SHS Goes to State


Submitted by Cole Sarbacker


Submitted by Cole Sarbacker

The Madison Kohl Center hosted the WIAA Division 1 state tournament from Thursday, Feb. 23 to Saturday, Feb. 25. Stoughton High School sent five athletes to compete, and all five found their footing on the podium.
Seniors Claire Spilde in the girls division at 126 pounds, Chance Suddeth at 132, and Griffin Empey in heavyweight with juniors Cole Sarbacker at 146, and Beckett Spilde at 220 all wrestled in the state tournament.
Chance Suddeth placed fourth, Claire Spilde placed fifth, Griffin Empey placed second, and Beckett Spilde and Cole Sarbacker both placed sixth in their respective weight classes.
“It’s fun to go up there with the group that we’ve had. I’ve been wrestling with that group of individuals since I was in kindergarten and they were in 1st grade. We’ve been traveling to tournaments forever,” Sarbacker says.
Wrestling is an intensive sport at SHS. There are countless hours put into training, lifting, and practicing for these athletes to push their bodies to the limit to grow stronger.
“We have morning lift two times a week, and then practice every day [during the school week]. We wrestled on back to back days for tournaments, so it gets to be a little bit of a grind,” Sarbacker says.
Wrestling starts at individual regionals. If the athletes place in the top four, they move up to sectionals. If they place in the top two at sectionals, they make it to state.
“You gotta be strong, you got to have good endurance to go out there and wrestle. Wrestling is kind of the sport where you need everything and it’s not all physical toughness; you have to be mentally tough, too. Our practices reflect that because we strive to be one of the best teams in the state, have [the best] individuals in the state, and we have tough practices to get us there,” Sarbacker says.
With the season ending, the athletes are feeling the full effect of reality with the question of what to do in the future. Since Beckett Spilde and Cole Sarbacker are juniors, they both have one more year to decide if they want to keep wrestling.
“I think I do really want to keep continuing [wrestling] because obviously I wrestled with [teammates] during the high school year, but I train in our off-season because it’s such a big part of my life. I don’t necessarily know what I would do without it,” Sarbacker says.
The seniors, on the other hand, have a looming choice in front of them. One that could determine the rest of their future.
“[Wrestling] is kind of over with now, and I won’t be wrestling in college. It is what it is,” Empey says.
It’s hard to balance a grueling sport on top of school and other after-school activities, but, according to Sarbacker, “I know in the end I have to make sacrifices to make everything work, and it’ll all be worth it.”
Although none of the five SHS wrestlers won the state tournament, everyone placed and came home to happy families.
“All of us ended up placing, so that was pretty cool,” Sarbacker says. “It’s tough to go up to the state tournament, but everyone came home with a medal.”


Boys Swim

Submitted by Julian Callender

A week before the wrestling state tournament at the Kohl Center, the WIAA Division 2 state boys swim meet took place on Friday, Feb. 17 at Waukesha South High School.
Sophomores Julian Callender and Josh Phillips, freshman Gavin Reiser, and junior Parker Housely all placed their individual spots on the podium.
Callender had prepared for this meet since he started swimming and it didn’t go unnoticed by the audience.
“There were a lot of people and good energy. It was a fun place to be,” Callender says.
Similar to wrestling, at the end of the season, there are sectional meets and swimmers have to qualify in the top five to make it to state.
“I’m used to leaving school and swimming every day for three hours, so it gets kind of easy [to keep up with],” Callender says.
Callender’s hard work paid off at the meet this year. He broke one of his own records and took home a gold medal with a 100 yard backstroke time of 55 seconds.
“It felt good to win,” Callender says. “I feel very accomplished.”