The RAHS wrestlers finished their regular season and regional tournament and headed to the sectional tournament with high hopes. With six wrestlers qualifying for sectionals, head coach Matt Bauer described his feeling as “excited about our weekend.” The six sectional qualifiers include Colton Brott, Nate Erbs, Eduardo Gonzalez, Aaron Lopp, Nick Noye, Taylor Roessler, and. While some had a tougher road than others, the ultimate goal was to qualify for the state tournament. To do so, one had to place first or second in the section for their respective weight classes.
“We wanted to qualify as many as possible for state,” Bauer said. “All have wrestled great this year,” he added, “they will determine when their season ends.”
Lopp, Roessler, and Noye were all four seeds in their bracket, meaning they had the favored sectional champion from the other side in the first round. Bauer described it as “an uphill battle, but ridiculous upsets happen every year, and we hoped to have one of them. There’s really no pressure, just six minutes to shock the world and set themselves up for some serious recognition,” he concluded.
As for Brott, Erbs, and Gonzalez, their key match was the semifinals. “It’s all about six minutes. They needed to be mentally ready to invest, and all three have a great opportunity to come out victorious,” Bauer said.
The sectional tournament was held Saturday, February 18th in Waunakee, and the state tournament was last Thursday the 23rd-26th at the Kohl Center in Madison. Sophomore Nate Erbs was the only wrestler to qualify and earned a state sendoff assembly which included a team highlight video and personal highlights paying tribute to his tremendous season. Taking second place in his sectional, he was matched up with a heavily favored opponent from Wausau West, who defeated him 23-5. Erbs then lost a heart-breaker 3-2 in overtime in the wrestle back. Erbs had an excellent season and will return next year for his junior season and hopefully another state tournament appearance.
By Gabe Gavin