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WarBirds lock up third straight regional championship
WarBirds crown 4 individual champs & advance 9 wrestlers to sectionals
Darl-BH wrest Cruz vs Deer color
ALEXIS CRUZ (top) earns back points his his 138-pound quarterfinal match against Deerfields Brenden Peterson. Cruz placed second at 138 to earn a sectional berth.

    ORFORDVILLE – The Darlington/Black Hawk co-op wrestling team brought home the regional team championship for the third year in a row after crowning four individual champions and advancing nine wrestlers to sectionals with an outstanding performance at the 2018 WIAA Division 3 Regional Meet held at Parkview High School on Saturday, Feb. 10.
    The WarBirds used four first-place finishes, five runner-up finishes and three third-place finishes to roll to the team title with 247.5 points. Marshall was a distant second with 171 points and Pecatonica/Argyle took third with 164 points at the seven-team event.
    “We’re very proud of these guys. Everybody has worked so hard to get us to this point,” said co-head coach Jim Seffrood. “They have put in the work to make weight since the beginning of the season and it’s made a world of difference in our line-up. Advancing nine guys to sectionals is great, and adding the team title is just a bonus. Our goal is to go after Fennimore again and give them a shot for their money and see what we can do.”
    Senior Paul King at 120-pounds, junior Kolbe Ubersox at 132, senior Grady Rielly at 160 and sophomore Leif Bredeson at 285 all won regional titles for the WarBirds.
    King (28-7) earned his second career sectional berth after winning his second regional regional crown with a 16-5 major decision over Waterloo’s Brandon Springer in the championship match at 120-pounds.
    Ubersox (33-2, ranked #4 in D3) followed by winning his third career regional title with a 2:32 pin over Waterloo’s Juan Alonso in the championship match at 132.
    Rielly (24-11) picked up his first career regional title and his second overall sectional berth with a 3:44 pin of Marshall’s Jack Moen at 160.
    L. Bredeson (16-15) spent just 75 seconds on the mats at regionals en route to his first career regional title and his first-ever sectional berth. After pinning Pecatonica/Argyle’s Owen Thronson in 33 seconds in their semifinal match, the Darlington sophomore stuck top-seeded Parker Ellickson of Marshall in just 42 seconds to win the 285-pound crown.
    Senior Brody Milz was the runner-up at 220-pounds for the WarBirds, while junior Alexis Cruz at 138, sophomore Cayden Milz at 145, sophomore Carson Lobdell at 170 and senior Tyler Mosley at 182 all won wrestleback matches to finish second and earn sectional berths as well for the co-op.
    “We wrestled tough all day. We struggled a bit in the semifinals, but we came back strong. Nobody gave up,” Seffrood said.
    B. Milz (31-6, ranked #9 in D3), who was one three wrestlers in the bracket at 220, locked up his second career sectional berth with a 1:03 pin of Cambridge’s Blake Britzke in a semifinal match. In the finals, Marshall’s Justin Chadwick– a 2017 state qualifier and #5-ranked at 220– pinned B. Milz in 5:06 for the regional title.
    Cruz, a late addition to the WarBirds’ line-up after just recently joining the team, was seeded last in the 138 bracket coming into the meet but opened his day with an overtime decision and a pin to make the finals.
    Parkview’s Conner Nolan won a 5-0 decision over Cruz to take the regional crown and force the Darlington junior into a wrestleback match, however he went on to earn his first sectional berth by winning a 13-11 overtime decision over Cambridge’s Matt Andersen.
    “We had the kids working the hallways to look for another kid to fill out our line-up. Alexis was talked into coming out. He wrestled in junior high and a freshman, but did not go out last year. He fits our line-up well and he did a great job today,” noted Seffrood.
    C. Milz (19-13) was pinned by eventual champion Korben Brown of Parkview in a semifinal match at 145, but he bounced back with a 35 second pin over Waterloo’s Joe Newton in the third-place match, and then won an 11-4 decision over top-seeded Aiden Chia of Cambridge in a wrestleback match to earn his second career sectional berth.
    Lobdell (21-15) was also pinned by the eventual champion– Deerfield’s Ehren Ezzell– in a semifinal match at 170. He pinned Parkview’s Emilio Colunga in 2:54 to earn a wrestleback chance, and then posted a 14-0 major decision over Marshall’s Jakob Lewis for his first career sectional berth.
    Mosley (15-9) was seeking his third sectional berth and a return trip to state at Saturday’s meet, but he faced perhaps the toughest path to advancement with two other 2017 state qualifiers in the 182 bracket in Parkview senior Gavon Brown (ranked #11 in D3) and Pecatonica/Argyle senior Prestan Rosenstiel.
    The Darlington senior lost a tough 10-8 decision to Brown in the semifinal, but fought back with an 18-2 technical fall decision over Waterloo’s Riley Ritter and earned a wrestleback chance after Brown pinned Rosenstiel in 3:24 to take the title at 182.
    Mosley jumped ahead of Rosenstiel early and held off a pair of pin attempts in the final minute to hang on for a 15-12 decision and earn his third trip to sectionals.
    “It’s one thing to get the wrestleback, but you have to win those matches to advance when you get the chance. We dominated our wrestleback matches,” boasted Seffrood.
    Junior Hunter Bredeson (18-12) at 152, sophomore Cody Blosch (17-17) at 126 and sophomore Bailey Schilling (18-14) at 195 were all seeking return trips to sectionals for the WarBirds, but came up a bit short in their bids after placing third in their respective weight classes without getting a chance to wrestleback for second.
    H. Bredeson and Blosch each went 2-1 with two pins, while Schilling went 1-1 with a pin on the day. Sophomore Eric Hocking (3-20) also placed third at 113 for the WarBirds.
     Darlington/Black Hawk advanced to the Division 3 Team Sectional competition for the third consecutive year, traveling to Royall High School on Tuesday, Feb. 13, to meet Aquinas in a sectional semifinal match.
    The winner went on to face the winner of the #2-ranked Fennimore vs. Brookwood semifinal match in the sectional final match on Tuesday night with that winner moving on to the team state competition at the UW-Madison Field House on Saturday, March 3. (The results of Tuesday’s matches were not known at press time.)
    The WIAA Division 3 Individual Sectional meet will be held at Mineral Point High School on Saturday, Feb. 17, starting at 10 a.m. The top three wrestlers in each weight class advance to the 2018 Individual State Meet at UW-Madison’s Kohl Center on Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 22-24.
    Sectional match-ups can be found at or on the WIAA website.
Team Standings: Darlington/Black Hawk 247.5, Marshall 171, Pecatonica/Argyle 164, Parkview 150, Waterloo 134, Deerfield 96, Cambridge 90.
Darlington/Black Hawk Individual Results: 106-pounds- Aiden McGuire, 0-2; 113- 3- Eric Hocking, 0-2; 120- 1- Paul King, 3-0; 126- 3- Cody Blosch, 2-1; 132- 1- Kolbe Ubersox, 3-0; 138- 2- Alexis Cruz, 3-1; 145- 2- Cayden Milz, 2-1; 152- 3- Hunter Bredeson, 2-1; 160- 1- Grady Reilly, 3-0; 170- 2- Carson Lobdell, 3-1; 182- 2- Tyler Mosley, 3-1; 195- 3- Bailey Schilling, 1-1; 220- 2- Brody Milz, 2-1; 285- 1- Leif Bredeson, 3-0.
At Orfordville, on Saturday, Feb. 10