In most years the drama at the Middle Border Conference Wrestling Meet is usually who is going to finish second behind Ellsworth and it will be no different this time around either for Saturday's 51st conference meet at Durand. But Prescott hopes to be in contention for that spot in the conference standings which would be their highest since rejoining the league back in 2002.
Last year Prescott placed sixth with 98.5 points while Ellsworth, with seven individual champions, cruised to their 32nd league championship and eighth in a row since 2003.
While PHS finished 3-4 in MBC dual meets in 2012, each of them, outside of their loss to No. 3 ranked Ellsworth, was competitive and the Cardinals had their best tournament finish in a decade a week ago at Arcadia Raider Challenge by finishing second.
"What was nice about it is the fact the kids were keeping tabs on the team score," Prescott head coach Paul Johnson said. "Normally that's not something we do because we're usually never in contention for anything. But when we we saw we could finish second and come away with a trophy the kids kept their eyes on the team score and held each other accountable. They told each other 'Hey, we need you to get a pin or get major or just plain win.' That's what team wrestling is all about and it was a lot of fun."
Finishing in the second spot and pulling off a top two finish for Pierce County in the MBC meet will be tougher to accomplish Johnson admits. Ellsworth, New Richmond, Amery and Somerset should have full teams while the Cardinals will have just 10 or 11 wrestlers to compete with. To offset the zero points the Cardinals will get in those open weight classes, Johnson believes the Cards will need to get at least three or four wrestlers in the finals and the rest placing in the top five. Those Redbird wrestlers who could make the finals include Josh Farr at 113, Matt Pechacek at 170 or 182 and Alex Stuhl at 120.
"I think Alex has a good shot at 120 and should be a competitive weight class with himself, (Brad) Cain of Ellsworth and (Shane) Blackman of New Richmond."
The MBC meet could see a clash two No. 1 ranked wrestlers in the 113-pound finals. Prescott's Josh Farr just recently moved into the No. 1 spot in Division 3 just opposite of Ellsworth undfeated and No.1 ranked defending conference champ Jens Lantz. Not only is Johnson is looking forward to it but so is Ellsworth head coach Chad Steldt, who is eager to coached his first Middle Border Conference championship team.
"Farr wrestled a very smart match against Jens. He had a strategy and he stuck to it," Steldt said. "Jens is going to have to adjust and set the pace of the match and the action to where he wants it. It will be a great test of wills."
Other returning champs for the Panthers include Roarke Langer and Parker Hines. All are favored to do so again and Steldt said he's eager to see how Dan Langer, Ryan Dickhausen, Dennis Schutz, Gabe Frandsen and Brody Kemmerer will do in more wide open weight classes.
"A lot of kids are moving up and down to gain their maximum advantge, some kids may not make ideal weight class to compete in, so it be interesting to see where everyone lands and how you react to it," Steldt said.
The meet begins at 10 a.m. at Durand High School
Pierce County Wrestling Honor Roll
106 - David Walker, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 23-9
113 - Jens Lantz, Ellsworth, 27-0; Josh Farr, Prescott, 22-3; Derek Huebel, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 23-10
120 - Brady Webb, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 30-2; Brad Cain, Ellsworth, 19-11; Alex Stuhl, Prescott, 16-9;
126 - Brent Stockwell, Ellsworth, 18-7; Mitch Thompson, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 13-5; Tyler Berg, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 14-5
132 - Roarke Langer, Ellsworth, 25-3; Nick Opdahl, Prescott, 17-8; Nick Berg, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 15-12
138 - Dan Langer, Ellsworth, 21-8, Zac Newton, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 23-10; Troy Urman, Prescott, 15-9
145 - Jaron Turner, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 21-8; Conner Sieracki, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 16-7; Logan Kemmerer, Ellsworth, 5-3;
152 - Jon Newton, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 22-11; Ryan Dickhausen, Ellsworth, 9-3; Colton Purfeerst, Prescott, 17-12; Max Peterson, Ellsworth, 8-7;
160 - Brian Fesenmaier, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 28-6; Dennis Schutz, Ellsworth, 21-7; Lee Boles, Prescott, 17-12
170 - Matt Pechacek, Prescott, 22-4; Gabe Frandsen, Ellsworth, 23-7; Steve Von Haden, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 21-9
182 - Andy Bune, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 25-10; Derek Donnelly, Ellsworth, 16-9; Austin Tulip, Prescott, 6-4
195 - Parker Hines, Ellsworth, 25-1; Tyler Hunter, Spring Valley-Elmwood, 29-4
220 - Hank Holdorf, Ellsworth, 21-10
285 - Brody Kemmerer, Ellsworth, 14-12