Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Grapplers show toughness with second-place finish

Any team in a sport that falls behind at the beginning of a season dreams of a miraculous resurgence. The wrestling team no longer has to dream of this revival for it is now a reality.

A second-place finish in the WIAC tournament last weekend proved the Warhawks are the ultimate comeback artists, as they overcame a 0-7 start to the season.

After the shaky start to the campaign, the team rallied to put together a 13-5 record the rest of the way, ending with its best finish in the WIAC tournament since winning it all in 1991.

To go along with the stellar finishing position, sophomore Cade Sarbacker and junior Adam Latella both won their respective weight classes, automatically qualifying for the national tournament.

Three more wrestlers will join them at nationals. Senior James Zarate and sophomore Jake Frederickson received at-large bids and junior Reid Dickerson received a national at-large bid.

Head coach Tim Fader said the team’s turnaround began when the team’s injuries began to heal. Since then, Fader’s squard has been on the rise.

“This could be a very special group if they commit to their training and commit to each other,” Fader said.

Heading into the WIAC tournament, the ’Hawks found themselves in the middle of the conference with a 3-3 regular season record.

But with their health back and momentum on their side, the ’Hawks found themselves with six men wrestling in the finals of their weight classes.

After two straight second-place finishes to start the finals, the ’Hawks’ momentum seemed to be running thin. However, Sarbacker turned things around with a strong performance in the finals of the 157-pound weight class.

His 13-5 victory over UW-Stevens Point’s Ben Strobel was the first finals victory of the day for the ’Hawks.

“It felt great to win the tournament,” Sarbacker said. “I did that last one for Matty Zwaschka, our assistant coach.”

At 197 pounds, Latella looked to avenge for a second-place finish at last year’s WIAC tournament.  After falling behind in the second period, Latella rallied the rest of the way to pull out a 3-2 victory.

“It’s a really good feeling knowing that I am going to the national tournament,” Latella said. “I have two more weeks to work on things I need to get me to the top of the podium in two weeks.”

Frederickson was equally ecstatic about making his first appearance in the national meet.

“It feels great to qualify for the national tournament,” Frederickson said. “All the hard work finally paid off.”

The five wrestlers can now take a little time to enjoy their bids before preparing for the national championships.

“It makes all the blood and sweat worth it,” Zarate said. “I hope we come back from nationals with [five] more pictures on our All-American wall.”

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Founded 1901
Grapplers show toughness with second-place finish