Saturday will be an exciting day for Luxemburg-Casco Wrestling. The Spartans are making its 16th appearance in the team tournament and its first since 2013. L-C enjoyed a string of eight consecutive appearances that ended in 2008. They have won Division 2 titles 11 times (1992, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013). The Spartans also added runner-up finishes in 1991, 2007 and 2011. They return to the State semifinals in pursuit of the program’s 12th title by beating Oconto Falls 36-29 in the Freedom Sectional final.
Luxemburg-Casco’s first match will be Saturday morning at 10:00 AM against (17-2) Lomira. Lomira returns to the State meet for the second time. The only other experience resulted in a runner-up finish in 2005. The Lions posted a convincing 51-12 victory over Valders in the final of the East Troy Sectional to qualify for the tournament field.
On the other side of the state semi-final bracket is Last year’s champion Ellsworth and Lodi. Ellsworth is back for the 12th straight year and for the 16th time overall. The Panthers have won seven State titles, capturing the crown in 1985, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014 and again last season. In addition, they also finished runner-up in 1999, 2001, 2008, 2012 and 2015. The Panthers qualify again for another shot at the title following a 50-12 win over Melrose-Mindoro/Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau in the sectional final held at St. Croix Central.
Lodi returns to the tournament for the 15th time overall and for the first time since a string of 10 consecutive appearances came to a halt after their experience in 2011. The Blue Devils were crowned champions in 1998, 2004 and 2008, and have finished runner-up in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2009. They advance to the semifinals following a 33-32 decision over River Valley in the Edgerton Sectional final.
Saturday’s state final match, should L-C make it, will be broadcast again on 96.7 FM WBDK starting at 3:00 PM.
The 26th annual WIAA State Team Wrestling Tournament is held at the Field House on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the tourney are $13 for the Friday session and $8 for the Saturday sessions.
The first WIAA State Wrestling Tournament was held in 1940. Until 1992, team champions were determined by a point system based on individuals’ placing in what is currently the individual championships. For the first time in 1992, a team champion was determined by a separate tournament series involving dual matches. UW-Stevens Point hosted the first two championships. West Allis Central hosted the meet from 1994-2004. Since then, the tournament has been held at the UW Field House. There were 334 programs entering the tournament series, including 128 in Division 1, 102 in Division 2 and 104 in Division 3.
Last year, Kaukauna won the Division 1 team title for the third year in a row. The Galloping Ghosts defeated Stoughton in the final for the second straight year, defeating the Vikings 29-27. Ellsworth won the Division 2 championship by downing Wisconsin Lutheran 29-27 in the title match, and Fennimore edged Stratford 27-26 to win the Division 3 title.