MADISON – The Stratford and Fennimore wrestling teams have proved that they are the two powerhouses to be dealt with when it comes to Division 3 programs in Wisconsin.
After both won semifinal matches Saturday morning, the two teams met for the fourth-straight year in the Division 3 championship dual at the WIAA State Team Wrestling Tournament, and by winning four of the final five matches, Fennimore evened the score with a 31-24 victory to capture its second state title over the Tigers.
Fennimore topped Stratford by criteria in 2016, before the Tigers turned the table by winning the past two D-3 title duals over Fennimore. This year it was tight again, but the Tigers didn’t have quite enough.
Stratford reached the final with a dominating 41-24 win over Random Lake in the semifinals.
Stratford won six-straight matches, one by pin, one by technical fall and three by major decision, to take a commanding 26-3 lead at the midway point.
After a pair of pins for Random Lake, Hunter Ford earned a pin at 170 pounds and Trevor Dennee won by forfeit to clinch the victory for the Tigers.
Gavin Drexler had a pin at 113, Manny Drexler won by tech fall at 120, and Dillon Kirsch (126), Jacob Heiden (138), and Mavrick Licciardi (145) all won by major decision for Stratford. Max Schwabe (132) and Logan Peterson (220) also notched wins for the Tigers.
In the finals, Stratford led 21-15 after nine matches and a first-period pin by Trevor Dennee at 170.
Gavin Drexler (113) and Manny Drexler (120) won the first two matches by scores of 7-3 and 4-3, respectively, and after a pin by Fennimore’s Alex Birchman, Schwabe won by technical fall 16-0 at 132.
Devin Dennee also earned a 14-0 major decision at 152 to help the Tigers to the lead.
Fennimore finished strong however, taking three matches in a row to regain the lead at 25-21.
Stratford had to win the final two matches to capture its third-straight state title. Dylan Schoenherr, the D-3 champion at 285 pounds at last week’s individual state tournament, won 7-0 over Brayden Leffler to make the final match – at 106 pounds – a do-or-die for both teams.
State qualifier Brody Lee proved to strong for Stratford freshman Logan Gaulke, earning a pin 52 seconds into the second period to ice the victory for Fennimore.
Stoughton topped Mukwonago 42-24 to win its second-straight Division 1 state team title, while Freedom knocked off Ellsworth 35-16 to capture the Division 2 championship.
2019 WIAA State Team Wrestling Tournament
March 2, at UW Fieldhouse, Madison
Division 3 Semifinals
Stratford 41, Random Lake 24
106: Tanner Birenbaum (RL) def. Logan Gaulke, 11-5.
113: Gavin Drexler (ST) pinned Ethan Sanfelippo, 5:32.
120: Manny Drexler (ST) won by technical fall over Dylan Weiss, 17-2.
126: Dillon Kirsch (ST) won by major dec. over Parker Scholler, 15-3.
132: Max Schwabe (ST) def. Tristan Hammen, 7-1.
138: Jacob Heiden (ST) won by major dec. over Hayden Scholler, 12-1.
145: Mavrick Licciardi (ST) won by major dec. over Joey Bock, 10-2.
152: Aiden Vandenbush (RL) pinned Oscar Telschow, 5:20.
160: Grayson Vandenbush (RL) pinned Logan Rueth, 3:38.
170: Hunter Ford (ST) pinned Sam Schwabe, 5:43.
182: Trevor Dennee (ST) won by forfeit.
195: Brock Upson (RL) def. Jediah Knetter, 6-3.
220: Logan Peterson (ST) def. Jordan Arendt, 8-3.
285: Charlie Ruege (RL) pinned Cole Marten, 2:45.
Division 3 Championship
Fennimore 31, Stratford 24
113: Gavin Drexler (ST) def. Luke Blair, 7-3.
120: Manny Drexler (ST) def. Mason Lull, 4-3.
126: Alex Birchman (FEN) pinned Dillon Kirsch, 1:29.
132: Max Schwabe (ST) won by technical fall over Kohl Wardell, 16-0.
138: Aidan Nutter (FEN) def. Jacob Heiden, 10-4.
145: Trevor Wanek (FEN) def. Mavrick Licciardi, 11-5.
152: Devin Dennee (ST) won by major dec. over Nick Blaschke, 14-0.
160: Maguire Fitzgerald (FEN) def. Derek Marten, 3-0.
170: Trevor Dennee (ST) pinned Atai Berdaliev, 1:06.
182: Will Ahnen (FEN) won by major dec. over Hunter Ford, 10-2.
195: Logan Klaas (FEN) def. Jediah Knetter, 12-8.
220: Aaron Ragels (FEN) def. Trevor Steiner, 9-4.
285: Dylan Schoenherr (ST) def. Brayden Leffler, 7-0.
106: Brody Lee (FEN) pinned Logan Gaulke, 2:52.