Article and Photo by John Schimming
Whitewater High School Head Wrestling Coach
In a year that has seen many sports seasons look very different for student-athletes, the wrestlers saw the season conclude with the State Wrestling Championships looking different as well. As opposed to all three divisions culminating at the Kohl Center, the divisions converged in 3 different areas of the state. For the Whippets that meant we went to Adams-Friendship High School. This is a great opportunity to teach students that the Kohl Center is just a location; wrestling is the same to compete to reach the top of the podium.
Whitewater’s Carter Friend competed in his second state tournament in an extremely tough weight class, which is the case when you reach that level. Friend drew a tough first round match against the defending state champion and although he had the right mindset, his opponent showed why he was the champ and was poised to later win his 2nd title with convincing wins all day.
This loss dropped Carter into the consolation bracket, yet still alive for 3rd place. In his first wrestle-back match Carter had a dogfight of a match that went into overtime. The extra work that he has put in with his partner David Cushman every day after practice paid off. Carter was able to create a very clean shot to finish overtime with a takedown to win 3-1. This put Carter into the Consolation Semi-Finals against an opponent who had a tough semi-final match losing, but also hurting his shoulder enough where he was unable to compete. This was unfortunate as we do not like to win that way, but I am confident based on watching the young man, Carter would have been able to have success with his takedowns and constant pressure on the young man.
To close out the day, Friend was on the 3rd place mat in which he wrestled a 4x qualifier and 3x place winner in a young man from Amery. His opponent holds great position on his feet with his long body and was a tough rider. In the end, Carter dropped the match 3-0, thus taking 4th place in the state, a great accomplishment for Carter this year.
This closed out a great season for Carter (16-4 overall with his losses coming to the state champ, state runner up and state 3rd) as well as the Whippet Wrestlers. As a team, the Whippets had a very nice year with all the changes. In dual meets they were 5-2, finished 2nd in the region and 7th in sectional, with 5 sectional qualifiers and 1 state qualifier.