Janesville Craig, Parker renew wrestling rivalry tonight
JANESVILLE Expect the unexpected tonight when Janesville Parker invades the Janesville Craig gymnasium in a pivotal Big Eight Conference wrestling match.
The city rivals have met 47 times previously, and the one constant through the years is the electricity the atmosphere provides.
Craig is 7-1 in Big Eight dual meets this season and can clinch a share of the conference title with a win tonight.
Parker struggled early in the season under first-year coach Andy Tubbs but has rebounded to post a 5-3 Big Eight record. The Vikings would like nothing better than to play spoilers in the Cougars’ bid for a conference title.
“I’ve been around this rivalry long enough to know that records don’t mean a whole lot,” Craig coach Mark Mullen said. “We’re probably a better team on paper, but you still have to go out and wrestle.
“And when you throw in the fact that it’s Parker/Craig, and the history these two programs have with each other, it’s still a really special night for the kids, coaches and the fans.”
Craig has six wrestlers with at least 22 wins this season, led by 152-pounder Zack Mulrooney, who is 27-6. Zak Kurtz is 24-5 at 195 for Craig, while Airk Furseth (106) and Anthony Skrede (120) are 24-8.
Parker is led by Gage Burdick (106), who went 4-0 at last Saturday’s Big Eight Duals. The Vikings’ Dylan Siener (113), Mitchel Henneman (120), Reynaldo Bautista (182), Scott VanderHagen (220) and Tyler Jelinek (285) went 3-1 at the Big Eight Duals.
The varsity match is slated for 7 o’clock tonight.
Cramer and Kaster to be honored
Starting tonight, the winner of the Parker vs. Craig wrestling match will be awarded the Kaster-Cramer Cup, in honor of longtime coaches Joe Kaster of Craig and Ron Cramer of Parker.
Cramer retired after last season following 43 years at Parker, including 42 as the head coach. He compiled a 30-13 record against Craig, including a stretch of 19 straight wins between the season of 1975-76 through 1993-94.
Kaster was the longtime coach at Craig and is currently the editor of the popular Crossface Magazine.
“Those two did so much for our sport in this city that we felt like this was the best way to honor them,” Mullen said. “The football teams play for the Monterey Rock, and now the wrestling teams will play for the KC Cup.
“It’s a really nice trophy that the winning team will get to keep at their school.”