Lakers capture first section title in program history with dominant performance

HOWARD LAKE – When Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted wrestling coach Joe Puncochar took over the program eight years ago, his biggest challenge was trying to fill weight classes. Fast forward to 2023 and his biggest challenge was deciding which guys to put into the lineup.

The Lakers have been working on building a program over the years and it came to its pinnacle Friday night, capturing their first section title in program history with three convincing wins at the Section 4A Team Wrestling Tournament.

“They’ve wanted to do this for a really long time,” Puncochar said. “We’ve fallen short the last couple of years. All those things you tell someone and they keep doing it that it will pay off, it’s so nice as a coach when that comes true. Sometimes it might not pay off and you might never get to that point, but it feels really good for these kids to get that opportunity to wrestle in the big show.”

It’s a huge step for the Lakers as a program as they’ve continued to get better and better over the years. What started as a dream for Puncochar when he took the job became a reality in front of their home crowd. Continue reading at →

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