The train kept rolling for the Sauk Prairie wrestling team this season.
The Eagles went a perfect 7-0 during the Badger North Conference dual season en route to claiming a share of their eighth straight Badger North championship, sharing the 2017-18 title with Waunakee.
Sauk Prairie’s success came from a mix of veterans and underclassmen that kept the Eagles from missing a beat despite losing 14 seniors from the 2016-17 season.
Six Eagles earned All-Badger North Conference recognition for their performance on the mat. Zeke Smith (113 pounds), Dylan Herbrand (120) and Marcus Hankins (195) each received first-team honors, while Dawson Enge (106), Gavin Lankey (126) and Jacob Pape (170) were named to the second team.
Smith was named first-team All-Badger North after a huge senior season in which he set a single-season school record with 50 wins. Smith went 50-3 on the season to finish third in school history in career wins, while also ending his career with two fourth-place finishes at the WIAA Division 1 individual state meet. Smith took fourth at 106 pounds last season, while finishing fourth at 113 pounds this February. Smith won Sauk Prairie’s lone title at the Badger Conference tournament on Feb. 3, claiming the 113-pound title with a 1-minute, 57-second pin of Beaver Dam’s Dietrich Jaeckel.
Herbrand went 41-8 on the season and made his third consecutive trip to the state meet. The senior took second at the Badger Conference tournament, reaching the 120-pound championship match before dropping a 9-0 major decision to Stoughton’s Hunter Lewis, who went on to win the state title.
Hankins took third at the Badger Conference tournament and earned a first-team All-Badger North selection as the two wrestlers ahead of him at conference came from the Badger South. The sophomore went 31-17 on the year and came one win away from qualifying for his first state meet, reaching the 195-pound title match at the Waunakee sectional before falling to Middleton’s Dion Huff and dropping the second-place wrestleback to Holmen’s Kyle Burkhardt.
Enge, a sophomore, also came one win away from his first state meet, dropping the 106-pound second-place wrestleback to Holmen’s Alex Pellowski at sectionals. Enge, who went 33-15 on the season, recorded a pair of pins at the conference tournament before falling to Waunakee’s Nate Lorenz in the championship match.
Lankey took fourth at the conference meet, dropping the 126-pound third-place match to Fort Atkinson’s Nolan Kraus. Lankey’s postseason run came to an end in the first round of sectionals, where he was pinned by Reedsburg senior Mason McMillen, who went on to claim the 126-pound state title. Lankey went 32-15 in his senior year.
Pape also took fourth at the conference meet, dropping an 8-2 decision to Stoughton’s Luke Geister-Jones in the 170-pound third-place match. Pape compiled a 28-18 record in his senior season, which ended at the Middleton regional on Feb. 10.