THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Cougars Return To State "Team" Meet
7 Pins Key Win Over Stratford In Semis 42-40
For the 7th straight year the Coleman Cougars will be making their way to the WIAA state team tournament in Madison. Ranked second in the Division 3 state polls, the talented Cougars punched their ticket Tuesday with a pair of sectional wins over Stratford 42-40 and Crandon 54-27 Tuesday night at Manawa.
Coleman will go up against Random Lake in the 10am March 8 state semifinals at the UW-Fieldhouse while top ranked Spring Valley-Elmwood takes on Riverdale. The finals are slated for 3pm
A great start and plenty of pins proved to be the difference in the semifinal win over third ranked Stratford. Billed as the match to decide a state berth, the Cougars opened with 5 straight pins for a commanding 30-0 lead. Coach Kevin Casper saw his grapplers finish with 7 pins to secure the match before forfeiting the final five bouts.
Our kids wrestled the best I have ever seen them wrestle, just incredible,Casper exclaimed. We knew the Stratford match was going to decide the championship and it did. The kids came out and wrestled with the most intensity Ive seen in a long, long time. Very proud of them.
Starting at 145 pounds, the Cougars saw Trevor Seewald begin a string of 5 straight pins by working over Kyle Martin in 1:42. Kevin Lansin followed suit at 152 in 3:50 while Alex Stodola dropped down to 160 and bested Kyle Giebel in 5:17.
Moving Dexter Karban to 170, the Cougars got a huge lift from their senior who topped 30-6 Kellen Bornbach in 1:30. Hunter Stodola capped the early run with a 1:37 pin over Dylan Widmann for that 30-0 spread.
Trevor Seewald got a pin to start the ball rolling and Kevin Lansin comes up with big pin at 152. Next we moved Alex Stodola down to 160 tonight to give us better match-up and he got a huge pin. Dexter Karban took on a very good kid and came away with a huge pin, Casper said. Now its 24-0, and you could see Stratford was already hanging their heads.
After losses by Abe Nowak (195) and Donovan Salewski (220), the Cougars used pins by CJ Pillath at 285 in 5:50 and Derick Teteak (106) to wrap up the semifinal win.
CJ Pillath wrested a awesome match against one of their best kids. He was losing 3-1 with about 30 seconds left but the Stratford kid was beat down and tired. CJ stayed after it, reversed him to his back and pinned him. The final dagger so to speak came at 106 where Derick Teteak throws the Stratford kid to his back and gets the pin. We were now ahead by enough to forfeit the rest of the matches.
Not letting down in the finals against Crandon , which beat Menominee Indian 47-30, the Cougars wrestled with the same intensity to capture the 54-27 victory and the sectional title.
Once again pins made the difference as the Cougars opened with 4 straight for a 24-0 cushion. Kevin Lansin bested Chase Tupper 5:35 at 152 pounds, Alex Stodola over Alex Stroik 4:56, Karban roughed up Deven Groff in 1:46 and Hunter Stodola took care of John Dennee in 5:22.
Following a pair of Crandon wins at 195 and 220, the Cougars got back on track as heavyweight Pillath made quick work of Bobby Pfeiffer 1:03. Continuing the mat dominance, Teteak pinned Tanner Morris 2:31, Jordan Blanchard needed just 40 seconds to put Jarod Roberts on his back at 113 and Brandon Champagne whipped Mike Huml in 1:35.
With the final outcome no longer in doubt, the Cougars forfeited three of the final 4 bouts.