Heil captures state title
Ethan avenges last year’s state wrestling defeat
By Casey Krautkramer
Edgar senior wrestler Ethan Heil captured the 220-pound WIAA Division 3 individual state championship on Saturday, to avenge a loss in the same weight class finals match last season.
Heil, the son of Joe and Jane Heil, concludes his Edgar senior wrestling season with perfect 31-0 match record. Ethan won a wrestling state championship 30 years after his father, Joe, also went undefeated in matches to win the 1990 Class C state title.
Ethan made quick work of his state finals opponent, senior Aaron Ragels of Fennimore, by pinning him in one minute, 38 seconds. He didn’t want a repeat of last year’s 220-pound state finals match, in which he suffered a close 6-4 decision loss to senior Drew Hennessey of Iowa-Grant/Highland.
“My dad always told me a one-point win is the same as a pin in the state championship match,” Ethan said.
Joe Heil was positioned near the mats on the Kohl Center floor during the state individual wrestling tournament, therefore he got a close-up view of his son Ethan capturing a state championship.
Joe is a longtime wrestling official in the state, and his job at the individual state tournament is to listen to the head coaches’ complaints about the officials out on the mat, so they aren’t distracted while doing their work.
Ethan’s older brother, Colton Heil, sat mat side with Edgar head wrestling coach Andrew Lukasko and assistant coach Connor Handrick during the state finals match. Ethan is thankful Colton has wrestled with him during practices, to help him improve his technique, this season.
The village of Edgar held a parade with fire trucks blaring their horns at 3 p.m. on Sunday to welcome their individual state wrestling champion home from Madison.
“It was cool to see people lining the streets cheering for my return home,” Ethan said. “The Edgar community always does a great job supporting its high school sports athletes and teams.”
Ethan pinned sophomore Dylan Nottestad of Westby in 45 seconds in a state quarterfinals match on Friday morning. He then won an 11-2 major decision against sophomore Cole Ebert of Reedsville in the state semifinals match on Friday night, to advance into the finals on Saturday night.
After graduating high school this spring, Ethan plans to work for his father’s ginseng and hemp business, The Village Pharm, in Edgar.