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Prairie du Chien Wrestling team state bound for fifth consecutive season

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Blake Thiry makes quick work of his Sugar River opponent in their match at 215 pounds. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Prairie Wrestling poses for a photo with the team sectional plaque. Pictured are: Front Row - Reagan Hannah (Manager), Brady Baumgartner, Porter Kossman, Brylee Brewer, Hunter Reid, Irelynd Cejka, Cory Koenig (Assistant Coach). Middle Row - Zach Heuston, Jake Heuston (Assistant Coach), Mike Rogge (Head Coach), Darian Jackson, Jack MacEachern, Jeremiah Avery, Drake Ingham, Mason Baumgartner, Jackson Perkins, Jack Simmons, Ryan Saint (Assistant Coach). Back Row - Nick Rogge (Assistant Coach), Stanislav Kulchytskyy, Carter Simmons, Drew Hird, Bryce Lenzendorf, Mason Hird, Blake Thiry, Jake Carpenter (Assistant Coach). Not pictured - Kevin Lenzendorf (Assistant Coach). (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Prairie's Jeremiah Avery gets fired up after his win in the Hawks Sectional Final win over G-E-T/Mel-Min. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Jack MacEachern celebrates after earning a pinfall victory to cement PdC's dual victory over the Titans. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

By Derick Kelly

 

When a team is the four time defending sectional team champion, they know that every team they face wants to be the one that knocks them off that perch and it was no different for Prairie du Chien Wrestling.

The Hawks entered their team sectional semifinal dual with  the Sugar River (Belleville/Monticello/New Glarus) co-op at River Valley High School on Tuesday, Feb. 13 looking to take care of business and avoid the upset.

Prairie quickly jumped out to a 15-0 lead thanks to two forfeit wins at 106 and 113 pounds and a 7-1 decision by Brady Baumgartner at 120 pounds over Sugar River’s Zech Bair.

Blake Endres got the Raiders on the board at 126 pounds with a 15-3 major decision over Prairie’s Mason Hird before wins by Drake Ingham and Mason Baumgartner at 132 and 138 pounds gave the Hawks a 27-4 lead.

Mason Mau earned a 8-2 win at 144 pounds over Jackson Perkins to make the score 27-7 with seven matches remaining. Drew Hird earned a hard fought 3-1 win over Brennan Keyes at 150 pounds before Bryce Lenzendorf pinned the Raiders Cayson Helwig in 1:56 to make the score 36-7 with 5 matches to go.

A forfeit at 165 pounds by Prairie made the score 36-13 and keeping the Raiders mathematically alive with four matches to go. However, Prairie’s Jeremiah Avery had not intention of letting Sugar River get any closer on him as he pinned Alex Zielinski in 4:52 to give the Hawks an insurmountable 42-13 lead with only three matches left.

Carson Loshaw pinned PdC’s Jack MacEachern in 5:23 to make the score 42-19 before sub-three minute pins by both Blake Thiry (215) and Jack Simmons (285) gave the Hawks a 54-19 victory and a date in the sectional final dual.

If most wrestling people around the state were expecting a Prairie du Chien - Lodi sectional final matchup, they forgot to tell Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro that they were supposed to lose. The Titans had other ideas and handed the Blue Devils a 37-26 defeat to reach the sectional final match against the Hawks.

G-E-T/M-M opened the title dual up with a pin at 113 pounds in 4:31 by Koda Purney over Brylee Brewer to grab a quick 6-0 lead. It would be the only time the Titans led all match as the Hawks would go on to win each of the next four matches (three by pins by Porter Kossman, M. Hird, and Ingham plus a 11-4 decision by  M. Baumgartner over Jayce Stetzer) to give the Hawks a 21-6 lead after five matches.

The Titans did not go away quietly however as they would proceed to win two of the next three matches. At 144 pounds it was G-E-T/Mel-Min’s Jackson Blake defeating PdC’s Jackson Perkins 12-5 to make the score 21-9 before D. Hird upped the team score to 27-9 thanks to a 16-0 tech fall victory over Landon Windsor. A forfeit at 157 pounds by Prairie made the score Prairie du Chien 27, G-E-T/Mel-Min 15 with six matches to go.

The score would not be as close again the rest of the dual as PdC would win each of the next four matches in a row, including a tech fall by Lenzendorf at 165 pounds, a pin by Jeremiah Avery at 175 pounds, a come from behind pinfall victory in 4:54 at 190 pounds by Jack MacEachern and a forfeit victory by Blake Thiry at 215 pounds made the score 49-15. G-E-T/Mel-Min received two forfeit victories at 285 and 106 pounds to close the dual and give the Hawks a 49-27 win and the fifth consecutive trip to the team state tournament. The two dual wins gave the Hawks a 27-4 record in duals this season.

Prairie Wrestling joins the PdC Girls Track and Field team (1973-78) as the only programs in school history to have won five or more consecutive sectional championships.

The other teams that qualified in Division 2 are Kewaskum, Luxemburg-Casco, and Saint Croix Falls. Matchups will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 25.

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