The Preppie Awards started 11 years ago as a way for Press-Gazette Media to honor some of the best achievements of the high school athletic season.
Of the awards given, one of the most meaningful is the Hall of Fame selection. It’s awarded to somebody in the community who has had a great impact on prep sports and is ready to call it a career.
Bob Berceau, the longtime Luxemburg-Casco wrestling coach and 2009 George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, is this year’s recipient. Berceau stepped down after the wrestling season in February.
He was an assistant under Emil Kuhn for almost a decade before taking over the program in 2000. Berceau retires as one of the most decorated coaches this area has seen, winning seven Division 2 state championships since 2001.
He is being replaced by Chas Treml, a 1997 L-C graduate who was a three-time WIAA state place-winner while coached by Berceau.
Berceau doesn’t plan to completely step away from the program. He is still doing wrestling camps and might help out with the junior varsity program at a tournament or sit in the corner at a dual meet if the Spartans need him.
“It was time to go,” Berceau said. “It wasn’t about 25 years (matching the previous tenures of George Gregor, Frank Chalupa and Kuhn before him). My goals have been accomplished.
“Hey, I have good guys behind me. I didn’t want to leave them sit there behind me constantly. Behind me. Behind me. Behind me. They have goals, too.”
The final match he coached came at the WIAA state tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison. It just happened to be one that featured his son, L-C senior Mason Berceau, who was defeated in the D2 138-pound championship.
Mason had the opportunity to receive his medal from his father, a three-time state champion himself during a dominating high school career at L-C in the 1980s before becoming the University of Wisconsin-Steven Point’s first NCAA Division III national champion.
There are several great memories Berceau is taking with him. That moment was one of the most special.
“The last match of my career with my son? That was unbelievable,” Berceau said. “Sitting in the other three with my other son (Mitch) was great, too. One time I was at the state tournament in (2005-06), we had 11 guys qualify and 10 guys place, that was unbelievable. We had five or six in the finals.
“But I will always treasure sitting in the corner with my sons. Win or lose, it was fun.”
— email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @scottvenci.