First state champ in New London history
By Erik Buchinger
Senior Scott Cook concluded his record-setting career with the first state wrestling championship in New London wrestling history on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Cook set the record for most career victories for New London wrestling earlier in the season and said his hard work paid off in the end.
“It feels awesome,” Cook said. “I’ve been putting in a lot of work, and it’s just been an awesome experience. I love it.”
Cook received a first-round bye in the WIAA Division II 138-pound bracket and beat Cole Murray in the quarterfinal round on Friday, Feb. 24.
Cook competed again later that night and beat Jarrett Dolata in a 9-3 decision to advance to the finals the next day.
In a close match on Saturday night, Cook outlasted Ryan Hannah of Viroqua 4-3 to be the first New London wrestler to win a state title.
After his arm was raised as the state champion, Cook raced up the Kohl Center steps to greet his parents in the upper deck to hug them.
“I set high standards, and I finally accomplished them,” Cook said. “I’ve been working my tail off, and it’s just awesome.”
New London head coach Nathan Krueger said Cook has put in the work to earn his state title to cap off his high school wrestling career.
“He deserves it so much,” Krueger said. “He’s put so much work in the offseason through the last four years. It couldn’t happen to a better kid.”
After not placing at state last season, Cook said he was motivated to win a state title, which was among his highest goals coming into the season.
“There were some top-notch kids last year, and things don’t always go your way,” Cook said. “It just pushed me a little bit harder to train even harder for that title.”