Young team looks to build off last year’s success

By Evan Carlin and Justin St. Peter

Nov. 11, 2015

The Warhawks wrestling team will officially start its 2015-2016 campaign Nov. 12, on the road against UW-Madison.

This meet will be the first competition for both schools after each school hosted its own intra-squad scrimmage prior to this match up.

Coach Ned Shuck, entering his second season at the helm of the ’Hawks, liked what he saw in the scrimmage.

“I saw a lot of offense in the scrimmages,” Shuck said. “If you want to win at a high level, you need offense.  We got a little too focused on the scores of the scrimmages, but the way in which everyone battled was encouraging.” 

The ’Hawks hope to follow up last year’s impressive 15-1 season, which saw the team win its fourth-straight WIAC Championship, third-straight NCAA Regional Title and a third-place finish in the  NCAA D-III Championships.

Shuck said the scrimmage provided a great baseline for the ’Hawks upcoming season.

“In terms of positioning, there is work to be done,” Shuck said. “That is the point to the intra-squad scrimmage; to exploit things that need work so you can be successful the next time around.”

Senior wrestler Matt Adcock, who finished seventh overall in the NCAA D-III Championships last year, liked the team’s effort.

“People who didn’t start in the past were fighting hard to get a starting spot as well as the previous seasons starters,” Adcock said. “[They were] either dominating their opponent or having a very tough fight to keep their spot.”

Shuck thinks that the Warhawks are ready for the test against Madison.

“We are never going to shortchange ourselves,” Shuck said. “Madison has had a consistently solid program, but that is not saying we won’t be successful.  Ultimately, we are looking forward to the test.”

Shuck said the team is focusing on taking it one match at a time after losing five seniors last year, includfing All-Americans Elroy Perkin, Trevor Pruett and Anthony Edgren.

That process begins with UW-Madison.

“This season we are trying to not get ahead of ourselves,” Shuck said. “We are looking forward to wrestling Madison.  This will be a good test for us with good competition.  The evaluation of our intra-squad scrimmage will help us progress toward this battle.  We are looking to get every aspect of our game plan in place for progression this season.”

The ’Hawks will enter the season with 11 freshman, meaning the composition of the team has changed greatly from last year.

Shuck emphasized, “the biggest thing is to improve.  Every guy has got to fight to win their spot to compete.”

Five seniors are also on the team, led byAll-Americans Adcock and Tom Gerszewski.

Despite the changes, Adcock says the team has the same mindset.

“We want to dominate the WIAC another year,” Adcock said. “We want to win another regional tournament, and we want to be the best team in school history by winning a national championship.

The ’Hawks also want to achieve a well-functioning team in the classroom.

“We want to have as many Academic All-Americans as we can,” Shuck said.”We want to be recognized not only for our ability to compete, but our studies as well.”

Shuck said he believes the ’Hawks could be a factor in the national championship race. 

The Warhawks will set foot in the ring starting at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 in the UW Field House. Fans will be able to watch live video broadcasted through Big Ten Network (BTN) Plus.

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