“I think it’s great for Colin. He’s having a terrific season,” said Black Hawk head coach Jim Seffrood. “Now, he just has to take it one match at a time.”
Novak (34-10) opened his day by facing Necedah sophomore August Pintarro (32-8) in a quarterfinal match at 113.
Pintarro, who got pinned in the first period by Novak in the championship match of the Scenic, Ridge and Rivers Conference Meet just two weeks earlier, took the match into the second period before getting stuck by the Black Hawk sophomore at the 3:21 mark.
That win set up another rematch for Novak with Weston/Ithaca sophomore Jordan Rupp (16-23), who he had already beaten twice this season. The third time continued to be the charm as the Warrior rolled to an 11-0 major decision to lock up a spot in the finals and a guaranteed state berth.
“We knew they weren’t going to let (Colin) do to them what he did during their previous meetings, but he went out there and wrestled smart,” Seffrood commented.
In the finals, Novak’s luck ran out as he got caught by Deerfield junior Jared Gilbertson (24-6) and pinned in just 25 seconds to drop back into a wrestleback.
“He just got caught in a move and there was nothing he could do about it. It happened quick,” said Seffrood.
Novak faced another rematch in the wrestleback when he squared off against Mineral Point junior Reid Suddeth (36-12), who pinned the Warrior in 4:11 at last week’s regional to claim the title.
Suddeth got the better of Novak once again, but this time it was just by a 4-2 decision.
“He had a tough match with (Suddeth) and would like to face him again. He’d also like to face Gilbertson at state,” admitted Seffrood. “Actually, I like his draw better as a third-place finisher.”
Novak, who is ranked ninth at 113 in D3 by Wisconsin Wrestling Online, opens up his tournament with a preliminary match against Clear Lake senior Cody Shafer (38-8), who is ranked third, at the Kohl Center in Madison on Thursday, Feb. 21. The Division 3 session is set to begin at 7:15 p.m.
The winner of Thursday’s preliminary match moves on to face #5-ranked Colton Kraus, a 37-7 junior from Ozaukee on Friday, Feb. 22. Wrestling begins at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, and lasts through Saturday, Feb. 23.