Delander aims at second state wrestling title
Senior Adam Delander has become one of the rare wrestlers who has qualified for the WIAA State Wrestling Championships four times in his career.
He now hopes to join the elite group of wrestlers who've won more than one WIAA state championship.
Delander won a state championship in 2002 and he is in great position to make a run at a second state title. His championship at the Somerset Division 3 sectional meet on Saturday earns Delander a bye in the opening round of the state tournament.
Delander, now 38-1, will wrestle Friday evening in the state quarterfinals in his first state match. He will face the winner of David Copp of Oostburg (32-9) and Loren Ruzic of Loyal/Greenwood (26-9). Copp was a wrestler Delander beat in his opening match at state last year.
Delander has the best record in the 119-pound Division 3 state bracket. The two other wrestlers with the most impressive records are Casey Klister of Wrightstown (41-3) and Kyle Schneider of Random Lake (36-2). Both are on the opposite side of the bracket from Delander. Klister placed second at state last year, but Delander did not face him.
There is one noteworthy omission from the state bracket. Cory Sokol, the Mineral Point wrestler who beat Delander in the state semifinals last year, then beat Klister for the state championship, did not make weight at sectionals on Saturday and did not qualify for state this year.
To get to state, Delander wrestled a smart, careful sectional tournament. There was a pattern to each of his three matches. He got a quick takedown in the first period of each match and led after the period. He started each second period in the down position and got a quick escape. Delander clearly was doing his best to stay out of positions where he could get himself into trouble.
"Some of that stems from last year at state," said St. Croix Central coach Brad Holzer. Holzer said Delander's loss at state came when he got caught in a bad situation and his opponent took advantage. This year Delander isn't giving his opponents any openings.
In the opening match against Craig Schank of Arcadia, Delander controlled the match to win 6-0. The same happened against Craig Vollendorf of Ladysmith in the semifinals. Delander got a takedown and two backpoints right away, then again was in control of his 6-2 win.
In the finals Delander faced Chase Nordby of Clear Lake, a wrestler he's already beaten twice this season. Again he followed his pattern of a first period takedown and an escape to start the second period, giving him a 3-0 lead. Nordby was able to cut the score to 5-4, but Delander was in full control when the match was over.
"He didn't make any mistakes, that's the biggest thing," Holzer said of Delander's sectional effort. "He keeps putting wins in the win column."
Myer beaten quickly
The sectional experience for St. Croix Central sophomore Craig Myer didn't last long, but it still should have long-reaching effects.
Myer came out aggressively against Kevin Thompson of Park Falls in the 145-pound quarterfinals Saturday. Myer tried to be on the offensive, but he was caught by Thompson and put to his back and pinned.
With Delander as the only senior on the Panthers and with no juniors on the roster, Holzer is looking to Myer to be one of the team leaders next year.
"Adam's been our go-to guy for four years, now it's time to pass the torch. Adam's not a rah-rah guy, he leads by example and so does Craig. The kids like and respect him," Holzer said.
Myer finishes his season with a 23-16 record.
Delander's past state successes
2003: Delander placed third at 112 pounds in Division 3, beating Lee Lohrentz of Bonduel 6-2 in the third place match. Delander finished the season with a 39-2 record.
2002: Delander won the WIAA Division 3 state championship at 103 pounds, pinning Lee Lohrentz of Bonduel in the finals at 5:31. Delander finished the season with a 34-4 record.
2001: Delander was beaten in his opening round match at the WIAA Division 3 state championships. He lost to Derek Coorough of Hillsboro 2-1 in the opening round at 103 pounds. Delander finished the season with a 30-7 record.
Reception planned for Delander
The SCC Wrestling Club will be holding a celebration on Sunday at 2 p.m at the SCC high school in honor of Adam Delander and all of his successes as a four-time state participant.