- Wrestlers from around the state will compete for a state title in Madison this weekend.
Fourteen Northwoods athletes will get a chance to do that starting Thursday.
Three of them will proudly take the mats as Tomahawk Hatchets.
"A lot of hard work and dedication to get here," said junior wrestler at 182-pounds Kade Wenninger.
Hatchets Kade Wenninger, Eric Decker and Tony Matti are all three wins from bringing home a wrestling state title.
"I am just excited for the experience. Not many people get down there on such a big stage. It's just going to be super cool to be down there," Wenninger said.
Wenninger pinned his first opponent in seven seconds during sectionals, setting a new record for the fastest pin in Tomahawk school history. The video above shows his sectional win in the final round. He hopes to build off that momentum at state.
"Just wrestling to my potential. I can beat them and hopefully be in the state finals with the best of the best," Wenninger said.
Competing at 195 pounds, Junior Eric Decker will make his first state appearance. He believes the success comes from months of dedication.
"We started in November but that's not the whole season. It's before the season that really matters," Decker said. "The off-season work, all the weight lifting, all of the camps we have in the summer and all the hard work through the season is what really matters."
Heavyweight and two-time state qualifier Toni Matti hopes to make it past the first round this year.
"I'm pretty excited to be back at state again. I get another chance to do what I want to there," Matti said.
And his goals?
"Take state, that would be really cool for my senior season. You know I got the jitters of being there for the first time out so I think the second time around I can do a lot better," Matti said.
This is the first time the Hatchets have sent at least three wrestlers to state since 2016.
"Big step in the right direction for Tomahawk to have three state qualifiers down there which is important to the program, getting people down to Madison and come back with some medals hopefully," Decker said.