State Team Wrestling Tournament Preview

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Monday, March 3, 2014

State Team Wrestling Tournament Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS:  The 23rd Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Team Wrestling Championships will take place Friday and Saturday, March 7-8. 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.

CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE AND PAIRINGS:  The single elimination tournament features eight teams in Division 1 and four each in Divisions 2 and 3. The schedule has been altered from past team tournaments. 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 7 

Time       Div.   Pairings 

Division 1 Quarterfinals

5:30 p.m. 1 Match-1:  Merrill (18-1) vs. Mukwonago (22-6)
5:30 p.m. 1 Match-2:  Bay Port (23-5) vs. Stoughton (21-2)
5:30 p.m. 1 Match-3:  Sauk Prairie (16-0) vs. Burlington (12-1)
5:30 p.m. 1 Match-4:  Kaukauna (19-0) vs. Menomonee Falls (15-3)

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

Saturday, March 8

Division 2 Semifinals
10 a.m. 2 Match-1:  Wittenberg-Birnamwood (17-1) vs Pewaukee (20-5)
10 a.m. 2 Match-2:  Ellsworth (13-5) vs. Evansville/Albany (21-3)

Division 3 Semifinals
10 a.m. 3 Match-1:  Coleman (13-4) vs. Random Lake (19-1)
10 a.m. 3 Match-2:  Spring Valley/Elmwood (15-0) vs. Riverdale (15-4) 

3 p.m. 1 Match-11:  Division 1 Championship Match
3 p.m. 2 Match-12:  Division 2 Championship Match
3 p.m. 3 Match-13:  Division 3 Championship Match

ON THE AIR:  The entire State Tournament can be seen live on The  championship finals for all divisions will also be aired tape-delayed on FS Wisconsin. Each of the three championship final matches will be aired on FS Wisconsin at a date and time yet to be determined. Check the Media Center on the WIAA website for a schedule of all WIAA Tournament events on FS Wisconsin.

TEAM TOURNAMENT OVERVIEW:  The first WIAA State Team Wrestling Championship 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 334 programs entering the tournament series, including 127 in Division 1, 103 in Division 2 and 104 in Division 3.

LAST YEAR:  Wausau West won the Division 1  team title by edging Kaukauna 28-27 in the championship final. Luxemburg-Casco won its 11th Division 2 championship, defeating Mauston in the title match, 45-21. Lancaster won the Division 3 championship with a 38-21 victory over Coleman in the title match.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:  Last years' runner-up Kaukauna is back at State for the fifth time in the last seven years and for the 12th time overall. The Galloping Ghosts had a string of five straight appearances from 1999-2003, and had a three-year run from 2008-10. Their most notable State experiences were runner-up finishes in 2000, 2003, 2008 and again last year. The Ghosts’ qualified for State with a 72-3 thumping of Oshkosh West in the Fond du Lac Sectional final. Mukwonago returns for another shot at the State crown. The Indians qualify for the sixth time overall and for the third time in the last four seasons. The Indians made three straight appearances from 2005-2007 to account for all of their State experiences. They defeated West Allis Central 35-31 in the final of the sectional held at Mukwonago. Stoughton is making its seventh appearance overall and its first since 2009. Prior to the team tournament format, the Vikings won seven State championships (1968, 1972, 1975-77, 1987-88). They have also finished runner-up on seven occasions. This season, they earned their way into the quarterfinals with a 29-25 win over Milton in the sectional final held at Stoughton. Merrill returns to State for the sixth time and for the first time since 2006 when they finished runner-up. The Bluejays have won two team championships since the advent of the team tournament, capturing back-to-back crowns in 1992-93. They return to State prominence following their 37-20 dual win over Menomonie in the sectional held at Merrill.  Burlington is making its third straight State appearance. In its two previous experiences, the Demons were eliminated from title contention in the quarterfinals. This year, they earn their return to the field by ousting South Milwaukee 44-15 in the sectional final conducted at Burlington. Bay Port, Menomonee Falls and Sauk Prairie are each making their second appearance in the State team tournament after making their inaugural showing in 2013. Menomonee Falls was eliminated from title contention in the quarterfinals, and Bay Port and Sauk Prairie each advanced to the semifinals before they were defeated. Bay Port is the representative from the De Pere Sectional with a 46-16 triumph over Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln in the final. Menomonee Falls downed Wauwatosa East/West 66-8 in the final of the Whitefish Bay Sectional to earn its return, and Sauk Prairie beat Holmen 33-28 in the Baraboo Sectional final.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Ellsworth is back for the ninth straight year and for the 13th time overall. The Panthers have won five State titles, capturing the crown in 1985, 2000, 2007, 2009 and 2011. In addition, they also finished runner-up in 1999, 2001, 2008 and again in 2012. They qualify again for another run at the title following a 45-22 win over Amery in the sectional final held at Ellsworth. Pewaukee makes its fourth appearance at State and its first since the final of three consecutive experiences resulted in a runner-up finish in 2010.  The Pirates were defeated in the semifinals in each for their first two trips to State. They are the representatives from the sectional held at Pewaukee following a 56-9 victory over East Troy. Evansville/Albany and Wittenberg-Birnamwood are both newcomers to the State Team Tournament field. Evansville/Albany is the champion of the Wisconsin Dells Sectional after notching a 38-30 win over West Salem/Bangor in the final. Wittenberg-Birnamwood posted a 35-33 win over Freedom in the final to claim the Freedom Sectional championship.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Coleman returns for the seventh consecutive year and for the 12th time overall. The Cougars have won a total of nine team championships. With the current dual format, they won the title in 2000 and three in a row from 2010-12. They also claimed crowns before the dual format in 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1966 when there was only one division. In addition, they finished runner-up in 1959, 1961, 1981, 1983, 1996, 2008 and again last season. The Cougars whipped Crandon 54-27 in the Manawa Sectional final to earn a repeat engagement to the State semifinals. Riverdale advances to the State semifinals for the seventh time and for the first time since 2001. The Chieftains have won two State team championships. The first came in the first year of team dual format in 1992, and the second came in 1997. They also have a pair of runner-up finishes, coming in 1993 and 2000. The Chieftains return to the tournament comes virtue of a 39-21 victory over Mineral Point in the Richland Center Sectional final. Random Lake returns to the State Tournament for the third straight season and for the fifth time overall. The Rams had back-to-back appearances in 2008-09, which produced a runner-up in 2009. That second-place outcome represents the Rams’ most notable finish. They posted a 48-13 win over Laconia in the sectional final held at Lomira. Spring Valley/Elmwood is back in the State Tournament for the second time in the last three seasons. The Cardinals finished runner-up in the program’s first experience at State in 2012. They qualify this season from the Boyceville Sectional by rolling to a 69-6 victory over Phillips. 

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 #wiaawiwr. 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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