.
“Jack asked me right on the bus if I wanted to manage the team as soon as got to high school,” Mike said. “I said yes of course, but I was very surprised. I didn’t wrestle myself. I just tagged along to watch my brother wrestle and helped out when I could.”
It was a good long-term decision on Radabaugh’s part as Chisholm stayed as manager for four seasons.
“He someone who hung around the team because his brother Jon wrestled,” Radabaugh said. “But I noticed how much he helped us out and how hard he worked. As I got to know him, I realized he was a good kid who could do the same things for us in high school and that’s why I asked him if he wanted to be our manager”.
Chisholm handled all the basic manager tasks such as preparing gear for team members, taping the matches and putting them on DVDs for the wrestlers to watch and keeping wrestling room clean and keeping equipment inventory.
“More than anything my job was to make sure the wrestlers had everything they needed before a match or a tournament.”
Because he did these routine tasks to his job so well, Ellsworth wrestlers and coaches could focus intently on wrestling.
“In four seasons we didn’t have to worry about gear or videos or inventory at the start and end of every season,” Radabaugh said. “Mike took care of all of this because he’s a very organized young man.”
Chisholm said the most exciting part about being manager were all the team state tournaments he was able to attend.
“They were all pretty exciting, especially when you win them,” as the Panthers did when Chisholm was a sophomore and a senior. “I guess for me, the best part was being with my classmates and watching them wrestle and improve over the past four years.”
Chisholm will attend college next fall at UW-River Falls, which means Ellsworth will have to break in a new manager. Mike said he’ll be around to help out with the training process.
“When I first started, Brandon Hase did a lot to help me out so I could learn how to do the manager’s different jobs,” Chisholm said. “I want to make sure that whoever replaces me has the same kind of help and training.”
Hayden Hauschildt walked away with the bulk of the team’s awards at the EHS wrestling banquet.
The two-time state individual champion and team captain won both the Kirby Symes and Dennis Knutson Awards for his achievements and it was announced he was chosen as a WIAA Scholar Athlete.
Statistically Hauschildt led the team in the number of nearfalls with 50. The wrestler with the most wins was Sam Huppert with 41. He also had the most reversals on the team and led the team in the number of points scored in multi-team tournaments.
Noah McLay had the most decisions with 16 and the most escapes with 47 while Shawn Helmueller won the most falls award with 21. He also had the most takedowns with 78.
Nick Oeltjen was given the Dennis Peterson Most Improved Wrestler Award and Huppert was named team captain for next season.