Kaden Keenlance, top, fights for possession in his opening-round match against Freedom’s Koy Murphy. Keenlance dropped the match on a 12-0 major decision.
Kaden Keenlance, top, fights for possession in his opening-round match against Freedom’s Koy Murphy. Keenlance dropped the match on a 12-0 major decision.

   For the first time in seven years, the Ripon High School Tiger wrestling team won’t be represented at the WIAA State Championships.

   LeeRoy Cotton, Kaden Keenlance and Joe Kain all fell short in their attempts to qualify for the meet last week Saturday at the Wrightstown Division 2 Sectional.

   Despite the wrestlers being unable to punch their tickets, head coach Lee Cotton was proud of their efforts and noted they have no reason to hang their heads.

   “They all wrestled tough,” he said. “They went out there, obviously, to win their matches and they went up against some of the best guys in the state. In its own right, that was sort of a mini-state tournament unto itself, so good for all the guys that made it. You definitely will see most every top-three finisher at this sectional will be on the podium at state also. We were always working to get better and in the next few years we’ll definitely send a few more guys down to the state tournament.”

   Kain came the closest to qualifying for the Tigers.

   The senior won his first match at 182 pounds on a 7-5 sudden victory over Jeremy Jorns of Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol, before dropping his next two matches.

   Had Kain won his second match over Amherst’s Josh Rieck he would have automatically clinched a berth to the state tournament. He was pinned in the first period.

   The senior then could have put himself in a position to wrestle for a chance to go to state if he won his third-place match, but dropped an 11-4 decision to Freedom’s Devan Van Rossum to get eliminated.

Read the full story, which includes information on the matches for LeeRoy Cotton and Keenlance, in the Feb. 21, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.