View from the cheap seats
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Casey Krautkramer Reporter The Record-Review
I recall the late Bev Aschenbrenner of Stratford showing me in great detail her research on whether the Tigers wrestling team matched up better against Fennimore or Random Lake in the 2016 state finals, which happened to be Stratford’s first of four straight appearances in state championship matches.
Bev jotted down notes on how the Fennimore, Random Lake, Stratford and Spring Valley/Elmwood wrestlers placed at the prior weekend’s individual state championships in Madison. She then compared how wrestlers from all four teams matched up in each weight class. Bev told me Random Lake was obviously an easier opponent for Stratford to wrestle in the 2016 state team finals, while Stratford and Fennimore were very comparable.
Stratford won its 2016 WIAA Division 3 state semifinal match against Spring Valley/Elmwood, 43-26, and Fennimore downed Random Lake, 48-17. Bev was absolutely correct in telling me Stratford and Fennimore was evenly matched and either team could beat each other in the state finals.
The 2016 state finals match ended in a tie, at 26 points apiece, between Stratford and Fennimore. The Golden Eagles received an extra tiebreaker point to win the Division 3 state championship. The Tigers, of course, would get revenge by beating the Golden Eagles in back-to-back state team finals in 2017 and 2018. Last season, Fennimore downed Stratford in the state finals match.
Stratford will wrestle against Fennimore for the fifth straight season at team state this Saturday, March 7, but this year the two teams already face off against each other in a Division 3 state semifinal match at 10 a.m. at the UW Fieldhouse. The winner would wrestle the winner of the other state semifinal match between Coleman against Random Lake in the state finals match at 3 p.m. this Saturday, March 7.
Bev unfortunately passed away in a car accident on June 6, 2016. In her honor, I decided to research on how Stratford’s starting wrestlers match up against Fennimore this Saturday in the state team tournament.
Stratford junior wrestler Karter Stuttgen, 25-8, placed sixth at 113 pounds at last weekend’s state individual tournament, compared to Fennimore freshman Jayden Glasbrenner, 35-12, who failed to place at state.
Tigers senior Max Schwabe, 47-3, matches up well against Fennimore senior Alex Birchman, 38-11, despite Schwabe’s 8-6 decision loss in the 132-pound individual state finals.
Stratford senior Devin Dennee, 49-3, won an 8-1 decision against Fennimore senior Nick Blaschke, 29-21, in the third place match at 160 pounds.
These are just a few of the intriguing individual wrestler matchups between Stratford and Fennimore.