Wrestlers prepare for WIAC Championships

Graphic by Kirsten Tyrell

Graphic by Kirsten Tyrell

Maddie Drain, Staff Writer

The No. 10 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (10-7 overall, 3-2 WIAC) lost to No. 5 UW-Parkside Rangers 28-15 and battled at UW-Eau Claire’s Don Parker Open this past week where no team scores were kept.

Head coach Ned Shuck said the Warhawks used the non-conference meet to give the team’s usual starters a chance to rest. Six freshmen and three sophomores competed against the Rangers, while nine freshman and five sophomores competed in the Don
Parker Open.

Shuck also said the team utilized these past two competitions to give the team’s underclassmen a chance to compete and grow. With only two graduating wrestlers this season, there is a large focus on giving the team’s younger wrestlers as much experience on the mat
as possible.

“We don’t have our for sure Regional starters until Regionals,” Shuck said. “They’re young, they’re going to have bright moments and some lack of experience, but the lack of experience is over with almost a full year of college wrestling
under them.”

With the WIAC conference championships right around the corner, senior Joseph Brodman said the excitement grows, but the mindset of the team remains unchanged.

“We’re always pushing to get better no matter what time of year it is,” Brodman said. “We’re going to go out and do our thing.”

Brodman placed second at last year’s WIAC Championships and will have a chance for redemption against UW-Platteville’s Scott Arneson again this year.

With a game plan in mind, the focus of practice is to improve
weaknesses and capitalize strengths Brodman said.

“It is not the time to do new and different things,” Shuck said. “It is the time to do what we do best and focus on what we know.”

Although Brodman wants to beat Arneson, he said he is focused is on the bigger picture.

“We’re not trying to peak at the WIAC, we’re trying to peak at Regionals and Nationals,”
Brodman said.

Last season, the No. 13 ’Hawks earned their fifth straight WIAC Championship title as well as five individual titles, and Shuck was named WIAC Coach of the Year.

This will be Shuck’s third season coaching the ’Hawks. So far, he has led the team to back-to-back conference championships and is excited to fight for the team’s sixth conference championship.   

“I hope the guys rise to the occasion and give it everything they have,” Shuck said. “If we do that, then really really good things are going to happen.

The Warhawks begin the team’s postseason play with the WIAC Championship at noon on Feb. 10 at UW-Platteville.