Coleman's State "Team" Run Ends
Seeking a record 4th straight state team title, the Coleman Cougars made it to the championship match before getting knocked off by top ranked Lancaster 38-21 Saturday night at the UW-Fieldhouse in Madison.
Fresh off a 33-22 semifinal win over Clear Lake earlier in the day, Coleman was looking to continue its wrestling dynasty but dropped 3 of the first 4 matches against Lancaster to finish as the number two team in Division 3.
We had an outstanding season falling just one match shy of our goal of being state champions. Im extremely proud of this team and their accomplishment of being state runner-up, said Kevin Casper, who completed his 24th year as the Cougars head coach.
Juggling his lineup for both state matches, Casper moved wrestlers up or down for favorable draws. Most of the moves worked in Colemans favor and the key was not getting pinned.
We had to try something or we wouldnt have had a chance going straight up against Lancaster. They are a good team and will return 7 of their studs, Casper added. There were 4 key matches that we needed to win against Lancaster...Mason won at the buzzer; Lancaster moved their 138 to 132 and he beat Kevin Lansin in overtime, Karban moved up to 182 and was leading 8-7 at one time before losing 12-8 while Coty Rosner lost at heavyweight. If we win two or possibly three of those matches, the outcome changes.
Is this the end of the Cougar dynasty? Probably not!
The 2013 Coleman mat powerhouse featured only two seniors, Mason Mergener and Isaac Nowak, both having earned individual state titles over the past two years.
To do what we did after losing 8 seniors from last years team is fantastic, Casper said. We have a good nucleus coming back with six of our 8 wrestlers that made it to state this year returning. We also have a great 8th grade class coming in ranging from little to big kids. Not many people thought we would be back this year, but our kids really came through with flying colors to carry on the Coleman tradition.
Clear Lake In
Going up against Clear Lake in the state semifinals, the Cougars used a string of 4 straight wins from 126 to 145 to take control.
After Jensyn Schaal was nipped 7-6 in the 120 bout, the Cougars went on a roll to gain a 12-3 lead.
Jackson Margis whipped Alex Colbeth 8-2 while Marc Lansin took care of Andrew Colbeth at 132 11-4. Kevin Lansin followed with a 3-0 decision at 138 and Alex Stodola defeated Cameron Crawford 8-5 at 145.
Coach Casper could only watch as the lead stood at 24-16 with two wins over the next 5 bouts. Coming up victorious for the Cougars were individual state champion Mason Mergener with a 2:52 pin at 160 while Dexter Karban moved up a weight and pinned Ian Ruble at 182 in 1:39.
Looking to put the match away, Coleman saw Isaac Nowak suffer a disappointing 3:10 pin at 195 before wrapping things up with a trio of wins.
CJ Pillath, who has been a pleasant surprise in the tournament series, pinned Chant Lablanc at 220 in 2:43, Coty Rosner added a 3:51 pin at 285 to seal the match while Derick Teteak nipped Zach Elmer 7-5 in the final bout at 106.
In the first match against Clear Lake our kids wrestled very good with some very key wins that made a big difference in the victory. Jackson Margis got us going with a win as well as both Lansin boys coming up with big wins against some very good wrestlers. Alex Stodola came away with a huge win against a kid that had a better record than him, Coty Rosner sealed the team victory with a wild 285 pound match that went back and forth. Toward the end of second period, Coty got both arms secured and threw the boy to his back to get the pin. Derick Teteak then came out and wrestled an excellent match beating a very good wrestler,Casper explained. A great team win that sent us to the finals.
Early Losses Critical
In Championship Bout
Against Lancaster 38-21
Heading into the finals as an underdog against Lancaster, the Cougars knew it would be difficult.
And it was!
After pinning a trio of Coleman grapplers in the state individual meet a week earlier, the top ranked team in the Division 3 polls took control early and hung on for the title 38-21.
Coleman could only muster up five wins in the title bout while dropping a number of close matches. Marc Lansin earned a 12-6 decision over Joe Crosby at 132, Trevor Seewald claimed a 16-1 technical fall at 152, Mason Mergener registered a narrow 7-6 decision over David Chadd at 170 for a record 46th win on the season, Isaac Nowak collected a 1:35 pin at 195 and CJ Pillath claimed a 9-0 major decision over John VanDeHey at 220.
Pillaths victory put Coleman up 21-20 with only three matches remaining. Unfortunately for the Cougars, all three went to Lancaster as Coty Rosner dropped a 10-4 decision at 285, Teteak was pinned in 1:44 at 106 and Brandon Champagne suffered a 3:57 pin at 113 pounds.
The championship match was a lot closer match than score indicates. We knew we were going to have to win every single match we had a chance in to beat a very talented Lancaster team that was ranked #1 all year. Marc Lansin won a very big match to get us started. We had three close matches and needed every one of them to give us the victory, but it just wasnt our night. It sure wasnt from a lack of effort as our kids wrestled their hearts out and just came up a little short, Casper explained.
Mason Mergener came away with real big win moving up two weights to 170 against Lancasters third place finisher at state the week before getting a takedown at the buzzer to win by one. That victory gives Mason the most wins in a single season than any Coleman wrestler ever with 46.
Narrow losses for Coleman included Kevin Lansin in overtime SV-1 at 145, Karban 12-8 at 182, Rosner 10-4 at 285 and Schaal 6-3 at 120.
Other Coleman matches saw Jackson Margis suffer a 12-0 major decision at 126, Alex Stodola 16-3 at 145 while Hunter Stodola was pinned in 0:52 by two-time state champion Ethan Soderstrom at 160.
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