On Saturday, February 17, the Whitewater Wrestling Team traveled to Campbellsport with 9 individuals hoping to wrestle their way into the top 3 in their weight class and punch their ticket to the WIAA Individual State Wrestling tournament. I was a very busy day for the Whippets as there were also 8 girls competing vying for the championship and to also qualify. (Girls’ information is in a separate article.)

The end of the day showed the best performance the coaching staff has ever been a part of at the sectional wrestling tournament. At the end of the day, the Whippets found themselves in 2nd place as a team with the unofficial WIAA scores. Five of the nine wrestlers found themselves still competing in the last round, with four of the five securing victories and punching their ticket to the state tournament taking place at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Leading the way of Qualifiers was Jarvis Porcaro (120). Jarvis had a very tough opponent in the semi-finals but battled his way back in the wrestle-backs, defeating an opponent for the 4th time this season, which over the years has proven to be a difficult task. Jarvis then followed with a first period pin in the 3rd place match to secure his place in state. The crowd then got to witness Jarvis running into an unexpected Coach Sedano’s arms knocking him over!

Up next, Connor Friend was defeated by a big time throw in the semi-finals and had to wrestle his way back to 3rd place. Connor pinned his first opponent in quick fashion and then had to face a familiar foe whom he too defeated 3 times previously. This opponent is very strong and quick, so there was much nervousness for Coach Schimming. Connor was not going to be denied and pinned him in the second period. Connor finished the day 3-1 with three pins.

Odair Porras (150) had a very good day with only one hiccup in the semi-finals. Odair came out in the first match with lots of intensity, building a big lead in takedowns before securing a pin. In the wrestle-backs he also had a familiar foe but made quick work, pinning him in the second period. In the 3rd place match, Odair wrestled a young man who was very tough in the top position. Odair made sure to not stay on the bottom by getting three takedowns in the first period and piled on more in the 2nd period when he started to chip away at his opponent’s will and pinned him in the 3rd period. Because Odair did not wrestle the opponent who took 2nd he got a true second wrestle-back and continued wrestling well, winning 9-4 and securing a runner-up finish.

Rounding out the qualifiers was Sebastian Cuellar (165). Sebastian had a quick pin in the first round and in the semi-finals wrestled a familiar foe who we knew was extremely flexible and difficult to pin. Sebastian wrestled very smart and was able to secure a technical fall 18-3 for the win. Sebastian fell in the championship match to a solid student from Kewaskum. He did have to wrestle back to hold onto his second-place finish and did very well again, wrestling very intelligently both on his feet and on the mat. He held his position as a runner-up with an 11-3 victory.

Coming up just short was Payton Lyon (190) who pinned his first opponent in the first round. In the semi-finals he lost to the number 2 ranked student in the state, and he definitely showed us why this is his ranking! Payton was able to come back with a pin to go into the 3rd place match. Unfortunately, Payton came up just short of his state tournament berth, which was his goal coming into the season. Payton has nothing to be disappointed in. He had 33 wins on the year and has Conference Champion to his name. The coaches feel he is not done on the mat as he does have aspirations at the next level.

Also competing for the Whippets were Jasen Porras, Brady Friend, and Traysen Thomason. All three of these gentlemen wrestled their hearts out but were unable to extend their season. They have no reason to hang their heads as they all had a great season and all three will return next year to continue with or re-establish their goals.

All four wrestlers will compete at the Kohl Center on Thursday night, February 22, at 7:00.

Photo courtesy of Kenzie Schimming