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Full week of wrestling for Hilltopper grapplers

By Kelsie Hoitomt

The Glenwood City wrestling team hosted Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee/Thorp last Tuesday night, then wrestled against St. Croix Central Thursday and finally finished the week in Pine City, MN on Saturday.

 Win at home Tuesday

The non-conference dual Tuesday night was a blow out with the Toppers winning 42-18, with the help of several forfeits.

The night started out with the Orioles getting six points from a forfeit at 138lbs. The Toppers then scored back-to-back points from Adam Holmquist and Austin Moe, who both had pins in the second period.

Jeff Kopacz then lost in a 4-9 decision to Ronny Ponick and the Toppers forfeited at 170lbs, which put the score at 18-9.

Brennan Kessler had the closest match of the night against Austin Burzynski. Kessler was down on points until he tied the score at 5-5, but in the last remaining seconds Burzynski got a take down for the win of 7-5.

The Toppers finished the night with Donovan Fornal pinning his opponent in just over 30 seconds, Alex Little won by a 5-0 decision, Kyle Peterson and Damian Hoitomt each had a forfeit, Riley Knops won by a 6-0 decision and Jake Carlson was pinned.

Upset by Panthers

Thursday night’s dual against the St. Croix Central Panthers was a bust as the Toppers fell short in the conference match up 30-36.

The Toppers shifted up a weight class and the night started out with Holmquist against Parker Owens at 152lbs. Holmquist won by a pin in 32 seconds.

Moe then collected another six points for the team after he pinned Brian Gibb in a minute and a half.

The Panthers then got on the score board after Cody Nyhagen pinned Brennan Kessler and Kyle Aaby won by a disqualification over Blayze Wood who has been out with an infection from the wrestling mats.

The matches went back and forth with Fornal pinning Defino Carrasco, Austin Edison pinned Little, Peterson had a first year mistake and was pinned by Jacob Conley, Hoitomt won on a close decision of 8-7 against Ryan Pfeifer, Knops pinned Lukas Smith after a three minute battle, Carlson lost on a 4-0 decision, Billy Norenberg won by a major decision of 12-5 and then Hunter Chouinard ended the night with a loss to Trent Smith on a 4-2 decision.

“We are disappointed as a team that we have been within one match two weeks in a row to win the conference title. We realize our conference is very strong and we feel good about how it prepares us for Regional time. I was very pleased with Hoitomt, Norenberg and Fornal for picking up wins they were not favored in,” shared coach Shane Strong.

On the road to MN

The grapplers were in Pine City, MN for an individual tournament last Saturday that involved ten other schools including Benilde-St.Margaret’s, Big Lake, Braham, Chisago Lakes, Ogilvie, Rush City, Spectrum, St. Peter, Virginia and Pine City.

Individually, seven wrestlers had winning records on the day for the Hilltoppers. There were also three individuals with even records of 2-2.

Holmquist, Moe and Fornal each had perfect performances as they ended the day 3-0. Holmquist had three pins, one of which was in just 13 seconds against Sean Hoyt of Chisago Lakes. Both of Moe and Fornal’s pins were under a minute and each received a bye for the third win.

Carlson was 3-1 with a pin, a tech fall of 15-0, a major decision of 10-0 and he was pinned by Drew Kern of Big Lake.

Kopacz was also 3-1 with a pin and a major decision of 9-0 and another of 6-0. He was pinned by Kyle Bosacker of St.Peter.

Knops was 2-1 with two pins and then a loss on a 4-0 decision to Jarred Oftedahl of Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Oftedahl is a two time state runner up in MN and is also a freestyle national champion.

Also finishing 2-1 was Wood who had a pin against Luke Rands and then won by a major decision of 10-4 against Joe Favorito.

Those who ended the day with an even record were Kessler, Skylar Peterson and Kyle Peterson. Kessler had two pins against kids from Virginia and Pine City and then lost on a tech fall and a 4-3 decision to Dillion O’Leary of Big Lake.

Skylar Peterson won one match after pinning Tom Ruffcorn of Big Lake and then he received a bye for his second win. He was pinned by opponents from Spectrum and St. Peter.

Wrapping up for the team was Kyle Peterson who received a bye and then pinned Tony Czajkowski of Benilde-St.Margaret’s in under five seconds for his two wins of the day. He was pinned by opponents from Rush City/Braham and Chisago Lakes.

The Hilltoppers’ next dual will be this Thursday against the Bulldogs in Boyceville starting at 7:00 p.m. They are then scheduled to wrestle Saturday in Zumbrota-Mazeppa, MN starting at 9:00 a.m.