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State Team Wrestling Tournament Preview

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

State Team Wrestling Tournament Preview

THE TOURNAMENT:  The 28th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Team Wrestling Tournament will take place Friday and Saturday, March 1-2. The tournament is held at the Field House on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the tourney are $13 for the Friday session and $8 for the Saturday sessions.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE AND PAIRINGS:  The single elimination tournament features eight teams in Division 1 and four each in Divisions 2 and 3. The Division 1 quarterfinals and semifinals are scheduled for Friday evening with the Divisions 2 and 3 semifinals and the finals for all divisions Saturday.

Friday, March 1 

Division 1 Quarterfinals - 5:30 p.m.
Match-1:  #1 Stoughton (18-0) vs. #8 Arrowhead (2-3)
Match-2:  #4 Holmen (19-1) vs. #5 Kaukauna (19-3) 
Match-3:  #3 Marshfield (16-3)vs. #6 Burlington (13-6)
Match-4:  #2 Mukwonago (24-0) vs. #7 Slinger (13-2)

Division 1 Semifinals - 7:30 p.m.
Match-5:  Match-1 Winner vs. Match-2 Winner
Match-6:  Match-3 Winner vs. Match-4 Winner

Saturday, March 2

Division 2 Semifinals - 10 a.m.

Match-1:  #1 Ellsworth (18-4) vs. #4 Wisconsin Lutheran (13-3)
Match-2:  #2 Freedom (17-3) vs. #3 Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro (16-5)

Division 3 Semifinals - 10 a.m.
Match-1:  #1 Stratford (24-1) vs. #4 Random Lake (15-1) 
Match-2:  #2 Fennimore (9-0) vs. #3 St. Croix Falls (13-0)

Finals - 3 p.m.
Division 1 Championship Match
Division 2 Championship Match
Division 3 Championship Match

TOURNAMENT LIVE STREAMS:  The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of the WIAA State Team Wrestling Tournament will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a consumer subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $9.95 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscribe button in the header of the page. Archived streams of the events will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament without requirement of a subscription. 

TEAM TOURNAMENT OVERVIEW:  The first WIAA State Wrestling Tournament was held in 1940. Until 1992, team champions were determined by a point system based on individuals’ placing in what is currently the individual championships. For the first time in 1992, a team champion was determined by a separate tournament series involving dual matches. UW-Stevens Point hosted the first two championships, and West Allis Central hosted the meet from 1994-2004. Since then, the tournament has been held at the UW Field House. There were 337 programs entering the tournament series, including 128 in Division 1, 105 in Division 2 and 104 in Division 3.

LAST YEAR:  Stoughton won the Division 1 team title with a 31-29 victory over Holmen in the championship final.  Luxemburg-Casco won the Division 2 championship by downing former two-time defending champion Ellsworth 30-28 in the title match. Stratford won the Division 3 team title for the second year in a row with a convincing 45-13 win over Fennimore.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:  The field consists of the same eight teams that qualified in 2018. Defending champion and top-seed Stoughton is making its sixth straight appearance and its 13th overall. The Vikings have won eight State team titles. Prior to the team tournament format, the Vikings won seven State championships (1968, 1972, 1975-77, 1987-88). In addition, they have finished runner-up 10 times. This season, they earned the opportunity to defend their title following a 59-9 win over Janesville Craig in the sectional final held at Stoughton. Second-seeded Mukwonago advances to State for the ninth time and for the third time in the last four seasons. The Indians’ most noteworthy experiences at State were advancing to the semifinals in 2011 and 2016. This season, they return to the State quarterfinals with a convincing 73-3 win over Wauwatosa West/East in the Mukwonago Sectional final. Third-seeded Marshfield qualifies for the State Team Tournament for the fourth time overall and for the second straight season. The Tigers advanced to the semifinals in 2002 and 2003, which represents their furthest advance in the tournament. They are the representatives from the Wausau East Sectional following their 54-18 triumph over River Falls in the final. Last season’s runner-up Holmen is making its third straight appearance in the tournament field and is the #4 seed. The Vikings advance to the State tournament for the ninth time overall. The only other two times they advanced past the State quarterfinals was in 2012 and in 2017. The Vikings downed Waunakee 39-19 in the Tomah Sectional final to earn a return berth in the final eight. Fifth-seeded Kaukauna is back at State for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons and for the 17th time overall. The Galloping Ghosts had a string of five straight appearances from 1999-2003 and have now surpassed that streak with their current run of seven consecutive appearances. They have won a total of four State championships, all coming in a row from 2014-17.  The Galloping Ghosts have also finished runner-up four times, including 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2013. They qualified for State this year with a 45-15 victory over Ashwaubenon in the sectional final held at Kaukauna. It’s Burlington’s second straight appearance in the team tournament and its sixth overall. The Demons are the #6 seed. Their first four appearances came in succession from 2012-15. The Demons’ furthest advance toward a title in those previous experiences were to the semifinals in 2014 and last season. They return to the team tournament after a 52-27 win over Oak Creek in the sectional final held at Racine St. Catherine’s. Seventh-seeded Slinger is making its third consecutive appearance in the State Team Tournament, which also accounts for its overall total. The Owls are looking to advance past the quarterfinals for the first time. They posted a 48-15 victory over West Bend East in the final of the Hartford Sectional to gain entry into the State field. Arrowhead, the #8 seed, is making its ninth State appearance and its second in a row. The Warhawks had an impressive string of five successive appearances from 2004-2008. They have a pair of runner-up finishes on their ledger. Those came in 2005 and 2011. The Warhawks’ return to the tournament field comes as a result of a 39-33 win over Nicolet in the Milwaukee Riverside Sectional final. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Ellsworth is back for the 14th straight year and for the 18th time overall. The Panthers were issued the #1 seed. They have won eight State titles, capturing the crown in 1985, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2017. In addition, they also finished runner-up six times, including 1999, 2001, 2008, 2012, 2015 and last season. The Panthers qualify in pursuit of a ninth title following a 51-18 win over Spooner/Webster in the sectional final held at Osceola. It’s the fifth time Freedom advances to State, and it’s the first since 2015 when the Irish were crowned champion. They also won the championship in 1997. Their return to the State qualifying field is a result of a 37-24 decision over former defending champion Luxemburg-Casco in the sectional finals held at Brillion. The Irish are the second seed. Third-seeded Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro makes its second straight State appearance after making its debut team tournament last season. The Titans fell in their semifinal match-up. Their return to the State semifinals comes following a 45-31 decision over Prairie du Chien in the River Valley Sectional final. Wisconsin Lutheran, the fourth seed, will appear in the State Team Tournament for the third time and for the first time since its first two appearances in 2015 and 2016. The Vikings finished runner-up in 2016 after falling in the semifinals in their first-ever experience in 2015. This season, they edged Kiel 33-32 in the North Fond du Lac Sectional final. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Like in Division 1, the entire field returns after participating at State last season. Two-time defending champion and top-seed Stratford makes its eighth appearance in the State Team Tournament. In addition to the championships they won the past two seasons, the Tigers’ have four  runner-up finishes, including 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2016. Their fourth consecutive trip to State comes virtue of their 33-27 win over Coleman in the Auburndale Sectional final. Fennimore, the runner-up to Stratford the last two seasons, is the second seed. The Golden Eagles make their fifth straight appearance, which accounts for their total number of appearances. They won the team title back in 2016. This season, they defeated Riverdale 62-15 in the final of the sectional hosted by the Golden Eagles. St. Croix Falls, the third seed, will be making its second consecutive appearance in the State Team Tournament after falling in the semifinals in the Saints’ first-ever experience last season. They advance to the State semifinals this season following a 42-31 victory over Boyceville in the final of the Ladysmith Sectional. Fourth-seeded Random Lake returns to the State Tournament for the eighth straight season and for the 10th time overall. The Rams’ most notable experience in the State Tournament was a runner-up finish in 2009. They posted a 42-37 triumph over Princeton in the Markesan Sectional final. 

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Team Wrestling Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaawr. Also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.

NEED RESULTS?:  The quickest way to get results will be to access the wrestling homepage on WIAA website and select the Tournament Information option, or access the TrackWrestling.com website directly.

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