MADISON, WI - Coming in, the Cardinals knew it was going to be tough sledding at the WIAA team wrestling tournament in Madison last weekend.
The Cardinals came into the final-four having not been ranked higher than eighth all season long, meanwhile Fennimore, Random Lake and Stratford had all been ranked in the top four or five all season long.
Stratford had been the number one team in the state for much of the season and ended up winning the State Championship. Fennimore, which had been ranked third most of the season, beat the Cardinals in the semifinals 54-18, before falling to Stratford in the championship match 49-13. Stratford had topped Random Lake by a score of 52-13 in the semifinal.
Against Fennimore, the Cardinals struggled early on. Starting at 106 pounds Fennimore’s Mason Lull won by fall over SV/E sophomore Ben Anderson in the first period , which ended up being a common occurrence for the Cardinals’ on the day. Alex Birchman topped sophomore Luke Deppa at 113 pounds and Aidan Nutter also won over freshman Clayton Neisinger at 120, both matches by fall in the first period, to give Fennimore an early 18-0 lead.
Senior Dylan Bune broke the goose egg for the Cardinals with a 2-1 win over Trevor Wanek at 126 pounds. Wanek was a state champion just the week before.
Senior Seth Schlegel also got a 4-0 decision win at 132 over Maguire Fitzgerald to make it 18-6 for Fennimore.
Hunter Wardell won by fall over junior Jarod Rielly in the second period to make it 24-6. Senior Cooper Stevens lost by fall in the first period to Justin Tollefson at 145 pounds for Fennimore to increase their lead to 30-6.
Sophomore Santana Schlegel lost a tough 2-0 decision to Tyler Klaas at 152 before senior Cruze Hurlburt won by fall in the first period over Brayden Leffler at 160 pounds to make it 33-12.
Sophomore Kenny Fesenmaier lost by fall to Will Ahnen at 170 before Tavian Kaschub won an 8-4 decision over SV/E sophomore Carter Merth at 182. Nick Hofacker lost his 195 pound match by fall to Cody McCollough in the first period to make it 48-12.
Senior Austin Turner won his 220 match with a pin in the first period to make it 48-18. SV/E gave up a forfeit at 285 to finish the match scoring.
“It is always tough at state, and we just weren't physical enough this year as a team to compete at that level,” said Head Coach Carter Turner. “We had an exceptional year 15-2 in duals . So overall I'm happy with the way the wrestlers did this year.”
Congratulations on a great season and the fourth straight trip to state for the wrestling team, especially the seniors who finished all four seasons they wrestled in their career at the team state tournament.