Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Wrestling: Wrestlers host Badgers to open season


By Andrea Sidlauskas

Coming off its best finish in program history at the NCAA Division-III Championships in 2012-13, the Warhawks men’s wrestling team looks to continue its superiority into the upcoming season.

The ’Hawks are ranked ninth in the NWCA preseason poll and will return six wrestlers who earned All-American honors last season and four national qualifiers.

Sophomore Shane Siefert will begin the season ranked No. 2 at 197 pounds after capturing fourth place in last year’s NCAA D-III Championships. Junior Anthony Edgren, who led UW-Whitewater with 16 pins last season, finished fifth in the tournament last season and is currently ranked No. 3 in the 285-pound weight class.

Rounding out the team’s returning All-Americans are junior Grant Sutter at 133 pounds, senior Cade Sarbacker at 157 pounds, senior Cedric Gibson at 165 and sophomore Roland Dunlap at 184.

Anthony Edgren

Having strong competitors return to the mat this season will be beneficial for the ’Hawks’ wrestling program, but Edgren said the ultimate goal is to come together as a team to lock down the conference title.

“It’s not just an individual goal, but a team goal,” Edgren said. “All 30 guys on the roster need to be committed and need to be there working hard to help us achieve our goal [of winning the national title].”

Although the ’Hawks will see familiar faces, head coach Tim Fader is expecting to see big things from the team’s newest additions, including the incoming freshmen and the transfers. With the combination of young and veteran wrestlers, Fader said the ’Hawks will be strong and consistent in all weight classes.

“I don’t look at our team and say, ‘We’re really going to have a hole, or we’re really not going to be competitive in our weight class there,’” Fader said. “We have pretty good depth.”

As for conference play, the ’Hawks are bound to face tough competition. UW-La Crosse had won fourteen consecutive conference titles until the 2011-2012 season when the ’Hawks discontinued the Eagles’ streak and captured their own conference title for the first time in 20 years, Fader said.

The ’Hawks finished third in the country last season, and UW-La Crosse finished in fourth place. UW-Oshkosh, UW-Steven’s Point and UW-Eau Claire each secured a spot in the top 25.

Tim Fader

“When you have five of the top 25 teams coming from one conference, that’s a really strong conference,” Fader said. “Oshkosh, Whitewater, La Crosse, and Point are going to be fighting for the conference title.”

Last season, the team sent the largest group in program history to compete in the Championships and locked down a third-place finish. This year, Fader said the coaching staff and players have high expectations to capture the title for the third year in a row.

“Last year’s success will just make us hungrier for this year,” Edgren said. “We got so close to winning the national title. Third place is good, but we want to win it.”

The ’Hawks will host UW-Madison and UW-Parkside in the 2013-14 season opener Friday. The Badgers open the double-dual at 6 p.m. against the Ranger Bears, and the ’Hawks will follow, taking on the Badgers at 7:30 p.m.

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Founded 1901
Wrestling: Wrestlers host Badgers to open season