New squads make up Division 2 and 3 fields at team stateWhile mainstays like Coleman, Luxemburg-Casco and Ellsworth make up half of the WIAA Division 2 and 3 field at Saturday's team state tournament, there are some new squads making their first or second trips to state, like Spring Valley/Elmwood for example.
While mainstays like Coleman, Luxemburg-Casco and Ellsworth make up half of the WIAA Division 2 and 3 field at Saturday's team state tournament, there are some new squads making their first or second trips to state, like Spring Valley/Elmwood for example.
Ellsworth faces one of those new squads, No. 5 ranked Delavan-Darien in the Division 2 state semifinals at 1 p.m. today in Division 2. No. 1 ranked L-C and take on another new team, Sparta, in the other semifinal.
No. 2 Spring Valley/Elmwood will be taking on a team which is semi-new, Random Lake is making its third trip to state, in the Division 3 state semifinals. It's not like a No. 1 ranked Coleman squad who is making its 10th appearance at team and is the defending state champions. The Cougars are facing No. 5 ranked Iowa-Grant, making just second appearance at state.
Delavan-Dairen has been a rising program in Division 2 for some time and this year is their breakout season. The Comets top wrestlers include Austin Schwarz at 106 pounds; Kiefer Bennett at 145, Kyndle Bennett at 152; Marcus Hudson at 182.
Ellsworth could face another state finals showdown with L-C. Last season the Panthers beat up the Spartans 40-22 but L-C is much stronger coming into this year's team state with four individual state finalists in their line-up. The includes champion Newton Smerchek at heavyweight. L-C is especially strong in the upper middleweights led by MIke Uliana at 152, Mitch Berceau at 160 and Matt Zellner at 170.
SVE head coach Carter Turner described Random Lake as a "gritty team who makes it hard for you to get pins on." The Rams come to team state with several top-ranked individuals including Jon Mudlaff at 106; Brandon Depies at 113; Mark Meyer at 120 (who SVE's Brady Webb beat at state last weekend 3-2); Brady Schmidt at 138; Nick Mudlaff at 145; Adam Risse at 170 and Reed Anklam at 285. The middleweights could be decisive in the outcome of the dual meet.
Coleman had 11 wrestlers make it to state last weekend and came aaway with a titlist in Isaac Nowak at 195. Mitch Champagne, Jordan Schaal and Mike Mergener all placed second at 145, 160and 170 respectively and the Cougars also had five other place winners.