When and where: Feb. 6 at St. Croix Falls – WIAA Sectional
Outcomes: St. Croix Falls came ‘oh so close’ to winning the WIAA Sectional that they hosted but ended up in second place, nine points behind the Sectional champion Cadott team. Stratford placed third, nine points behind SCF with Boyceville earning the fourth spot in the team standings. SCF advanced four wrestlers to the WIAA State Tournament. Mason Will (132 pounds), Kole Marko (152), Bennett Bergmann (182) and Tanner Gaffey (285) all won their Sectional brackets to punch their ticket to the State tournament.
Comments: “The team wrestled hard, but we fell short of our goal of winning the Sectional and advancing to team State,” St. Croix Falls Coach Joe Raygor said. “We put ourselves in opportunities to score but just didn’t execute in a few spots. I’m proud of all the kids willing to toe the line and scrap. This isn’t an easy sport and with the masks it’s even harder. Our team continues to show grit through battling adversity.”
Highlights: “Kole Marko dominated in his path to the championship title at 152 pounds,” Raygor began. “He pinned the number four ranked guy in the State in the semi-finals and then pinned a tough Tommy Quinn from Cameron in the finals as well. He was able to get his offense going right away and wrestle at an extremely high pace. Mason Will won his weight class at 132 pounds tech-falling his opponent in the finals. Mason loves scoring points and consistently competes in a blue-collar manner. He placed sixth at the State tournament last year and has the goal of capturing his first State title. Bennett Bergmann got better as the day went on. In the finals, he major-decisioned Blake Flach 10-2 widening the gap from a close Regional match where Bennett only won by one point. Bennett is a three-time State qualifier and has the goal of bringing home some hardware this weekend. Tanner Gaffey had another rematch with last year’s State finals opponent Wade Stanger. Tanner was able to spread the score to 7-1 and score in his positions. In the last two years, Stanger has gone undefeated against all opponents besides Gaffey. Tanner is the returning State champion and has the goal of winning a State title this weekend.”
Hosting Sectionals: “I think that it was incredible that our administration trusted our wrestling program to host Sectionals,” Raygor said. “It couldn’t have been done without the countless amounts of volunteers willing to give back and help out just so the kids have the chance to compete. It’s appreciated greatly.”
Goals: “Now that the team race is over, it’s time to focus on the four individuals who qualified and try to get as much hardware as possible at State,” Raygor said. “Every wrestler we’re sending to State has lofty goals and will be hungry to go achieve them. Every wrestler at the State tournament is tough so this time of year is all about winning the tough positions and using tactics in our favor.”
Upcoming: “This Saturday is the WIAA State tournament in Wausau East, High School,” Raygor summarized. “Usually the tournament is a three day tournament but this year everything will take place in one day. This is what we train for in SCF wrestling and the wrestlers and coaches are beyond excited for the opportunity to go represent Saints’ nation.”