PREP WRESTLING: JCC, W/MLBO ready to Xcel at stateWORTHINGTON — There are many reasons why qualifying for the team state tournament today at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis is so special to the Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin wrestling team.
WORTHINGTON — There are many reasons why qualifying for the team state tournament today at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis is so special to the Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin wrestling team.
For starters, the Cobras weren’t even ranked in the top-10 entering the section tournament. After clinching the Section 3AA title, they received a No. 10 ranking in the state.
Also, W/MLBO hasn’t made an appearance in the team tournament since the 2008 season. The current seniors on the Cobra squad were in eighth grade at that time.
But what makes the timing on this state appearance so perfect is that it is the last season Butterfield-Odin will be attached to the squad before grouping up with St. James.
“This is the last year those folks will be attached with us,” W/MLBO head coach Brad Schlomann said. “It’s like being able to do something one last time as a family. It’s bittersweet in a way, but what a way to end this attachment — with a trip to the state tournament.”
So the Cobras hope to make the best of the situation and end the W/MLBO attachment on top.
W/MLBO enters the tournament with a 19-5 record. The team is unseeded and goes up against Foley at 11 a.m. in the first round of the tournament today.
It is a moment the team has been working for the entire season.
“The entire year has been perfect,” W/MLBO wrestler Matt Willaby said. “I’m just looking forward to getting wrestle side by side with these guys one last time. We pushed and pushed and pushed all season and we finally got here. It’s incredible. That’s the only word I have for it.”
With so many things making this trip to state a memorable one, the Cobras have had their sights set high all season.
Now, they just have to keep their sights focused and hope for the best.
“I really wanted to go to state and I knew that this was our year,” W/MLBO wrestler Vince Johnson said. “I’ve had faith in us all along and I still have that faith.”
JCC aims for third straight title
The Jackson County Central wrestling team is no stranger to the state tournament.
The JCC wrestling room is packed to the brim with trophies and ribbons and adorned with pictures of various champions, showing the team has had its fair share of success.
The Huskies have won the state tournament in each of the past two seasons, and if they take the crown again this year it will be their fourth championship in five years.
But just because they’ve won before doesn’t mean they don’t want it any less this year.
“I’m going to be very disappointed if we don’t win ourselves a state championship,” JCC wrestler Cooper Moore said. “We want this and our goal is to win it. With how hard we’ve worked we expect to win it. We’re going to be upset if that goal is not accomplished.”
JCC received the top-seed in the Class A tournament after going 22-3 on the season. The Huskies will take on unseeded Pierz in the first round of the tournament at 9 a.m. at the Xcel Energy Center today.
Moore said the team’s strength is its ability to pick up bonus points. JCC has strong wrestlers that are able to record pins, technical falls and major decisions. The wrestlers hope to use that to their advantage today.
If the Huskies perform well this year they would capture their third-straight state title. And that’s just what they hope to do.
“We want to win it,” JCC wrestler Paden Moore said. “We’ve all been here two years in a row now. We know what to expect. We want to show everyone that we’re still the No. 1 team in the state.”
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.