Five Bulldog wrestlers to compete for state titles
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
Madison will be sending five wrestlers to the State A Wrestling Tournament in Watertown this weekend.|
"I am happy with the five wrestlers that are going, but I wish we had a few more that were going," said Madison Coach Chris Waba. "All of them have a wonderful chance to place."
Heading to the State Tournament are Matt Goth (152), Tyler Currey (182), Corey Welbon (195), Blake Gusso (220) and Ayson Jones (285).
"All of them except for Corey have state tournament experience," said Waba.
Goth has the most state tournament experience of all the Madison wrestlers. This will be his sixth State Tournament.
"I have went every year since seventh grade," Goth said. He has wrestled at the 112, 125, 140 and 145 weights and twice at 152 pounds at the State Tournament during his high school career.
Goth's best showing at the State Tournament was when he was a sophomore.
"I placed fifth when I as sophomore," Goth said.
After going through a season of nagging injuries a year ago, Goth is as close to 100 percent heading into this year's meet.
"I will not be thinking about any injuries, and that will help," Goth said.
While it will be his last State Tournament this weekend, the Madison senior will be taking just one match at a time.
"I want to wrestle hard and I will keep an eye on the top prize of a state championship," Goth said.
During his high school wrestling career, Goth has made several friends and has enjoyed the experience and hard work of being a wrestler.
"It will be hard stepping off the mat for the last time as a high school wrestler," Goth said.
His wrestling career might not be over this weekend as he is thinking about wrestling in college.
Goth has an outstanding record as he enters the State Tournament (32-7) and will face Alec Williams of Pierre (18-14) in his first match. The other two wrestlers in his bracket are Vermillion's Brett Bye (37-1) and Kyle Schmidt of Spearfish/Lead-Deadwood (14-17).
Jones, another senior for the Bulldogs, is heading to his second state tournament.
"I want to wrestle smart and place as high as I can," he said.
Jones believes the 285-pound class this season is tougher than a year ago.
"The wrestlers are more fit than last year," he said.
Getting to the state tournament was a high priority for Jones this season.
"I had high hopes of getting back to the state tournament," Jones said. "It was a goal of mine."
He has enjoyed wrestling during his high school career.
"I will miss the intensity and being with the team," Jones said.
Jones has gone over the 30-win plateau. He enters the state tournament with a 32-11 record and will face Jess Trueblood of Pine Ridge (29-9) in the first round. Other wrestlers in his bracket are Tanner Lambert of Dakota Valley (36-2) and Austin Cheney of Chamberlain (16-17).
Jones is hoping that being quicker than most of the heavyweights will pay big dividends this weekend.
Currey, Welbon and Gusso are juniors. Currey will head to the state tournament with a 38-6 record and will face Payson Dirk of Sturgis (29-13) in his first-round bout. Other wrestlers in Currey's bracket are Dan Marlette of Sioux Falls Washington (33-13) and Tanner McCloskey of Todd County (21-17).
Welbon, heading to his first State A Tournament, has amassed a 27-11 record. He will be facing Andrew Sorenson of Brandon Valley (27-17). Other wrestlers in Welbon's bracket are Trey Maier of Pine Ridge (30-2 and Ean Malone of Douglas/New Underwood/Rapid City Christian (15-18).
Gusso also went over the 30-win plateau this season. He enters the tournament with a 31-14 mark and will face Tyson Sprinkle of Mitchell (19-7). Other wrestlers in his bracket are Taylor Lambert of Dakota Valley (36-2) and Rob Stover of Pine Ridge (22-10).
"Some of our wrestlers are peaking and are wrestling the best that they have all season long," Waba said.
Madison's last state champion was Mike Palmquist in 2004.
The State A Wrestling Tournament will be held in the Watertown Civic Center on Friday and Saturday with action getting started at 10 a.m. both days.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
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