By Paul Lecker
For the second year in a row, the Marshfield and Stratford wrestling teams will be competing at the state team meet.
Marshfield (16-3) will take on Burlington (13-6) in a Division 1 quarterfinal on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the 2019 WIAA State Team Wrestling Tournament at the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse in Madison.
The Division 1 semifinals will follow at 7:30 p.m.
Stratford will be looking for its third-straight Division 3 championship. The Tigers (24-1) will battle Random Lake (15-1) in a semifinal match at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
All three division championship duals will be at 3 p.m. Saturday.
For Marshfield, it is the second-straight trip to state. The Tigers suffered a quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Stoughton last season, but are excited to try to get a win this year.
“We brought nine guys down here (to individual state), that’s a school record, we placed three and had some tough draws,” first-year Marshfield coach Cody See said. “We’re hoping to keep that momentum we had coming out of sectionals and qualifying all of those guys into team state. We have Burlington first round, we have a lot of good matchups, and we’re excited to be down there and compete again. It’s a great atmosphere down there.”
To a man, following the individual state tournament last weekend, the Stratford athletes that won titles all said the team tournament, and going for another title, is what matters to them.
“That’s even more important to me,” D-3 285-pound champion Dylan Schoenherr said of the team tournament. “It’s a lot better when you can work together as a team and do it for each other and not just yourself.”
The Tigers are making their fourth-straight trip to team state in all. Stratford lost to Fennimore by one point in the 2016 Division 3 finals, and beat Fennimore each of the past two seasons in the championship.
Stratford’s rise to become one of the best wrestling programs in the state has been a team effort.
“We push each other in the practice room. We stay on each other the whole year. The ultimate goal is to win state,” said Stratford junior Trevor Dennee, who won the Division 3 170-pound title. “We have team state team to look forward to, which I like a little better. I like the team atmosphere a little better than the individual. Being there with the whole team makes it even better.”
The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a consumer subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $9.95 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscribe button in the header of the page.
2019 WIAA State Team Wrestling Tournament
March 1-2, at University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse, Madison
Friday, March 1
Division 1 quarterfinals, 5:30 p.m.
Stoughton vs. Hartland Arrowhead
Holmen vs. Kaukauna
Marshfield vs. Burlington
Mukwonago vs. Slinger
Division 1 semifinals, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 2
Division 2 semifinals, 10 a.m.
Ellsworth vs. Wisconsin Lutheran
Freedom vs. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro
Division 3 semifinals, 10 a.m.
Stratford vs. Random Lake
Fennimore vs. St. Croix Falls
Championship Duals, 3 p.m.
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to OnFocus sports.