Article by John J. Schimming, Photos by Bob Mischka
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Tyler Gamble and Jimmy DuVal participated in the 75th annual WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament. Each weight class in Division 2 consists of 12 student-athletes looking to reach the top of the podium or at the very least the top six on the podium.
The tournament started with Gamble competing on Thursday night in a first-round match against a young man from Amery. Tyler made quick work of his opponent pinning him in an amazing 24 seconds. This put Tyler into the Friday competition and among the top 8. Tyler came out on Friday morning and secured the first takedown but then was unable to score more from that point, dropping his match 6-2. The loss put Tyler in the wrestleback against a competitor from Viroqua. Tyler wrestled well but just was unable to score against a very good opponent and lost 4-1, thus ending Tyler’s high school wrestling career. Tyler had set his goal to wrestle in the Kohl center and had the opportunity to close out his career on the floor there. He has nothing to be ashamed of.
Because Jimmy DuVal won his sectional he benefited from not having to compete until Friday morning. In his quarterfinal match, he was pitted against a very good defensive wrestler and wrestled a very good match coming out ahead 2-1. This put Jimmy into the semi-finals against an extremely athletic, quick student-athlete from Lodi. Jimmy wrestled his heart out but came up short 11-4 putting him into the wrestleback on Saturday morning. In the first match Saturday, Jimmy wrestled the best match the coaching staff had ever seen him wrestle. He was pitted against the young man who had kept him off the podium last season so he was very motivated. Jimmy was aggressive and maintained great control throughout the match. When it was over Jimmy found himself on top 6-2 and in the 3rd place match. In Jimmy’s final match as a whippet wrestler, he wrestled well but was unable to come away with the victory dropping the match thus placing him in 4th place. This was an outstanding accomplishment for DuVal as the top 6 guys are all very good wrestlers.
DuVal closed out his senior season with 118 wins (4th in school history) 44 wins in a season (1st in school history) and placed 4th in the state tournament, highest finish for a whippet wrestler since 2006. Congratulations on a great career.
Great job to both student-athletes on the great accomplishment of reaching the state tournament. Thank you to all the fans who drove to Madison or followed from home.