Willis brothers looking to make noise in Madison

Keith Storm-Voltz is one of a handful of Broncos on a strong path toward the Kohl Center. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)

 

By Tim Wester

Sports Correspondent

The Union Grove bus ride to Racine Park High School will certainly be louder than usual.

It will contain eight boisterous sectional qualifying wrestlers.

The eight wrestlers helped the Broncos rack up 160 points and finish third overall at the WIAA Division 1 Burlington Regional Saturday, Feb 9.

The Broncos’ eight sectional qualifiers tied for the highest number in Andy Weis’ tenure as Broncos’ coach.

“We took 11 wrestlers to regionals and had 8 qualify,” Union Grove coach Andy Weis said. “We had two kids just miss with fifth place finishes and another took sixth, so even the boys who didn’t qualify were close.”

Burlington won the event with 298.5 points, which was more than 100 points better than second place Kenosha Bradford/Reuther’s 184.5.

Union Grove, meanwhile, was led by the state-ranked Willis brothers. Freshman Cooper (41-2), ranked fifth at 106 pounds, went 3-0. Cade (29-2), ranked seventh at 120, also finished went 3-0.

“Cooper just keeps dominating and moving along,” Weis said. “He had a pin in the semifinal and then won 14-0 in the final.”

“Cade wrestled really smart and didn’t try to do anything risky,” Weis said. “Both he and Cooper got on and off the mat quickly, and the less time on the mat the healthier they can be.”

With the dominance of the Willis brothers this year, Cael Kahle (23-18) has quietly put together a strong freshman campaign, finishing second at 113.

“Cael came into the season with some club experience, so we knew were getting a decent 113 pounder,” Weis said. “He isn’t bothered getting lost between the Willis’ at 106 and 120. In fact, it has helped him out.”

The Broncos’ lone senior competitor at regionals was Keith Storm-Voltz, who finished second at 195.

“Keith wrestled at 182 at the conference tournament last week,” Weis said. “We felt his best chance to make it to state was at 195, so we moved him up.”

Jon Sackman, meanwhile, finished third at 132.

“This was Jon’s second time wrestling at 132,” Weis said. “He had a higher energy level moving down the weight class and did much better this week than last week at the new weight.”

Rounding out the Bronco qualifiers were a trio of fourth-place finishers consisting of Thomas Cook (126), Gianni Scacco (145), and Dylan Scacco (152).

“Thomas has really come a long way this season,” Weis said. “Both Thomas and Gianni had to win their fourth-place matches to qualify and both rose to the occasion and got the big wins.”

“Dylan is now a three-time sectional qualifier with another strong effort.”

Overall Weis was pleased with his team’s third-place finish.

“We had finished higher than Bradford in an earlier tournament this season, but they had some injuries then,” Weis said. “We wanted to finish in that 2 or 3 range, so we were happy with third.”

The Broncos look to have another solid outing tomorrow when they travel to Racine Park for sectional competition.

While both Cooper and Cade Willis are strong candidates to qualify for state, Weis tabs Storm-Voltz and Kahle as two others with promising chances to make it to Madison.

Four potential state qualifiers would certainly be gratifying to Weis and the Broncos.