Panthers win WVC Tournament for the first time in school history
By Robert Whitmire
The SPASH Wrestling team capped off a banner season by qualifying five wrestlers for the WIAA Division I state individual tournament — all of whom finished in the top six of their respective weight class.
The team finished second in the tournament.
“Chance Bailey lost two matches to the same kid placing sixth,” said Panther Coach Rob King. “He had a solid win over the number-two ranked wrestler in the state to reach the podium. Nate Engle made it to the semi-finals before losing to one of the top ranked 195-pounders in the nation.”
King said senior Fritz Schierl reached the finals before “dropping a heart-breaking loss”.
“He leaves SPASH as the career record holder in wins, pins, take-downs, and team points scored,” King said. “Brady and Dylan Koontz both wrestled extremely well the whole season and both won state championships.”
The Panthers won the Wisconsin Valley Conference Tournament for the first time in school history with Brady and Dylan Koontz, Fritz Schierl, Chance Bailey and Nate Engle selected to the WVC All-Conference first team.
Joey Roth and Brandon Patoka were second team selections and Nate Duffert gained third team honors. Brady Koontz finished the season with a 44-1 record and Dylan Koontz posted a 45-0 record.
Panther Head Coach Rob King was named the Wisconsin Valley Conference Coach of the Year; Schierl was voted the WVC Wrestler of the Year.
SPASH won their second consecutive regional championship – the only two in the school’s history – before losing in the sectional final to No. 1 ranked Hudson. Hudson then lost to No. 2 ranked Kaukauna in the first round of the state team competition.
Season stats leaders for SPASH included Dylan Koontz (45 wins), Fritz Schierl (24 pins, 102 take downs, 92 near-fall points), Chance Bailey (42 escapes), Brady Koontz (295 team points), and Logan Reed (14 reversals.”
“I’m especially proud of this group for their work off the mat,” said King. “This year we rang bells for Salvation Army and raised almost $2,000 in honor of former SPASH wrestler Jed Haas. The money will be donated in his name to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.”
King said the team is losing “some great seniors”, but said the he’s looking forward to a solid group of incoming freshmen next season.
“We are counting on those young guys to make some big contributions to our team,” King said “Jimmy Berdan has done a great job with our junior high program and getting those numbers up.”