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Ellsworth wrestling will return to Madison

The Ellsworth wrestling team after qualifying for state on Tuesday, Feb. 14. (Photo courtesy of Jon Claesson)

HAMMOND -- The Panthers will return to Madison with their sites set on tracking down an eighth WIAA state title banner.

After defeating Barron in the WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinals, 77-0, and Melrose-Mindora/Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, 50-12, in the sectional finals on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at St. Croix Central High School, the Ellsworth prep wrestling team confirmed that it will be a force to be reckoned with when it competes in the team state tournament on Saturday, March 4 at the UW-Fieldhouse.

“We came out firing on all cylinders, it was great to see that,” Ellsworth head coach Mark Matzek said. “We could tell during our warm up that the kids were really focused and they came out tough with a workmanlike performance.”

In the semifinals, the Panthers pinned their first 10 opponents and then they carried that dominance into the sectional finals against Melrose-Mindora/Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau earning five pins, two technical falls and a major decision.

“We’re excited (about getting back to Madison),” Matzek said, “but we did have some sloppy wrestling. There are a lot of technical things that we need to clean up because some of the schools that we will see (in Madison) will take advantage of those.”

The Panthers are the reigning WIAA Division 2 state champions and will compete for their eighth title in program history.

“Sometimes the goal can be a distraction when the expectations are so high,” Matzek said. “But the kids have worked hard and won 24 of our 28 matches this year.

“We will enjoy this tonight and then get back to work tomorrow.”

Ellsworth 77, Barron 0

106: C. Stuhl, pinned Cox, 1:48; 113: Peterson, pinned Thompson, 2:19; 120: Strom, pinned Meza, 2:19; 126: O. Matzek, pinned Massie, 3:22; 132: S. Stuhl, Kobernick, :50; 138: Lansing, pinned Fowler, 1:02; 145: Skelton, mdec. J. Massie, 16-2; 152: L. Melstrom, mdec. N. Massie, 12-4; 160: Lantz, dec. Waldofski, 4-3; 170: George, pinned Wohlk, 5:36; 182: Sigler, pinned Lorvig, 1:46; 195: C. Toenjes, pinned Miller, 1:41; 220: Linder, pinned Hutton, 2:50; 285: Freund, pinned Viebrock, 2:21.

Ellsworth 50, MM/GET 12

106: C. Stuhl, E, pinned Sime, 1:39; 113: Marley, MMGET, dec. Peterson, 4-2; 120: Strom, E, dec. Purney, 7-2; 126: O. Matzek, E, dec. Lakey, 6-2; 132: S. Stuhl, E, pinned Summers, 3:16; 138: Lansing, E, pinned Blaken, 1:42; 145: Skelton, tfall Anderson, 16-1; 152: Maynard, MMGET, dec. L. Melstrom, 4-2; 160: Lantz, E, pinned Johnson, 1:03; 170: George, E, maj. Burns, 10-1; 182: Sigler, E, tfall Lockington, 16-1; 195: Jansen, MMGET, sudden victory C. Toenjes, 4-2; 220: Daffinson, MMGET, dec. Linder, 3-0; 285: Freund, E, pinned Marciulionis, 1:07.

Jalen Knuteson

Jalen Knuteson started as a reporter in the sports department for the Pierce County Herald in October of 2016. He has spent time working for the Portage Daily Register as a freelance reporter and as a sports assistant for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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