The Sun Prairie wrestling team returns most of its letterwinners from a squad that finished 5-0 in Big Eight Conference duals and placed second in the conference meet a season ago. Therefore, the 2019-20 Cardinals will be looking to build off that success.
“We have experience back compared to last year when we didn’t have much returning,” said Cardinals head coach Jim Nelson.
Leading the ware five wrestlers who qualified for the WIAA sectionals.
Senior Brendan Shannon finished 33-14 at 195, the weight he will wrestle again this year.
“He had a great finish to the season finishing third at sectionals,” said Nelson of Shannon. “He wants to continue having a good year much like he did in football and wants to be successful on the mat as well.”
Shannon has 77 career wins.
“His goal is to make it to state this year, for sure,” added Nelson
Alex Yelk qualified for sectionals as a freshman at 106.
“He did some off-season wrestling and participated in some free clinics. We’re looking forward to him having another big year,” said Nelson of Yelk, who earned 12 wins in his inaugural season.
Junior Kyle Kaltenberg earned 10 wins and qualified for sectionals at 160.
“Kyle will wrestle this year at 170; he’s one of those kids that just goes about his business and always wants to get better,” Nelson said. “I’m excited to have Kyle back for his junior year.”
Also reaching sectionals were Richard Quintana and Jack Desens, both entering their senior seasons. Quintana finished 18-22 at 138 while Desens was 23-19 at 138.
“He’s a wrestler that just wants to compete, right now he’s looking great,” said Nelson of Desens.
The Cardinals also will be looking to junior 132-pounder Ryan Rivest to have a big year.
“Ryan looked good on his feet in our first match, and he got a first-period pin in his first match, it was good to see them both ready to come out and wrestle hard,” Nelson said.
The road back to the Big Eight Conference dual-win title will be a challenging one.
“Both Janesville schools will be competitive, and as always Middleton, Verona and Beloit Memorial have some good kids returning,” said Nelson.
2019-20 SUN PRAIRIE
(Home matches in CAPS)
Tues., Dec. 3. MONONA GROVE, 7
Sat., Dec. 7 Kimberly Invite, 8
Tues., Dec. 10 Madison La Follette, 7
Sat., Dec. 14 BOB DOWNING INV., 9:15
Fri., Dec. 20 .............. Beloit Memorial, 7
Fri., Jan. 3 FORT ATKINSON, 7
Fri., Jan. 10 MADISON EAST, 7
Sat., Jan. 11 Merrill Invite, 8
Fri., Jan. 17 JANESVILLE PARKER, 7
Sat., Jan. 18 L.G. Badger Invite, 9:30
Fri., Jan. 24 Big Eight Showcase
(@ La Follette), 6:30
Sat., Jan. 25 Fort Atkinson TKO, 8:30
Sat., Feb. 1 Deerfield Invite, 9:30
Sat., Feb. 8 Big Eight Meet (@ Parker), 10
Sat., Feb. 15 WIAA REGIONALS, 10
Sat., Feb. 18 WIAA Sectionals (@ Craig)
Feb. 27-29 WIAA State Tournament