East Troy High School’s Jake Dessart wrestles at 170 pounds in the Feb. 3 Rock Valley Conference tournament. Dessart was one of five Trojan wrestlers to bring home a conference title. The team took second in the tournament. (Robert Mischka photo)

Team takes second at the RVC tournament

By Dan Truttschel


Just as expected, the Rock Valley Conference Wrestling Tournament on Saturday was a battle right to the finish.

And in East Troy’s case, the difference between first and second was painfully close.

The Trojans came home from Jefferson with five first-place finishes and three seconds, but it wasn’t quite enough to topple Evansville-Albany, which won the title with 238.5 points, narrowly ahead of East Troy’s 231.5.

Whitewater was a distant third with 171 points, followed by Edgerton with 164, Jefferson with 147, Brodhead-Juda with 110.5, Beloit Turner with 100, Clinton with 47 and Big Foot-Williams Bay with 17.

“I thought all of the kids competed and wrestled exactly how we would have wanted them to,” East Troy coach Mike Howard said. “We won the majority of the close matches, and we got a few wins from some of our less experienced kids, which is always great to see.

“The coaches and parents were so proud of the team and how they competed. We knew it was going to be close and that every point counted. … We really thought we did our very best to make it happen, but fell short of our goal.”

East Troy High School senior Joe Moede wrestles at 120 pounds in the Rock Valley Conference Tournament. Moede won his first two matches and took home the title with a pinfall victory over Whitewater’s Cody Gamble. (Robert Mischka photo)

Winning conference titles for the Trojans were Tommy Larson (106), Joe Moede (120), Chase Coleman (160), Jake Dessart (170) and Chris Storandt (220).

“I thought our five champions all had great days,” Howard said.

Larson (36-3 overall), currently ranked second in the state in Division 2, won both of his matches, including an 11-5 decision over Whitewater’s Tyler Gamble in the finals.

He was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler for his efforts.

“Tommy had a tough Whitewater kid in the finals with one loss, where he was taken down, escaped and then he controlled the match from then on,” Howard said.

Moede (25-11) beat his first two opponents, followed by a pinfall victory in 2:57 over Whitewater’s Cody Gamble, while Coleman (34-7) had two pins, including one in 1:31 over Brodhead-Juda’s Kaleb Erb in the title match.

Coleman currently is ranked 10th in Division 2.

“Joe Moede wrestled awesome all day and had his closest match in the semis,” Howard said. “Chase Coleman had a very good kid in the semis that he beat, but it was back and forth during the match until the end.”

Dessart (26-13) earned his title with a 3-1, sudden victory over Evansville-Albany’s Tyler Aasen. He advanced to the finals with a pinfall win in the opener, followed by a tough, 3-2 decision over Whitewater’s Aldo Soto.

“(He) won real closes matches on the day on the way to the 170-pound title,” Howard said. “He defeated a kid in the finals and in the semifinals that he previously lost to. He was ecstatic.”

Storandt (220), ranked fourth in Division 2, earned a pinfall victory in the semifinals, followed by a 7-1 decision over Brodhead-Juda’s Trent Davis in the championship match.

Trio finishes second

East Troy also had three wrestlers advance to the finals – John Veselka (145), Jacob Price (195) and Jacob Mast (285).

Veselka (19-13) pinned Whitewater’s Tommy Cushman in 5:31 to advance to the title match, where he lost by major decision, 11-3, to Evansville-Albany’s Ben Barmore.

Price (25-15) advanced to the finals with a 10-5 win over Evansville’s Collin Roberts, but fell, 11-5, to Whitewater’s Tyler Sheffield. Mast (24-14) earned his spot in the finals with a 3-1, sudden victory over Whitewater’s Arturo Franco before he was pinned in 2:49 by Evansville’s Branden Lange.

Other places were recorded by A.J. Hall (113), third; Calvin Collins (126) and Sam Tuttle (182), fourth; Jackson Dedick (152), fifth; and Mason Orgas (138), sixth. Dustin Bartell (132) also competed but didn’t place.

Regional meet Saturday

The Trojans begin their postseason journey Saturday when they host the Division 2 regional at 10 a.m. The top-two individual finishers in each weight class and the overall team champion will advance to the sectional tournament.

“It will depend upon the contributions of everyone,” Howard said. “We need to win all of the close matches, and we will reach our goals.”

Howard said he expects Whitewater and Waukesha Catholic Memorial to be among the other teams to watch Saturday.

“As long as we continue wrestling the way we have, we will be good,” Howard said. “It’s time to move forward. This is the part of the season where the pretenders and the contenders are decided and who moves on from here. We will soon see.”


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