COLEMAN – Luxemburg-Casco and Coleman were both looking for a test Friday when the storied wrestling programs met on the mat.
The traditional powers didn’t disappoint.
L-C edged Coleman 30-29 in a nonconference dual between teams both ranked No. 2 in their respective divisions of the WIWrestling.com state rankings.
Each team won seven matches Friday. However, the Spartans pulled out the victory thanks to a 3-2 advantage in pins.
“It’s two storied programs that are rich in tradition,” Coleman coach Kevin Casper said about the program’s having combined for 21 WIAA team state titles. “We gave the fans what they came to watch. It was a great match. It didn’t quite pan out the way we would have liked it to, but at the same time we always tell the kids that’s just preparation to what we really want at the end.”
After neither squad advanced to the WIAA team state tournament for the first time since 1998 last year, L-C (Division 2) and Coleman (Division 3) are aiming to return to Madison’s UW Field House in early March.
The Spartans are hoping to end a three-year state drought. Beginning with a pin by sophomore Bryce Bosman at 120 pounds Friday, L-C won six of seven matches at one point to open up a 24-14 lead.
The Cougars finished strong down the stretch by picking up wins in four matches pitting state-ranked wrestlers against each other, including a 4-3 decision by senior Josh Pillath over Dalton Smerchek at 182 and a 2-1 sudden victory win for senior Donovan Salewski over Phil Rasmussen at 285 in the final match of the dual, which began with a traditional start at the lightest weight class.
Salewski’s win also marked the 100th of his career.
“Those were matches we were hoping we were going to flip,” L-C coach Chas Treml said. “But we were lucky enough to get the pin at 195. If we don’t get that, we’re not going to win. That was huge getting bonus points.”
Junior Austin LeRoy’s first-period pin over sophomore Brock Martinson at 195 was big for L-C along with sophomore Colton Worachek rallying from a 4-2 deficit to win a 6-4 decision over sophomore Jake Baldwin at 138.
“He comes back and throws a near-side cradle on him and gets the reversal plus the near fall,” Treml said. “That was a huge turnaround in that match.
“We both knew it was going to be like that. That’s why we’re doing these matches. It’s just helping both programs prepare for what we’re both hoping to be in the near future, getting back to team state and looking towards a title. It was competitive all the way through.”
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Luxemburg-Casco 30, Coleman 29
106: Koltin Grzybowski, COL, tech. fall Lucas Joniaux, 23-8; 113: Caleb Gross, COL, pin Parker Coppens, 3:31; 120: Bryce Bosman, L-C, pin Sam Kuchta, 2:59; 126: Nathan Ronsman, L-C, dec. Kasey Casper, 9-3; 132: Reece Worachek, L-C, dec. Billy Ganter, 5-1; 138: Colton Worachek, L-C, dec. Jake Baldwin, 6-4; 145: Bryce Karban, COL, dec. Cameron Lemmens, 8-4; 152: Devan VandenBush, L-C, pin John Bieber, 0:55; 160: Hunter Larkin, L-C, dec. Cody Champagne, 1-0; 170: Jordan Blanchard, COL, pin Jacob Zellner, 4:33; 182: Josh Pillath, COL, dec. Dalton Smerchek, 4-3; 195: Austin Leroy, L-C, pin Brock Martinson, 1:55; 220: Jacob Zeitler, COL, dec. Nate Lloyd, 8-4; 285: Donovan Salewski, COL, dec. Phil Rasmussen, 2-1 SV-1.