On a whim, I decided I wanted to try a Q&A with my Twitter followers. So I put out a feeler Thursday and here we are.
Thank you to those who submitted questions. I’ll probably try this a couple more times before deciding its ultimate fate. So if you have any questions, send them along to email@example.com or message me on Twitter at @Nate_Woelfel or by using #AskNWW.
Without further adieu, let’s get going.
From Mark Czerniejewski (via Twitter):
Who wins the Woodland Conference?
Hi Mark, you get the honor of having the first-ever #AskNWW question. How cool is that?
In all seriousness, thank you for following/reading. I am thankful for all the time you take to engage with my content.
Alright, sappy stuff out of the way. Let’s get down to business.
On first glance, I’d tell you I have a hard time seeing anyone other than Pewaukee winning the Woodland Conference.
The Pirates return four conference champions in Andrew Martin, Nate Carerros, Noah Martin, and Joe Sklenar. No one else in the Woodland brings back more than two.
Here’s where things get dicey for Pewaukee, though. The team with two returning champs is Wisconsin Lutheran, a squad that returns nine wrestlers who competed at the conference tournament last year. The Pirates return just six.
Then, there’s 2019 runner-up Whitnall/Greendale who is bringing back 11 athletes who competed at the conference tournament last year.
If you break it down by returning team points, it shakes out like this:
- Whitnall/Greendale 157
- Wisconsin Lutheran 136
- Pewaukee 130
So on paper, it comes down to what you’re looking for in a team.
Top-heavy with several studs? Pewaukee is your team.
Looking for depth and experience? Whitnall/Greendale.
Something in the middle? Wisco.
At this moment, I’ll stick with the math and go with Whitnall/Greendale. But ask me again in January. This is definitely subject to change.
From @WIMarshRat (via Twitter)
My daughter wants to try wrestling this year. Who is the most successful woman wrestler in the state?
Appreciate the question. Thanks for reaching out.
It is great to hear your daughter is interested in wrestling. Girls/women’s wrestling is definitely trending upward in Wisconsin and I hope it continues.
Three names immediately came to mind when I read this. Though, one of them isn’t always “in-state” and another isn’t actively competing anymore.
The first is Jayden Laurent.
Laurent won a national title for Lakeland University last year. she is a two-time Senior-level World Team member and a two-time Junior-level World Team member.
During her prep days she was a three-time Fargo national champion and a two-time Pan-Am champion. These are just some of her accolades.
She’s training at Badger RTC in Madison right now.
The next athlete who came to mind was Macey Kilty. Though I am not completely up to date on her whereabouts, she has spent some time training in North Carolina at Tar Heel Wrestling Club,
Kilty was a state runner-up for Stratford High School in folkstyle before she began pursuing freestyle full-time.
She was a 2018 Cadet world champion. She is a two-time world silver medalist at the Junior level and just finished second at the U23 World Championships earlier this year.
The final name is a bit of a throwback, but one that holds incredible historical significance. And that’s Alyssa Lampe.
Lampe was the first girl to ever to qualify for the WIAA state tournament. She placed second at State while competing for Tomahawk High School.
She won gold at the 2009 Pan American championships, placed third at the 2015 Pan American Games and won a pair of bronze medals at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships, respectively.
From Jake Fitzsimmons (via Twitter):
Would love to read some of your WSN content, but it’s expensive. Any chance there is a trial?
Hi Jake, thanks for the question. I know you have followed me on Twitter for the last few years and this is far from the first time you have interacted with my content. For that, I extend my sincerest thanks. If no one interacted with my tweets or read my stories, there wouldn’t be much of a point to any of this.
The short(ish) answer to your question is that many of my WSN articles are available for free. In fact, roughly one-third of my articles this season have been free and available to everyone. At least 50 percent of my WisSports content in my first two years was available free of charge.
While I know you are aware of these numbers, I want to give a quick breakdown of the subscription plan options for the greater good of the group.
Month-by-month subscriptions are available for $9.95. And while the yearlong subscriptions are $49.95, that comes down to a little less than $4.17 per month. This includes access to all WSN Extra content, not just wrestling. Football, boys basketball, girls basketball, the works.
I encounter questions/comments like yours a handful of times each season. And now that your question is answered, I’d like to take the opportunity to hop on my soapbox for a moment, since the chance to address these things has arisen.
None of this is aimed at you in particular. These are simply items the wrestling community needs to come to grips with as the sport continues to evolve and grow.
I do my best to avoid telling anyone how to spend their hard-earned money. Those are personal decisions that are none of my business.
However, I can speak to the amount of time and effort that goes into a season’s worth of high school wrestling coverage.
Fact is: I’ve covered high school and college wrestling in Wisconsin for nearly a decade now. And I’ve lost money every year I’ve done it. Like, lots of money. Seriously, I’d be better off financially if I didn’t cover anything.
From a financial perspective, walking away from this a long time ago would have been a no-brainer. It still is.
That’s not to say I don’t get paid. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with and for plenty of great outlets that throw me a few bucks to cover the sport I love. I also try to reduce expenses by creating as much content as I can from home.
But the dollars coming in simply don’t cover everything like travel expenses, equipment, etc. Not to mention this website, which is funded exclusively out of my own pocket and generates precisely $0.
Now I’m not asking for pity. I love this sport. I’ve met so many incredible people and had more amazing experiences than I can count thanks to wrestling. Putting in the amount of hours I do each winter is my choice. No one is forcing me to do it. I genuinely enjoy sharing my content with each and every one of you.
Let’s take a second to look at the bigger picture here. A picture that has nothing to do with me or my coverage.
Wrestling is beginning to truly embrace the digital age. I think, in many ways, the sport is more popular and accessible in the United States now than it has ever been. But if this growth is going to be sustainable, there needs to be a sizable portion of the fan base that is willing to pay for quality coverage.
Professional-quality broadcasts and articles require that some people (if only a few) actually get to make a living working in wrestling. That largely won’t be possible until the money begins flowing. In many ways, that hasn’t happened. Wrestling’s growth in this country is going to be limited by the willingness of the fanbase to begin paying for quality content.
Before I go, let’s do some quick math on the WisSports content. With a yearly subscription, the three months of the wrestling season costs roughly $12.51. The conference previews alone equate to approximately 39 cents per article. If you don’t think my work is worth 39 cents, that’s your prerogative. But I respectfully disagree.
As for me and my work here, this site will continue to offer free content for the foreseeable future. It’s a labor of love and I’m just happy I have any semblance of a following. I think it’s really cool and I can’t thank all of you enough for taking the time to read and interact.