MADISON – Leave it all on the mat.
Luxemburg-Casco senior Mason Berceau has heard the phrase since he was a kid watching his father, Bob, coach the varsity wrestling team at the school.
Mason did exactly that on Friday, advancing to the 138-pound WIAA Division 2 state championship with a 6-4 decision over Cuba City’s Josh Donar.
The victory not only propels the younger Berceau (42-1) to the state finals for the first time, but it ensures his father will get to coach in one more state championship match before he retires following a dominating 16-year tenure at the position.
“It definitely means a lot to me just because it’s my last year and I’ve been giving it my all to be the best I can be this year,” Mason said. “But it feels even greater knowing it’s his last year and he’s going to go out coaching somebody in the state finals.”
The Spartans have won seven team titles and crowned 24 individual state champions under coach Berceau’s watch.
At right, Oconto Falls’ Dewey Krueger takes down Wisconsin Dells’ Willie Vandenlangenberg in their 152-pound Division 2 semifinal match during the WIAA individual wrestling state tournament Friday at the Kohl Center in Madison. Krueger won the match.Live at 11 a.m.: WIAA individual state wrestling updates
He’d like nothing more than to see his youngest son become the final state champion he’s coached.
“It will be special,” Coach Berceau said. “Either way it’s going to be good. He’s come a long ways. He said he wanted to get on the podium this year and now he’s in the championship match.”
After being unable to place in his previous two state appearances, Mason hopes to add another state title to the Berceau family’s personal collection.
Bob was a four-time finalist and three-time champion in the 1980s at L-C. Mason’s older brother, Mitch, was a three-time finalist and won a state title in 2010.
Although the bloodlines were always there. Mason said he never felt any pressure to following in his father and brother’s footsteps.
Berceau, ranked No. 1 by Wisconsin Wrestling Online, has compiled a 150-45 career record. His semifinal win Friday made it six straight years the Spartans have advanced at least one wrestler to the state finals.
“Mason is Mason,” Coach Berceau said. “He never really worried about what his brother did or what I did. It was more about what he felt like doing.
“He’s wrestled well all year. He’s a stubborn wrestler. He doesn’t like to give up too many points against his opponents. It showed.”
Berceau used a couple of early near falls to gain the advantage against Donar after recording a first-period pin in the quarterfinals against Mayville’s Dakota Danner earlier on Friday.
He will face Two Rivers senior Chris Yauch in the finals for the third straight Saturday.
Yauch handed Berceau his only loss at regionals. Berceau responded last week by winning a 3-1 decision in the sectional finals.
“It’s great,” Coach Berceau said. “We’re just hoping he can come through tomorrow.”