Stoughton Decade of Dominance - Wrestling - Alex Wicks

Stoughton teammates hoist up Alex Wicks after winning the 2020 Division 1 team state wrestling championship at the UW Field House. The Vikings have won three consecutive team state wrestling titles twice in school history.

One good look at the hardware at Stoughton High School displays what the numbers back up – the last decade has been the most successful in school history.

Athletic director Mel Dow shared the numbers with the SHS Booster Club at its annual meeting two weeks ago.

Since 2010, the Stoughton wrestling team has won 27% (3 of 11) of the school’s state championships. The Vikings have won the last three Division 1 team state titles and in 2018 passed Mineral Point for the most individual state champions in the state with 53.

Twelve of those 53 individual titles have come in the last decade. Nicolar Rivera won twice (at 106 pounds in 2019 and 120 in 2020), as did Hunter Lewis (138 in 2019 and 120 in 2018), Collin Kraus (2016 at 145 and 2014 at 126) and Brandon Klein (2017 at 132 and 2015 at 106).

Brooks Empey is the defending 220-pound state champ in Division 1. Current Wisconsin Badgers Tyler Dow (2017 at 160) and Garrett Model (2016 at 138) also won state titles. Jessie Nelson was the first Viking to win in the decade when he captured the heavyweight crown in 2013.

Rising senior Sofia Bormett became the first Stoughton swimmer to win a state championship when she won the 2018 Division 2 title in the 200-yard freestyle.

In addition to the teams and individuals that won state championships, 47% (7 of 15) of Stoughton’s state runner-up teams played in the last decade.

Boys lacrosse was the Division 2 runner-up three years in a row from 2014-16. Girls basketball reached the D2 state championship game in 2016, and the wrestling team was the Division 1 runner-up to Kaukauna from 2015-17.

A whopping 25% (37 of 143) of Stoughton’s conference championships have come in the last decade.

Boys basketball won six straight Badger South titles from 2012-17 and another this past season. Girls basketball claimed back-to-back conference crowns in 2016 and 2017, and baseball also won two in a row in 2013 and 2014.

Wrestling is riding a six-year run atop the Badger South. Girls cross country won three straight conference titles from 2015-17, and boys cross country will enter next season as the reigning conference champs.

Football won its first conference title since 1975 last season. Boys hockey won the last of three Badger South championships in 2010. Boys golf won in 2013, and volleyball won in 2016.

Four Stoughton programs won their first conference title in the last decade.

Girls track and field won the first of seven straight Badger South championships in 2011. Boys lacrosse claimed three straight from 2014-16. Girls golf won for the first time in 2013 then again five years later. Softball broke through for the first time in 2016.

Stoughton also started new programs – boys lacrosse and dance – with additions to various lower levels to accommodate rising participation numbers.

SHS has won three regional Spirit of Excellence Awards and one state Spirit of Excellence Award since 2010. It is also a four-time Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Excellence recipient.

Overall, the cumulative grade-point average for all SHS athletic programs over the last 10 years was near a 3.3. The school also started offering a Character Education class this past decade.

Nearly 150 student-athletes from Stoughton either committed, attempted or participated in college athletics since 2010. SHS also built a new strength and conditioning facility and hired a coach to help student-athletes use the weight room.