State Team Wrestling Tournament Preview

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Monday, February 29, 2016

State Team Wrestling Tournament Preview

THE TOURNAMENT:  The 25th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Team Wrestling Tournament will take place Friday and Saturday, March 4-5. 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 4

Division 1 Quarterfinals - 5:30 p.m.

Match-1:  Hortonville (16-4) vs. Sauk Prairie (14-5)
Match-2:  Stoughton (21-2) vs. Kenosha Bradford/Reuther (19-7)
Match-3:  Hudson (15-0) vs. Kaukauna (19-0)
Match-4:  Mukwonago (26-2) vs. Menomonee Falls (16-2)

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 5

Division 2 Semifinals - 10 a.m.

Match-1:  River Valley (12-1) vs. Wisconsin Lutheran (18-1)
Match-2:  Ellsworth (15-3) vs. Two Rivers (17-1)

Division 3 Semifinals - 10 a.m.
Match-1:  Fennimore (18-4) vs. Random Lake (18-0)
Match-2:  Spring Valley/Elmwood (13-3) vs. Stratford (28-0)

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

TOURNAMENT LIVE STREAM:  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, log-on to and click on the “JOIN NOW”  button on the home page.

TEAM TOURNAMENT OVERVIEW:  The first WIAA State Team 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. West Allis Central hosted the meet from 1994-2004. Since then, the tournament has been held at the UW Field House. There were 333 programs entering the tournament series, including 128 in Division 1, 102 in Division 2 and 103 in Division 3.

LAST YEAR:  Kaukauna won the Division 1 team title for the second year in a row. The Galloping Ghosts took down Stoughton 41-21 in the championship final. Freedom won the Division 2 championship by defeating defending champion Ellsworth in the title match, 34-15. Spring Valley/Elmwood dethroned defending Division 3 champion Coleman with a 40-27 victory in the final.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:  Two-time defending  champion Kaukauna is back at State for the seventh time in the last nine years and for the 14th time overall. The Galloping Ghosts had a string of five straight appearances from 1999-2003 and now have currently qualified four straight  years. They have finished runner-up four times to go with their two titles, including 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2013. The Ghosts’ qualified for State with a 59-3 victory over Slinger in sectional final held at Kaukauna. Last year’s runner-up Stoughton is making its third straight appearance and its 10th overall. Prior to the team tournament format, the Vikings won seven State championships (1968, 1972, 1975-77, 1987-88). They have finished runner-up eight times. This season, they earned their way into the quarterfinals with a 30-28 win over Milton in the sectional final held at Stoughton. Mukwonago qualifies for the seventh time overall and for the first time since 2014. The Indians’ furthest advance toward the title came in 2011 when they reached the semifinals. They defeated Pewaukee 43-25 in the final of the sectional held at Burlington to earn a return appearance in the State Tournament. Sauk Prairie makes its fourth consecutive appearance, which also accounts for the Eagles’ overall total. They advanced to the semifinals in 2013, and fell in the quarterfinals in 2014 and last year. They downed Holmen 39-24 in the Baraboo Sectional final to advance to the State quarterfinals. Hudson is appearing in the State team tournament for the second straight season and for the third time overall. The Raiders advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated from title contention last season and in 2011. They are the representatives from the Wausau East Sectional following their 47-26 victory over Stevens Point in the final. Menomonee Falls is also making its third appearance, all coming in the past four seasons. The Indians lost in the quarterfinal round in both 2013 and 2014. They upended Wauwatosa West/East 40-23 in the final of the Cedarburg Sectional to earn their return to the State quarterfinals. Hortonville is experiencing the State Team Tournament for the first time following its 50-21 victory over Pulaski in the final of the Green Bay West Sectional. The Kenosha Bradford/Reuther co-op is also experiencing the State Team Tournament for the first time following its 28-26 victory over Oak Creek in the final of the sectional held at Kenosha Bradford. Kenosha Bradford made a single appearance in the team tournament as a stand-alone program back in 1993 when the Red Devils fell in the quarterfinals.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Ellsworth is back for the 11th straight year and for the 15th time overall. The Panthers have won six State titles, capturing the crown in 1985, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2014. In addition, they also finished runner-up in 1999, 2001, 2008, 2012 and again last season. The Panthers qualify again for another run at the title following a 66-9 win over Northwestern in the sectional final held at Melrose-Mindoro. Wisconsin Lutheran will appear in the State Team Tournament for the second straight season after qualifying for the first time last season, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. They defeated Lomira 29-22 in the East Troy Sectional final. River Valley and Two Rivers will both be making their first-ever appearance in the State Team Tournament. The Blackhawks earn their first appearance following a 30-21 decision over Lodi in the final of the sectional held at River Valley, and the Purple Raiders advance for their initial experience by virtue of their 35-26 win over Oconto Falls in the Omro Sectional final.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Defending champion Spring Valley/Elmwood is back in the State Tournament for the third straight season and for the fourth time in the last five seasons. In addition to their one title, the Cardinals have finished runner-up twice, in 2012 and in 2014. They qualify this season from the Boyceville Sectional with 60-18 victory over Cumberland. Random Lake returns to the State Tournament for the fifth straight season and for the seventh time overall. The Rams most notable finish in the State Tournament was a  runner-up finish in 2009. They posted a 63-6 win over Markesan in the sectional final held at Random Lake. Fennimore will make its second straight appearance after qualifying for the first time last season, resulting in a loss in the semifinals. The Golden Eagles defeated Cashton 37-22 in the final of the Royall Sectional to continue their quest for a State title. Stratford will make its fifth appearance in the State Team Tournament. All four previous experiences came in a string of appearances from 2001-04. The Tigers finished runner-up in the final three years of that run. They advance from the Manawa Sectional with a 35-21 win over Coleman in the final.

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Individual Wrestling Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaawr. Also follow daily recaps on Facebook.

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 website directly.

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