Coach of the Year: Jeff Matczak, Kaukauna
Assistant Coach of the Year: Joel Kuhl, Two Rivers
Wrestler of the Year: Beau Breske, Hartford
Coach of the Year:
District 1: Chris Hansen - Hudson
District 2: Joe Schwabe - Stratford
District 3: Mark Matzek/Adam Sheley - Ellsworth
District 4: Jeff Matczak - Kaukauna
District 5: Bob Empey/Dan Spilde - Stoughton
District 6: John Wierzbicki - Mukwonago
District 7: Darrell Roecker - Wisconsin Lutheran
District 8: Dillon Berra - Lakeland College
District 1: Chris Hansen - Hudson
District 2: Dallas Moe - Antigo
District Coach of the Year:
Carter Turner, Spring Valley/Elmwood - "Outstanding Coach and Career"
Chris Hansen, Hudson - "Hudson completed their best season in school history, climbing all the way to the #1 ranking. Along the way, Hudson won the Marty Loy, won the Bi-State and were Conference, Regional and both Individual and Team Sectional champs. Hudson sent 6 to state and came home with 3 place-winners, good enough for 4th place at Individual State. Hudson faced the eventual champion, Kaukauna, in the first round at Team state but fell just short in a dual that came down to the 14th and final match."
Joe Schwabe, Stratford - "Stratford continues to have a highly successful individual and team program. We continually have more athletes finish the end of the season than we start. This year was no exception, we finished with 34 wrestlers (losing only one wrestler after the 1st week and gaining many more over the course of the season). -13 of 14 Wrestlers qualified for the the Marawood conference finals (10 Champs) -Set a new conference record for team points scored. 28-1 Dual meet record (lone loss was in state team finals on tie breaker). Bi-State Classic (D3 Champions, 2nd overall to Hudson) Regional Tournament- 12 ind advanced, 9 Champs, Sectional-11 Placers in the top 3 (all 12 top 4), State-11 State Qualifiers, 8 place winners (6 finalists, 4 individual champs, 3 2x Champs). Overall Individual State Champs with 148 pts. Having a talented team is one thing, having those individuals reach their potential is another (our S.Q. 220, and State Champion 285 played basketball in 8th grade) . Joe continually motivated, challenged, and tailored practices to help these young wrestlers accomplish that. Joe has incorporated a warm up and weight lifting program designed by a college strength and conditioning coach. He works to provide local wrestling opportunities for all wrestlers, all levels(for those lacking the ability/resources to travel long distances). He also works to bring in a variety of "old" wrestlers to serve as new practice partners/change of pace to continue that drive to make the individuals better."
Rob King, Stevens Point - "5 State place winners, which included 2 state champions and 1 runner-up finish. At individual state this placed Stevens Point in 2nd place overall."
Ernest Peterson, Whitehall - "Won the Dairyland Conference. Fielded full team and qualified two wrestlers for state."
Mark Matzek/Adam Sheley (Co-Head Coaches), Ellsworth - "These two stepped into the head coaching position after the most successful year in Ellsworth history and the retirement of Jack Radabuagh and the departure of Coach Steldt. They had big shoes to fill, to say the least, and they have done a good job keeping the strong wrestling tradition in Ellsworth alive and healthy. They do a great job teaching these young men that the Team is more important than the individual. The young men under their leadership have learned the great skill of being humbled by their successes.
Mike Pernsteiner, Eau Claire North - "Mike has proved that consistent success can happen at Eau Claire North by having a 14-5 dual meet record and having 2 kids qualify for the state tournament this year after graduating a large senior class. Eau Claire North hasn’t seen consistent success for decades, and Mike has built the program from the ground up by being involved at all levels, while committing to an endless number of hours of work both during and outside of the season."
Brad Knecht, Sheboygan Falls - "As a head wrestling coach Brad has sent wrestlers to the WIAA State tournament every year and has come home with state place winners every year. This year Brad coached 5 wrestlers at the state tournament and came home with 5 state place winners. A remarkable accomplishment from a remarkable coach."
Jeff Matczak, Kaukauna - "Coach Matczak lead Kaukauna to the Division 1 Team State Championship. He did this a year after losing 10 seniors, 7 that were in the starting line up. Those 7 seniors had 12 state tournament appearances, 8 state individual medals, 3 state individual titles and a combined record of 263-59. They also had 1 runner-up and 2 state titles as a team. This year was a very young and untested team with only 4 seniors. 7 wrestlers were new to the varsity line up. As the season went on you could see the improvement of each individual on the team. The team Coach Matczak put on the mat truly defined team wrestling. They were much stronger as a group then they ever were as individuals! Tournaments: 1st Kaukauna Duals, 1st Dells Duals, 5th Minnesota Christmas Tournament, 13th Cheesehead, 1st Pulaski Inv., 1st Fox Valley Association, 1st Regional, 1st Sectional,1st Team State"
Chris Gennrich, Hortonville - "Team ranked 3rd in state, 16-4 dual record, State Team Qualifiers for first time in program history, 8-1 in FVA Conference, 5 individual Conference Champions and 2 runners up. Qualified 7 wrestlers to state for a new school record. Great motivator and a coach kids love to wrestle for."
Bill Verbeten, Wrightstown - "Bill has been coaching for 45 years and has chosen to retire. He has 3 Team State Championships and 1 Runner-up. He has coached 8 individual Champions and numerous medalists. He has been on the advisory Board and been a very outspoken person on items pertaining to wrestling. He started our kids program. He started our wrestling club and kids tournament. He has helped shape many lives in the Wrightstown community."
Chad Steldt, Fennimore - "I am nominating Coach Steldt for several reasons. The first for sending seven individuals to state from a very tough sectional. Fennimore won their second consecutive Conference Duals, Conference Tournament, Regionals, Team Sectionals, and Team State. They also finished with second highest point total at the WIAA individual state. In addition, he worked well with his assistant coaches to get the best out of the wrestlers. The Fennimore Wrestlers were underdogs at the team state tournament and beat two undefeated teams to win the championship. The Fennimore Wrestlers were a very supportive group of each other. They gained numbers as the year continued, which is very rare. The community has been very supportive as a result of the communication provided by Mr. Steldt, and the success of the team."
Bob Empey/Dan Spilde, Stoughton - "Co-head coach Bob Empey has been the staple to the Stoughton program that has made back to back state finals appearances. The 2015-16 Stoughton program under Coach Empey balanced the individual athlete goals with team goals to win the Pieper Duals, Badger State and Mid-States and Badger Conference Tournaments, along with being the highest placing Wisconsin team in the Cheesehead Tournament and D1 WIAA individual tournament. Beyond the varsity program Coach Empey's Vikings won the Wisconsin JV Challenge Series. Not only is Coach Empey's leadership felt in the Stoughton room, he assists the state by being a leader on both the WWCA and WWF boards, WIAA rules advisory and 7% committees, and volunteering to serve on the Wisconsin National Greco Team coaching staff. All in all, a truly respected coach in the state for the sport of Wrestling."
John Wierzbicki, Mukwonago - "Consistently has a very competitive team."
Darrell Roecker, Wisconsin Lutheran - "Darrell did an amazing job for the second year in a row. This year finishing second in the D-2 Team State Tournament."
Dillon Bera, Lakeland College - "As a first year Head Coach Dillon Berra was assigned the interim Head Wrestling Coach after serving his first year as an assistant wrestling coach under Quincy Osborn. In his first year as Head Coach Dillon put together a team of wrestlers who placed in a number top level College Tournaments including taking 6th out of 16 teams at the Cornell Matman Invitation in Mount Vernon, Iowa and 7th in the NCAA De West Regional with 4 place winners including an NCAA National Qualifier. As a wrestler Dillon was a 4 time NCAA D2 All American at Parkside. His talent as a wrestler is second to his talent as a coach. He spends nearly all his time helping wrestlers of all ages to love the sport as he does. He is a district rep and WWF Coach. He is an accomplished wrestler and clearly a remarkable coach."
Tim Fader, UW-Eau Claire - "Has done a great job with the program already in just a few short months. Has brought a lot of excitement back to the Blugold program."
WWCA District Representatives:
Jamie Olson, Boyceville
Chris Hansen, Hudson - "Incumbent. Involved K-12 and year round. Involved with both WWCA and WWF. 20 years of coaching experience."
Dallas Moe, Antigo - "Incumbent"
Wrestler of the Year:
Hunter Marko, Amery - "Four time state champ"
Mason Stokke, Menomonie - "Excellent season, great all around student-athlete"
Dylan Koontz, Stevens Point - "113# Div. 1 Champion, 45-0 including wins over 2x State Champ Brock Berglin, 2x State Champ AJ Schoenfuss and 2x State Finalist Aaron Schulist"
Paul Bianchi, Two Rivers - " 3x State Champion, became Two Rivers First 4x Conference Champion, 53-0 2015-16 season, overall record of 205-6, hasn't lost since the Cheesehead his sophomore season, 2x Cheesehead Champion, led Raiders to their first ever trip to Team State."
Beau Breske, Hartford - "Beau has dominated his opponents in his final year here in WI. He is the most talented kid our state has produced this year, and the fans are captivated by his style of wrestling. He not only wins but wins big. He was accepted to compete in FloWrestling Who's Number 1, and also teched or pinned his way through Fargo becoming our ONLY Junior National Champ (Teched Montovla fro IL., top nationally ranked kid). Best of Luck in Nebraska, Beau!"
Assistant Coach of the Year:
Dave Parish, Spooner - "20 + years of outstanding dedication"
Ben Albrecht, Eau Claire North - "Dedicated to building the Eau Claire North Program at all levels. Outstanding young coach!"
Scott Liegel, River Valley - "Scott was a state champion at 160 pounds for River Valley in 2009. He then took a year off before coming back and wrestling for the Badgers at 174 pounds in his last two years of competition. Scott has a bachelors degree in Kinesiology and a Masters degree in Sports Management both from UW-Madison. He will be attending the University of Iowa to become a Physicians Assistant in the fall of 2016. Scott has helped our program tremendously these last two years Most days he is the one who runs our practices. We bounce ideas off one another, of course, but I'm not afraid to admit that his ideas are usually better than mine. He takes notes at all the matches and makes sure to share his thoughts with each and every kid. His goal is to make everyone in the room better and he is succeeding. Watching him wrestle live with our best kids is very entertaining. Our kids are really working hard and it seems Scott is just getting a work out in. However, he is quick to teach as they are wrestling live and VERY loud in his positive reinforcement when the kids do something well against him. His technique work is second to none with all of the knowledge he brings from the Badgers program. I am extremely impressed at how he has helped our team with all the "little things". Whether it's nutrition or drilling techniques or the mental game, Scott has helped out everyone. I truly believe that we would not be at the Team State tournament without Scott helping us coach these last two years. I really wish he had become a teacher because he is so good with the kids. I think he would be a tremendous teacher and, or course, a coach."
Joel Kuhl, Two Rivers - "When the phrase “Assistant Coach of the Year” comes to mind, there is one particular person who fulfills his duties and beyond. Plain and simple, Joel Kuhl is the reason why we have seen the great success Two Rivers has been able to piece together in the past couple of years along with the remarkable season they just recently put a stamp on. Being a coach and a spectator in the stands throughout the year at many of the Raiders’ tournaments, it became very obvious to me that this man has these kids trained to do great things (I mean, just watch how he has them warm up—it’s quite impressive). This man brought a team together that was supposed to have a “down” year and led them to the following achievements: 17-2 overall Dual Record, 6-0 Conference Dual Record, 6th Straight undefeated EWC Conference Title, helped maintain a 42 conference dual win streak, 10 conference finalists (8 champions), 3rd Straight Regional Title, First Team State Appearance, 7 Sectional Qualifiers, 6 State Qualifiers, and 3 Place Winners including a 3x State Champion, a runner up, and a 4th place finish. Without question, he knows what he is doing and something has clicked since the Raider Wrestling Program decided to bring him on board. It is obvious that the time and effort he puts in even as an Assistant has paid dividends for the team. Even in the offseason, he helps coach at Kangaroo making not only TR kids better but also anyone else from other programs that want to get better. As well as Kangaroo, he puts time into other offseason training like Jeff Jordan Camp in Ohio on his own time with his team or other National Tournaments such as Dominate in the Dells; it is apparent to me as a parent, coach, and spectator myself that this guy is a natural-born leader in any wrestling room. In my opinion, he IS the very reason Two Rivers has had the success it had this year. Interestingly enough, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be in some sort of Head Coaching position at some point of his coaching career. He is certainly a reasonable candidate for “Assistant Coach of the Year” in the state of Wisconsin!
Abe Graziano, Fort Atkinson - "Abe took over our summer/off-season program last year and did an amazing job. He set-up open mats and a calendar of off-season wrestling through the spring and then created an awesome camp that our kids really enjoyed. He brought in top notch clinicians and our kids got a lot better over the summer. He even scheduled a couple dual meet events that helped our kids grow but also come together as a team. Our summer program had a direct effect on the success of our team this year. He continued to give up his time in the fall to open up open mats for those kids that wanted to keep wrestling. Once the season started, he really became my right hand man, taking over duties such as running tournaments, doing scouting and research, and eventually, much of the teaching in our practice room. He does a great job with everything I throw at him."
Tony Schaaf, Hortonville - "Tony was a driving force of the success the Hortonville Wrestling team had this year. He was instrumental in the changes made in the program. He worked tirelessly all summer to be sure the wrestlers were putting in the time at camps and open mats. Tony was the man behind the scenes working on scheduling, traveling, and all the paper work that need to be done, so Coach Gennrich could focus on just coaching. The additions he made to the team with his technique that he brought to the room could be seen in many of the wrestlers and was crucial to their development and improvement. He had a very calming influence on the wrestlers, that many of the young men need to help stay focused during the season. Without Coach Schaaf in the room Hortonville would never have enjoyed the record breaking success that they had or set so many program records!! "
Joe Oberneder, Beloit Memorial - "It is my great honor to nominate Joe Oberneder as Assistant Wrestling Coach of the Year. Joe has been associated in some capacity with our wrestling program for over 20 years. He is a highly respected member of our community and in the coaching circles of Southern Wisconsin. I was fortunate enough to have Joe as my football and wrestling coach when I attended Beloit Memorial High School from 2000 – 2003. When I was hired as a teacher in the district in 2008, he offered me a position on the football staff and to assist him as a coach for the junior varsity wrestlers. When I applied for the head wrestling coaching position in 2013, Joe was gracious enough to vouch for me as a young coach and offered to stay on as our head junior varsity coach. As a first time coach, Joe has been an invaluable resource to have as someone to bounce ideas off of and cover practices when I have to deal with the paperwork side of the job. In the past three years under Joe’s guidance, our junior varsity team has had five WWCS qualifiers, eleven conference champions, and seen our junior varsity numbers increase each year. It’s a tremendous load off my plate knowing that our young wrestlers are travelling with Joe to weekend tournaments. Our kids love Coach O and feed off his energy and enthusiasm. In addition to his duties at the high school, Joe also serves as the head wrestling coach for Fruzen Intermediate School in Beloit, where he is a physical education teacher, and is the co-head coach for the Beloit Area Youth Wrestling team. He is taking our scope and sequence at the high school and is implementing it at earliest levels of our wrestling program. For a city with 78% of the students living in poverty or from broken homes, it's vital to have positive role model that build people up and give them a chance to excel and find their potential when everyone else tells them they are worthless. Joe is that role model. In the fall, Joe is a varsity assistant coach for the football team, and runs our three strength and conditioning classes during the summer at the high school. His dedication to the young people of Beloit is without question, and is only eclipsed by the passion he brings to the classroom and practice room every day. He is a tireless worker who makes everyone else around him better. What our program may lack in tradition or state champions, it definitely makes up for in the quality of young adults that leave our program, go to college, and do great things in the Beloit community. I know that I speak for many Beloit Memorial alumni when I say that I would not be the person, teacher, or coach I am today without Joe Oberneder being a part of my life. We’re proud to have Joe on our staff and feel he is deserving of this recognition."
Fennimore Assistants (Dennis Malone, Greg Jentz, Donnie Zdanczewicz, Jesse Wellman), - "These four were instrumental in this year's Fennimore State Championship. Each had a specific role to serve the team as well as individual wrestlers. Each of the wrestlers they served improved as a result of their guidance. This was one of the toughest schedules in the history of the program, so the relationships and communication required from these coaches was essential to keep the wrestlers confident all year."