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Lena-Winslow/Stockton sends seven wrestlers to IWCOA state meet

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 6:45 PM CDT
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LENA, Ill. (WIFR) - When the IHSA made the decision to move wrestling to the summer, it also took away the postseason due to it being a high-risk sport. But the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association has come to the rescue for those looking for competition.

The Lena-Winslow/Stockton Co-op is ready to hit the mats in Springfield on Thursday. The PantherHawks are the IWCOA top ranked team in Class 1A. Their lone loss coming to Class 3A third ranked DeKalb. The Co-op took home the IWCOA Regional and Sectional titles earlier this month and look to add individual hardware with seven wrestlers competing. Head coach Kevin Milder believes this is how the season should end.

“Most of the kids are trying to qualify for state and see where they rank with everybody else,” said Milder. “It’s just kind of the way wrestling is built. I’m glad they’re able to do something. Especially for the seniors. I’ve got a great group of seniors that are going to get a chance to compete at the state level, which is huge for them. They’ve put in three years and it would have been a shame for them not to have something for their final year.”

Senior Case Harmston is the top ranked 170-pound wrestler in Class 1A. He’s excited for this challenge.

“It was really spotty. Like, we thought we weren’t going to have a season. We didn’t know if we were going to have a state tournament,” explained Harmston. “We started out with the season, and we were just happy to have that. Now, IWCOA is letting us have a state tournament and it’s awesome. I have high expectations. We all do I think. We have the potential to have all seven of our guys in the finals.”

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