The Flock family’s involvement with Cashton High School wrestling began with the birth of the program in the early 1970s.
Cashton coach Phil Flock isn’t sure how many seasons the Eagles have gone without a Flock in their lineup for the past 40 years, but his guess is that the number is very small.
“I couldn’t even count how many there have been,” the coach said near the end of the second session of the Bi-State Classic at the La Crosse Center on Thursday. “My brother (Steve) was there for the start, and we’ve gone on from there.”
The Flocks, the Dahls, the Mlsnas, the Brueggens and others have helped catapult Cashton wrestling into a recognizable one around the state.
Two members of the Flock family — three if you count coach Phil — have played a big role in keeping Cashton relevant, and their names are Dillon and Dominic.
The two had hopes of wrestling together in today’s Bi-State Classic semifinals and finals, but only one will get a chance to qualify for a championship match, and that’s Dominic.
The junior beat Bloomington Kennedy’s Arich Juberian 4-1 in a 160-pound quarterfinal on Thursday night, and he’ll face West Salem/Bangor’s Alex Peters (15-1) in a semifinal bout this morning.
Dillon, a senior and the fourth sibling in his immediate family to wrestle, lost his quarterfinal match in the 152-pound bracket to Kennedy’s Ben Cousins in overtime. But to put their careers into perspective, they’ve combined for 229 victories — Dillon is
132-24 and Dominic 97-18 — and five appearances in the WIAA Division 3 individual state tournament.
They aren’t the closest of cousins, but they share the passion to succeed for the family name.
They understand what the Flocks have done for Cashton wrestling over the years and want to continue that.
“There’s probably more pressure being a Dahl than there is being a Flock,” Dillon said with a smile.
“But we want to go out there and win.”
The drive was born in youth wrestling and the chance to watch other family members compete.
One of the most exciting of those moments came at the Kohl Center in late February of 2006.
Both were in attendance as Andrew and Alex Dahl won WIAA Division 3 titles and Brandon Arentz placed second.
But the performance of Justin Flock — Dillon’s older brother — was memorable. After entering the 140-pound bracket with nine losses, Justin won three matches to advance to the championship bout.
He didn’t win the match, but he showed Dillon and Dominic what you can accomplish by performing at your best at the right time.
“That was a great way for him to end his (individual) season and career,” Dominic said of Justin.
The goal on top of the chart for both Dillon and Dominic is to advance to the individual state tournament again. Dillon hasn’t placed there yet, and Dominic is the owner of second- and sixth-place finishes.
But winning a Bi-State title, something Cashton hasn’t had since Alex Dahl’s victory in 2005, is high on that list, too.
Dominic, who was a runner-up, still has a chance to get that elusive victory.
“Watching (championship matches on) the stage was always the highlight for me,” Dominic said of trips to this tournament when he was younger. “We treat Bi-State at a level just like state, and I’d love to get up there again.”
He’s one victory short of doing just that and two away from doing something no Flock — in all of its 40 years of wrestling — has done.
And that’s something a whole bunch of people are waiting to celebrate.