THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Pillath Notches Clincher In 38-34 Finals Victory
For the sixth straight year and 11th time in school history, the Coleman Cougars will be making a trip to the WIAA state team tournament.
The perennial mat powerhouse will be going after a fourth straight Division 3 state crown after beating Edgar in a 38-34 thriller for the Division 3 team sectional title Tuesday.
The D-3 state team tourney will be held on Saturday, March 2 at the UW-Fieldhouse in Madison. Semifinal pairings at 1pm pit Clear Lake and Coleman while Lancaster takes on Random Lake. The finals are slated for 6pm.
Coleman opened the team sectional with a 46-28 whipping of Shiocton before going up against host Edgar in the finals. And what a match it was. Back and forth the entire way. Coleman finally got the upper hand when sophomore CJ Pillath moved up a class and posted a 3-0 decision in the heavyweight bout to secure the win.
One of the most incredible matches Ive ever been involved in. Our kids wrestled their hearts out...won 8 matches and needed everyone of them. The Edgar team is a bunch of pinners and they got 5 out of 6 pins plus a major so we needed everyone of those 8 wins and to get bonus points in some of them, Coleman coach Kevin Casper said.
It was pure bedlam and elation when the final horn blew. Its very exciting to have the opportunity to get back to state and have chance to go for number 4 in a row. These kids are so deserving.
The Cougars got off to a great start as Derick Teteak needed just 18 seconds to put Coleman on top 6-0 with a pin of Dan Myszka at 106. After Brandon Champagne was pinned in 3:02, Coleman went up 16-6 as Jensyn Schaal earned a forfeit at 120 while Jackson Margis posted an 11-3 major decision over Judd Gross at 126.
Edgar managed to stay within striking distance (16-12) when Devin Lemanski pinned Marc Lansin in 1:57 before Coleman recorded three straight wins.
Kevin Lansin whipped Isaac Dahlke 13-4, Trevor Seewald won 11-3 over Connor Handrick at 145 and Mason Mergener stretched the lead to 29-12 with a 16-1 technical fall over Wylie Frahm at 152.
Then it was Edgars turn....like 4 straight wins worth to go up 34-29.
Colemans 160 pounder Dexter Karban got pinned by Anthony Lemanski in 3:47 and Alex Stodola went down in 1:42. Clinging to a slim 29-24 lead, Coleman saw things continue to go south as Hunter Stodola lost 14-4 while Collin Kempka suffered a 1:03 pin to put Edgar on top 34-29.
With only two bouts left, the Cougars knew it was do or die. And they did it. Moving up to 220 pounds, Isaac Nowak pinned Thadd Werner in 3:00 to give the Cougars a 35-34 lead.
Teteak's pin to start night was huge but Jackson Margis winning by a major against Gross, who beat him last year at sectionals was really big. Kevin Lansin also got a major with a last period takedown...Trevor Seewald a major as well against Handrick who is one of their better kids. Mason Mergener had a huge technical fall beating a very physical kid in Frahm 16-1. Going into the second to last match we were down 34-29 and Isaac Nowak got a big pin to put us ahead 35-34, Casper explained.
The match then came down to the final bout...heavyweight. With a trip to Madison on the line, Pillath put together his best effort of the season and slipped past Wesley Dittman 3-0.
After a scoreless first period, Pillath a got a one point escape and added a crucial takedown right at the end of the second period to go up 3-0. In the final frame, the undaunted Pillath rode out Dittman and avoided going to his back.
The last period CJ rode him out to win but there were some very hairy moments as Dittman almost had CJ going to his back but thankfully CJ came out on top, Casper added.
Coleman Cruises Past
Shiocton In Semifinals
The Cougars combined 3 forfeits with 4 pins and 2 major decisions to claim a 46-28 semifinal victory over Shiocton. Coleman built up a commanding 40-6 lead with five bouts left and was never threatened.
After Pillath went down 3-2 to open the match, Teteak, Champagne and Schaal earned forfeits. Jackson Margins followed with a quick 0:34 pin of Adam Miller for a 24-3 edge.
Shiocton temporarily stopped the Cougar surge as Austin Riehl posted a 7-4 decision over Marc Lansin.
It didnt faze the Cougars. Kevin Lansin and Seewald followed with pins of 1:19 and 1:10 while Mergener padded the cushion to 40-6 with a 12-2 major decision at 152.
With the outcome no longer in doubt, Coleman rested some frontliners and won just one more match...195 pounds where Dan Pillath pinned Dominic Gunderson in 3:43.
Oconto Falls Denied
State Team Berth
Looking to make their way to state, Oconto Falls ran into top ranked Luxemburg-Casco in the Division 2 finals and fell 35-22.
This was the fifth straight year that the two mat powers met at the team sectional. L-C will be making its third straight trip to state, 15th overall, and managed to beat Oconto Falls for a 7th straight time.
Ranked third in the state polls, the powerful Panthers opened sectional action with a 48-24 win over Wittenberg-Birnamwood before coming up short against L-C, which routed Little Chute 68-9 earlier.
Key wins in the finals for Oconto Falls saw freshman Ben Stoinski post a 6-5 victory over Cody Demlow at 106, Gunnar Leisner 14-11 over Eric Peters at 113, Brett Ash 7-0 over Alex Zellner at 126 Dewey Krueger 3-1 at 138, Mitchell Friedman 14-3 at 152 and Jacob Morrissey recorded a 1:59 pin over Ethan Peters at 182.